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Social Sciences | Human Rights-Based Approaches to Clinical Social Work

Human Rights-Based Approaches to Clinical Social Work

Berthold, S. Megan

2015, XXI, 134 p.

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  • Applies a human rights-based approach to clinical practice
  • Explores the challenges of a rights-based approach
  • Covers several major human rights issues
  • Provides examples from clinical practice

This groundbreaking Brief brings a rights-based perspective to social work as opposed to the charity- and needs-based formats traditional to the field. Core principles for effective practice are discussed in the context of global human rights advocacy, from addressing individuals' immediate issues to challenging the structures that allow continued injustices to marginalized populations. Focusing specifically on interventions with survivors (and some perpetrators) of torture, human trafficking, and domestic violence, coverage explores and explodes myths about these issues--some of which survivors themselves may believe--and illustrates the immediate application and long-term benefits of rights-based therapy. Case examples, discussion questions, resource links, and a clinician self-care section reinforce the salience of this approach, modeling practice that is ethical in its outlook and empowering in its healing.


Clinician skills emphasized in Human Rights-Based Approaches to Clinical Social Work:


  • Reframing client needs as human rights.
  • Cultural humility versus cultural competence.
  • Building the therapeutic relationship and reconstructing safety.
  • Developing trauma-informed practice and avoiding re-traumatization.
  • Forensic and activist roles for social workers.
  • Burnout prevention for practitioners.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Clinical Social Work - Human Rights and Social Work Practice - Human Trafficking - Interpersonal Trauma - Rights-based Clinical Practice - Social Justice and Social Work Practice

Related subjects » International, Foreign and Comparative Law - Psychotherapy & Counseling - Social Sciences

Table of contents 

Rights-based vs. Conventional Needs-based Approaches to Clinical Social Work.- Rights-based Approach to Working with Torture Survivors.- Rights-based Clinical Practice with Survivors of Human Trafficking.- Intimate Partner Violence and a Rights-based Approach to Healing.- The Use of Self in Engaging in Rights-based Clinical Practice.

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