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Integrating the Theory into Professional Practice

Integrating the Theory into Professional Practice

Importance of Multidimensional Approach

The multidimensional approach is a theory that emphasizes the constant interaction of the spiritual, psychological, and biological dimensions of the inner worlds with the cultural, structural, and social dimensions of the outer worlds. A multidimensional approach rejects the idea of making use of only one approach to dealing with issues. It is based on the strengths of multiple theories so as to obtain a balanced and holistic understanding that will inform social work practice. Fidel et al. (2016) claim that since most theories are interdependent, making use of a multidimensional approach can be beneficial in dealing with problems. A multidimensional approach is, therefore highly useful to me in the social work practice because it offers a comprehensive understanding of issues, thereby resulting in a more appropriate and quality solution to problems within the field. For instance, for the case of Levi, a multidimensional approach would enable me to gather all the relevant information about the client, beginning from the medical-biological makeup to his social interactions as well as psychological being, and break each of these categories down and take a look at them individually, thereby obtaining a more holistic view of the problem. This will make it possible for the best solution that addresses all the needs of the client to be reached. Furthermore, all the issues will be treated under one umbrella or method, and this will save on cost. In Levi’s case, it would be easier to look at all the problems individually and treat them together since all the conditions are intertwined in one way or another, and hence dealing with only one single problem might cause the other problem to be exacerbated and hence fail to improve the wellbeing of the client.

Comparison with Other Theories

Various theories and approaches can be used for various circumstances. Some of the theories that are commonly used in social work include the psychoanalytic theory, behavior modification approach, client-centered approach, crisis intervention, and cognitive-behavioral model. The psychoanalytic approach is based on the work of Freud and psychoanalysis (Engelbrecht, 2019). This approach emphasizes the unconscious and the past’s effect on one’s present functioning. It is founded on a medical model in which the individual in need is dependent on the social worker for help. It is best for clients who are capable of expressing themselves well verbally and who show psychological problems. It might be more difficult to employ this approach when dealing with a client who has practical problems and does not easily take part in self-evaluation or conversation. This is an approach that can be highly useful in the field of social work, particularly in this situation of Levi. It can be useful in giving insight into the psychological factors like anxiety and depression caused by the client’s health condition and his view in society as one who might be lonely forever. The approach can also help explain some of the client’s behaviors after being diagnosed with HIV. However, this approach was not chosen alone because it is not sufficient in and of itself in dealing with the multiple issues suffered by the client.

The behavior modification approach was originally developed from the work of individuals such as Bandura and Pavlov. The behavior modification approach is mainly concerned with eradicating negative behavior and attaining, reinforcing, and maintaining desired behavior (Engelbrecht, 2019). Behavior is usually learned and is the product of the reinforcement of whatever the individual is exposed to. For one to gain control of the behavior, it is important for the events that precipitate the behavior, the behavior itself, and the consequences thereof to be isolated. This approach can be helpful in enabling Levi to alter his antisocial behavior, lessen anxiety and depression and enable him to lead a normal life in spite of his HIV status. This approach was not used alone because, like the psychoanalytic approach, it only deals with some of the client’s problems.

The client-centered approach, commonly referred to as the person-centered approach, is an approach in which the client is the center of attention. There needs to be a warm relationship between the client and the social worker in order for the client to feel free to express their problems (Engelbrecht, 2019). Special attention is placed on the individual’s aspirations to adapt and grow as well as the emotive aspects that characterize the client’s current condition. More attention is placed on the immediate situation as opposed to the past of the client. Furthermore, the client is expected to be voluntary, well-spoken, and highly motivated and should not be overwhelmed by the issues that may exist in the environment, such as insufficient income. The client, Levi, has financial difficulties, so this approach was not employed.

The crisis intervention model is one that is applied to clients who experience trauma and crisis, such as clients who have undergone domestic violence, as well as clients who require intervention to prevent suicide or physical harm. This model is based on 7 stages, namely: taking a lethality and psychosocial assessment, quickly establishing rapport, identifying the major crisis causes, enabling the client to express their emotions and feelings, generating and exploring safe alternatives for coping, creating an action plan, and following up after the intervention (Gönültaş et al., 2020). This model is commonly used for clients that are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide and who have undergone acute crisis. This is the part of the approach that was most convenient for the case of Levi, given that he had begun having suicidal ideations. Making use of a crisis intervention model can be helpful for the client and, like the other models, could not be used alone.

