Assignment: application of attachment theory to a case study

Case Selected:  Tiffany Bradley 

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As you have read, theory guides the conceptualization of the client’s problem and how social workers assess and intervene relative to the problem. However, theory can also shape the self-reflective questions social workers ask themselves. Clients often come to social workers under stress or distress. This then affects how the social worker responds and thus the client-social worker relationship. As a result, Foley, Nash, and Munford (2009) employed attachment theory as a “lens in which to view the reflective process itself and to gain greater understanding and empathy for what each social worker within each unique social work-client relationship can access of that relationship for reflection” (pp. 44).

This week, you will apply attachment theory to the case study you chose in Week 2. In other words, your theoretical orientation—or lens—is attachment theory as you analyze the case study.

To prepare:

  • Review the same case study you selected from last week’s Assignment. (Remember, you will be using this same case study throughout the entire course). Use the “Dissecting a Theory and Its Application to a Case Study” worksheet to help you dissect the theory. You do not need to submit this handout. It is a tool for you to use to dissect the theory, and then you can employ the information in the table to complete your assignment.
  • Review attachment theory and the following article listed in the Learning Resources: Foley, M., Nash, M., & Munford, R. (2009). Bringing practice into theory: Reflective practice and attachment theory. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Review, 21(1/2), p39–47. Retrieved http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol21iss1-2id318

By Day 7

Submit a 1- to 2-page case write-up that addresses the following:

  • Summarize the assumptions of attachment theory in 2 to 3 sentences.
  • Identify the problem in your chosen case study to be worked on from an attachment theory perspective.
  • Explain how attachment theory defines and explains the cause of the problem in one to two sentences.
  • Develop two assessment questions that are guided by attachment theory that you would ask the client to understand how the stress or distress is affecting the client.
  • Discuss two interventions to address the problem. Remember, the theory should be driving the interventions. In other words, you would not identify systematic desensitization since this is not an intervention guided by attachment theory.
  • Formulate one self-reflective question that is influenced by attachment theory that you can ask yourself to gain greater empathy for what the client is experiencing.
  • Explain which outcomes you could measure to evaluate client progress based theory.

Be sure to:

  • Identify and correctly reference the case study you have chosen.
  • Use literature to support your claims.
  • Use APA formatting and style.
    • Remember to double-space your paper.
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