Importance of the use of theory in clinical practice

The use of theory is a constant part of clinical practice, even when it’s not obvious. Most interventions are rooted in theory and used because they’ve been shown to be effective. Using theory encourages reflection so we can come to an understanding of what works (Hothersall, 2016). Base theories are used to help “describe and predict human behaviour and assess the need for intervention” to give us an idea of where to begin our work (Gordon & Mackay, 2016, p. 69).

How theory relates to mothers
Since theories are used so extensively in clinical practice it is likely that they would relate to almost any topic area. Since I want to work with mothers, theories can help inform effective interventions for issues like postpartum depression and anxiety. The theories can give an idea of what works best for specific issues. Some issues facing mothers are more macro, like the lack of adequate childcare and maternity leave, and systems theory and other theories that consider the effect of the environment on the individual could be useful. These theories can be used to take a broader look at the mother in her environment and see which level is causing the most struggle.

Gordon, J., & Mackay, G. (2016). The Practice Pyramid: A model for integrating social work values, theory and practice. Journal of Practice Teaching & Learning, 14(3), 64–80.
Hothersall, S. J. (2016). Epistemology and social work: Integrating theory, research and practice through philosophical pragmatism. Social Work & Social Sciences Review, 18(3), 1–35.

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