RESPONSE 1: Social Learning, Exchange, and Behaviorism Theories in Social Work Practice

RESPONSE 1: Social Learning, Exchange, and Behaviorism Theories in Social Work Practice


Respond to two colleagues who chose the two theories you did NOT choose for your post.

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·       Use the theory that neither of you used in your posts to explain how that third theory might apply to the population your colleague discussed. For example, imagine that your post is about social learning. Jane’s post is about exchange theory, while Steve’s post is about behaviorism. You would respond to Jane’s post by discussing behaviorism. Then you would respond to Steve’s post by discussing exchange theory.



Colleague 1: Dalicia


A brief description of the theory and the population you selected.  The theory that I have selected is the social learning theory.  Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda (2012) stated that “social learning theory is the school of behavioral thought that has best combined internal and external processes” (pg 351). This theory is based on how individuals adapt and adopt to different environments base of their behavior and cultural norm. Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda (2012) stated that social learning theory offers a synthesis of cognitive psychology and principles of behavior modification in addition to an analysis of social influence on development. The population I would use with this theory is young children. Younger children from the ages of 3 to 5 because children learn how to adapt to different things or environment based on learn behaviors from adults.


Then explain how that theory might contribute to social work practice with the population you selected.  Using this theory could contribute to the social work practice with the populations of younger children due to understanding why a child act a certain way around their mother or father. With the social learning theory a bobo doll experiment was use to see gain understanding of the fears and anxiety of the child. Using this in the social work practice would help me as a social worker to be able to communicate with the child non-verbally because non verbal communication is how younger children communicate. The social learning theory would help me understand what behavior the parent uses around the child that causes the child to show fear. This theory would also give me understanding on why the young child cannot adapt too many situations and also the child cognitive functioning. Another reason social learning theory would contribute to social work practice with the population that is selected is that it would help me gain understanding on the reason the child have a negative reaction to some things; in which many individuals would called it a social norm but this theory calls it copying. Many younger children tend to copy things and it becomes a learn behavior which can make it hard for the younger child to adapt to different situations. This theory would lead me as a social worker in helping the child to use different coping skills to help change their adaptation from what was socially learn to be able to help the child as they grow older and to help the parents gain an understanding of their child behavior.


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.






Colleague 2: Tiffany


The theory that I have chosen for this discussion is the behaviorism theory. The behaviorism theory is mainly related to learning and adapting to new settings, environments, and situations (Robbins et al., 2012). It is often classified into two categories which include classical behaviorism and neobehaviorism.  The two main processes through which learning occurs are identified as classical conditioning and operant conditioning (Robbins et al., 2012). Classical conditioning places emphasis on learning that is associated when a naturally eliciting stimulus is paired with a neutral stimulus (Robbins et al., 2012). Operant conditioning focuses on the importance of reinforcement rather than connecting of one stimulus with another (Robbins et al., 2012). It also emphasizes consequences of behavior and states that behavior is shaped and maintained by its consequences (Robbins et al., 2012). Operant conditioning also places significance on reinforcement and the role it plays in strengthened behaviors. This concept is based on the implications that are provided for negative or positive responses (Robbins et al., 2012).

The population that I selected is children with behavior challenges associated with the autism spectrum disorder. Working with children with behavioral problems can be challenging. Therefore, it is important that we seek services, interventions, and behavioral approaches that can assist with changing or decreasing a child’s negative behaviors. By incorporating more behavioral services into our treatment plans and working with families on how to shape, reinforce, and have consequences for behaviors will provide a more stable approach. The behaviorism theory can assist social workers with learning different methods that will provide an understanding of how stimulus, conditioning, responses, and learning can be integrated during the treatment planning stage. These approaches can teach children different skills and assist with finding positive replacement behaviors.

The behaviorism theory can help with providing an understanding of the importance of consequences, reinforcement, shaping behavior, and help with incorporating a reward system into the child’s daily schedule (Robbins et al., 2012). This concept will assist with providing structure not only for the child but also for the family system. The theory will also help me with becoming more informed in order to be more efficient in my practice when providing services and techniques in my treatment plans. The behaviorism theory will enhance my skill set when working with this population and assist me with developing different procedures and methods to utilize in my daily practice. Lastly, this theory will help with being mindful of interactions, engagement, communication, and body language when working with children with autism. These abilities will help when building rapports, bridging the communication gap, and assist with changing behaviors.

