Worlds No. 1 Assignment Writing Market

Get homework writing help and achieve better grades. Guaranteed!

Custom writing help for your Homework, Assignment and Academic Paper from best qualified academic writers 24/7.

100% Original Solutions, A+ Quality, Confidential And Before Deadline!

Homework Question!

case study

Open Homework Posted by: mark2106 Posted on: 12/09/2020 Deadline: 7 Days

13 writers want to do this homework:

Academic Master
Fardeen W.
Peter O.
Top Grade Essay
One Stop Tutor
Vinod K.
Assignment Hub
Quick Engineering Guru
Writing Factory
George J.
Homework Guru
Professor Smith
George M.


General information:

This discussion board relates to this week’s learning objective: compare theoretical perspectives that impact generalist practice and how they connect to a client’s life. You can reach learning objectives by reading the case study you are assigned and providing thoughtful response that includes critical thinking. You will be expected to apply course concepts to your client’s case. The purpose of this discussion board is to help you understand the basics of generalist practice in Social Work by:

Evaluation of the empathy process and identification of key components to empathy and how it relates to the Harjo case.

Explanation of social work values and ethics through application to case studies.

Practice identifying a theoretical framework that could be applied to their case studies.

You will also identify one ethical issue that they locate in their case study and how you would handle it.

You will also self rate the priority of the 6 core values of social work in reflection to their case study.

First Read the Harjo Case Study. Harjo Case Study ( attached below file #1) Also read through the supplemental information on the city of Globe. Harjo Case Study-Globe Supplemental Information (attached below file #2) 

You need to address the following questions in your response:

1. How would you demonstrate empathy for your client(be specific)? How is this different than showing sympathy to your client?

2. Out of the theories and frameworks discussed in Chapter 6 (see the file 3 below), which one do you think would benefit your client the most? Why? Include a citation from the text to support your answer.

3. Discuss one ethical challenge you observed in your case study (or one you think will be a problem for you). Then discuss how you would resolve it using the NASW Code of Ethics (remember-this will require you to have read the NASW code of ethics (in Appendix of your text or you can use this link) (Links to an external site.) .

4. Rank 1-6 (in a list) the importance of the Social Work core values (service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, competence) and then explain how the top 2 values relate to your case study. (NOTE: Many students miss out on points because they do not relate their top 2 ranked values back to the case

5. How would you locate accurate and reliable information to help your client understand and navigate the justice system?  (HINT: Revisit Module 4 for resources for access to legal services)

6. What is one question that you have about your case study/client and its relation to this week’s module material?

Posts should be no less than 300 words and no more than 500 words.

Our Top Online Writers.

Discuss your homework for free! Start chat

Engineering Guru


Engineering Guru

United Kingdom

I have a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science with 4 years as a mathematics teacher, …

Fardeen W.


Fardeen W.


I am an ACCA UK, ICAEW finalist and masters in economics and finance from a …

Order Your Homework

Guarantee your academic success!

Order Your Homework Today For Just $3 Per Page!

13 writers want to do this homework:

Academic Master


Academic Master


I have super grip on essays, case studies, reports and discussion posts. I am working on this forum from last 6 years with full amount of satisfaction of my clients.

Offer: $60

Fardeen W.


Fardeen W.


This project is my strength and I can fulfill your requirements properly within your given deadline. I always give plagiarism-free work to my clients at very competitive prices.

Offer: $55

Peter O.


Peter O.


Hi, I am an MS Research Scholar, and after carefully reading the description of the project I can confidently say that I am a suitable candidate, equipped with right skills, to complete this valuable task of yours. I assure you timely completion, originality and grammatically correct content, according to your needs. Please feel free to contact me for completion of this task. Thank you very much.

Offer: $80

Get Rewriting & Paraphrasing Help!

We have more than 1500 academic writers and we promise 0% plagiarism in your paper.

Top Grade Essay


Top Grade Essay


Hello My name is Samson. I am 100% sure that I will meet your expectations in writing the essay . I have written over 4000 high quality plagiarism free papers and deliver within stipulated deadlines. I am familiar with a number of citation styles among them MLA, APA, APSA, Oxford, Chicago, OSCOLA, Harvard and Turabian. I believe that I am the right candidate for this project, and I guarantee quality work.

Offer: $100

One Stop Tutor


One Stop Tutor

I can help you with your project. I will make sure to provide you exceptional quality work within the required timeframe. Please message me so we can discuss the further details over chat.

Offer: $55

Vinod K.


Vinod K.


Hello client, I have gone through the project specifications you have provided and I can easily manage the task. I am an experienced writer with diverse Knowledge in Article writing and Rewriting, Dissertations & Thesis writing, reports, case studies, and Literature Review.

Offer: $55

Get Custom homework writing help and achieve A+ grades!

Custom writing help for your homework, Academic Paper and Assignments from Academic writers all over the world at Tutorsonspot round the clock.

Prices As Low As 3$ Per Page!

Our promises:

  • Custom homework writing help
  • Plagiarism Free Solutions Guaranteed!
  • A+ Grade Guaranteed!
  • Privacy guaranteed!
  • Best prices guaranteed!
  • Timely delivery guaranteed!
  • Hundreds of Qualified Writers 24/7
Assignment Hub


Assignment Hub


I feel, I am the best option for you to fulfill this project with 100% perfection. I am working in this industry since 2014 and I have served more than 1200 clients with a full amount of satisfaction.

Offer: $75

Quick Engineering Guru


Quick Engineering Guru


Greetings! I am the professional electrical, telecom engineer, rich experience in QPSK, OFDM, FFT, such signal processing concetps with matlab, I can satisfy you definitely. more in chat.thanks.

