Title: Communication within the social work helping relationship
1 Social Work and Reflective Communication SWP22REC Lecture Four
Communication within the social work helping relationship -
relating theory to practice
Dr Trish McNamara
2 The pluralistic approach
3 Advantages 4 Range of conceptual tools and clinical methods
Client centred approaches
Cognitive behavioural ideas
Narrative constructivist approaches
See Trevithick (2000) Ch2 and Sullivan et al (2000) Chs1 and 2
Can be lacking in rigour and conceptual clarity
Can be indiscriminate
Can lack attention to context especially issues of diversity
Is difficult to evaluate
6 Revisiting the three psychological forces
Cognitive behavioural approaches
7 Critique of the humanist client centred approach- Advantages
Accessible and easily understood
Values all forms of experience
Is accepting and non-judgmental
Aims at a meaningful and egalitarian relationship
8 Critique of the humanist client centered approach- Disadvantages
Difficult for social workers to implement in their everyday work
Requires high degree of motivation not viable with reluctant people
Is individualistic does not take account of societal pressures
See Trevithick Appendix 1
9 Interpersonal Communication and Counselling training programs
Often underpinned by a humanist client-centred approach sometimes combined with some cognitive behavioural ideas
Adler and Rodman (2006)
See Ivey and Ivey (2003) Ch 1 for discussion of this
10 Cognitive behavioural approaches
Approaches to treatment and to helping people resolve specific problems using selected concepts and techniques from behaviourism social learning theory action therapy functional school in social work task centred treatment and therapies based on cognitive models.
Barker (1995) cited in Trevithick (2005) Appendix 2
11 Key Concepts
Activating event or situation
Beliefs or thoughts about the event or situation often irrational
Emotional consequences often irrational
Disputation the service user is taught to replace irrational beliefs with rational beliefs
Ellis and Greiger (1977)
12 Critique of cognitive-behavioural approaches- advantages
Brief widely applicable and relatively easy to learn
Behavioural approaches especially useful for teaching skills e.g. life skills
Cognitive behavioural approaches useful for approaching complex social problems
Builds on strengths of two conceptual bases
See Trevithick Appendix 2
13 Critique of cognitive-behavioural approaches- disadvantages
It is directive often has high expectations and demands commitment
Focussed on the presenting problem not causes or underlying problems
Can use abstract detached or abstract language
Some service users do not have the capacity to undertake the homework set
Trevithick (2000 ) Appendix 2
14 Gestalt Therapy
The fundamental formula of Gestalt theory might be expressed in this way. There are wholes the behaviour of which is not determined by that of their individual elements but where the part-processes are themselves determined by the intrinsic nature of the whole. It is the hope of Gestalt theory to determine the nature of such wholes.
Max Wertheimer (1924)
15 Key Concepts
Thinking and problem solving are characterized by appropriate substantive organization restructuring and centring of the given (insight) in the direction of the desired solution.
In memory structures based on associative connections are elaborated and differentiated according to a tendency for optimal organization.
Cognitions which an individual cannot integrate lead to an experience of dissonance and to cognitive processes directed at reducing this dissonance.
In a supra-individual whole such as a group there is a tendency toward specific relationships in the interaction of strengths and needs.
The epistemological orientation of Gestalt theory tends to be a kind of critical realism. Methodologically the attempt is to achieve a meaningful integration of experimental and phenomenological procedures (the experimental-phenomenological method). Crucial phenomena are examined without reduction of experimental precision. Gestalt theory is to be understood not as a static scientific position but as a paradigm that is continuing to develop. Through developments such as the theory of the self-organization of systems it attains major significance for many of the current concerns of psychology.
International Society for Gestalt Theory and its Applications (GTA) website
16 Psychoanalysis Any line of investigation no matter what its direction which recognises transference and resistance and takes them as the starting point. Sigmund Freud 1914 3 17 Key concepts
The unconscious mental processes of which the subject is not aware
Defence mechanism avoidance strategies (knowingly or unknowingly employed)
Resistance times when clients cannot or will not talk freely
Transference emotional responses to current relationships which originate in earlier unresolved or unconscious experiences
Trevithick (2000) Appendix 5
18 Critique of psychoanalytic approaches 19 Advantages
Concepts such as the unconscious transference etc help us to understand human behaviour
Explains all behaviour including difficult behaviour and addresses the meanings we ascribe to events
Is neutral to emotional expression
Continues to give rise to other theories and approaches - TA Crisis intervention PTSD ego psychology
Elitist expensive and lacks clear time boundaries
It is a complex theory to grasp
Can create dependence on the client-therapist relationship
Video in Library - Three Approaches to psychotherapy III - Part One
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