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Clinical Social Work PracticeA Cognitive-Integrative Perspective$
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Sharon B. Berlin

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195110371

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195110371.001.0001

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The Fundamentals of Personal Change

The Fundamentals of Personal Change

(p.175) 6 The Fundamentals of Personal Change
Clinical Social Work Practice

Sharon B. Berlin

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews and elaborates key practice implications drawn from the theoretical assumptions discussed in previous chapters. Further, it places them within a framework that acknowledges the fundamental necessity for both stability and change in encounters in the world. The dialectic of continuity and change (assimilation and accommodation) emerges as a central principle throughout this and subsequent discussions of how one maintains a sense of a unified self and still grows in complexity and diversity. This is a dynamic that practitioners attend to in developing therapeutic relationships (acceptance and challenge) and in supporting change in a way that both acknowledges the validity of clients' experiences of themselves and their circumstances and also creates opportunities for difference. The chapter outlines approaches that practitioners can take to help clients decenter from old perspectives—to change their relationship to them—but not entirely abandon them.

Keywords:   processes, human adaptation, continuity, change, assimilation, accommodation, decentering, acceptance, practice approaches

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