This chapter presents an overview of the restorative justice movement in the twenty-first century. Restorative justice, on the other hand, offers a very different way of understanding and responding to crime. Instead of viewing the state as the primary victim of criminal acts and placing victims, offenders, and the community in passive roles, restorative justice recognizes crime as being directed against individual people. The values of restorative justice are also deeply rooted in the ancient principles of Judeo-Christian culture. A small and scattered group of community activists, justice system personnel, and a few scholars began to advocate, often independently of each other, for the implementation of restorative justice principles and a practice called victim-offender reconciliation (VORP) during the mid to late 1970s. Some proponents are hopeful that a restorative justice framework can be used to foster systemic change. Facilitation of restorative justice dialogues rests on the use of humanistic mediation.
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This chapter describes some of the recent restorative justice innovations and research that substantiates their usefulness. It explores developments in the conceptualization of restorative justice based on emergence of new practices and reasons for the effectiveness of restorative justice as a movement and restorative dialogue as application. Chaos theory offers a better way to view the coincidental timeliness of the emergence of restorative justice as a deeper way of dealing with human conflict. The chapter reviews restorative justice practices that have opened up areas for future growth. Those practices include the use of restorative practices for student misconduct in institutions of higher education, the establishment of surrogate dialogue programs in prison settings between unrelated crime victims and offenders. They also include the creation of restorative justice initiatives for domestic violence and the development of methods for engagement between crime victims and members of defense teams who represent the accused offender.
This chapter aims to give the behavioral health specialist (BHS) a basic understanding of pain, knowledge about how to effectively evaluate chronic pain, and a description of effective pain management techniques. Knowledge of the biological and psychological basis of pain is important to understanding the experience of chronic pain. A biopsychosocial assessment is the foundation for providing behavioral health treatment to the chronic pain patient. Chronic pain is less responsive to treatments commonly used for acute pain such as opioid analgesia and avoiding physical activity. A multidisciplinary team approach can substantially improve outcomes in chronic pain treatment. Whatever the format of service provision, utilizing multiple interventions such as physical therapy/exercise, emotional management, pacing, and medication, rather than a single modality can substantially improve outcomes for chronic pain. Providing psychoeducation about chronic pain can be an important strategy.
- Go to chapter: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Personal Perspectives on Theory Development in Aging
This chapter provides a brief introduction to approaches to coping theory-from its early roots in psychodynamic defense mechanisms, through cognitive and personality approaches to coping styles, to more current work on coping and adaptive processes. The coping process approach recognizes that coping strategies are influenced not only by person characteristics such as personality, values, and developmental history but also by environmental demands and resources. The chapter develops a definition of ‘resilience’ as the ability to recognize, utilize, and develop or modify resources at the individual, community, and sociocultural levels in the service of three goal-related processes: maintenance of optimal functioning, given current limitations; development of a comfortable life structure; and development of a sense of purpose in life. A common assumption of life-span developmental theories is that the increasing physical and sometimes cognitive limitations with age necessitate changes in adaptive processes.
This chapter reviews biodemographic theories of aging that attempt to answer the proverbial ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions in gerontology. Biodemography of aging represents an area of research that integrates demographic and biological theory and methods and provides innovative tools for studies of aging and longevity. The historical development of the biodemography of aging is closely interwoven with the historical development of statistics, demography, and even the technical aspects of life insurance. The chapter also reviews some applications of reliability theory to the problem of biological aging. Reliability theory of aging provides theoretical arguments explaining the importance of early-life conditions in later-life health outcomes. Moreover, reliability theory helps evolutionary theories explain how the age of onset of diseases caused by deleterious mutations could be postponed to later ages during the evolution this could be easily achieved by simple increase in the initial redundancy levels.
This chapter describes the interpretive perspective in all its richness and variability in guiding research and advancing understanding of a wide range of phenomena in aging and life-course research. It discusses the interpretive perspective with other variants of social science theorizing, particularly normative perspectives on aging and life course-placing its development in historical context. The chapter addresses the contentious issue of causal explanation, as understood in diverse disciplinary contexts. It highlights some prominent normative theoretical approaches in social gerontology, by way of providing a comparative context for our primary consideration of the interpretive perspective. A given theoretical perspective in gerontology can focus solely on macro level, structural phenomena, on micro-level behavior and social interaction, or on understanding of the links between macro and micro phenomena.