Within society, we have seen a need for an increase in services for this population in the recent years. The issues that children with autism and their families face on a daily basis can be overwhelming and difficult to cope with at times. As social workers, we must work with families on providing them with the educational element and the knowledge for them to be advocates for their children and seek better services.



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.





RESONSE 2: Transpersonal Theory


Respond to at least two colleagues in one of the following ways:

o   Offer an example of how you have witnessed or may witness transpersonal theory in social work practice.

o   Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.

o   Offer and support an opinion about the use of transpersonal theory with clients who hold different belief systems based on what your colleague described.


Colleague 1: AnnaVi


Transpersonal Social Worker

A transpersonal social worker respects an individual’s choice in religion or cultural preferences. Robbins et al., (2012) suggest that knowledge of transpersonal theories help social workers understand and become knowledgeable in different religion and spiritual beliefs to enhance skills that promote respect.

Influence in Social Work Practice

Social workers competent in transpersonal theories have knowledge and skill to work with individuals who are deeply rooted with spirituality and religion beliefs. Transpersonal skills can influence the social work practice through empowerment of clients by encouraging the acceptance of diversity. As social workers, we have our own choice of religion and spiritual beliefs, however we must remain open-minded, nonjudgmental, and accepting of others to provide the best service we can for our clients. Robbins et al., (2012) suggest that social workers are faced with the challenge to spread and appreciate the diversity of religion.

Helping Clients

According to Maslow (1968) as found in Kalisschuk (2009), “the transpersonal self extends beyond personal identity and meaning to include a “meaningfulness and equanimity with self and other” (p. 391). I would encourage my clients to share information about their religious beliefs and empower them to continue the healthy habits within that belief. Social workers can encourage individuals to practice self-care that promotes healthy functioning and personal growth that endorses their well-being. (Kalisschuk, 2009).

Kalisschuk, R. G., & Nixon, G. (2009). A transpersonal theory of healing following youth suicide. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 7(2), 389-402. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Robbins, S. P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E. R. (2012). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.



Colleague 2: Aimee


What it means to be a transpersonal social worker

A transpersonal social worker is described by Watson (1999) as an individual who looks at the whole person and their ability to “self-extend beyond personal identity and meaning to include a “mindfulness and equanimity with self and other”, (as cited by Kalischuk & Nixon, 2009). In other words, a social workers ability to be mindful of outside factors which play into a person’s identity, such as spirituality.

Explanation of the influences of transpersonal theory and own belief system on social work practice

The influences of transpersonal theory on my belief systems are to remain open minded when working with clients whose beliefs differ from mine. Always analyze the situation if it feels uncomfortable to me and utilizes my supervisor if feeling that the client’s beliefs are impacting my ability to work with them. According to Robbins, Chatterjee, and Canda, A social worker aware of their own individual growth and the client’s growth and be able to use self-reflection on an ongoing continuum (2012).

Explanation of how you might help clients with belief systems that differ from your own.

As a social worker, I need to remain mindful of individuals spirituality and religious beliefs.  Social workers need to take a holistic approach a treat the whole person not just the problem. Many aspects of an individual’s environment play a role in the problem. Social workers need to develop skills which properly address all aspects of the individual. The social worker needs to remain aware of the differences in belief systems and use skills to manage feelings and concerns so that we can remain accepting of all individuals and their differences.


Robbins, S. P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E. R. (2012). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.

Kalischuk, R., & Nixon, G. (2009). A Transpersonal Theory of Healing Following Youth Suicide. International Journal Of Mental Health & Addiction, 7(2), 389-402. doi:10.1007/s11469-009-9193-5


RESPONSE 3: Controversy in Psychopharmacological Intervention to Treat Substance Abuse Disorders


Respond to two of your colleagues’ posts by:

o   Extending your colleague’s Discussion with additional support for the stance 

o   Offering a different psychotropic drug treatment than your colleague and supporting its use with evidence

o   Refuting the use of the selected medication and providing evidence to support your stance from the Learning Resources and other scholarly sources


Colleague 1: Fatima


According to Lichtblau (2011), alcohol and opioids are the drug of choice for those looking to escape their problems. Opioids produce an analgesic effect. Buprenorphine is a drug that is used in opioid addiction treatment.  It is an opioid and is a partial agonist, therefore, its effects are weaker than a full agonist  (Lichtblau, 2011). Buprenorphine decreases cravings for opioids, prevents withdrawal, and is less sedating  (Lichtblau, 2011).  It also has a ceiling effects, which means that it does not produce the euphoria as other opioids and so it has a lower abuse potential (Lichtblau, 2011).


