Publishing with a purpose

How to Use Social Work Theory in Practice

An Essential Guide

By Malcolm Payne


8 Jan 2020

Page count

176 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
£24.99 £19.99You save £5.00 (20%) Pre-order


8 Jan 2020

Page count

176 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
£24.99 £19.99You save £5.00 (20%)
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  • How to Use Social Work Theory in Practice

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    Social work theory is full of ideas about how to practise. It guides you in what to do as well as how to approach and think about social work goals.

    In this clear and systematic book covering the both general practice concepts and theoretical insights, best-selling author Malcolm Payne shows you how to work with the main theories and practice techniques and pinpoint their strengths and limitations.

    The book:

    • Explores the social work process from first to last contact;

    • Covers all the theories and methods you need to know as a practitioner;

    • Examines practice techniques and the ideas that inform them;

    • Includes helpful chapter-by-chapter infographics.

    This practical guide condenses the practical features of social work theory but doesn’t oversimplify them. Students and practitioners can confidently put their knowledge into action and see how everyday practice implements theoretical ideas. It will be an invaluable resource to students and newly qualified practitioners in social work and in related fields of practice, making connections with both classic and contemporary movements in social work

    “This book will provide students and practitioners with an accessible introduction to a range of theory relevant to social work practice. It draws on a range of research evidence but synthesizes this in a way that will gives readers an easy access point into some complex areas of theory and practice. In the ‘things to think about’ section students and practitioners will find useful suggestions to help make the theory immediately relevant to their practice.” Autumn Roesch-Marsh, University of Edinburgh

    “This concise text will serve as a first stop for social work students and practitioners eager to learn about the most commonly used social work skills, theories, and methods.” Barbra Teater, City University of New York

    Malcolm Payne is Emeritus professor at Manchester Metropolitan University and Kingston University, London and director of psychosocial and spiritual care, St Christopher’s Hospice, London.

    1) Introduction: aims and organisation of the book;

    2) First contact: referral, intake, engagement;

    3) Assessment;

    4) Risk, safeguarding;

    5) Communication, advice, information, counselling;

    6) Person-centred theory and care planning;

    7) Relationship-based practice with individuals, families and communities;

    8) Attachment and loss in childhood and bereavement;

    9) Systems interventions in families and communities;

    10) Green theory;

    11) Advocacy;

    12) Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in mental illness;

    13) Task-centred practice as a form of activation;

    14) Crisis theory;

    15) Strengths-based and solution-focused practice;

    16) Narrative practice;

    17) Power, empowerment, anti-oppressive practice;

    18) Feminist practice;

    19) Critical and structural practice;

    20) Motivational interviewing;

    21) Last contacts: evaluation, review, ending.