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The Interrelationship Between Theory And Practice Social Work Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 1306 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The interrelationship between theory and practice is to analyse the client’s strengths based of theory and practise. The important concepts are empowerment and resilience the sources are a big factor in social work because they are the cultural and important stories that are to do with the client. Empowerment can play a big impact on the individual as this can influence their health from their emotions to their beliefs. This is the best way to help the client overcome these certain needs. For example they may need positive thinking and to ignore the negative feedback. (apa psycnet, 1996) Although theory is easy to follow it is also essential to put the theory into practice and to connect with the client.

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Whereas (lennarto.wordpress.com, 2009) states that the interrelationship between theory and practice is to analyze the issue non-empirically we could proceed in one of the following two ways: either we could hypothetically take one stance and see what follows from that (e.g., say that there is a close relation between theory and practice, how can we account for that and what would be the – theoretical as well as practical – consequences); or we could make it a normative issue. It is the environmental philosophy there has been a strong suggestion that we should minimize the gap between theory and practice. Shifting the focus from value theoretical issues towards practical real-world why do we need theory in the first place? These issues could be widely extended

This is a demonstration of understanding the use of theoretical paradigms in social work. A paradigm is a group of collective idea’s it is a set of systems which is based on a topic or theme (dictionary, 2012). For this topic I will write about Bandura’s theory behaviourism as a paradigm.

Banduras theory is related to the bobo doll that the children won’t know how to react towards things until they see how their role model acts and then they will take on this behaviour. (experiment resources, 2012) As a social worker and you help the case before it gets out of hand this is changing the behaviour they have modelled to prevent other people won’t pick up this type of behaviour. Bandura’s paradigm can be used in social work because it relates to people’s behaviour. This is important to understand because if a client comes into see you, you need to understand that the client does have history of being violent and with knowing this paradigm you will know what questions to ask to what causes this behaviour. Changing the behaviour to what is considered to be the social norms. Bandura then considered that the personality has relations between three modules: the environment such as where the person lives, behaviour through aggression and the psychological development which is the ability to divert images in the mind and through language. (learning theories, 2012)

As a social worker you have to have an excellent understanding of how practise shapes theory and theory shapes practice. A Theory is a day to day basis to show us how to use practise works effectively. Theory that is evidenced based can impact the theory drastically every day. Through theory you can get the best outstanding models to use in the felid of social work from Te whare tapa wha to code of ethics that are used in practise. (How does theory shape practice in social work, 2010) Te whare tapa wha is a method that is used in social work that illustrates the four walls of Māori well- being. The four walls are Taha wairua (spiritual), Taha tinana (physical), Taha hinengaro (mental) and Taha whaanau (family health). (health, 2012)The use of this method is to write down questions in each section to ask your client when they come to see you. Theory shapes practice because theory is a guideline of what the social worker needs follow in order to understand the client. When the social worker is having a session with the client this is the basic needs the social worker will need to know about the client in order to have a successful conversation about what is happening currently with the client. This is where Te whare tapa wha will come in place. This gives the social worker the opportunity to ask the client the questions that they have previously written down according to the notes they had previously received. For instance if the client was a violent person and preformed violent actions towards an object or human, a question under mental health could be “tell me why you feel angry and what kind of thoughts do you have when you feel angry?”. A series of questions can be asked in order to get the right amount of information out of the client in order to help the client recover. They could feel that they have to be violent because that’s what their parents had shown them when they were younger. With this in mind you are able to relate to the client and understand where they are coming from. The Reflection cycle is important because this is what helps get the client on the right track with what they are trying to succeed. This area there are 6 elements to this area’s these are Description (to explain what has happened?), feelings (how the client is feeling and what their thoughts are?), Evaluation (What are the good points and bad points about what is happening?), Analysis (What can you tell me about this situation?), Conclusion (what else do you think you could have done) and finally the Action plan (what would you do if it was to happen again?). (brookes.ac.uk, 1998) This is a good strategy to help a client reach their goals. Each time a social has a meeting with the client the strategies have to be different but still following the format and then the cycle is to start all over again. This is a good way for the client to tell the social worker about what has been going on in their life and in their environment. With the social worker knowing these answers it then give the social worker the appropriate time to ask the client any questions to go further in depth for why they might need your help. You may then need to ask the client about what is going on and how the situation can make the client feel. Another view is that if the client was violent you would be able to trace back to when this first happened and strategize a way with the client of how they can fix this habit in their own way and own pace.

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Another form of reflection is the Layers of reflection. These contain: The Reflection-on-experience which is to reflect after the event/ situation has taken place and understanding what has happened in a positive manor. Reflection-in-action to understand the experience and take the information gained towards new goals. Reflection-within-the-moment becomes aware with what is going on with the thinking and understanding of the situation and to respond in discussion. And finally Mindful practice is aware with what is happening throughout practice. (Becoming Reflective, 2004) This is also a good model for a social worker to follow to get a full understanding of their client and also the client will be able to see the progress they are making for extra encouragement if they feel that they are close to giving up.


In conclusion I will have explained and demonstrated my knowledge of the relationships between social work and theory and how the theory and practise link together. I then explained what theoretical paradigms and how Bandura’s behaviourism fits into place with the paradigm and social work theory. And finally I would have linked behaviourism into Te whare tapa wha in the areas of has practise influences theory and how theory influences practise in a clear pattern with examples of reflective is important in social work theory.


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