Offer: $75

Writing Factory


Writing Factory


I can help you with creating a presentation of one slide for The Word of William Hunter. I will be happy to offer you 100% original work with high-quality standard, professional research and writing services of various complexities.

Offer: $45

Get Rewriting & Paraphrasing Help!

We have more than 1500 academic writers and we promise 0% plagiarism in your paper.

George J.


George J.

United States of America

Greetings! I’m very much interested to write for attendance systems. I am a Professional Writer with over 5 years of experience, therefore, I can easily do this job. I will also provide you with TURNITIN PLAGIARISM REPORT. You can message me to discuss the details.

Offer: $60

Homework Guru


Homework Guru


I am a Ph.D. writer with more than 9 years of working experience in Writing. I have successfully completed more than 4500 projects for my clients with their full amount of satisfaction. I will provide you super quality work according to your given requirements and deadline with ZERO plagiarism.

Offer: $60

Professor Smith


Professor Smith


Hello, I am a skilled, resourceful and experienced content and academic writer. I have written over 1000 different articles, academic papers and reports and all my clients.

Offer: $60

Get Custom homework writing help and achieve A+ grades!

Custom writing help for your homework, Academic Paper and Assignments from Academic writers all over the world at Tutorsonspot round the clock.

Prices As Low As 3$ Per Page!

Our promises:

  • Custom homework writing help
  • Plagiarism Free Solutions Guaranteed!
  • A+ Grade Guaranteed!
  • Privacy guaranteed!
  • Best prices guaranteed!
  • Timely delivery guaranteed!
  • Hundreds of Qualified Writers 24/7
George M.


George M.


Hi, Greetings. I have gone through your details and I can start writing on your assignment. I am an experienced creative writer who has produced outstanding plagiarism-free well-optimized content for my clients.

Offer: $60

Ready To Place An Order? Its Free!

Attachment 1

141Gerdes and Segal / Importance of Empathy for Social Work Practice: Integrating New ScienceCCC Code: 0037-8046/11 $3.00 ©2011 National Association of Social Workers

Importance of Empathy for Social Work Practice: Integrating New Science

Karen E. Gerdes and Elizabeth Segal

Empathy is more important than ever to a national population worried about difficult political and socioeconomic situations. During the last 10 years, an enormous amount of research has been carried out to elucidate the nature, mechanism, and function of empathy. New research from social–cognitive neuroscience and related fields indicates that, like language or eye–hand coordination, empathy is an innate human capability that can be greatly enhanced by purposeful and informed guidance. Empathy is particularly important to social work practice. Clients experiencing empathy through treatment have improved outcomes. Empathic social work practitioners are more effective and can balance their roles better. Social work practitioners can and should learn about emerging research on empathy and use that information to better serve their client populations. This article, emphasizing research of the past decade, focuses on empathy and its benefits as an asset to social work practitioners.

KEy worDS: affective sharing; emotion regulation; empathy; perception–action coupling; social–cognitive neuroscience

During the last decade of the 20th century, then-President Bill Clinton made a politi-cal catch phrase of the term “I feel your pain.” As mawkish as this may have sounded to cynics, it resonated with voters. Eight years after Clinton left office, Barack obama won the presidency in part by calling attention to an “empathy deficit” in government and public service. Identifying with another person’s emotions—the phenomenon we call empathy—is the foundation on which all useful public service and, indeed, the social contract itself is predicated.

Empathy is particularly important to social work practice. Clients experiencing empathy through treatment have improved outcomes. Empathic social work practitioners are more effective and can bal- ance their roles better. Social work practitioners can and should learn about emerging social–cognitive neuroscience research on empathy and use that information to better serve their client popula- tions. This article focuses on empathy as an asset to practitioners.

What Is Empathy? Barker (2003), in the Social Work Dictionary, defined empathy as “the act of perceiving, understanding, experiencing, and responding to the emotional state and ideas of another person” (p. 141). Barker’s defi- nition is an abbreviated summary of the numerous definitions that have been put forward by influential

thinkers over the past 90 years. These luminaries include psychoanalysts (Freud,1921; Kohut, 1959; reik, 1948), humanistic therapists (rogers, 1957), psychologists (Davis, 1994), and social and devel- opmental psychologists (Batson, 1987; Hoffman, 2000; Ickes, 1997).

In 2004, Decety and Jackson surveyed the numer- ous definitions and conceptualizations of empathy found in academic and professional literature. They identified three subjective experiences and three communicative abilities that, in one form or an- other, are universally cited as signature ingredients of empathy (see Table 1).

As Table 1 reveals, there are two components to empathy: the emotional and the cognitive. Vinton and Harrington (1994) noted the difference between the two elements, as have many others (for example, Davis et al., 2004). They labeled them (1) emotional empathy—the ability to be affected by the client’s emotions—and (2) expressed [cognitive] empathy—the translation of such feelings into words.

Historically, there has been some controversy as to the relative primacy of the emotional/affective elements of empathy and the expressed/cognitive elements (Cliffordson, 2001; Decety & Jackson, 2004; Funk, Fox, Chan, & Curtiss, 2008). For ex- ample, rogers (1957) and Hoffman (1981) focused more on empathy as an innate and involuntary response to an affective signal or prompt, whereas behaviorists focused more on empathy as a learned

142 Social Work Volume 56, Number 2 April 2011

communication, or as conscious role taking (Bat- son, 1991; Davis, 1996). Kohut (1959) was one of the first to articulate that both the conscious (for example, perspective taking) and implicit or uncon- scious (for example, emotion sharing) processes are vital to empathy and must be integrated to achieve a true empathic reaction or response.

