Applied Psychology for Social Work
STAR RATING: 3/5
This is a task-oriented textbook covering a comprehensive range of psychological concepts and theories from a resolutely goal-directed focus. Such explicit emphasis on the functionality of learning is both its strongest and its weakest feature, writes Elizabeth Lloyd.
Each chapter is introduced by a summary of the National Occupational Standards for a social work degree subdivided into bullet points itemising the “Key Roles” covered. This format is followed in each chapter with questions and activities.
Essentially a study-aid for social workers, it cannot replace the need for a more in-depth understanding. As such it illuminates a fundamental limitation in current thinking whereby education is confused with training. The book performs a vital task in highlighting the importance of psychological factors in social work but its emphasis on such a rigidly focused approach detracts from a capacity to open up different ways of thinking.
However, if it inspires a single student to go on and read the original texts behind these theories, for instance John Bowlby on attachment, then it will have served not only its stated purpose of training but also the wider and more fundamental purpose of education – to induce enthusiasm.
Elizabeth Lloyd is a psychotherapist, Respond, a national learning difficulties charity