SOCW 6060 Discussion 1: Conflict Theories In Social Work Practice With Specific Populations

Why does conflict exist? What if conflict and instability were lifes normal state of affairs occasionally interrupted by periods of peace and stability? What if peace is contrary to the nature of man? According to conflict theory society is in a state of perpetual conflict and competition for limited resources. In fact this perspective might explain the existence of war poverty, political strife divorce discrimination and a host of other conflict-related social phenomena. 

If conflict theorists are right, are social workers fighting a war that cannot be won? The social workers mission is not to foster a utopia where all conflict ceases to exist. Rather social workers help clients overcome the conflicts they face and reduce or eliminate the harm they experience in order to improve their lives. How can the understanding of conflict’s origins and why it exists prepare social workers to help their clients effectively manage the conflict in their lives?

For this Discussion review this week’s resources. Select either the Roy case study or the Matt and Keith case study. Then select a conflict theory that best applies to the specific case you selected. Finally consider what social work skills you might use to apply that theory and think about why it is appropriate for that case.

Post a description of the conflict theory that best applies to the case study you selected. Be sure to reference the client from the specific case study you selected in your post.

Then explain what social work skills you might use to apply that theory and explain why it is appropriate for the case you selected. 

Working With Individuals: The Case Of Roy

Roy is a 34-year-old divorced Caucasian male. He has been divorced for 1 year and has three children Jordan (7) Jared (6) and Jane (3). Roy met his ex-wife Melissa when she was 17 and he was 25 and soon afterward she became pregnant with their first child. As part of the divorce agreement they were given joint custody and Melissa was granted physical custody.

Roy had been working at a hog confinement farm for the prior 2 months. Previously he had been a highway patrolman for 10 years. Roy was terminated from the force and charges were filed against him after he drove his patrol car into Melissa’s home. He was ordered to pay for the damages to the house and the patrol car and enroll in a batterers intervention program (BIP).

Melissa was granted a permanent order of protection against him and the court ordered that Roys visits with his children be supervised.

I met Roy during our intake and assessment meeting prior to beginning the BIP. As one of the co-facilitators I met individually with many of the group members prior to our first group meeting to learn more about why they were referred to the BIP and to orient them to the groups goals and objectives. Roy arrived at the intake and assessment session 30 minutes late and he did not explain his tardiness.

During the assessment Roy spent much of the time talking about what he perceived as the reasons for his divorce. He categorically denied any history of domestic abuse and he stated Me and Melissa would get into verbal arguments but I never hit her. He said they would fight about a number of ongoing things such as money, her partying and the children. When they were married Melissa was a stay-at-home mother and Roy felt she was irresponsible with his money. Roy also disagreed with Melissa’s desire for Jared who was exhibiting behavioral problems to be evaluated and medicated.

Roy said he went drinking and got drunk the night that he drove his patrol car into the house because he was upset that Melissa had refused him visitation of the children. Roy blamed his ex-wife for the loss of his job and felt his past employer had treated him unfairly. He told me that during his 10 years of employment he had an exemplary work record which should have been taken into consideration before he was fired. He felt like a suspension would have been more appropriate and fair. He expressed anger over having to attend this group and once again denied being abusive to his ex-wife.

Roy began attending the BIP a week after our intake meeting. The BIP is a program based on the Duluth Model, a 24-week educational program that focuses on abuse as a form of power and control and its origins in societal conditions. In keeping with the Duluth Model the group is co-led by a male and female social worker to model appropriate gender interactions.

The group provides education about power and control and feminist theory to understand why abuse occurs. The goal is to help the abusers recognize their behaviors and learn how their actions are negatively affecting those in their lives. In the group Roy would complete the assignments and respond when spoken to but he did not voluntarily contribute any information and his homework assignments seemed to lack insight and were minimal.

At week 10 Roy was terminated from the program after we learned that he had violated the protective order and was arrested for driving under the influence. He had driven intoxicated to Melissa’s home and refused to leave the front door. Roy was sentenced to 3 months in jail and 1 years probation.

References (use 2 or more)

  • Plummer S.-B. Makris S. & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014).Social work case studies: Concentration year.Baltimore MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing [VitalSource e-reader].
  • Robbins S. P. Chatterjee P. & Canda E. R. (2012).Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work(3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River NJ: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Wester S. R. McDonough T. A. White M. Vogel D. L. & Taylor L. (2010). Using gender role conflict theory in counseling male-to-female transgender individuals. Journal Of Counseling & Development 88(2) 214219. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Discussion 2: The Benefits And Limitations Of Antidepressant Medications

While antidepressants can be effective, clients might be hesitant to use them for a variety of reasons. Mental health professionals can anticipate some of these hesitations and be prepared to support a physician’s recommendation by providing the client with appropriate information, reasoning and explanation in a way that is meaningful. However mental health professionals must balance advocacy for continuing treatment when client hesitations and other considerations might warrant a reevaluation by the psychiatrist.

For this Discussion consider the medications (even controversial medications) that a psychiatrist may prescribe for depression and their possible side effects. Select one particular antidepressant that evidence suggests is effective in treating depression and consider the benefits and limitations. Consider how a client being medically treated for depression might react to taking this medication and having potential negative side effects. How might you as a mental health professional support the recommendation of the medication despite its limitations?

Post a brief description of the antidepressant medication that you selected and explain its benefits and limitations (including neurobiological considerations). Next explain how you would support the psychiatrist’s recommendation to use the medication to a hesitant client despite its limitations.

References (use 2 or more)

Discussion 3: The Role Of Mental Health Professionals In The Initial Stages Of Psychopharmacological Intervention

In the initial stages of psychopharmacological intervention mental health professionals must be aware that complications or concerns can arise. Clients may experience negative side effects of the medication. They might forget or avoid taking the medication. The disorder may have been misdiagnosed and cause other issues. The client may have preexisting conditions that other medical professionals had not known when the diagnosis was made. The client could have had a comorbid condition that they did not disclose. In short a number of very serious issues might manifest in the early stages of treatment requiring action on the part of the mental health professional.

For this Discussion you will be placed into one of three groups by the Instructor. Group C should initially post to the Depression Case Study for Marcus.For your initial post analyze the case, determine the psychopathology presented and describe the appropriate treatment methods for the client. Post an explanation of the major symptoms that indicate depression and the medications that might be prescribed to treat these symptoms for the case study you selected. 

Next explain a mental health professionals role in raising the clients awareness of medication-related effects. Then explain two potential challenges that might impact the client in the initial stages of psychopharmacological intervention. Finally explain one strategy a mental health professional might use to address challenges that arise in the initial stages of treatment.

Depression Case Studies: Marcus

Marcus is a 31-year-old Caucasian law student. He feels worn out, burned out and busted. He has no girlfriend or boyfriend yet he has dated in the past. Although Marcuss studies keep him occupied he finds himself wondering if all of his efforts are worth the coming payoff. He will be taking the bar exam soon and he is fairly sure he will pass it.

Lately Marcus has been slipping back into some old patterns of thinking and acting. In the past he has battled major depressive disorder and believes that he may be becoming depressed again. Marcus quickly counts off his symptoms: sleep loss, weight loss, a sense that everything is devoid of joy or excitement and so forth. His choice to come to counseling was precipitated by an increase in the frequency of using club drugs like ecstasy and cocaine to have at least a little fun. Marcus uses these now about once every 2 weeks. He notes that his last bout of depression happened around a time when he was using these substances frequently.

References (use 2 or more)