Empathy In ExIstIng socIal Work lItEraturE It is hardly new to proclaim that empathy is a critical and essential ability for effective social work prac- tice; this has been stated explicitly by many social work educators (for example, Hepworth, rooney, rooney, Strom-Gottfried, & Larsen, 2006; orlinsky & Howard, 1975; Shulman, 2009). yet actual research on empathy, as well as evidence of empathy training in the social work curriculum, remains scarce and sketchy. NASw’s Encyclopedia of Social Work (Mizrahi & Davis, 2008) contains no entry for “empathy”—a glaring omission that illustrates the generally narrow and haphazard consideration of empathy in the social work literature (Freedberg, 2007; raines, 1990).

A generation of social workers, including the present authors, were schooled using rogers’s (1959) conceptualization of empathy as the ability to perceive the internal emotional state of another “as if ” they were that person. A nonjudgmental, accepting reflection of the client’s emotional state was critical to the effectiveness of the practitioner– client relationship. Later, rogers (1975) revised his conceptualization of empathy from a “state” to more of a “moment-to-moment process of felt meaning,” in which the practitioner was constantly checking the accuracy of his or her interpretation of the cli- ent’s “felt meaning.”

In the 1980s, rogers’ conceptualization of empathy was overshadowed by psychologists and social workers who were more concerned with implementing cognitive–behavioral interventions and wanted empirical measurements for both affective and cognitive components of empathy

(Bryant, 1982; Davis, 1983). The glaring problem in the current clinical outcome literature is that there is still no agreed-on conceptualization of empathy. As a result, “operational definitions of empathy are not consistent across studies” (Pithers, 1999, p. 258). Measurement techniques for empathy vary so much that it has been difficult to engage in meaningful comparisons or make significant conclusions about empathy and how to cultivate it effectively in social workers and clients (Cliffordson, 2001).

Today, numerous disciplines are researching and analyzing empathy. recent groundbreaking research on this issue has emerged from primatol- ogy and ethology (de waal, 2003); neuroscience (ramachandran, 2000); developmental psychology (Batson, 2006; Batson et al., 2003); and, perhaps most important, the nascent field of social–cognitive neuroscience (Decety & Jackson, 2004; Decety & Lamm, 2006). This article is meant to bring find- ings from this last field into social work’s body of literature, thus reopening a discussion that could have powerful influence on the way social work- ers conceptualize and measure empathy and, more important, how they practice it.

ImportancE of Empathy to socIal Work research demonstrates that empathy is an important tool for positive therapeutic intervention (watson, 2002). Clients experiencing empathy through treatment by others inhibits antisocial behavior in children and adolescents (Eisenberg, Spinard, & Sadovsky, 2005; Hoffman, 2000). Empathy inhibits aggression toward others (weisner & Silbereisen, 2003) and promotes healthy personal development (Hoffman, 2001). The lack of empathy is correlated with bullying, aggressive behavior, violent crime, and sexual offending (Gini, Albieri, Benelli, & Altoe, 2008; Joliffe & Farrington, 2004; Loper, Hoffschmidt, & Ash, 2001; Sams & Truscott, 2004).

A practitioner’s own level of empathy is correlated with positive client outcomes (Forrester, Kershaw,

table 1: subjective and communicated aspects of Empathy subjective Experience communicative capability

Feeling what another person is feeling Making an affective response to another person/sharing the other person’s emotional state

Knowing what another person is feeling The cognitive capacity to take the perspective of the other person (perspective taking)

Having the intention to respond The regulatory ability to keep track of and separate the origins of feelings of self from compassionately to another person’s distress the origins of feelings of the other person

Source: Decety, J., & Jackson, P. L. (2004). The functional architecture of human empathy. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 3, 71–100.

143Gerdes and Segal / Importance of Empathy for Social Work Practice: Integrating New Science

Moss, & Hughes, 2008). Jensen, weersing, Hoag- wood, and Goldman (2005) completed a review of 52 child psychotherapy treatment studies and concluded that therapist empathy, attention, and positive regard are essential to effective outcomes. Forrester et al. (2008) found that empathy is central to effective communication in child protection situ- ations. Empathy is critical to both practitioner and client outcomes.

scIEncE of Empathy: nEW fIndIngs and thEIr ImplIcatIons New research on empathy is rich and varied. Some of the emerging research is highlighted in Table 2. An exhaustive analysis of all findings falls well beyond the scope of a single article. This article focuses on what we believe to be one of the most important bodies of work, the comparatively new field of social–cognitive neuroscience, and its im- plications for social work practice. researchers in this field, basing their work on observations from

primatology, have identified the major physiologi- cal mechanism of empathy and begun to elucidate how the experience of empathy actually occurs in the brain. Their findings give empirical support to research on empathy in social interactions.

Connecting these areas of research yields an important and exciting conclusion: Empathy can be taught, increased, refined, and mediated to make helping professionals more skillful and resilient. Understanding how empathy works can help social workers “in the trenches” connect more empathi- cally with clients from a wider range of sociocultural backgrounds while making them less vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed, burnt out, or dysfunction- ally enmeshed with clients.

mIrror, mIrror: hoW Empathy occurs In thE BraIn one day, a researcher who was studying brain activ- ity in monkeys stumbled on a strange phenomenon: The monkey the researcher was studying showed

table 2: key research findings on Empathy field major finding

Primatology Monkeys have mirror neurons or mirror cells that respond to the goal-directed actions of others (that is, the monkeys have neurological responses to the experiences of other individuals, “feeling” the experience secondhand, the necessary condition for empathy). This discovery led to the iden- tification of the physiological mechanism for perception–action coupling in humans (Rizzolatti & Craighero, 2004).

