Solution-focused and task-centered models fall into the tradition of therapies that are structured, focused, and brief. Both models lend themselves to working with individuals, families, groups, and communities. In addition, both models lend themselves well to utilizing other theories for implementing solutions or tasks.
As the name implies, the solution-focused model emphasizes that solutions can be found within the clients themselves. In other words, the client has the answers, and the role of the social worker is to help them find the answers or solution to the problem. Because of the emphasis on finding solutions, the focus is on the present rather than the past. The question becomes, What is the current problem, and what solutions can be implemented to resolve the problem? This is very different from theories such as psychoanalytical theory where the social worker focuses on the past. For instance, theories that focus on the past emphasize the social worker helping the client figure out what in the past triggered the current problem.
Similarly, as the name connotes, the task-centered model emphasizes assisting clients to clarify what the problem is and to identify and break down the tasks that need to be implemented to resolve the problem (Reid, 1997). For each stage of the helping process, there are tasks to be identified and covered.
This week, you apply these two additional models—solution-focused and task-centered—to practice.
Photo Credit: [ismagilov]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images
Note:To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in theCourse Materialssection of your Syllabus.
Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 35: Solution-Focused Theory (pp. 513–531)
Chapter 36: Task-Centered Social Work (pp. 532–552)
Westefeld, J. S., & Heckman-Stone, C. (2003). The integrated problem-solving model of crisis intervention: Overview and application. The Counseling Psychologist, 31(2), 221–239. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1177/0011000002250638
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Document: Theory Into Practice: Four Social Work Case Studies (PDF)
Document: Kaltura Personal Capture – QuickStart Guide (PDF)
Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2014). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.psychotherapy.net.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/stream/waldenu/video?vid=277
This week, watch the “Solution-Focused Therapy” segment by clicking the applicable link under the “Chapters” tab.
Note: You will access this video from the Walden Library databases.
Johnson, S. D., & Williams, S.-L. (2015). Solution-focused strategies for effective sexual health communication among African American parents and their adolescents. Health & Social Work, 40(4), 267–274. https://doi.org/10.1093/hsw/hlv056
Myer, R. A., Lewis, J. S., & James, R.K. (2013). The introduction of a task model for crisis intervention. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 35(2), 95–107. https://doi.org/10.17744/mehc.35.2.nh322x3547475154
Reid, W. J. (1997). Research on task-centered practice. Journal of Social Work Research, 21(3), 132–137. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/21.3.132
Social workers who utilize the solution-focused model are mindful of how their conversations with their clients, families, groups, or even community members facilitate their thinking about solutions. The client is always the “expert,” and therefore social workers ask questions to explore how the client perceives the problem and situation.
Social workers may use solution-focused questions such as the miracle question. For example, “Suppose you woke up one morning and by some miracle everything you ever wanted, everything good you could ever imagine for yourself, had actually happened—your life had turned out exactly the way you wanted it. What would be different in your life?” When clients are asked this, it forces them to reflect on what they want or would like to achieve. By projecting themselves into the future, clients are more likely to imagine what is possible rather than focusing on the past and their failures. This allows for the possibility of developing solutions.
In this Discussion, you apply the solution-focused model and solution-focused questions. You provide other solution-focused questions, similar to the miracle question that was provided for you.
Although the textbook provides actual examples of solution-focused questions, always think about your client—you may have to modify the question a bit to take into account the client’s age, cognitive and developmental stage, culture, etc., so that the question makes sense to the client.
Respond to two colleagues:
To access your rubric:
Week 9 Discussion Rubric
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 9 Discussion
The problem-solving model was first laid out by Helen Perlman. Her seminal 1957 book, Social Casework: A Problem-Solving Process, described the problem-solving model and the 4Ps. Since then, other scholars and practitioners have expanded the problem-solving model and problem-solving therapy. At the heart of problem-solving model and problem-solving therapy is helping clients identify the problem and the goal, generating options, evaluating the options, and then implementing the plan.
Because models are blueprints and are not necessarily theories, it is common to use a model and then identify a theory to drive the conceptualization of the client’s problem, assessment, and interventions. Take, for example, the article by Westefeld and Heckman-Stone (2003). Note how the authors use a problem-solving model as the blueprint in identifying the steps when working with clients who have experienced sexual assault. On top of the problem-solving model, the authors employed crisis theory, as this theory applies to the trauma of going through sexual assault. Observe how, starting on page 229, the authors incorporated crisis theory to their problem-solving model.
In this Final Case Assignment, using the same case study that you chose in Week 2, you will use the problem-solving model AND a theory from the host of different theoretical orientations you have used for the case study.
You will prepare a PowerPoint presentation consisting of 11 to 12 slides, and you will use the Personal Capture function of Kaltura to record both audio and video of yourself presenting your PowerPoint presentation.
Upload your Kaltura video of you presenting your PowerPoint presentation that addresses the following:
Your 11- to 12-slide PowerPoint presentation should follow these guidelines: