There are a number of social work theories that are helpful to know which can be applied in your work as a therapist with clients. Attachment theory is just one of them, and it works on the basic concept that people make lasting psychological connections with other people and have different feelings about how they connect with others. The theory states that these connections we have with other people impact out decisions from the time we are born to the time of our own deaths. This theory has been the topic of much speculation and research, provoking numerous studies and discussions.
The standpoint theory is another view that resonates with many social workers and psychologists. In this theory it is believed that a "standpoint" is the point from which people view the world around them. This standpoint has a tremendous influence and impact on how people who adopt and use it shape their own world. Because there are certain inequalities between various social groups, their standpoints automatically differ in terms of how they each see the world. Each individual standpoint is partial and holds its own views separate from all others, such as feminism. Some see this as separating us from others and causing us to be stuck in our assumptions.
It is important to look at the strength-based perspective as well. This perspective works on the assumption that there are certain inherent strengths in a person or entire family, and that the goal is to build on them. These strengths are often used in helping certain people to work through different types of recovery and to empower them as much as possible. It has been proven to be extremely beneficial for social workers who often deal with families that are falling apart.
This perspective helps people to utilize their best qualities and grow.
As a social worker you might also want to learn about the family life cycle to help illuminate family dynamics. There are a number of stages, starting with the single young adult leaving home, moving on to the starting of a new system when a couple is formed. The third stage is building a family and raising children. The fourth stage involves families with adolescent children. In the fifth phase children move out and the parents go through a significant change. The final stage entails families in later life. As a social worker it is important for you to know about these theories and perspectives so you will be even more effective in your own job. You can apply these in different settings and see which work best with the temperaments of your clients.