Social–cognitive neuroscience Perception–action coupling and mirror neurons have been observed in humans as well—that is, the perception of emotion in one individual activates neural mechanisms in an observer, allowing the observer to resonate with the emotional state of the individual being observed (Preston & de Waal, 2002).

Perspective taking—that is, cognitively adopting the perspective of another—evokes stronger empathic concern. In other words, thinking about another’s experience adds more empathy than does simply observing it (Batson et al., 2003; Jackson, Brunet, Meltzoff, & Decety, 2006; Lamm, Batson, & Decety, 2007).

Self-awareness is an essential condition for making inferences about the mental states of others (Decety, 2005; Decety & Sommerville, 2003; Sommerville & Decety, 2006).

“Empathy relies both on bottom-up [or unconscious] information processing (shared neural systems between first-hand emotional experience and the perception or imagination of the other’s experience), as well as top-down [conscious–cognitive] information processing that allows modula- tion and self-regulation. Without self-regulation, information processing would lose flexibility and would become primarily bound to external stimulations” (Decety & Lamm, 2006, p. 1160).

Empathy deficits with different etiologies (for example, brain lesions or degenerative neurologi- cal conditions) are highly correlated with sociopathy, conduct disorders, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial behaviors (Decety & Jackson, 2004).

Gender-related studies of empathy and brain function suggest that female humans may use mir- ror neurons more extensively than male humans. This adds support to the theory that men and women rely on different neurological strategies to assess other’s subjective experiences and that, in general, women have a higher tendency toward empathic experiences than do men (Schulte- Ruther, Markowitsch, Shah, Fink, & Piefke, 2008).

Psychology Neuroplasticity allows us to deliberately change negative emotional states by understanding and observing the operation of our own brains (Lutz, Greischar, Rawlings, Ricard, & Davidson, 2004; Schwartz & Begley, 2003).

144 Social Work Volume 56, Number 2 April 2011

brain activity that indicated he was eating when in fact he was motionless. After some investigation, the researcher realized that the monkey’s brain was reacting to seeing another animal eat. In short, part of the motionless monkey’s brain appeared to be actually experiencing the other monkey’s sensations (Gallese, Fadiga, Fogassi, & rizzolatti, 1996).

Much more research followed, with social– cognitive neuroscientists picking up on the results from primatology. Ultimately, the neuroscientists identified a class of cells in the brain (both animal and human) that they named “mirror neurons.” These cells fire when an individual observes another person or animal having some sort of experience or sensation. The discovery of mirror neurons shows that the phrase “I feel your pain” may be literally true—not that the speaker is actually experiencing the other person’s feelings, but that the speaker’s brain creates very real sensations in response to that other person’s experience (Kaplan & Iacoboni, 2006). Mirror neurons appear to be the primary physiological mechanism of empathy (wolf, Gales, Shane, & Shane, 2001).

Is this innate physiological ability mutable? Can people lacking sufficient empathy be taught to be more empathic? Further research has shown that the brain is changeable, a phenomenon known as “neuroplasticity,” and deliberately changing one’s mental state begins with observing that mental state. Social workers are trained to be self-reflective, and this ability is central to enhancing empathy. Cog- nitively adopting the perspective of another evokes stronger empathic concern. In other words, thinking about another’s experience adds more empathy than simply observing it (Batson et al., 2003; Jackson, Brunet, Meltzoff, & Decety, 2006; Lamm, Batson, & Decety, 2007). The practice of actively observing clients’ behaviors and simultaneously processing those behaviors cognitively are not new to social work practice, but they have not been identified as critical to developing practitioner empathy.

componEnts nEcEssary to gEnEratE Empathy Following Kohut’s lead in combining the affective and cognitive aspects of empathy, Decety and Jackson (2004) and Decety and Lamm (2006) proposed the first truly interdisciplinary conceptualization of the phenomenon. There are three necessary, functional components that dynamically interact to generate the subjective experience of empathy. Any one

component on its own, the authors claimed, is in- sufficient to produce empathy. Those components are as follows:

• affective sharing between the self and the other, based on perception–action coupling that lead[s] to shared representations;

• self–other awareness. Even when there is some temporary identification, there is no confusion between self and other; [and]

• mental flexibility [that is, emotion regulation] to adopt the subjective perspective of the other and also regulatory processes. (Decety & Jackson, 2004)

The first component of the model, affective sharing with others, is largely an unconscious or automatic experience. when we listen to someone describe his or her feelings verbally or observe gestures, facial expressions, and vocal tone, and so forth (that is, perception and action coupling), neural networks in our brains are stimulated by the “shared representations” and generate similar feelings within us. This is the involuntary action of mirror neurons and is therefore automatic.

Unlike affective sharing, the second and third components of the empathy model—self–other awareness and the mental flexibility to regulate one’s own emotions—are not automatic. on the contrary, they are sophisticated cognitive skills that allow humans to voluntarily take the perspective of others—and like other sophisticated cognitive skills, they can be learned, increased, and perhaps ultimately even mastered (Decety & Lamm, 2006). Social workers can benefit enormously from being educated to modulate their own experience of em- pathy cognitively. They can then both connect with others—even those whose socioeconomic, cultural, or physiological experience is very different from their own—and prevent “empathic overarousal,” which can lead to personal distress, egoistic behav- iors, or burnout (Eisenberg, 2000).

guIdE for practItIonErs: EnhancIng Empathy

component 1: affective sharing/ perception and action coupling Establishing empathy is simple, though not always easy. we now know that the brain inherently and involuntarily triggers shared reactions neurologi- cally when we are observing others’ experiences.

