By focusing on how individuals develop cognitive functioning, social workers can understand how those cognitive structures enable adaptation and organization. Find out with a fast-paced look at the 12 Most Common Social Work Theories and the Top Five Social Work Practice Models. Critical theories explain social problems as arising from various forms of oppression and injustice in globalized capitalist societies and forms of neoliberal governance. Orienting theories also attempt to explain large-scale societal problems such as poverty, mental illness, crime, and racial discrimination. In this theory, life is characterized by conflict (either open or through exploitation) instead of consensus. By focusing on understanding the human condition and consideration of cross-cultural elements, systems theory has helped drive social work’s understanding of human behavior in the social environment. A complex endeavor, inciting this shift of others’ perspectives can benefit from the framework of the various theories used in social work practice. Dominant groups maintain social order through manipulation and control. So in dealing with problem behavior, social workers who employ this theory focus on changing the reinforcement that perpetuates that behavior. Psychosocial development theory is an eight-stage theory of identity and psychosocial development articulated by Erik Erikson. Social workers who employ a feminist perspective emphasize the need for equality and empowerment of women in our society. These theories focus on human growth and development, psychological and social functioning, and social service delivery. Social workers assist clients in identifying patterns of irrational and self-destructive thoughts and behaviors that influence emotions. In the story, the client is not defined by the problem, and the problem exists as a separate entity. Here are some of the major social work practice models used in various roles, such as case managers and therapists: Problem solving assists people with the problem solving process. Various theories draw from other disciplines, including biology, psychology, and economics, and are related to all aspects of social work, including human development, personality, family systems, and political power. Masters in Social Work - Clinical Practice, Masters in Social Work - Military Practice, Doctor of Social Work - Medical Social Work, Doctor of Social Work - Disaster & Crisis Intervention, Doctor of Social Work - Addictions & Social Work, Masters in Social Work - Clinical Practice (2 yr), Masters in Social Work - Clinical Practice (3 yr), Masters in Social Work - Advanced Standing. The third primary perspective, the feminist perspective takes into account the role of gender and the historical lack of power experienced by women in society. Rational choice theory is based on the idea that all action is fundamentally rational in character, and people calculate the risks and benefits of any action before making decisions. A theory is a logical system of concepts that helps to explain why something happens in a particular way and to predict outcomes. Through engagement with critical theories, the researcher rejects the notion of neutrality, instead using careful judgement to understand and impact social injustices. In healthy individuals, these stages contribute to creativity, wisdom, and altruism. Because human behavior is complex and the social work profession is broad, numerous theories are utilized for social work practice at the micro-meso-macro levels. Problem solving: The social worker helps the client understand the problem, brainstorm possible solutions, pick a solution, try it out, and evaluate effectiveness. But social change can be achieved through conflict—that is, interrupting periods of stability. This theory is what social workers usually employ when dealing with a client who has suffered past trauma or abuse. Unlike systems theory, which takes a broad perspective on equilibrium within a system, this model emphasizes active participation with the environment. Solution-focused: The social worker and client first identify the solution—the desired future—then work together to establish the steps that will lead to the solution. Various theories draw from other disciplines, including biology, psychology, and economics, and are related to all aspects of social work, including human development, personality, family systems, and political power. Narrative therapy externalizes a person’s problem by examining the story of the person’s life. Each stage is divided into age ranges from infancy to older adults. The paper is divided in two parts. To learn more about SocialWork@Simmons, request information and an admissions counselor will contact you. Critical social work seeks to address social injustices, as opposed to focusing on individualized issues. And how do social workers actually help people? In people lacking healthy ego development, experiences can lead to psychosis. Does the program offer online or hybrid courses for working and non-traditional students. While theories help explain why a problem is occurring, dozens of social work practice models are used to address the problems themselves. Families exist within communities and neighborhoods, Individuals, families, and neighborhoods exist in a political, economic, and cultural environment, and it follows that. Social development work is aimed at correcting long-term problems in communities. General systems theory emphasizes reciprocal relationships between the elements of a system—”a holistic, organized unit of interdependent, transacting, and mutually influencing parts (individuals or collectives and their subunits) within an identifiable (social-ecological) environment” (Siporin, 1975). While a theory explains why something happens, a practice model shows how to use a theory to create change. Task-centered: The social worker helps the client break down the problem into achievable tasks, using rehearsals, deadlines, and contracts to maintain drive and motivation. The account shall then describe assessment in social work practice contexts and consider how critical social work theories like Marxism, Feminism, Radical Social work and Post Modernism have shaped practice. The SocialWorkDegree.net blog is written by Amanda Body, a social worker for Child Protective Services in Jefferson County, Kentucky.Read more posts by Amanda. Over and ab… Based on these theories (and others), these models are step-by-step guides for client sessions, much like a recipe or a blueprint for how to effect change.