Client Participation

Theories: systems, conflict, empowerment, feminist, psychodynamic, development, cognitive-behavioral, or transpersonal.


  1. Philosophical/historical roots
  2. Theoretical framework (use work from seminal experts in the development of the theory chosen)
  3. Nature of support for and against theory (empirical, practice wisdom)
    • How do theoretical concepts translate into or guide specific practice goals and practice skills?
    • What social work values are embraced?
  4. When/with whom would it make the most sense to use this method in practice?
    • Target populations
    • Problems
    • Those for whom this model is contraindicated
  5. Description of treatment process
    • Initial phase (e.g., purpose, areas of study and investigation, use of relationship, client/worker interaction, nature and content of client participation, nature of worker authority and expertise)
    • Assessment (e.g., purpose, limits and range, process of assessment phase, client/worker interaction, nature and content of client’s participation, emphasis on strengths vs. weaknesses, nature of worker authority and expertise, relationship of assessment to theoretical bases, underpinnings, expected outcomes of assessment phase)
    • Treatment (e.g., goals [implicit and explicit], focus of work, strategies and techniques used [empirical support, practice wisdom])
    • Termination (e.g., how decided, how carried out)
  6. Research
    • How does this theory inform research methods and topics?

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