This chapter traces the development of concepts and theories in the sociology of aging from the 1940s through the mid-1970s through seven themes. The first theme describes the importance of age in social structure and the place of the aged in changing societies. The second theme focuses on the issue of ‘successful aging’: how to define, measure, and achieve it. The third theme highlights the tension between social structure and individual agency in the activity versus disengagement theory controversy. The fourth theme concerns the social meanings of age, age cohorts, and generations, as well as interactions between age groups. The fifth theme focuses on families, aging, and intergenerational relations. The sixth theme of age stratification deals with the interplay between cohort succession and the aging of individuals. The seventh theme addresses the life course as a socially constructed process.
There can be little doubt that older people have today assumed a special place in the American social policy and political landscape. They constitute a large and growing population, they are increasingly well organized, and they are the recipients of public benefits that are the envy of every other social policy constituency in the nation. This chapter reviews and assesses different theoretical approaches that may help account in all or in part for these fairly recent and remarkable developments. The organization here centers on six distinct theoretical avenues for better understanding these political and policy developments: the logic of industrialization and policy development, the role of political culture and values, the presence of working-class mobilization, the impact of individual and group participation, the weight of state structure, and the effects of policy in shaping subsequent events.
- Go to chapter: Theories of Environmental Gerontology: Old and New Avenues for Person–Environmental Views of Aging
This chapter provides some integrative perspectives to some of the enduring conceptual challenges in the area, such as place dimension while we age; what available theories in the ecology of aging are telling us; and what kind of new impulses refinement in this area are needed. It argues that the current trend toward intensive measurement designs in the daily ecology and the related increasing use of ambulatory assessment, taking into account short-term, interindividual variability in areas such as cognitive and emotional functioning, and daily stress experiences, may benefit from environmental gerontology perspectives. As we see it, environmental gerontology rests on three main principles two more related to the concept level and one more related to research strategy: importance of person-environmental (P-E) transaction and developmental co-construction; importance of explicitly considering the environment, with a focus on the physical-spatial dimension; and importance of optimizing ecological validity in research.
The lifelong manifold process of aging implicates biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors that interact over time and across place in complex ways to direct and temporally organize the shapes and boundaries of lives. As such, aging is a long, broad, and deep process: long, because it occurs continuously across the life span; broad, because it continuously integrates diverse factors from across levels of observation; deep, because it is never fully and directly observable as an ongoing generative process. Over the last two decades, theory building in aging inequality has focused on defining the role of health in the aging process. Arguably, health is now the core metric of aging; the diverse and complex patterns of disease, disability, and mortality with age have become the central problem for aging researchers, especially those concerned with social inequality and its pervasive and enduring effects.
This chapter describes the relevance of critical thinking and the related process and philosophy of evidence-based practice (EBP) to cognitive behavior therapy and suggests choices that lie ahead in integrating these areas. Critical thinking in the helping professions involves the careful appraisal of beliefs and actions to arrive at well-reasoned ones that maximize the likelihood of helping clients and avoiding harm. Critical-thinking values, skills and knowledge, and evidence-based practice are suggested as guides to making ethical, professional decisions. Sources such as the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations and other avenues for diffusion, together with helping practitioners and clients to acquire critical appraisal skills, will make it increasingly difficult to mislead people about “what we know”. Values, skills, and knowledge related to both critical thinking and EBP such as valuing honest brokering of knowledge, ignorance and uncertainty is and will be reflected in literature describing cognitive behavior methods to different degrees.
This chapter describes the Coping Skills Program, an innovative, school-based, universal curriculum for elementary-school aged children that is rooted in cognitive behavior theory. Rooted in cognitive behavior theory, the Coping Skills Program consists of carefully constructed metaphorical fables that are designed to teach children about their thinking; about the connections among their thoughts, feelings, and behavior; and about how to change what they are thinking, feeling, and doing when their behavior causes them problems. The chapter provides a thorough description of the Coping Skills Program and how it is implemented through a discussion of relevant research-based literature, and the theoretical underpinnings underlying this cognitive behavior approach with school-aged children. It also includes the results of preliminary testing of the Coping Skills Program. The research-based literature shows that cognitive behavior approaches are among the interventions commonly used by social workers to help young children in school settings.
This chapter describes the current trends toward greater gender equality in couple relationships, what keeps old patterns of gendered power alive, and why equality is so important for successful relationships. Relationship vignettes like the ones just described are common. Sharing family and outside work more equitably is only part of the gender-equality story. Gender ideologies are replicated in the way men and women communicate with each other and influence the kind of emotional and relational symptoms men and women present in therapy. Stereotypic gender patterns and power differences between partners work against the shared worlds and egalitarian ideals that women and men increasingly seek. The concept of relationship equality rests on the ideology of equality articulated in philosophical, legal, psychological, and social standards present today in American and world cultures. The four dimensions of the relationship equality model are relative status, attention to the other, accommodation patterns, and well-being.