A study which looked at the effectiveness of buprenorphine in management of opioid dependence found it to be highly effective when compared to a placebo (Mattick, 2014). Buprenorphine at high doses is very effective and is also effective as a maintenance drug in flexible doses adjusted to the individual’s need (Mattick, 2014). Common side effects of buprenorphine include constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, and sedation (, n.d.). According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), medication assisted treatment is the most effective treatment for opioid addiction (Steiker, Comstock, Arechiga, Mena, Hutchins-Jackson, & Members of the Maintenance and Recovery Services Relapse Prevention, 2013). Use of buprenorphine for opioid addiction treatment has increased significantly since it was introduced in 2002 (Steiker et. al, 2013). Compared to methadone, “buprenorphine may be given 3 times a week, enabling the users to have a better professional and social rehabilitation and generally, better quality of life” (Šimunović, Martinac, Dragić, Bevanda, & Babić, 2014). Higher doses of buprenorphine are also better tolerated than high doses of methadone, are less addictive, and seldom lead to the development of tolerance (Šimunović, et. al, 2014). Buprenorphine can also be used as a substitute for methadone treatment.


The most common controversy surrounding the the use of medication to treat opioid addiction is that idea that one is simply replacing one drug with another (Steiker et. al, 2013). However, buprenorphine is a treatment that helps people live normal lives and it also does not produce euphoria like an opioid thus it prevents one from getting high. Buprenorphine is used in medication assisted treatment programs (MAT) in combination with psychological services, therefore, there is a holistic approach (Steiker et. al, 2013). It has been proven time and time again that abstinence does not work in addiction, therefore, is necessary. MAT is also an evidence based practice that has shown to be effective in opioid treatment.


Holleran Steiker, L., Comstock, K., Arechiga, S., Mena, J., Hutchins-Jackson, M., Kelly, K., &

Members of the Maintenance and Recovery Services Relapse Prevention, G. (2013). Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT): A Dialogue With a Multidisciplinary Treatment Team and Their Patients. Journal Of Social Work Practice In The Addictions13(3), 314-323. doi:10.1080/1533256X.2013.814488


Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage



Mattick, R. P. (2014). Buprenorphine maintenance versus placebo or methadone maintenance for

opioid dependence. Cochrane Database Of Systematic Reviews, (2),


Šimunović, M., Martinac, M., Dragić, M., Bevanda, M., & Babić, D. (2014). Anxiety and

depression in opiate addicts treated with methadone and buprenorphine. Alcoholism: 

Journal On Alcoholism & Related Addictions50(2), 123-137.





Colleague 2: Aisha


Buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone) is used to treat individuals who are addicted to opioids (Lichtblau, 2011). Buprenorphine intended effects is to enable opioid addicted individuals to stop the use of opioids such as morphine, oxycodone and heroin; without experiencing withdrawal symptoms (Lichtblau, 2011). According to Lichtblau (2011)“buprenorphine carries has lower risk of abuse, dependence and side effects compared to a full opioid agonist” (p.101). Some of the major side effects of buprenorphine is blurred vision, confusion, difficulty breathing, dizziness or light headedness (Lichtblau, 2011).


I believe one of the main controversy surrounding medications to treat substance abuse is using another drug to treat addiction. Although the substance used to treat addiction is legal it is still a drug individual become dependent on. I guess you could call it a therapeutic addiction, especially; with the treatment of full opioid medications. It is true using treatment such as methadone is a maintenance therapy which is a switch from an illegal drug to a legal drug (Lichtblau, 2011). The use of the medications allows clinician to be able to deal with individuals behaviors that maintains the substance abuse disorders (Lichtblau, 2011). A doctor I worked with once told me, if individuals would detox without use of medications, they probably would not use drugs anymore.




Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.



Discussion 4: Evaluating Substance Abuse Client Cases


Respond to two of your colleagues’ posts that posted to a different case study than you by: 

o   Extending your colleague’s Discussion with additional support for the factors that indicate the appropriateness of the medication

o   Providing a different perspective on the role of the mental health professional in monitoring side effects

o   Refuting the use of the selected medication and providing evidence to support your stance from the Learning Resources and other scholarly sources


Colleague 1: Kendra


he scenario that I chose is the case scenario of Angela. Angela is 41 years old and resides in Durham, NC.  Angela has been smoking cigarettes for as long as she can remember.  Angela’s friends have all quit smoking, but she has continued to smoke. Lately, Angela’s friends have quit coming around and she believes it’s because she continues to smoke.  Angela has decided that it is time for her to quit smoking. Despite her many years of smoking, Angela does not consider herself to be an addict.  She doesn’t consider herself to be an addict since she does not use drugs, drink alcohol, or take pills. Angela smokes on average two to three packs of cigarettes a day. Previously she tried to quit smoking by using the nicotine patch but was unsuccessful.  Since the nicotine patch was unsuccessful Angela is interested in cognitive behavioral treatment.  She has admitted that in order for her to quit she has to have her mind off of smoking and focused on quitting.  As Angela’s worker I would not recommend the nicotine patch since she has already tried it.

