Social Case Work Theories

Social Case Work Theories

Theories and approaches in social case work :-

Psychoanalytical Theory :-

The theory propounded by Sigmund Freud. The theory believes that unconscious process plays important role in determining behaviour and the behaviour is the out come of the interaction of three subsystems of personality that is ‘id’, ‘ego’ and ‘super ego’. The ‘id’ consists of primitive biological drives and immediate gratification of needs. ‘Ego’ mediates between the demands of the ‘id’ and the realities of the external world. The third sub system ‘super ego’ develops by learning the taboos and moral values of the society.

It controls the ‘id’ and directs the ‘ego’ to hold back desires that are considered wrong or immoral. The interrelationship between these sub systems of personality are of crucial significance in determining behaviour. There is regular conflict between the natural urge and drives of the ‘id’ with the demand of external world (ego and super ego). The adequate resolution of such conflicts by the ‘Ego’ is considered essential for personality development. According to the psychoanalytical theory every moment of human life is determinable by the consigns, preconscious and unconscious psychological processes.

Psycho-Social Theory :-

Gordon Hamilton an article on “The underlying philosophy of social case work” in 1941 in which the word ‘diagnosis’ was used to express psycho-social problems. According to this theory the client is seen in the context of his interactions and transactions with the outer world. The history of the problem and impact on social function of the client is given due importance. It is considered that for proper diagnosis and treatment client’s social environment must be understood and mobilized. Treatment must be differentiated according to the need of the client.

Functional Theory :-

The theory was developed by the school of social work of the university of Pennsylvania in 1930. The theory believes that center for change is located in the client. The theorists used the world ‘helping’ instead of ‘treatment’. According to them social case work is not a form of social treatment but a method of administering some specific social service and creating such a psychological understanding in the client so that he may become skilful in utilizing the agency services.

Behavior Modification theory :-

The theory is based upon the principle of learning and conditioning propounded by Pavlov and Thorndike. In essence, behavioural modification is about decreasing undesired behaviour and increasing desired behaviours with the systematic application of established principles of learning. The behaviorist theory viewed problems as essentially the result of a failure to learn necessary adaptive behaviours. The theory views maladjusted person as an individual who has learned faulty copping patterns and has failed to learn required competencies for coping with the problem he is facing.

The Electic approach: – It has been observed that no theoretical approach explains human behaviour in a conclusive manner. Therefore, it is important to develop an electic approach, an approach that is characterized by a solid knowledge of many systems of theories and a skill for selecting useful concepts and techniques with reference to clients. Eclecticism approach does not believes in social worker choosing casually a methodology for client rather means electing a methodology purposefully with explainable reasons and with reference to particular client or clients. As every school of thought has its own strengths and limitation. The approach believes that skill of social worker lies in taking advantage of strengths of every school of thought in the best interest of the client.