- Go to chapter: F.I.T. Camp: A Biopsychosocial Model of Positive Youth Development for At-Risk Adolescents
Adolescence is a particularly intense stage of development. During the time of life between prepubescence and young adulthood, youth are challenged by accelerated mental, emotional, cognitive, and physical changes. The ordinary biopsycho-social stressors of adolescence, in conjunction with extraordinary environmental conditions, harmful external stimuli, and the dearth of resources that are associated with lower class and ethnic social status, tend to disrupt homeostasis and thwart positive youth development (PYD). Poor, ethnic minority youth are at disproportionate risk of negative social outcomes. The majority of these disparities involve externalizing factors, such as teen pregnancy, academic underachievement, and antisocial peer-group affiliation, as well as violent victimization and offending. The basic mission of F.I.T. an acronym for Focus, Initiative, and Tenacity Camp is to empower disadvantaged, ethnic minority youth by means of fostering positive social and emotional development.
This chapter explores the relationship between gender and power. Gendered power in couple relationships arises from a social context that has given men power over women for centuries. When practitioners fail to take account of social context, however, they may run the risk of inadvertently pathologizing clients for legitimate responses to oppressive experiences. The term gender is a socially created concept that consists of expectations, characteristics, and behaviors that members of a culture consider appropriate for males or females. Consequently, an individual’s ideas about gender may feel deeply personal even though they are a product of social relationships and structures. Strong social forces work to keep social power structures, including gender inequality, in place. The continued presence of gendered power structures in economic, social, and political institutions still limits how far many couples can move toward equality. Today, ideals of equality compete with the institutional practices that maintain gender inequality.
This chapter examines the cultural and relational contexts of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a debilitating, multidimensional mental health problem that affects 10"-15” of new mothers and has serious consequences for women, children, families, and marriages. Although women’s experience of postpartum depression has been the subject of considerable recent study, nearly all of this work has been interpreted within a medical or psychological frame. The chapter looks at a social constructionist lens to this body of research through a meta-data-analysis of recent qualitative studies of PPD. Though hormonal changes as a result of childbirth are related to depressive symptoms after childbirth, biological explanations alone cannot explain postpartum depression. A social constructionist approach to postpartum depression focuses on how the condition arises in the context of ongoing interpersonal and societal interaction. Climbing out of postpartum depression is an interpersonal experience that requires reconnection with others.
Clinical social workers have an opportunity to position themselves at the forefront of historic, philosophical change in 21st-century medicine. As is so often true for social work, the opportunity is associated with need. For social workers, in their role as advocates and clinicians, this unmet need would seem to create an obligation. This chapter argues that, if choosing to accept the obligation, social workers can become catalysts for vitally needed change within the medical field. While studies using the most advanced medical technology show the impact of emotional suffering on physical disease, other studies using the same technology are demonstrating Cognitive behavior therapy’s (CBT) effectiveness in relieving not just emotional suffering but physical suffering among medically ill patients. While this chapter discusses the clinical benefits and techniques of CBT, it also acknowledges the likelihood that social work will have to campaign for its implementation in many medical settings.
School social workers provide direct treatment for a multitude of problems that affect child and adolescent development and learning; these problems include mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders, and learning disorders, as well as child abuse and neglect, foster care, poverty, school drop out, substance abuse, and truancy, to name but a few. This chapter examines four constructs that are important when working with students. These constructs include: assessment and cognitive case conceptualization, the working alliance, self-regulated learning, and social problem solving. The chapter discusses the development of attainable and realistic goals is a critical component both of self-regulated learning and social problem solving. The chapter examines the problem of academic underachievement and four constructs that are critically important when working with children and adolescents in school settings. Academic underachievement is a serious problem affecting the lives of many children.
- Go to chapter: Use of Meditative Dialogue to Cultivate Compassion and Empathy With Survivors of Complex Childhood Trauma
Use of Meditative Dialogue to Cultivate Compassion and Empathy With Survivors of Complex Childhood Trauma
This chapter offers a review of selective literature on complex childhood trauma. It explains a case study demonstrating the use of meditative dialogue, a collaborative practice through which client and therapist are able to work together to develop empathy and compassion toward self and others during psychotherapy sessions. Thompson and Waltz described an inverse relationship between exposure to trauma and subsequent posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity, and self-compassion. Recent neuroscience research has begun examining the effects of meditation practices on specific areas of the brain through neuroimaging studies. Clinical trials on the use of meditative dialogue in psychotherapy with survivors of complex childhood trauma, looking at the brains of the clients, and using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure changes, would help to demonstrate its efficacy and move it into the realm of evidence-based practices.
