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Theoretical Perspectives for Direct Social Work Practice, Third Edition

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Theoretical Perspectives for Direct Social Work Practice, Third Edition

SKU# 9780826119476

A Generalist-Eclectic Approach


  • Nick Coady PhD
  • Peter Lehmann PhD
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Praise for Previous Edition:

Finally, a social work practice text that makes a difference! This is the book that you have wished for but could never find. Although similar to texts that cover a range of practice theories and approaches to clinical practice, this book clearly has a social work frame of reference and a social work identity Lehmann and Coady have put together an edited book that reads with coherence and integrity.

Gayla Rogers, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary

This expanded third edition of a popular textbook provides a completely revised and updated overview of the theories, models, and therapies that informdirect social work practice. The text is grounded in generalist social work principles and values and promotes a problem-solving model of social workpractice as a framework for the eclectic use of theory, as well as for integrating the artistic, reflective elements of practice. It provides in-depth coverage of select psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, critical, and postmodern theories.

The third edition features a new section on Critical Theories, where a new chapter on Empowerment Theory is included with a completely revised chapter onFeminist Theory. A new chapter on Strengths-based Social Work has been added to the section on meta-theories for social work practice. Other new chapters include Emotion-focused Therapy and Collaborative Therapy. These revisions are based on suggestions from an extensive survey of professors.

New to the Third Edition:

  • A new section on critical theories
  • New chapters on strengths-based social work, emotion-focused therapy, empowerment theory, and collaborative therapy
  • Updated research on the debate about the importance of theory/technique versus common (e.g., relationship) factors, and on the critique of the empirically supported treatment movement
  • Resources for instructors, including an Instructor's Manual and PowerPoint slides

Product Details 

  • Publication Date May 04, 2016
  • Page Count 496
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826119476
  • EISBN 9780826119483

About The Author(s) 

Nick Coady, Ph.D. is Professor and Dean, Faculty of Social Work (FSW), Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU), Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Coady has been with the FSW/WLU since 1994, and prior to that he taught in the FSW at the University of Calgary for five years. His teaching has been in direct practice, and his practice background includes residential child welfare work, individual and family counseling with high-risk adolescents, and group work with abusive men. Dr. Coady’s research, teaching, and publications have focused on the importance of relationship factors in direct practice. His recent research has involved an exploration of good helping relationships in child welfare and men’s experiences of child welfare involvement.

Peter Lehmann , Ph.D. is Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, School of Social Work. Dr. Lehmann’s publications include two other books with Springer Publishing: Strengths-Based Batterer Intervention and Tools for Strengths-Based Assessment and Intervention (both with Catherine Simmons). His clinical interests include the use of solution-focused brief therapy and his current research includes the evaluation of batterer intervention groups.

Table of Contents 





1. An Overview of and Rationale for a Generalist-Eclectic Approach to Direct Social Work Practice

Nick Coady and Peter Lehmann

2. The Science and Art of Direct Practice: An Overview of Theory and of a Reflective, Intuitive-Inductive Approach to Practice

Nick Coady

3. The Problem-Solving Model: A Framework for Integrating the Science and Art of Practice

Nick Coady and Peter Lehmann


4. Critical Ecological Systems Theory

Michael Rothery

5. Individual and Family Development Theory

Elaine P. Congress

6. Strengths-Based Social Work: A Social Work Metatheory to Guide the Profession

Catherine A. Simmons, Valerie B. Shapiro, Sarah Accomazzo, and Trevor J. Manthey


Section A: Psychodynamic Theories

7. Attachment Theory

Debbie Wang and Carol A. Stalker

8. Relational Theory

Cheryl-Anne Cait

9. Self Psychology Theory

James I. Martin and Edward J. Alessi

Section B: Cognitive Behavioral Theories

10. Cognitive Behavioral Theory and Treatment

Norman H. Cobb

11. The Crisis Intervention Model

Karen S. Knox and Albert R. Roberts

12. The Task-Centered Model

Blanca M. Ramos and Eleanor Reardon Tolson

Section C: Humanistic Theories

13. Client-Centered Theory

Michael Rothery and Leslie Tutty

14. Existential Theory

Elizabeth Randall

15. Emotion-Focused Therapy

Jeannette Bischkopf

Section D: Critical Theories

16. Feminist Theories

Sarah Todd

17. Empowerment Theory

Jean F. East

Section E: Postmodern Theories

18. Narrative Therapies

Rudy Buckman and Jonathan Buckman

19. Collaborative Therapy

Adriana Gil-Wilkerson and Susan B. Levin

20. Solution-Focused Therapy

Jacqueline Corcoran


21. Revisiting the Generalist-Eclectic Approach

Nick Coady and Peter Lehmann