145Gerdes and Segal / Importance of Empathy for Social Work Practice: Integrating New Science

This is most likely due to the involuntary firing of mirror neurons, the “brain cells that reflect the activity of another’s brain cells” (rothschild, 2006, p. 42). Beginning in infancy, mirror neurons help each hu- man’s brain map the orafacial and manual gestures of others onto the baby’s own motor systems (Kaplan & Iacoboni, 2006). These shared representations are stored or encoded in our neural networks and, when stimulated, automatically enable us to empathize with or share the feelings of another (Decety & Lamm, 2006). researchers now believe that autism may in part be explained by a failure to develop or form adequate neural circuitry or mirror neurons that enable language and social brain pathways to mature (Iacoboni & Dapretto, 2006).

The neural networks created by the shared rep- resentation process of gestures, body language, and vocal tone are like the “hardware” of the human brain. other shared representations, such as words, are more like “software.” They capitalize on the in- nate capacity for empathy to create affective sharing through deliberate communication of feelings. of course, such representations are more specific and controllable than the visceral, automatic empathic re- actions arising from hardwired somatic responses.

Both of these neurological pathways to empathy involve paying close attention to another person: not theorizing or analyzing, but being fully attentive to another’s behavior, facial expression, tone of voice, choice of words, and so on. It is empirical observa- tion at its purest. This means that while theory is necessary for analyzing and initiating solutions to a problem, the only thing a social worker must do to experience affective sharing or perception with a client is to truly see the client’s actions, gestures, facial expressions, and other behaviors and to truly hear the words, tone of voice, and content of the client’s story. This is referred to as “perception and action coupling” (Kaplan & Iacoboni, 2006).

Too often, educational systems focus on cognitive understanding at the expense of clear, uncompli- cated perception. Training of social workers should include alerting them to the dangers of blunting or blocking their observational powers. Instructing them to observe their clients mindfully—that is, without imposing immediate cognitive categories on their behavior—can help free social workers’ brains to automatically mirror a client’s subjective experience.

For example, a male social worker who deliber- ately puts aside his own intellectual constructs and

deeply listens to a woman’s story of a difficult child- birth, noticing her tone and words and watching her nonverbal gestures, might begin to experience the feelings of pain, fear, and joy that are associated with giving birth. Like anyone who pays close empathic attention, he may also unconsciously mimic her facial expression and body positions, a somatic “echo” of feelings that he himself could never physically ex- perience except through empathy. Educators who familiarize social workers to the concepts of affective sharing and perception–action coupling will facili- tate a more rewarding and productive experience for both the social workers and their clients.

component 2: self–other awareness Affective sharing is crucial in all the helping profes- sions, but as documented in the social work literature, it can also lead to emotional and physical burnout (Eisenberg, 2000). Many social workers who have a very strong capacity to share their clients’ feelings have trouble disengaging from the clients and, thus, take on many of the very burdens they are trying to ease. This degree of enmeshment is not constructive; it prevents clear and constructive action. Surgeons are not allowed to operate on people with whom they share deep emotional bonds precisely because objectivity is required as a foundation for offering help. A surgeon who fully identified with the pain of a patient’s gunshot wound or shattered bones would require help rather than be able to give it. The same is true of social workers who hope to heal the wounds of poverty, violence, or mental illness.

From an educational perspective, social work- ers should be taught that, counterintuitively, true empathy cannot exist without a strong sense of self as separate from other. Self-awareness allows us to disentangle our own feelings from the feelings of others, prevents empathic overarousal in emotion sharing, and allows us to make cognitive inferences about the mental state or perspective of others (Decety & Lamm, 2006). In other words, self– other awareness acts as a brake on the automatic link between perception and emotion that occurs in affective sharing and allows us to take a more detached perspective.

Social workers who lack the awareness of being separate from clients turn the reflexive aspects of empathy into an intolerable burden for themselves. without perceptual boundaries, they risk experienc- ing a client’s feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, or joy as their own feelings. with self–other boundaries

146 Social Work Volume 56, Number 2 April 2011

distinct, one person’s reactions to another’s suffering are typically altruistic; in the absence of such percep- tual boundaries, observation of another’s suffering can cause the observer severe distress.

The confusion of blending self and other works both ways; social workers who lack clearly perceived self–other distinction may not only experience others’ experiences as their own, but also project their own motivations onto others, misconstruing the other’s experience (for example, someone who usually weeps when angry may project anger onto another person who is weeping with grief or joy). This results not in the deep understanding of real empathy but in the confusion and misunderstanding of overidentification.

Again, mindful observation of reality can help social workers achieve clear self–other awareness while also experiencing affective sharing. If I truly see what is happening in a given situation, I not only experience empathy for others, I also remain conscious of the fact that another’s pain, confu- sion, or sense of disempowerment are not my own. Simply voicing this fact and teaching aspiring social workers to articulate it for themselves can help them modulate their experience of empathy later as they deal with clients.

component 3: mental flexibility and self-/ Emotion regulation Mental flexibility is a sophisticated cognitive abil- ity that allows us to toggle back and forth between absorbing another’s perspective and shutting it out, between identifying with the other and identifying solely with the self (Decety & Lamm, 2006). Eisen- berg, Smith, Sadovsky, and Spinard (2004) defined emotion regulation as “the process of initiating, avoiding, inhibiting, maintaining, or modulating the occurrence, form, intensity, or duration of in- ternal feeling states, emotion-related physiological processes, emotion-related goals, and/or behavioral concomitants of emotion, generally in the service of accomplishing one’s goals” (p. 260).