I would however recommend Nicotine Replacement Therapy also known as NRT.  NRT works by making it easier to abstain from tobacco by partially replacing the nicotine previously obtained from tobacco.  There are at least 3 mechanisms by which NRT could be effective: reducing general withdrawal symptoms, thus allowing people to learn to get by without cigarettes, reducing the reinforcing effects of tobacco-delivered nicotine, and exerting some psychological effects on mood and attention states.  According to Lande (2017), “Nicotine replacement medications should not be viewed as standalone medications that make people stop smoking; reassurance and guidance from health professionals are still critical for helping patients achieve and sustain abstinence.” Along with the NRT I would recommend a prescription of Varenicline tartrate (Chantix).  Chantix is a medication that recently received FDA approval for smoking cessation. This medication may help people quit by easing withdrawal symptoms and blocking the effects of nicotine if people resume smoking. Side effects of Angela being on Chantix include nausea, stomach pain, indigestion, constipation, gas, vomiting, headaches, weakness, and tiredness. According to Stoppler (2017), “Chantix is not addictive and is not a controlled substance; however, some patients may experience irritability and sleep disturbance if Chantix is abruptly discontinued. Patients may experience psychiatric symptoms such as behavioral changes, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal behavior while using Chantix.”



Lande, G. (2017, June 27). Nicotine Addiction Treatment & Management. Retrieved July 25, 2017, from

Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., & Talaga, M. C. (2017). Handbook of clinical psychopharmacology for therapists (8th Ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. Chapter 14, “Substance-Related Disorders” (pp. 153-160).

Stoppler, M. (n.d.). Common Side Effects of Chantix (Varenicline) Drug Center. Retrieved July 25, 2017, from





Colleague 2: Sherri


An explanation of the factors that indicate the appropriateness of the medication in potentially treating the client’s substance abuse

Case 1: Constantine is a 28-year-old Turkish immigrant. He Has been recently diagnosed with liver failure and cirrhosis this is related to his heavy daily drinking habits. Preston authored, “Alcoholism affects 5 to 10 percent of the adult population” (2017). Constantine self-disclosed he has been drinking the last ten years and was drinking a least a bottle of scotch a day. He reports he tried to quit once in the past but returned to alcohol because he says his blood pressure skyrocketed. He seems to understand the health implications if he quits drinking and he realizes he will die if he keeps drinking. Constantine has taken his physician’s advice and is entering into day treatment and counseling. According to the stages of change cycle, Constantine is at the action stage as he is aware of his problem and has moved past preparing to take action and he has taken necessary action to register at a day treatment facility and get counseling. To add to his treatment plan of counseling, day treatment, Antabuse will be added to help reduce his desire to drink.

An explanation of the expected side effects of the medication and the mental health professional’s role in monitoring these side effects

Antabuse works by interfering with the body’s ability to absorb alcohol. Preston and et al., authored, “Antabuse, a medication used to assist in the maintenance of abstinence. Disulfiram causes an accumulation of acetaldehyde if a person drinks alcohol while taking it, which leads to an unpleasant and potentially dangerous reaction involving flushing, throbbing headache, nausea, and vomiting” (2017). As a mental health professional, Antabuse should never be prescribed to a patient who is intoxicated or withdrawing. Antabuse is best to be monitored as a medication management to help support sobriety through psychopharmacology and supportive therapy.


A justification of the medication to advocate for its use to encourage the client to continue with treatment

Antabuse could help Constantine with staying sober since Antabuse supports sobriety. Antabuse could be used in conjunction with his day treatment and counseling as a deterrent from alcohol.  According to an news article, it states, “Patients taking deterrent drugs, including Antabuse, had abstinence rates that were approximately 50% higher than those who did not. Additionally, those who took the drugs for longer than 20 months showed the highest rates of abstinence” (n.d.).



Document: Substance Abuse Case Studies (PDF)

Preston, John D.; O’Neal, John H.; Talaga, Mary C.. Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists (2017). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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