SOCW-6060 & 6443-W9-Discussions

Discussion 1: Social Learning, Exchange, and Behaviorism Theories in Social Work Practice

Why do you feel connected to some individuals and not others? What knowledge could you gain about an individual’s behavior that might draw you toward or away from that individual? An individual’s behavior often is influenced by prior learning, how that learning is processed, and the social context that contributed to the learning. By observing behavior, you can gain insight into how an individual thinks, which likely can help you identify if there is a benefit or a cost to interacting with an individual. These concepts are supported by behaviorism, social learning, and exchange theories. How might understanding these theories help you to identify the reasons for your clients’ behaviors? How might these theories apply to specific populations?

 

For this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Select one of the following theories: social learning theory, exchange theory, or behaviorism theory as the focus of this discussion. Then, select a specific population and think about how the theory you selected might contribute to social work practice with that population.

 

·      Post a brief description of the theory and the population you selected.

 

·      Then explain how that theory might contribute to social work practice with the population you selected.

 

References (use at least 2)

 

Robbins, S. P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E. R. (2012). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.

 

Collett, J. L. (2010). Integrating theory, enhancing understanding: The potential contributions of recent experimental research in social exchange for studying intimate relationships. Journal Of Family Theory & Review2(4), 280–298.

Kalischuk, R. G., & Nixon, G. (2009). A transpersonal theory of healing following youth suicide. International Journal Of Mental Health and Addiction7(2), 389–402.

 

 

Discussion 2: Transpersonal Theory

 

Social work practice recognizes that there is more to being you than your physical self, your personal identity, and your intellect. Once the physiological and safety needs are met, why might some individuals still find themselves in need of guidance? The absence of basic physical needs is not the only concern that social workers help clients solve. Transpersonal theory speaks to the needs that individuals share as human beings, including love, creativity, belonging, meaning, and purpose. Understanding transpersonal theory prepares social workers to respond to presenting concerns that inhibit clients’ personal peace, empowerment, and self-esteem.

 

For this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Consider what it means to be a transpersonal social worker. Then, think about how transpersonal theory and your own belief system might affect your approach to social work practice. Finally, reflect on how you might help clients with belief systems that differ from your own.

 

·      Post a brief explanation of what it means to be a transpersonal social worker.

 

·      Then, explain the influences of transpersonal theory and your own belief system on social work practice.

 

·      Finally, explain how you might help clients with belief systems that differ from your own.

 

References (use at least 2 or more)

 

Robbins, S. P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E. R. (2012). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.

 

Collett, J. L. (2010). Integrating theory, enhancing understanding: The potential contributions of recent experimental research in social exchange for studying intimate relationships. Journal Of Family Theory & Review2(4), 280–298.

Kalischuk, R. G., & Nixon, G. (2009). A transpersonal theory of healing following youth suicide. International Journal Of Mental Health and Addiction7(2), 389–402.

 

 

Discussion 3: Controversy in Psychopharmacological Intervention to Treat Substance Abuse Disorders

Controversy surrounding the treatment of substance abuse disorders with other substances extends from the most basic to the philosophical. Some health care providers focus on the removal of all substances to address the addiction and argue that complete abstinence is the only real option. They believe that no medications should be given (except to save one’s life) during treatment for substance abuse. Many mental health professionals, particularly in America, hold these views. In contrast to removing all substances, others focus on the ability of the client to function. Many programs support the belief that addicts can live normal lives with controlled use of substances.

How do these opposing views in the treatment of addiction clients affect the addiction mental health practice? How does the mental health professional working with addiction prepare and support the mental health care team and the client? How do programs like the 12-step Narcotics Anonymous program compare with other approaches as far as research results?

For this Discussion, select a medication used in treating substance abuse disorders. Then, conduct a search for any controversy surrounding the use of this medication in treating substance abuse disorders and prepare to defend its use.

 

·       Post a description of the major actions, intended effects, and side effects of your selected medication.

 

·       Explain controversy surrounding the use of this medication in treating substance abuse disorders.

 

·       Defend the effective use of this medication and support your defense with evidence from the Learning Resources or from your personal research.

 

 

References (use at least 2 or more)

 

Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.