Lastly, cognitive behavioral therapy is a practice model that is commonly applied in social work. This model focuses on how an individual’s feelings and thoughts influence their behaviors and how self-destructive behaviors can result in psychological problems (MSW Program, 2020). Social workers make use of cognitive behavioral therapy methods to assist clients in identifying with their self-destructive behaviors and thoughts that influence negative behaviors and emotions. Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used with individuals who are experiencing mental health issues, depression, or mental illness that results from trauma or a crisis. Social workers who employ this approach enable clients to get rid of destructive behaviors and thoughts and prevent negative results. This approach is among the commonly used approaches in the case of Levi. It will be important in enabling Levi to alter the negative thoughts and behaviors that cause him to self-isolate, have suicidal ideations, indulge in the overuse of drugs, and have negative beliefs and behaviors in regard to his HIV status.

Generally, Engelbrecht (2019) suggests that since social work is both a science and an art, it is important to master various approaches to dealing with problems so as to have a bag of tricks from which to select. The choice of approach needs to be motivated by the desire to deliver the best possible service to the client as opposed to whatever is most suitable for the social worker. A multidimensional approach involves systematic eclecticism and involves the integration of various theories and approaches that will facilitate the development of the best approach for the client. Therefore, a multidimensional approach was selected to deal holistically with the problems faced by the client.

Importance of Theory in Social Work

Theories help social workers to better understand complex social environments and human behaviors that influence the problems and lives of the client. A good grasp of theory is said to guide social workers by offering them a sense of control, purpose, and direction by using research-based scientific evidence in the theory (MSW Program, 2020). However, the challenge of applying social work theories to practice is selecting the right theory for the situation at hand. It might be difficult to assign one theory to complex issues faced by the client. Many times, it is more practical to draw upon the knowledge of varying theories and make use of that understanding to design an intervention that is multifaceted. Generally, social work perspectives draw from education, psychology, and philosophy, among other fields, to try and explain what motivates and drives individuals in various stages of their lives. Social workers need to learn from various theories and use various approaches to be better prepared to apply social work theory in practice. This results in competence in the field, which then enhances the social worker’s confidence and the quality of care offered to clients.


Engelbrecht, L. K. (2019). Introduction to social work. Lanzo.

Fidel, R., Mark Pejtersen, A., Cleal, B., & Bruce, H. (2016). A multidimensional approach to the study of human‐information interaction: A case study of collaborative information retrieval. Journal of the American Society for information Science and Technology, 55(11), 939-953.

Gönültaş, B. M., Sauter, C., Öztürk, M., & Yıldız, M. (2020). Collaboration Between Investigation and Crisis Intervention for the Investigative Interview in Suicide Attempts. Journal of Criminal Justice and Security, (3), 329-348.

MSW Programs. (2020). 6 Important Theories in Social Work. Retrieved from,based%20scientific%20evidence%20in%20theory.


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Integrating the Theory into Professional Practice

Assignment Overview

To excel in their practice, social workers need to understand a variety of theoretical frames for differing scenarios they will encounter as professionals. Social workers also need to understand techniques for applying theory to their practice. This assignment gives you the opportunity to analyze a theory in a scholarly paper and create a presentation that puts that theory into a larger context.

By successfully completing this assignment, you demonstrate your proficiency in the following EPAs and practice behaviors:

  • C4.GP.B. Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings.
  • C6.GP.A; C7.GP.B; C8.GP.B; C9.GP.B. (Engage) (Assess) (Intervene) (Evaluate). Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks with clients and constituencies.


For this final assignment, which is also your final course project, write a scholarly paper and create a PowerPoint presentation including the components identified in the instructions below.


Integrating the Theory into Professional Practice

Integrating the Theory into Professional Practice

For this assignment:

  • Discuss why the theory, chosen for the assignment in Unit 5, is useful to you in your social work practice.
  • Compare and contrast your selected theory with at least two other theories, explaining why the theory you selected is a better fit for your practice.
  • Explain how theory guides social work practice, including the areas of assessment
  • , intervention, and evaluation.
  • Integrate research-based knowledge and practice wisdom to support your project.

Using the content of your Unit 5 assignment, your chosen case study, and selected theory, create a PowerPoint presentation that presents a comparison of your theory with at least two other theories in the context of applicability to your chosen case study.

  • Explain your reasoning using multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom.

Submit both the paper and presentation in the assignment area.


Your assignment should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to the current APA style and formatting standards.
  • Cited resources: A minimum of three scholarly sources. All literature cited should be current, with publication dates within the past five years.
  • Length of paper: A minimum of four double-spaced pages.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 points.
  • Presentation requirements: 8–10 slides with correct formatting.

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