This chapter explains a set of guidelines to help mental health professionals and clients move away from the gender stereotypes that perpetuate inequality and illness. Identifying dominance requires conscious awareness and understanding of how gender mediates between mental health and relationship issues. An understanding of what limits equality is significantly increased when we examine how gendered power plays out in a particular relationship and consider how it intersects with other social positions such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. To contextualize emotion, the therapist draws on knowledge of societal and cultural patterns, such as gendered power structures and ideals for masculinity and femininity that touch all people’s lives in a particular society. Therapists who seek to support women and men equally take an active position that allows the non-neutral aspects of gendered lives to become visible.
One of the emerging approaches to explaining the normative spike in adolescent risk-taking, with delinquent/antisocial behavior as one expression, is based on recent advances in developmental neuroscience. Brain imaging studies have identified two main processes for which co-occurrence in the healthy adolescent brain directly impacts delinquent behavior. The first neuropsychosocial process implicated in heightened risk-taking involves sudden and dramatic changes in activity in the limbic system that coincides with puberty. The second process is associated with a developing ability to self-regulate behavior that continues to mature into the early 20s. Mindfulness meditation may be an effective method for reducing delinquency in juvenile justice involved youth because of its association with increases in self-regulation. The juvenile justice system was built on the argument that children and youth are less culpable for criminal and delinquent behavior than adults, making adolescence a mitigating circumstance in determining the state’s response to youth criminality.
Most Behavioral Group Therapy (BGT) with children and adolescents include aspects of problem solving or social skills training or both. This chapter describes group workers can make an important contribution to children, families, and schools through preventive and remedial approaches. Social skills training grew out of the clinical observation and research that found a relationship between poor peer relationships and later psychological difficulties. The social skills program taught the following four skills: participation, cooperation, communication, and validation/support. The chapter focuses on the unique application of behavioral treatment using groups with an emphasis on assessment, principles of effective treatment, and guidelines for the practitioner. It also focuses on the use of the group in describing these aspects of BGT. The primary goal of using BGT with children is enhancing the socialization process of children, teaching social skills and problem solving, and promoting social competence.
This chapter describes the toxic stress often experienced by young homeless children and the effect that this type of stress can have on brain development, behavior, and lifelong health. Mental health and cognitive challenges are abundant among homeless families. Stress can affect maternal cardiovascular function and restrict blood supply to the placenta, potentially reducing fetal nutritional intake or oxygen supply, and lead to reduced fetal growth, increased risk of placental insufficiency, preeclampsia, and preterm delivery. Trauma in early childhood has clear neurological and developmental consequences, especially with regard to brain development and executive functioning. The chronic release of two stress hormones glucocorticoids and cortisol can have damaging effects on neurological functioning and lifelong health. Similarly, exposure to high levels of cortisol inhibit neurogenesis in the hippocampus, further impacting executive functioning and the ability to distinguish safety from danger, a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The case for major depression being an inflammatory condition has been advanced in the literature on neuroscience as well as in the literature on psychiatry. The correlational data suggested that depressed persons exhibit signs of systemic inflammation. One way to induce inflammation in the blood is to place a piece of the wall of a bacterium in the paw of an animal. There are other ways to induce systemic inflammation besides introducing fragments of a bacterial cell wall. Consistent with the view that behavioral depression involves inflammation, particular alleles for genes involved in the immune system have been identified as risk factors for depression. Mediterranean diets are associated with lower levels of inflammatory factors and lower levels of depression. Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) releases factors that will inhibit the release of inflammatory factors from white blood cells and from the liver.
This chapter provides insight into the dilemmas couples face when ideals of equality intersect with societal structures that maintain gendered power. It examines how Iranian couples construct gender and negotiate power within their culture, political structure, and Islamic values. Gender equality may express itself differently in a culture such as Iran that not only emphasizes collective goals and achievements, strong feelings of interdependence, and social harmony. Collectivism typically maintains social order through a gender hierarchy. Contemporary Iranian couples draw from diverse cultural legacies. Although some couples seemed to accept the traditional gender hierarchy and a few others appeared to manage relatively equally within it, other couples were quite aware of gendered-power issues and attempted to address them in their personal lives. Some couples describe trying to maintain an equal relationship in their personal lives despite men’s greater legal authority.
