Integration of Spirituality into the Strengths-Based Social Work Practice: A Transpersonal Approach to the Strengths Perspective
Jung Hee Lee, MSW, Ph.D.

The strengths perspective in social work practice has called for a shift away from a focus on client problems to a focus on client capacities and possibilities for last decades. The strengths perspective has attracted the interest of social work practitioners and scholars by challenging social work‟s longstanding emphases on psychopathology and problem-solving methods in fundamental ways. However, some practitioners and researchers alike have continuously questioned the effectiveness, uniqueness, and relevance of the strengths perspective as a practice model. Particularly, practitioners have raised questions about the feasibility of its call to keep focus on strengths when working with clients in the midst of miserable situations. This article reviews philosophical principles of the strengths perspective as well as criticisms, and identifies the gap between its theoretical basis and practice based on Ken Wilber‟s transpersonal theory. This article then clarifies that the development of practitioners‟ personal spirituality is critical in fully vitalizing their strengths-based work with clients.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jssw.v7n2a4