 

Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., & Talaga, M. C. (2017). Handbook of clinical psychopharmacology for therapists (8th ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

 

 

 

 

Discussion 4: Evaluating Substance Abuse Client Cases

Jerry has been a daily heroin user for the last 7 years. He is HIV positive and has recently been diagnosed with hepatitis C. Jerry believes that both of these illnesses were contracted through the use of shared needles. As a condition for treatment of hepatitis C with interferon, Jerry must agree to undergo treatment for his heroin addiction. He is considering the “methadone cure,” which includes daily doses of methadone to replace the heroin. He is not sure that he is willing to give up his heroin use. In fact, he used immediately before coming to his most recent counseling session. Jerry feels torn, but he knows that his life depends on this choice. What might be some compelling information for a client in this situation to know? What is your role as a mental health professional in advocating for treatment? 

For this Discussion, review the case studies in the Learning Resources and select one case study. Consider the factors used to determine the appropriateness of the medication used to treat a client’s substance abuse.

Post by Day 4

 

o   An explanation of the factors that indicate the appropriateness of the medication in potentially treating the client’s substance abuse

o   An explanation of the expected side effects of the medication and the mental health professional’s role in monitoring these side effects

o   A justification of the medication to advocate for its use to encourage the client to continue with treatment 

 

References (use at least 2 or more)

 

Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.

 

Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., & Talaga, M. C. (2017). Handbook of clinical psychopharmacology for therapists (8th ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

 

 

Substance Abuse Case Studies

Constantine is a 28-year-old Turkish immigrant. He has been told that he must stop drinking or his life will be in jeopardy. Constantine moved to the United States at 18 to study economics. During his first year of college, he tried alcohol for the first time and was quickly “hooked.” He drinks nightly and cannot recall how many drinks he has had. Constantine says that he drinks, “at least a bottle of scotch” every night. Over the past 10 years, he has come to realize that he has a problem. This was not an urgent issue until recently, when he developed pancreatitis. His doctor informed him that his drinking has already caused some damage to his liver, which is very “fatty.” In fact, there are some areas of his liver that may never recover, even if he stops drinking. If he does not stop, though, he will eventually either need to have a liver transplant or he will die from complications of cirrhosis.

Constantine decided to take his doctor’s advice and will be participating in a day- treatment program at your counseling clinic. He tried to quit drinking once in the past, and his blood pressure skyrocketed. Constantine worries that this might happen again.

Case 2: Joey

Joey is a 30-year-old Italian-American graduate student studying counseling at an online university. He was drawn to the program in hopes of learning more about himself. Joey eventually wants to help others after he first figures out how to help himself. He considers himself to be a “partier.” He began using ecstasy and cocaine during college. Joey considers his college years to be the best times of his life. Later, though, he tried heroin. He first snorted it but eventually agreed to “mainline” it (shoot it directly into his veins). He describes this event as singular in his life—nothing after it would ever be the same. At that point, everything was in the context of when he would use the drug next and with whom. He plans his most extravagant parties for weekends, but it seems that he is always “on the nod” now.

Joey is worried about a trip that he has coming up. He will be attending a counseling program “residency” in a city across the country. How will he score? He has to take the drug. He’ll get sick otherwise. In light of this, he decides it might be time to try to quit. But how? He doesn’t even know how to cut back. Joey is planning to take a “huge hit” on his way in. This way, he figures, he’ll be safe on his way in and he can have “one last hurrah.”

Case 3: Angela

Angela is a 41-year-old African-American woman from Durham, NC. She has been smoking cigarettes for as long as she can remember. Lately, though, she has noticed that her friends have all quit and seem to be coming around less often. She figures their absence is due to the cigarette constantly, firmly planted between the index and middle fingers of her right hand. It is time to quit.

Angela does not consider herself to be an “addict” because she does not use “drugs.” She does not drink alcohol and she does not take pills—“nothing.” She does, however, smoke between two and three packs of cigarettes per day. She has tried to quit once, using a nicotine patch, but “it didn’t even slow [her] down.” Angela thinks that cognitive- behavioral treatment might be something that she would like to try, but that she will most likely need some medication as well. “I just like smoking, I’m going to like it, and need it, and want it all of the time. If I’m going to quit, I gotta be able to get my mind off it,” she says.

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