This, too, is a fundamental key to using empathy effectively and beneficially. A social worker who can- not “turn on” receptiveness to others’ experiences will never bridge the gap between his or her own experience and that of a client. By the same token, a social worker who cannot turn off the empathic awareness of a client’s despair or anxiety after the workday quickly experiences emotional burnout and can no longer serve that client.

Self-regulation is typically conceptualized as a conscious, intentional effort to control one’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviors. As a result, most theorists have emphasized that people who wish to control or change their behavior must pay close conscious attention to their behavior and exert deliberate control over it (Baumeister, Heatherton, & Tice, 1994; Carver & Scheier, 1981; Duval & wicklund, 1972; Mischel, 1996).

Mindfulness studies suggest that self-observation is the key to controlling one’s own emotional state (Langer, 1989). Trying to force a degree of feeling or detachment is less effective than taking an observing position in regard to one’s own emotions. In other words, the way for social workers to modulate affec- tive sharing and achieve healthy self–other awareness is to observe both the client and his or her own thoughts and feelings. The part of the brain that self-observes is the part that can successfully toggle between affective sharing and healthy detachment (Schwartz & Begley, 2003).

conclusIon Empathy in social work practice is not new, but it has not been stressed recently in the literature. In light of new research and interdisciplinary findings, the value and importance of empathy is critical. re- search documents the value of empathy, our innate abilities to be empathic, and the need to tap those innate abilities, and that this process can be learned. The three components described in this article are a start toward enhancing empathy for social work practitioners. Social work practitioners need to de- velop their own empathic abilities to enhance their effectiveness with clients and to protect themselves from compassion or practice fatigue and burnout. Awareness and active use of the three components of affective sharing, self–other awareness, and emotion regulation/mental flexibility will enhance empathy. with emerging research and political commitment, now is the right time to emphasize the place of empathy in social work practice.

rEfErEncEs Barker, r. L. (2003). The social work dictionary (5th ed.).

washington, DC: NASw Press. Batson, C. D. (1987). Distress and empathy: Two quali-

tatively distinct, vicarious emotions with different motivational consequences. Journal of Personality, 55, 19–39.

Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Batson, C. D. (2006). Folly bridges. In P.A.M. Van Lange (Ed.), Bridging social psychology: Benefits of transdisci-

147Gerdes and Segal / Importance of Empathy for Social Work Practice: Integrating New Science

plinary approaches (pp. 59–64). Mahwah , NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Batson, C. D., Lishner, D. A., Carpenter, A., Dulin, L., Harjusola-webb, S., & Stocks, E. L. (2003). As you would have them do unto you: Does imagining yourself in the other’s place stimulate moral ac- tion? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1190–1201.

Baumeister, r. F., Heatherton, T. F., & Tice, D. M. (1994). Losing control: How and why people fail at self-regulation. San Diego: Academic Press.

Bryant, B. K. (1982). An index of empathy for children and adolescents. Child Development, 53, 413–425.

Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1981). Attention and self- regulation: A control-theory approach to human behavior. New york: Springer-Verlag.

Cliffordson, C. (2001). Parents’ judgments and students’ self-judgments of empathy. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 17(1), 36–47.

Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional ap- proach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113–126.

Davis, M. H. (1994). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Dubuque: Brown and Benchmark.

Davis, M. H. (1996). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Madison, wI: westview Press.

Davis, M. H., Soderlund, T., Cole, J., Gadol, E., Kute, M., & Myers, M. (2004). Cognitions associated with attempts to empathize: How do we imagine the per- spective of another? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1625–1635.

Decety, J. (2005). Perspective taking as the royal avenue to empathy. In B. F. Malle & S. D. Hodges (Eds.), Other minds: How humans bridge the divide between self and other (pp. 135–149). New york: Guilford Press.

Decety, J., & Jackson, P. L. (2004). The functional archi- tecture of human empathy. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 3, 71–100.

Decety, J., & Lamm C. (2006). Human empathy through the lens of social neuroscience. Scientific World Journal, 6, 1146–1163.

Decety, J., & Sommerville, J. A. (2003). Shared representa- tions between self and others: A social cognitive neu- roscience view. Trends in Cognitive Science, 7, 527–533.

de waal, F.B.M. (2003). Animal social complexity: Intelligence, culture, and individualized societies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Duval, T. S., & wicklund, r. A. (1972). A theory of objective self-awareness. New york: Academic Press.

Eisenberg, N. (2000). Emotion, regulation, and moral de- velopment. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 665–697.

Eisenberg, N., Smith, C. L., Sadovsky, A., & Spinard, T. L. (2004). Effortful control. In r. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 259–282). New york: Guilford Press.

Eisenberg, N., Spinard, T. L., & Sadovsky, A. (2005). Empathy-related responding in children. In M. Killen & J. G. Smetna (Eds.), Handbook of moral development (pp. 517–549). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Forrester, D., Kershaw, S., Moss, H., & Hughes, L. (2008). Communication skills in child protection: How do social workers talk to parents? Child and Family Social Work, 13, 41–51.

Freedberg, S. (2007). re-examining empathy: A relational– feminist point of view. Social Work, 52, 251–259.

Freud, S. (1921). Group psychology and the analysis of ego. London: Hogarth.

Funk, J., Fox, C., Chan, M., & Curtiss, K. (2008). The development of the Children’s Empathic Attitudes Questionnaire using classical and rasch analy-

ses. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 187–196.

Gallese, V., Fadiga, L., Fogassi, L., & rizzolatti, G. (1996). Action recognition in the premotor cortex. Brain, 119, 593–609.

Gini, G., Albiero, P., Benelli, B., & Altoe, G. (2008). Determinants of adolescents’ active defending and passive bystanding behavior in bullying. Journal of Adolescence, 31, 93–105.

