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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Incorporating existential themes into the supervision of social work practitioners

Author: Walsh, Joseph
Author Background:
Date 1/1/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Clinical Supervisor
Volume/Pages 18(1): 1-16
Subject Matter Human Behavior
Abstract The social work profession has traditionally espoused a concern with the holistic person, including biological, psychological, and social influences on human behavior. Recently this perspective has expanded to include existential concerns, or the human search for, and adherence to, meanings, purposes, and commitments. An increasing number of social workers are interested in exploring existential themes in their work with some clients. Clinical supervisors can help practitioners gain expertise in this practice not by conceptualizing existentialism as a separate theory, but by integrating it with existing theoretical perspectives. In this paper the author discusses the concept of existentialism and demonstrates its fit with ego and cognitive theory. Two case examples are used as illustrations. ((c) 2000 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)