Social Work Theories

Superior Essays
Theories are general explanations that are supported by evidence obtained through the scientific method and are utilized in all domains of social and psychology practices. By observing people scientifically, the social worker can obtain systematic descriptions of human tendencies and differences among people and their environments. This paper will highlight two key theories used in both historically and contemporary social work. Next, a description of the main research areas and methods used within the field of social work are defined and described providing an explanation of how these methods are used to guide research. Finally, research that pertains to modern advances in the field of social work is summarized.

Theories and Research Methods
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In essence, the concept of ecology views human development in the context of their relationship with the environment. It is the understanding of human behavior from a historical, cultural, and biological perspective which may have been integrated into their present circumstances. In addition, the theory views the individual as the cause and effect of their situation and believes that each change the individual makes causes a reactive change within their environments (Friedman & Allen, 2011). Germain applied important concepts into the theory to enhance its effectiveness within the social work profession. These concepts are associated with person-in-environment interactions: adaption, life stress, coping, power, and human relatedness (Friedman & Allen, 2011). The ecosystem perspective provides social workers an interactional view of the individual or family within the context of their environment to allow the worker to provide the tools for support and growth (Friedman & Allen, 2011). Because of its effectiveness, this theory is still the most popular and widely used in the present day. Since the focus of this theory is an organized method of displaying the interaction between the person and their environment, other essential theories such as the psychodynamic theory are …show more content…
Psychoanalysis has a long and complex history within social work and continues to be utilized by social workers today (American Psychoanalytic Association, 2015). In contemporary social work practice, psychodynamic theory assists social workers when looking at early attachment relationships and the developmental history of clients which may consist of past trauma or abuse (American Psychoanalytic Association, 2015). One of the most utilized approaches is the attachment theory. The attachment theory suggests early childhood experiences such as the quality of attachment bonds during the formative years of brain development affects the quality of relationships throughout life (American Psychoanalytic Association,

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