Hepworth, D., rooney, r., rooney, G. D., Strom- Gottfried, K., & Larsen, J. (2006). Direct social work practice: Theory and skills. Belmont, CA: Thomson.

Hoffman, M. L. (1981). The development of empathy. In J. P. rushton & r. M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior (pp. 41–63). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hoffman, M. L. (2000). Empathy and moral development. New york: Cambridge University Press.

Hoffman, M. L. (2001). Toward a comprehensive empathy- based theory of prosocial moral development. In A. C. Bohart & D. J. Stipek (Eds.), Constructive and destructive behavior: Implications for family, school, and society (pp. 61–86). washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Iacoboni, M., & Dapretto, M. (2006). The mirror neuron system and the consequences of its dysfunction. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 7, 942–951.

Ickes, w. (1997). Empathic accuracy. New york: Guilford Press.

Jackson, P. L., Brunet, E., Meltzoff, A. N., & Decety, J. (2006). Empathy examined through the neural mech- anisms involved in imagining how I feel versus how you feel pain. Neuropsychologia, 44, 752–761.

Jensen, P., weersing, r., Hoagwood, K. E., & Goldman, E. (2005). what is evidence for evidence-based treat- ments? A hard look at our soft underbelly. Mental Health Services Research, 7, 53–74.

Jolliffe, D., & Farrington, D. P. (2004). Empathy and of- fending: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 9, 441–476.

Kaplan, J. T., & Iacoboni, M. (2006). Getting a grip on other minds: Mirror neurons, intention understand- ing, and cognitive empathy. Social Neuroscience, 1(3/4), 175–183.

Kohut, H. (1959). Introspection, empathy, and psycho- analysis: An examination of the relationship between the mode of observation and therapy. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7, 459–483.

Lamm, C., Batson, C. D., & Decety, J. (2007). The neural substrate of human empathy: Effects of perspective- taking and cognitive appraisal. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 42–58.

Langer, E. J. (1989). Mindfulness. Cambridge, MA: De Capo Press.

Loper, A. B., Hoffschmidt, S. J., & Ash, E. (2001). Person- ality features and characteristics of violent events committed by juvenile offenders. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 19, 81–96.

Lutz, A., Greischar, L. L., rawlings, N. B., ricard, M., & Davidson, r. J. (2004). Long-term meditators self- induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101, 163–173.

Mischel, w. (1996). Personality and assessment. Florence, Ky: Psychology Press.

Mizrahi, T., & Davis, L. E. (Eds.). (2008). Encyclopedia of social work (2th ed., Vols. 1–4). washington, DC, and New york: NASw Press and oxford University Press.

orlinsky, D. E., & Howard, K. (1975). Varieties of psychother- apeutic experience. New york: Teachers College Press.

148 Social Work Volume 56, Number 2 April 2011

Pithers, w. (1999). Empathy: Definition, enhancement, and relevance to the treatment of sexual abusers. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 257–284.

Preston, S. D., & de waal, F.B.M. (2002). Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 25, 1–72.

raines, J. C. (1990). Empathy in clinical social work. Clinical Social Work Journal, 18, 57–72.

ramachandran, V. S. (2000). Mirror neurons and imitation learning as the driving force behind “the great leap forward” in human evolution. retrieved from http://www. edge.org/3rd_culture/ramachandran/ramachandran_ index.html

reik, T. (1948). Listening with the third ear. New york: Grove Press.

rizzolatti, G., & Craighero, L. (2004). The mirror neuron system. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 169–192.

rogers, C. (1957). The necessary and sufficient condi- tions for therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21, 95–103.

rogers, C. r. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality, and interpersonal relationship as developed in the client- centered framework. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A study of science, formulations of the person and social context (pp. 184–256). New york: McGraw Hill.

rogers, C. r. (1975). Empathic: An unappreciated way of being. Counseling Psychologist, 5(2), 2–10.

rothschild, B. (2006). Help for the helper: Self-care strate- gies for managing burnout and stress. New york: w. w. Norton.

Sams, D. P., & Truscott, S. D. (2004). Empathy, exposure to community violence, and use of violence among urban, at-risk adolescents. Child and Youth Care Forum, 33(1), 33–50.

Schulte-ruther, M., Markowitsch, H. J., Shah, N. J., Fink, G. r., & Piefke, M. (2008). Gender differences in brain networks supporting empathy. NeuroImage, 42, 393–403.

Schwartz, J. M., & Begley, S. (2003). The mind and the brain: Neuroplasticity and the power of mental force. New york: Harper Perennial.

Shulman, L. (2009). The skills of helping individuals, families, groups, and communities (6th ed.). Florence, Ky: Cengage.

Sommerville, J. A., & Decety, J. (2006). weaving the fabric of social interaction: Articulating development psy- chology and cognitive neuroscience in the domain of motor cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 179–200.

Vinton, L., & Harrington, P. (1994). An evaluation of the use of videotape in teaching empathy. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 9(1/2), 71–84.

watson, J. C. (2002). re-visioning empathy. In D. J. Cain & J. Seeman (Eds.), Humanistic psychotherapies: Handbook of research and practice (pp. 445–471). washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

weisner, M., & Silbereisen, r. K. (2003). Trajectories of delinquent behaviour in adolescence and their covariates: relations with initial and time-averaged factors. Journal of Adolescence, 26, 753–771.

wolf, N. S., Gales, M. E., Shane, E., & Shane, M. (2001). The developmental trajectory from amodal percep- tion to empathy and communication: The role of mirror neurons in this process. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 21(1), 94–112.

