Sunday, April 14, 2013

Eclectic Social Work approach

What would an eclectic approach look like?

  • Defining eclectic social work:
  • An eclectic approach is one which draws from many theories, including complementary, competing or even contradictory theories, depending upon the situation and client need.
  • Eclecticism can be used for both explaining human behavior and intervening in human behavior.
  • Clients benefit from eclectic interventions and explanations because they are less likely to feel placed into a steadfast category.
  • The eclectic social worker seeks to match the most helpful theoretical explanation or intervention to the client/community/population.
  • Example of an eclectic approach
  • A male client has recently cheated on his wife of 15 years. He has been unable to tell his wife and is feeling terribly guilty.
  • Freud might say that you may be stuck in the Phallic developmental stage. Your ego is not fully developed and we will work on building the ego's power over your id's impulses.
  • Erikson might say that you have not resolved the task of developing intimacy, so you are left in isolation within your marriage. Learning to develop intimacy is your task.
  • A constructivist might aid the client in investigating the networked structure of beliefs which made cheating appear to be an adequate option. The belief set could be abolished and reconstructed to better conduce the client's well being.
  • Frankl might suggest that the client seek to find the meaning in the suffering he is faced with. He will feel hopeless without meaning.
  • Attachment theory may look at the interactions of each partner and understand how a lack of attunement between partners results in shame and unhealthy attachment. Healthy people regulate affect by experiencing attunement in relationships. Perhaps his wife has been preoccupied with the client, which causes a dismissiveness from the client to his wife. This leaves him feeling lonely, and his affect becomes dysregulated. He sought to regulate his loneliness by having an affair. The solution is for each partner to re-attune to the other, basically getting on the same page emotionally and giving the other partner the experience that "my partner understands me."
  • All of these explanations of the situation could be presented to the client.


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