Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Number One Theory on The Social Work Exam (IMHO)

I've always held the Humanistic Theory as being the number one theory when it comes to Social Work. What do you think? Read more about the theory below and set it to memory for the exam. Then comment and let me know your opinion. Do you have another theory that you believe encapsulates Social Work? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

A social worker learns very early on that we should meet the client or person we are serving where they are, which means to respect their ability to make their own choices. Social workers believe that people have the ability to live up to and develop their own potential. These are also themes found in the Humanistic Theory.

  • One of the founders of this theory was, existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre. His famous quote was "Hell is other people" which, to me, means we have the capacity to make up our own minds about any situation and don't have to rely on opinions of others, we can color our world and attitude with our own minds.
  • Client-centered therapy falls into the Humanistic camp, because it allows the client to be the expert on their own lives. The role of the therapist is simply to empathize, while pointing out concerns and interests, in order to allow the person to realize and change on their own. 
  • Gestalt Therapy also falls under this camp, because it also places the responsibility of the problem on the client themselves not on outside influences. It allows the client to be in the now and express themselves. I love the empty-chair technique where the client speaks to an empty chair which they imagine has a part of themselves (like their anger or their inner child) sitting there, it's a great way to separate parts of themselves and to develop insight.
There is soooo much more that goes into this theory but I just hit on my favorite highlights, read more here 

Also, let me know what you think! COMMENT BELOW:)


  1. I agree about humanistic theory because after all, our primary work is helping people. I also happen to be an avid Rogers' fan and truly believe in "unconditional positive regard".