University of Wisconsin–Madison

Compare and Contrast Two Treatment Approaches in Social Work

Professor Betty Kramer, Social Work 821

Generalist social work practitioners must be able to select from a wide range of theories and interventions as appropriate to specific situations. The purpose of this assignment is to allow you the opportunity to a) thoroughly investigate two differing treatment and theoretical approaches to clinical work with older clients experiencing mental health concerns; and b) learn how to apply them to your casework practice.

The Task:  Select an older client from your field placement to use for this assignment (Note:  if there is not an appropriate case available, locate a case study in the gerontological social work literature). Decide upon two different theoretical approaches and their treatment methods and investigate them thoroughly. Examples may include: cognitive-behavioral, experiential, existential, task-centered, behavioral, client-centered, systems, role, psychodynamic, or nontraditional counseling/therapeutic approaches. 

In a 15 page, typed APA style and double-spaced paper:

1)         Write a brief summary of the salient issues relevant to the assessment of this older client. Include the primary concerns to be addressed and the goals desired.

2)         Propose two detailed treatment plans using the two different theoretical perspectives. Compare and contrast each theoretical approach as it relates to the case presented. Expose the strengths and weaknesses of both theories in their application to your case study. 

3)         Conclude by selecting the approach which you believe is most appropriate for the case cited and defend that choice. Include an APA style reference list.