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Foundations of Interpersonal Practice in Social Work

Foundations of Interpersonal Practice in Social Work
Promoting Competence in Generalist Practice

Third Edition

October 2010 | 616 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc


This text takes a broad based approach to basic generalist practice methods that emphasize the common elements in working with individuals, families and groups. The goal of the book is to teach social work students how to enhance clients' social functioning by helping them become more proficient in examining, understanding, and resolving clients' social problems. The authors pay special attention to enhancing social justice by working with individuals and families who have been historically oppressed. This edition includes specific integrated coverage of the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) latest Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS).

Intended Audience

This core text is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the introductory Direct Practice and Generalist Practice courses in BSW and MSW programs of social work.

1. Interpersonal Practice in Social Work: Nature and Scope
Definition of Social Work  
Interpersonal Practice  
Use of Ecological Concepts  
The Scope of Practice  
The Bases of Interpersonal Practice  
2. Basic Assumptions and Concepts
Underlying Assumptions  
Basic Concepts: Client, Worker; Target, and Action Systems  
3. Values, Ideology, and Ethics of Professional Social Work
The Ideology of the Social Work Profession  
The Social Work Code of Ethics  
Value Conflicts in Practice  
Practice Cases With Ethical Issues  
4. Interpersonal Practice Beyond Diversity and Toward Social Justice: The Importance of Critical Consciousness by Beth Clover Reed, Peter A. Newman, Zulema E. Suarez, and Edith A. Lewis
What is Critical Consciousness?  
Mayor Dimensions of Multiculturalism and Some Terminology  
Key Social Group Categories and Related Terminology  
How Do Multiple Identities Work?  
Routes to Critical Consciousness and Multicultural Competence  
The Application of Critical Consciousness to Practice  
5. Violence and Trauma
Recognition of Violence and Trauma  
Types of Trauma  
Assessment of Trauma  
Consequences of Trauma: Symptoms of Psychological and Emotional Injury  
Treatment Options  
Risk Screening Protocols  
6. Engagement and Relationship
Definition of the Social Work Relationship  
Power Dimensions in Professional Relationships  
Stages of the Professional Relationship  
Transactional Nature of the Professional Relationship  
Why Is Relationship So Important?  
Conscious Use of Self  
Importance of Hope  
The Initiation of Relationships  
Relationships in Group Situations  
Relationships in Family Situations  
7. Becoming a Client
Definition of a Client  
Overview of the Clienthood Process  
Pathways to Clienthood  
The Entry Process  
The Worker's Tasks With Applicants  
Tasks With Nonclients  
"Significant Others" in the Client's Life  
Defining the Client in a Multiperson Client System  
Agency Conditions and Definitions of Client  
Continuance and Discontinuance  
Orientation to the Client Role  
The Initiation of Problem Solving  
The Preliminary Contract  
8. Contracting
Components of a Social Work Contract  
Characteristics of a Social Work Contract  
Value of the Contract Approach  
Limits of Contracting  
Contracting With Families and Groups  
9. Monitoring and Evaluating Change
Side Effects  
10. Assessing Individuals
Purposes of Assessments  
Issues in Use of Sources  
Individual Assessment Framework  
Stress Assessment  
Crisis Assessment  
Assessment as a "Label"  
PIE - The Person-in-Environment System  
11. Individual Change
The Context of Interpersonal Change  
Interventive Roles  
Overcoming Barriers  
Crisis Intervention  
Role Solutions  
12. Assessing Families
What Is a Family?  
Measurement of System Variables  
Family Assessment  
The Process of Family Assessment  
Obtaining Family Assessment Data  
Categorizing Family Circumstances  
Ways of Portraying Family Conditions  
13. Family Change
Occasions for Family Interventions  
Prior to the First Family Session  
The Initial Sessions  
The Family Change Stage  
Phase of the Family Life Cycle  
14. Assessing Groups
Types of Groups  
Therapeutic/Effectiveness Variables  
Group Development  
Assessing Group Dynamics  
15. Group Change
Working With Elders in a Support Group  
First Group Session  
Second Group Session  
The First Session of a Closed Group  
Leadership Interventions  
Interpersonal Conflict in Groups  
16. Assessing Organizations and Communities
Organizational Assessment  
Community Assessment  
17. Change in Organizations and Communities
Ethics of Organizational and Community Change  
Theories of Organizational Change  
Community Change  
18. Termination
The Tasks of Termination  
Termination Issues in Group Work  
Termination Issues With Families  
Worker Termination  
Problematic Terminations  
About the Authors

There are some applicable chapters to courses, however, not enough to have students buy the book. We are redesigning the course completely from scratch and will include more social/public health/communication topics in the course. Therefore, we will reconsider this book as a recommended text for the students at our medical school.

Dr Tania Arana
Medical Education, Texas Technology University Health Science - El Paso
December 28, 2011

Some useful ideas and theories but overall the slant is towards American practice, whihc whilst still relevant does have its differnences from UK practice. However, some of the writing will be useful in teaching and learning about relationships within the SW setting and I will be citing it in my teaching.

Mrs Kerry Fidler
School of Social Work, University of Leicester
July 8, 2011

I love the flow of the book and the ease of moving students through the engagment process to the evaluation process!

Dr Margaret Counts-Spriggs
School Of Social Work, Clark Atlanta University
April 26, 2011
Key features

New and Retained Features

  • Weaves content about diversity issues throughout and includes a separate chapter, written by renowned experts, on economically and socially oppressed groups
  • Emphasizes the value and ethical considerations that underlie interpersonal practice, with an emphasis on enhancing individual-environmental transactions
  • Features practice case examples in each chapter, including challenging cases involving an applicant who is mandated to see the practitioner, to encourage students to act as the interpersonal practitioner and to comment on the actions taking place in the case narrative · Offers two new chapters focusing on social work values and contemporary practice issues, including a chapter on violence and trauma
  • Includes a full chapter devoted to the importance of monitoring and evaluation in practice that can be readily implemented, such as the new Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)
  • Opens each chapter with a case example, quote, or exercise that introduces primary themes and draws the reader into the chapter's content

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412966832

ISBN: 9781412966825

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