Discussion 2: Integrating Theory and Practice

As a social work student, it is important to understand the need for theory-informed practice. As you assess, intervene, and evaluate in your practice, theory is an essential foundation for clinical social work. The use of theory to inform and guide your practice is what establishes you as a professional. In working with clients, you should always be aware of the underlying theory of your clinical approach. Through this course, you will develop the ability to better articulate the theoretical base by which you choose your interventions. You will use theory in every decision you make as it guides you through your practice. Additionally, identifying the theories in assessing and creating change will make you a more confident and skilled social work practitioner.

BY DAY 4

Post an analysis and description of the importance of the use of theory in clinical practice. Then describe how the use of theory relates to the social issue you presented in your Introductory Video for this week’s Assignment.

BY DAY 6

Respond to at least two colleagues who selected a different social issue than yours and identify two possible areas of strength of that population. Explain one way clinical social workers can empower their clients.

Support your responses with specific references to this week’s resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.


COLLEAGUE 1: TACHELLE
Analysis and description of the importance of the use of theory in clinical practice.Being a social worker, you have to use theory in your practice quite often. In reading the article, The Practice Pyramid, “If social workers are to practice competently and effectively, they have
to be able to understand and make sense of people’s behavior and the complex world we all live in” (Gordon & Mackay, 2016). It goes on to say that in order to do this, we as social works need to have an understanding of theories which can explain our clients’ behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, etc. Once we gain a firm understanding of theories, it helps us to be able to properly provide the correct services to our clients to help them in whatever issues they may be facing.
Describe how the use of theory relates to the social issue presented in the Introductory Video uploaded.
The population in my introductory video I want to work with is abused children and their families. In looking at the Practice Pyramid, it is described as a learning tool. It is used for, “Encouraging and reflecting on an articulate rationale in a systematic way,” (Gordon & Mackay, 2016). Essentially, by using this model with my population, I can divulge further into why the parents behaved the way they did and get a clearer understanding of how and why they did what they may have done. It can also help me to understand why a child may be acting out in a certain way and how to give them the necessary tools to make a change in that behavior.

Reference:
Gordon, J., & Mackay, G. (2016). The Practice Pyramid: A model for integrating social work values, theory, and practice. Journal of Practice Teaching & Learning, 14(3), 64-80.

COLLEAGUE 2: FELICIA
Per Gordon and Mackay (2016), “if social workers are to practice competently and effectively, they have to be able to understand and make sense of people’s behavior and the complex world we live in.” Theory is necessary to help explain behavior and how society operates. A theory may explain human behavior, for example, by describing how humans interact or how humans react to certain stimuli. I want to continue to work with the adolescent population as have done some of that footwork in the past. This population has been proven to be susceptible to multiple social problems. I touched a little bit on trauma, emotional and physical, because this is what I have become familiar with and have witnessed specific behaviors stemming from trauma. Theory may explain human behavior and I can see that this has been deemed accurate. If a child is exhibiting certain behaviors theory allows us to find a correlation between these behaviors, the client and the environment that the client comes from which may give insight as to why this is occurring or why the client is having this reaction. Theory allows us as social workers to think outside the box and even step outside of our comfort zone to find a resolution to an issue that our client may be experiencing.
Gordon, J., & Mackay, G. (2016). The Practice Pyramid: A model for integrating social work values, theory, and practice. Journal of Practice Teaching & Learning, 14(3), 64- 80.