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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 is a core text for one of the most important courses social work students take in any BSW and MSW program: Direct Practice. This course teaches the fundamental values, knowledge and actions that constitutes the practice of social work. It is the skills they learn in their various direct practice courses that become directly relevant to their work as social workers. This text offers basic generalist practice methods which emphasize the common elements in working with individuals, families and groups. The goal upon completion of this course is for students to become efficient in enhancing an individual's social functioning by helping them become more proficient in examining and resolving their problems. The authors break the book into distinct parts that first focus on laying a foundation of the profession of social work: ethics, values, and knowledge base. It then goes in to the sequence of events in the helping process by addressing the beginning, middle and ending stages of working with a client or family. The last group of chapters identitifies skills that are necessary when working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities and finally looks at the task of termination.

A unique aspect for this book is that it pays special consideration to enhancing social justice by working with individuals and families who have been historically oppressed. Although content is interwoven throughout the book, there is a special chapter on enhancing social justice which is written by known experts in the area. The book takes a broad based approach and thus is highly relevant for courses typically called "Practice I" or Foundations of Practice, which are offered in BSW programs and first year MSW programs.

The book is thoroughly updated, including more content that will engage students, including:

-Chapter opening vignettes

-More excercises and role-play activities embedded within the chapters

-Questions for critical thinking

-Bolded/glossary terms highlighted within text

-Margin notes to enhance student comprehension

-New feature of "social work journal/diary" which details a 'day in the life' of a social worker in a variety of settings.

-IRCD and student study site

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

Brett Seabury

Associate Professor Emeritus Brett Seabury has a primary interest in interpersonal practice and has practiced social work in mental health and child welfare settings, as well as in the U.S. Army. His current research and teaching interests are social work education, time-limited practice, using metaphors in social work practice, and indigenous (alternative) healing systems. His most current interests involve the use of information technology in the classroom, and the use of the Internet to deliver interactive video simulations designed to teach social work practice skills. Another area of research/scholarly interest is mental health. He... More About Author

Barbara Seabury

Charles David Garvin

Charles Garvin holds his master's and doctoral degrees from the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago. He was a practitioner in social work and group work for a dozen years after his master's degree before he studied for his PhD. He graduated from a program of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis that trained child therapists. He has been on the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Social work 1965-2002 and is now Professor Emeritus of Social Work, He is the author or co-author of many books such as Contemporary Group Work, Interpersonal Practice in Social Work, Social Work in Contemporary... More About Author

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