Karen E. Gerdes, PhD, is associate professor, and Elizabeth Segal, PhD, is professor, College of Public Programs, School of Social Work, Arizona State University, 411 North Central

Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004; e-mail: [email protected] asu.edu.

Original manuscript received January 26, 2009 Final revision received August 7, 2009 Accepted September 24, 2009

Attachment 2

Generalist social work

· Social workers who employ a wide range if approaches with different therioes and emphases

· Primary used to guide and coordinate services

Micro practice:

· Case management

· Small group practice

Macro Practice:

· Administers

· Intervention at the community level

· Working in organizations

· Moving legislation forward for social change

Strengths based perspective

· Using person-in-environment

· Each individual , group, family and community has strengths

· Trauma and abvse illness and struggle may be injuriovs but they may be a sovrce of challenge and opportunlly

· Every environment is full of resources

Diversity perspective:

· Being aware of and sensitive to human diverslly

· Value-Dignity and worth of the person

Current theory Base:

· Problem solving method

· Task-centered case-work

· Cognitive behavioral theory

· Crisis theory and crisis intervention


· Based on the belief thay how and what a person thinks determines or contributes to how the person feels and behavers

· Maladaptive behaviors can be explained bt irrational or distracted thinking that results from misperceptions and misinterpretations of the enviornment

Crisis theory and crisis intervention :

· Crisis: In which a person’s normal coping mechanisms are inadequate or one not working

· crisis intervention : Short term mofe designed to assist victims and survivors to return to their pre-crisis level of functioning

Case management:

· a colloborative process of assenssment, planning, fedtion, advicecy fot options and services to meet an individual’s needs through communication and available resources to promote quality cost-effective outcomes

Case management Process:

· Engagement\Empathy : Rapport and relationship building

· Evaluation\Assessment: identifying needs, Biopsychosocialemotional

· Intervention: Referring to agencies, assisting with service delivery

mindfulness-based theories and therapies:

· MBCBT- mindfulness based congnlitive behavioral therapy – learning about the relationship between thoughts and feelings and how to be more fully present using meditation

· Mindfulness – based stress reduction- learn to actively focuse on what is happening in the present moment

8 week program \ gain mindfulness skils with medication \ yoga

social action groups:

self-help groups:

support and counaeling :

socialization groups:

Empathy: feeling of pity and sorrow for someone sles’s misfortune

Attachment 3

The Community of Globe, AZ

The total population of Globe, AZ, located in Gila County, was 7,532 according to the latest

census in 2010. The following tables will give you an idea of the demographics in the

community of Globe. Major industries in Globe include mining- specifically copper- which

employed 20% of the population. There is one fire department, and one public library.

(​http://www.globeaz.gov/visitors/information​) (​http://globemiamichamber.com​) Information ​Retrieved from ​http://www.census.gov/2010census/popmap/


AZ - Globe city

Male 3,736

Female 3,796

Under 18 1,764

18 and



20-24 406

25-34 804

35-49 1,367

50 -64 1,622

65 & over 1,382


White 5,993

African American 69

Asian 85

AIAN 430


Some Other Race 722

Two or more




Hispanic or Latino 2,775

Not Hispanic or



Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/2010census/popmap/

Attachment 4

Mrs. Harjo and Tony: Mrs. Harjo is 65 year old female who identifies as Latina. She lives in

Globe, Arizona, and subsists on Supplemental Security Income, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition

Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps), and her garden. Mrs. Harjo has been

living alone since the death of her husband five years ago. She is the daughter of Mexican

immigrants, and visits her hometown in Mexico for Semana Santa every other year. Mrs. Harjo

identifies as Catholic by has not participated in organized religion since the age of 14, when she

relocated to Globe, AZ.

A paternal grandson, Tony (age 13), recently moved in with Mrs. Harjo following his mother's

death from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism. Tony's biological father is serving five years

in prison on a second conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia, a class six felony in

Arizona (https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/03415.htm) . Tony's biological parents were never

married, and his mother did not obtain a legal divorce from her first husband. When Tony was

born, the hospital registrar accidentally listed the first husband as the legal father on his birth


Mrs. Harjo went to Tony's school to give notice of a change of address and to put her name on

file as guardian and emergency contact. School officials pointed out that Tony was not legally

related to Mrs. Harjo, and that therefore she had no authority to authorize medical care, or to

enroll Tony in school.

The principal referred Mrs. Harjo to an attorney, where she appealed for help in getting Tony's

paternity corrected. The attorney advised that the biological father adopt Tony in order to change

the legal parent, but refused to take the case because Tony's father was incarcerated, and the

likelihood of an adoption by an incarcerated parent was too low (Garcia, Bain, Avera, Armenta,


Tony’s grades have dipped to a C average (he typically earns A’s and B’s) since the death of his

mother. He is on the freshman baseball team, and cites this as one of his favorite activities, but

will be barred from playing should his grades continue to decline. Tony has no specific academic

interests but wants to remain eligible to play baseball. Teachers report that Tony has always been

quiet, but has had difficulty concentrating in school since his mother' death two months ago.

Three months ago, he suffered a knee injury playing baseball and is slowly returning to practice,

and was prescribed Percocet (an opioid) for the severed pain. Tony complains that he still has

lingering pain and continues to take the prescribed Purcocet. He also shared a few of his pain

killers with a friend.

Mrs. Harjo followed up with the principal for a recommendation to get Tony in to see a

counselor, but has not received a reply. She is unsure where to go to find something she might be

able to afford.Tony has no known medical issues, and has seen a doctor regularly. Tony reports

he does not remember the last time he has seen a dentist, and is worried that he may need braces.