This chapter examines how 12 White, middle-class couples negotiated the issue of equality in their relationships during their first year of marriage. The social context both supports and inhibits the development of marital equality. To be included in the present study, complete transcripts with both the husband and wife present had to be available, both members of the couple had to express ideals of gender equality, and both had to express commitment to careers for wives as well as husbands. Most of the couples classified as creating a myth of equality, spoke as though their relationships were equal but described unequal relationship conditions. The other couples classified in the myth-of-equality category described similar contradictions between their ideals of gender equality and their behavior. Gender-equality issues raise political and ethical concerns for all of us who are family practitioners and teachers.
- Go to chapter: The Role of Neurobiology in Social Work Practice With Youth Transitioning From Foster Care
This chapter presents advances in the understanding of adolescent brain development that can inform and improve social work practice with youth leaving foster care. Foster care populations have a high rate of mental health disorders, and the association of types of child maltreatment with elevated risk for such disorders is well known; discussion of specific mental health problems and their treatment can be found elsewhere. Conventional mental health approaches have often targeted the innervated cortical or limbic neural systems, rather than the innervating source of the dysregulation. Psychotherapy, whether psychodynamic or cognitive, acts on and has measurable effects on the brain, its functions, and metabolism in specific brain areas. The ethical response is a sharing of the dilemma, and of information about the neurobiology of the client’s struggle, to enable the client to make as informed a decision as possible. In addition, neuroimaging techniques themselves lead to other ethical dilemmas.
This chapter provides a summary of the social-cognitive neuroscience conceptualization of empathy. It discusses the application of neuroscience research to social work education, practice, and research. Empathy activates neural networks, groups of nerve cells that are connected by synaptic junctions. These three cognitive abilities, self-other awareness, perspective-taking, and emotion regulation, are critical components in the inductive process that results in the experience of affective empathy. Without these three cognitive abilities, people are more likely to be overwhelmed by the effects of the Shared representation System (SRS) and experience emotional contagion rather than affective empathy. Underlying the cognitive empathy appraisal process is the concept known as theory of mind (ToM). The affective empathy induction process relies heavily on a part of the brain known as the limbic system, which is near the center of the brain and evolved first in early mammals.
This chapter focuses on mirror neurons, which were discovered in the 1990s in Italy. It describes the relevance of mirror neurons for social work practice and addresses some research implications of this topic. The chapter explains the functions of the mirror neuron system (MNS), which includes a discussion of imitation, action understanding, intention understanding, theory of mind (ToM), and empathy. It includes sections on the neuroscience contributions to attachment theory, the concept of the social brain, micro-practice and policy implications, and research implications. Mirror neurons are a specialized kind of brain cells that form a network located in the temporal, occipital, and parietal visual areas, and two additional brain regions that are mainly involved with motor actions. The auditory motor neurons found in the high vocal center (HVC) of swamp sparrows are considered to be very similar to the visual motor mirror neurons that have been discovered in primates.
The clinical social worker typically interfaces with older adult clients and their families in a variety of settings, providing diverse services ranging from assessment to clinical treatment to referral. This chapter discusses the ways in which cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) techniques can be used by social workers across different milieu to assist elderly clients who may be suffering from depression. These settings include the client’s home, an inpatient or outpatient mental health facility, a hospital or medical setting, a long-term care facility, or a hospice setting. The chapter provides an overview of how cognitive behavior techniques can be integrated throughout the range of services social workers may provide to elderly clients. Clinical examples demonstrate the use of CBT in a variety of settings. For many older adult clients, issues related to the need for increasing dependence on family, friends, and paid caretakers may become the central focus of counseling.
Community-based epidemiological studies find that when grouped together, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the United States apart from substance use disorders. Anxiety disorders are also associated with substantial impairments in overall health and well-being, family functioning, social functioning, and vocational outcomes. This chapter includes a brief description of the anxiety disorders followed by a more detailed review of the cognitive behavior interventions indicated for these conditions. Social phobia is the most common anxiety disorder in the United States. Panic attacks are sudden surges of intense anxiety that reach their peak with 10 minutes and involve at least 4 of a list of 13 symptoms. Another somewhat less common anxiety disorder is obsessive compulsive disorder. The chapter discusses the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Two anxiety management procedures, breathing retraining and deep muscle relaxation, have been subject to some level of empirical investigation for certain anxiety disorder.
