Paper Example on Deconstructing Relational Developmental Theory

Paper Type:  Course work
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1381 Words
Date:  2022-09-06


Many people employed as social workers get employed in positions where on several occasions, they deal with involuntary clients. These are so demanding that they need a particular set of skills to handle such clients. Development concepts in relational theory have therefore proven to have significant implications when dealing involuntary clients in clinical social work in implementing evidence-based interventions.

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There are many ways through which the development concept in relational theory can help implement evidence-based interaction with involuntary clients. When working with such involuntary clients, there is a need to form that core relationship that will allow such clients to open up and share their feelings and thoughts. In taking this approach, the developmental concept in relational theory helps one in implementing evidence-based interactions with such clients in ways like realizing the true self and the core nuclear self. The true self is an individual's core potentialities. It represents a person's center of initiative responsible for organizing experience and self-esteem regulation (Goldstein et al., 2009). When a person has a strong self-cohesive, he/she will have a sense of vigor, inner harmony, and self-esteem.

Developmental concepts on rational theory will also help by enabling involuntary clients to realize their self-object needs. Here, the obligation to fulfill vital functions in life needs adequate priority. Such clients have the capacity to merger their experience with someone who is entirely subject to their initiative and who in this case functions as an extension of the self (Goldstein et al., 2009). The theory also through the stages of self-development which included the aspect of developing the abilities to be with others, an essential factor to in self-integration. Through the concept of internalization in which one takes in the outer environment and makes it part of their inner experience, this enables such clients to internalize what they experience around them. Thus, what is outside becomes internal and alters the original that exists. A bond is thus created to enable opening up on the issues affecting such clients.

Through self and object representation, such involuntary clients will begin taking images of themselves and others. Here, they take in experiences by those close to them which in this case is the social worker (Goldstein et al., 2009). Once formed, it reflects the fundamental internal structures that affect how individuals view themselves and others.

The relational theory also tends to have some confusing aspects, some of which there is only a little or no idea on how to utilize with an involuntary client. One of such confusing elements in the centrality of religion/spirituality in the lives of many challenged by mental illness (Sullivan, 2009). To such people, the importance of religion/ spirituality becomes more pronounced when there is stress more so to the disenfranchised populations. Despite this profound belief in religion/spirituality importance among the consumers of mental health illness, it is still confusing because the mental health field still appears to be split on what to make of this issue (Sullivan, 2009). It even gets more confusing when confronted by questions which ask whether there is any professional role in this. It also becomes difficult to ascertain if spiritual beliefs are genuine and life-enhancing or merely pathological reflections. Difficulty in verifying if one is on the road to mental health or still gripped with mental illness will mostly be encountered when the consumers categorically profess critical role spirituality plays in their lives.

The other aspect that more confusion is that even though most consumers of mental illness will confess the importance of spirituality, there has been observation religion delusion which is always a massive problem to professional helpers. To discern illusion and distinguish them from spiritual experiences has become one of the problematic tasks so far (Sullivan, 2009).

There are many ways through developmental concepts in relation therapy can help advance human rights with involuntary clients. Among the aging population with the highest number of those suffering from depression and physical health (Behrman and Tebb, 2009). They mostly go undiagnosed or sometimes spend money on inadequate treatments. Through developmental concepts in relation therapy, such people can open up to the social worker about the problems that they go through, and as a result, they can get help. Many of those experiencing anxious and depressive feelings at times view these challenges as normal aging while others fail to seek medication due to stigma in which they see depression as a personal failure to thrive.

Some, however, have resorted to using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for their day to day health care needs (Behrman and Tebb, 2009). Many individuals using such alternative medications do not discuss such issues with their doctors, and some of these doctors do not even raise such subjects with their patients. The room created by this gives an excellent chance through which developmental concepts on relational theory can raise awareness and champion for their involuntary clients' rights in accessing information and getting advice on the advantages and shortcomings of using CAMs. Some of the reasons can be championed even through testing the effectiveness of resources and CAM interventions. Such processes can only work when you understand your client to the extent that they open up for you fully without having a fear of stigmatization or rejection.

When working with involuntary clients while utilizing the relational theory, some ethical concepts and virtues are considered. Such ethics and moralities are issues involved with working for this culturally diverse populations. Emphasis made here is that when recommending best practices for older adults, innovative and well-tested forms of intervention should be used, that takes into consideration a holistic perspective of the person, and recognizing the multiple variables that operate in a person's life that contributes to the overall health of an older person (Behrman and Tebb, 2009). Such approaches will ensure that health care providers respect individual differences among older people, and subsequently avoid inappropriate interventions.

Approaches that are made subjectively by healthcare providers need enhancement as this will help to individualize their interventions with older people and to treat them more effectively per the unique circumstance of the client (Behrman and Tebb, 2009). Focusing on the clients individual and environmental factors are also some of the ethical issues that need consideration. Here, an individual gets considered in the family context and culture. People come from a different culture that influences their thinking differently. Following this concept ensures social action takes effect, and that in turn, it will lead to change in the client's community rather than just increasing an individual's insight.

When practitioners respect diversity among older adults makes us assume that they are aware of the alternative to Western medicine that will suffice for a particular patient. Therefore, from an ethical point of view bring the importance of collaboration among different practitioners in creating available alternative resources and interventions.

Relational development can also be used to enhance the development of the spiritual component's situation or life. In developing the spiritual element in the client's case, the client gets introduced to groups with the focus on religious and spiritual issues. Participation in such groups must, however, be voluntary (Behrman and Tebb, 2009). One can also opt to work with the clergy, and pastoral counselors in which case, the role of the professional officer, remain intact.


The most crucial question that must always be in mind, however, is whether the service that the clients get from the professionals is beneficial or not and also whether their results of relational concepts are productive, and to what extent this relation should continue if we were to achieve the main aim and the needed results in this field. The issue of the effects of religion/spirituality and the use of CAMs among older people also requires a more in-depth understanding. Exploring their impact on the consumer of mental illness and depression will be the best option for the researchers to get clear and accurate results.


Sullivan, W. P. (2009). Spirituality: A road to mental health or mental illness. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 28(1-2), 84-98.

Behrman, G., & Tebb, S. (2009). The use of complementary and alternative interventions as a holistic approach with older adults. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social

Thought, 28(1-2), 127-140.

Goldstein, E., Miehls, D., & Ringel, S. (2009). Advanced clinical social work practice: Relational principles and techniques. Columbia University Press.

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