Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

SOWK 504

Social Work with Individuals and Families II

An in-depth examination of social work practice goals and processes provides an arena in which the student can integrate foundation knowledge from other courses including information on conditions in the contemporary social environment, human development, social policy, and research methods. Special attention is paid to helping students understand the uses and misuses of concepts about psychopathology in symptom classification systems such as the DSM-V. Providing primarily advanced content, this course provides the student with a basis from which to choose Practice electives and to utilize their content as they proceed through the curriculum.

This course develops advanced methods involved in completion of bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessments, social work practice plans, and therapeutic processes. It includes application of a number of practice methods, including crisis intervention, planned short-term practice, long-term individual psychotherapy and family therapy. These models are utilized in the delivery of concrete and direct services in the context of both public and private settings. The use of the social worker/client relationship is examined with focus on the use of self, self-disclosures and boundaries.

A bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework is used to understand problems presented by clients at the micro, mezzo, and macro systems level. Within this paradigm, attention is given to the concepts from a number of practice theories. These may include psychodynamic theories, narrative theory, systems theories, role theory, culturally sensitive models and feminist models, all of which can be used to guide the intervention process. This content also deepens students’ knowledge of how clinical practice can advance social justice by addressing problems such as racism, ethnocentrism, gender and class biases, heterosexism, ageism, and ableism. Students’ are helped to deepen their understanding of social justice issues as they inform the social work practice process and the role of advocacy in social work practice. Cultural diversity and a liberal arts emphasis are addressed throughout the course, often through the use of case materials that aid students in recognizing the importance of empowering clients in the face of discrimination and of appreciating the benefits that accrue from valuing diversity.

Students are encouraged to develop a capacity for critically evaluating and comparing practice theories. This helps them utilize ideas to individualize services for clients, and to develop a basis for evaluating their own practice. This course serves an important function in integrating aspects of research, policy, and HBSE with the groundwork for advanced clinical practice. Learning from field work provides a constant background for all discussions and is a constant focus in this course.