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book serves as a practice resource for social workers by making accessible the vast territory covered by the social, cognitive, and affective neurosciences over the past 20 years, helping the reader actively apply scientific findings to practice settings, populations, and cases. It helps readers gain a deeper understanding of how neuroscience should and can help the design, development, and expansion of therapeutic interventions, social programs, and policies for working with our most vulnerable populations. The book considers the neuroscientific implications for social work practice in child welfare and educational settings across system levels. It highlights the neuroscientific literature that can inform social work practice in health and mental health. The book concludes by discussing the neuroscientific implication of social work practice in the criminal justice system.
- Go to chapter: Targeting Transdiagnostic Processes in Clinical Practice Through Mindfulness: Cognitive, Affective, and Neurobiological Perspectives
Targeting Transdiagnostic Processes in Clinical Practice Through Mindfulness: Cognitive, Affective, and Neurobiological Perspectives
This chapter focuses on six maladaptive processes that underlie a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems commonly addressed by social work practitioners in the mental health field. First, it explicates how a focus on transdiagnostic processes differs from traditional views of psychopathology and accords more closely with neuroscientific evidence. Next, the chapter reviews current research in the fields of experimental psychopathology and neuroscience to detail the cognitive, emotional, and neurobiological features of these six core transdiagnostic processes: automaticity, attentional bias, memory bias, interpretation bias, suppression, and stress reactivity. Then it discusses how these processes may be assessed by clinical social workers in the field, and offer six case vignettes that depict how they manifest in human suffering and impaired psychosocial functioning. Finally, the chapter discusses mindfulness-based interventions as a means of targeting transdiagnostic processes in clinical practice.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with children addresses four main aims: to decrease behavior, to increase behavior, to remove anxiety, and to facilitate development. Each of these aims targets one of the four main groups of children referred to treatment. This chapter suggests a route for applying effective interventions in the day-to-day work of social workers who are involved in direct interventions with children and their families. An effective intervention is one that links developmental components with evidence-based practice to help enable clients to live with, accept, cope with, resolve, and overcome their distress and to improve their subjective well-being. CBT offers a promising approach to address such needs for treatment efficacy, on the condition that social workers adapt basic CBT to the specific needs of children and design the intervention holistically to foster change in children. Adolescent therapy covers rehabilitative activities and reduces the disability arising from an established disorder.
This chapter discusses the impact of trauma and its treatment through discussion of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its neurological components-especially those affecting memory, evidence-based therapies (EBTs) for the treatment of PTSD, and the implications for practice, policy, and research. Two primary predictors exist for a person developing PTSD. The first one is experiencing dissociation during the trauma. The second predictor is the person developing acute stress disorder. Specifically, neuroimaging shows how PTSD affects neurological functioning in the brain. The primary regions of the brain affected by PTSD are the medial prefrontal cortex, the left anterior cingulate cortex, the thalamus, the medial temporal and hippocampal region, and the amygdala. The different regions of the brain associated with memory encoding are: left prefrontal cortex, left temporal/fusiform, anterior cingulate, and hipocampal formation. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been used extensively to treat PTSD.
Social work professionals are in key roles for providing effective education, treatment, training, and services for adult survivors. This chapter helps the social workers to equip with an evidence-based treatment framework to effectively enhance their work with this population of adult survivors. A community study of the long-term impact of the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of children concluded that a history of any form of abuse was associated with increased rates of psychopathology, sexual difficulties, decreased self-esteem, and interpersonal problems. There is well-established and increasing empirical evidence that cognitive and cognitive behavior therapies are effective for the treatment of disorders that are typical among adult survivors of sexual and physical abuse. The chapter presents some basic cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) strategies that social workers can use in whatever roles they play in working with the multidisordered adult survivor. There are three types of schema avoidance: cognitive, emotional and behavioral.
When Charles, a 46-year-old divorced male with an extensive psychiatric history of depression, substance abuse, and disordered eating resulting in a suicide attempt, erratic employment, and two failed marriages, began treatment with a clinical social worker trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), he was an angry, dysphoric individual beginning yet another cycle of destructive behavior. This chapter provides the reader with an overview of the standard DBT model as developed by Linehan. Dialectical behavior therapy, which engages vulnerable individuals early in its treatment cycle by acknowledging suffering and the intensity of the biosocial forces to be overcome and then attending to resulting symptoms, appears to be the model most congruent with and responsive to the cumulative scientific and theoretical research indicating the need for the development of self-regulatory abilities prior to discussions of traumatic material or deeply held schema.
This chapter offers a brief and focused review of human development, with specific emphasis on cognition and emotion. It is essential that the reader distinguishes between cognitive development, cognitive psychology, and cognitive therapy. Both short-term and long-term memory improve, partly as a result of other cognitive developments such as learning strategies. Adolescents have the cognitive ability to develop hypotheses, or guesses, about how to solve problems. The pattern of cognitive decline varies widely and the differences can be related to environmental factors, lifestyle factors, and heredity. Wisdom is a hypothesized cognitive characteristic of older adults that includes accumulated knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to practical problems of living. Cognitive style and format make the mysterious understandable for the individual. Equally, an understanding of an individual’s cognitive style and content help the clinician better understand the client and structure therapeutic experiences that have the greatest likelihood of success.
Social workers are committed to the protection and empowerment of weak populations, of those people who are least powerful. Gradually, social work started to rely more on problem-solving methods, client-focused therapy, family theories, and, more recently, cognitive behavior theories, constructivist theories, and positive psychology developments. Clinical social work today operates in a variety of settings in the statutory, voluntary, and private sectors. Clinical social workers have always been interested in helping clients change effectively. The importance of empirical study, valid information, and intervention effectiveness has always been accentuated by the social work field’s central objectives of increasing accountability, maintaining exemplary ethics and norms, and establishing clear definitions and goals. Cognitive behavior theory emphasizes several components. First and foremost, human learning involves cognitive mediational processes. Social workers need to look for effective methods for change, and CBT methods are very promising in this respect.
Research on brain structure and function in white-collar criminals is a notable gap in the neurolaw literature, a gap that was addressed for the first time in one recent research report. Neuroscience is suggesting a link between brain abnormalities and some types of criminal behavior, but it is not yet clear exactly what those abnormalities are. Research on brain function and criminality focuses primarily on levels of hormones and neurotransmitters involved in neuronal communication. The findings regarding connections between the brain and adult criminal behavior, preliminary as they are, have implications for social work practice, including prevention of criminal behavior as well as intervention with offenders. The consistent finding that the likelihood of antisocial behavior is greatest when genetically based brain abnormalities encounter harsh environments has implications for social policy beyond the criminal justice system.
- Go to chapter: Using Neuroscience to Inform Social Work Practices in Schools for Children With Disabilities
Progress in neuroscience over the past several decades has led to a greater understanding of how the brain functions as a child or adult learns. This chapter focuses on disorders of the brain as applied to school settings. It explores learning disabilities (LD) as they pertain to practice in schools, as well as policy and research implications, and ethical and legal issues. Social workers must understand how the brain develops during various developmental ages and how this affects the learning of individuals. Research by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) have detected that the causes of LD are diverse and complex. New brain cells and neural networks continue to be produced for a year or so after the child is born. Electroencephalogram (EEG) can provide accurate timing information but provides little impression of where in the brain a particular activity is occurring.
Over the past 25 years there has been a growing recognition of the importance of working with families of persons with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and treatment-refractory depression. Family intervention can be provided by a wide range of professionals, including social workers, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors. This chapter provides an overview of two empirically supported family intervention models for major mental illness: behavioral family therapy (BFT) and multifamily groups (MFGs), both of which employ a combination of education and cognitive behavior techniques such as problem solving training. Some families have excellent communication skills and need only a brief review, as provided in the psychoeductional stage in the handout “Keys to Good Communication”. One of the main goals of BFT is to teach families a systematic method of solving their own problems.
This chapter discusses the treatment of comorbid chronic depression and personality disorders. It then discusses recent treatment advances in the cognitive behavior field relevant to this population. Recently, research has been done comparing schema therapy to Otto Kernberg’s latest model. Because of severe emotional distress, patient often experience suicidal and/or parasuicidal behaviors. The chapter explores the benefits of mode work with these particular difficulties while maintaining a therapeutic approach of connection and compassion; this alliance is crucial for the approach to be effective. It focuses on the five most common modes for those with chronic depression and personality disorders namely the abandoned/abused mode, the detached protector mode, the angry mode, the punitive mode and the healthy adult mode. The interventions described in schema mode therapy have cognitive, experiential, and behavioral components. Identification of the mode the patient is in when suicidal is essential when managing a crisis.
This chapter reviews the basic tenets of evidence-based practice (EBP), and discusses the potential applications of this model of practice and training for the field of clinical social work. It also presents some actual illustrations of its use. The chapter describes the major forms of clinical outcome studies: Anecdotal Case Reports, Single-System Designs With Weak Internal Validity, Quasi-Experimental Group Outcome Studies, Single, Randomized Controlled Trial, Multisite Randomized Controlled Trials and Metaanalyses that comprise the priority sources of information underpinning EBP. As the human services increasingly develop robust evidence regarding the effectiveness of various psychosocial treatments for various clinical disorders and life problems, it becomes increasingly incumbent upon individual practitioners to become proficient in, and to provide, as first choice treatments, these various forms of evidence-based practice. It is also increasingly evident that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and practice represents a strongly supported approach to social work education and practice.
- Go to chapter: Carrying Equal Weight: Relational Responsibility and Attunement Among Same-Sex Couples
Comparison studies have long found that same-sex partners maintain more equal relationships than their heterosexual counterparts, largely because they do not divide roles and responsibilities based on gender. Thus the study of samesex couples offers the ability to examine the processes that create and maintain equality when gender differences do not organize couple relationships. However, same-sex partners emphasize the satisfaction of intimacy needs, rather than moral obligation or societal expectations, as their reason for maintaining the relationship. This primary focus on the relationship itself, which is also becoming more common among heterosexual couples, tends to be associated with egalitarian ideals that are not necessarily easy to translate into practice. A distinguishing characteristic of couples who were classified as demonstrating attuned inequality is the indebtedness that the benefiting partner feels to the other. Attuned couples describe conscious strategies for managing their relationships.
Over the years, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been applied to a variety of client populations in a range of treatment settings and to the range of clinical problems. This chapter provides a general overview of the cognitive behavior history, model, and techniques and their application to clinical social work practice. It begins with a brief history and description, provides a basic conceptual framework for the approach, highlights the empirical base of the model, and then discusses the use of cognitive, behavior, and emotive/affective interventions. Cognitive behavior therapy is based on several principles namely cognitions affect behavior and emotion; certain experiences can evoke cognitions, explanation, and attributions about that situation; cognitions may be made aware, monitored, and altered; desired emotional and behavioral change can be achieved through cognitive change. CBT employs a number of distinct and unique therapeutic strategies in its practice.
This chapter presents a combined creative-corrective approach to working with the bereaved by emphasizing on cognitive assessment as a tool for social workers. It determines how best to facilitate an adaptive grief process with individuals who experience traumatic loss or complicated grief. Cognitive therapies (CT) and cognitive behavior therapies (CBTs) were found suitable with individuals suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and chronic or traumatic grief. Grief as a process of reorganizing one’s life and searching for a meaning following a loss through death is a painful experience. The Adversity Beliefs Consequences (ABC) model is based on a cognitive theoretical model to be applied in treatment of bereaved individuals. Like other cognitive models, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) emphasizes the centrality of cognitive processes in understanding emotional disturbance, distinguishing between two sets of cognitions that people construct, rational and irrational ones and their related emotional and behavioral consequences that differ qualitatively.
The current common combat era casualties have been posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), head injuries, hearing loss or impairment, and polytrauma. Common causes of military traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are blasts, falls, vehicular accidents, and penetrating fragments or bullets. Mild TBIs (mTBIs) usually are not detectable by lab tests or scans, which typically show normal results. The most common assessment instrument used for TBI is the Glasgow Coma Scale, which scores eye opening responses, motor responses, and verbal responses. Findings of effectiveness of psychosocial rehabilitation models for civilians with TBI and their families suggest that developing models of supported education and employment for injured veterans may be similarly helpful. Stigma, military stoicism, mTBI-related executive function compromise, and PTSD-related avoidance symptoms are barriers to care for neurological disorders, but disclosure of care is still perceived as possibly leading to loss of career or current employment, both among active duty and veterans.
This chapter discusses some of the critical issues surrounding culture and cognitive behavioral methods in order to better inform the advancement of culturally responsive social work practice. It focuses on one such treatment modality, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The chapter reviews relevant theoretical frameworks, existent empirical studies on CBT with diverse cultural groups, strengths and limitations of this modality across cultures, and suggestions for culturally responsive CBT practice, in order to better inform social work practice. While cognitive behavior therapy was developed with universal assumptions and without consideration to the diversity of the cultural contexts of consumers, it is grounded in theory that is likely to have “some universal basis across populations”. Several studies have described the use of cognitive behavior methods with gay and lesbian clients, particularly the use of rational emotive therapy, cognitive restructuring, and behavior experiments.