Understand psychological approaches to health and

to health and social care
Part Two: D2
Evaluate the usefulness of
psychological approaches to health and
social care practice
Understand psychological approaches
to health and social care
Learning Outcome Assessment
- The learner will: Criteria Pass The learner can:
approaches to
health and
social care
Explain different
approaches to
health practice
Explain different
approaches to
social care practice
Merit – in
addition to the
pass criteria the
learner can:
Distinction –
In addition to the
pass and merit
criteria the
learner can:
Explain how
practitioners could
approaches to
health and social
care practice
Evaluate the
usefulness of
approaches to
health and social
care practice
There are many theories in psychology but some work better in certain areas than
others. Psychodynamic works best with people who have good communication
Most care workers will be able to use a problem solving framework to help them decide which
approach to use. However, some care workers will specialise in certain approaches. Factors
which help them decide include:
What has worked well in the past
Approaches which give quick results
What training has been given
Age, culture and understanding of the client.
How do you chose an approach?
Evaluating approaches – looking at
strengths and weaknesses.
• A care practitioner may choose from the theories
to help their client.
• It would depend on the nature of the client’s
concerns, the training and experience of the
practitioner and how comfortable the care
worker felt with using a particular model.
• To evaluate an approach, the strengths and
weaknesses need to be considered as well as
the impact it would have on a service user.
•The Behavioural approach looks at observed behaviour
•The Cognitive approach listens to the client
•The Humanistic approach listens to the client and gives the
client choices
•The Psychodynamic approach interprets what the person
says and does
In pairs think about the strengths and
weaknesses of each approach
Think of ONE health or social care example
where the approach would work
Behavioural approach
Theory is easy to understand
Experimental work to show how
behaviour reinforcement works
It’s objective and people can agree on
what is happening- only observable
behaviour is looked at
Easy to put into practice – people do
this approach “naturally”
Results can be quick and it is shown to
Doesn’t rely on communication skills so
can work with all ages and abilities
Also easy to use on anxious service
Can “shape behaviour” gradually and a
person can develop “new” behaviours
and skills.
Doesn’t label people as “abnormal” and
so avoids labelling people
Doesn’t look at what is going on inside
someone’s head – makes it narrow and
People can’t work on helping themselves
as there is no thinking involved
Deals with symptoms not causes so can
be short term
Behaviours caused by anxiety etc can be
exhibited in other ways and behaviours –
symptom substitution
Time out and other methods of behaviour
modification can be seen as upsetting
and demeaning – how is it different from
Manipulative and dehumanising – sees
humans as people who simply respond
and repeat actions which give them
Deterministic – doesn’t allow humans
Does it follow the care base values?
Gets to the root of problems
Effective as it gives the client an
insight into why they think or feel
as they do
Can change many parts of their
lives, not just behaviour
Been used for a long time and has
been seen to work effectively
Can be used for a wide range of
problems including sexual
disorders, depression and eating
Tries to work out why irrational
beliefs arise which leads to many
problems being looked at all at the
same time
Theories very complicated to understand
Practitioners need specialist training
which may take a long time – they view
themselves as the “expert” and only they
can sort out the problems
Client can get over reliant on therapist
Theory is not based on science but how
the psychotherapist interprets what the
client says
Based on unconscious thoughts and
analysation of what people think and do
Harmful as the insights can be very
distressing for the client
False memory syndrome is controversial
Deterministic view of life – we have little
control of our actions because of what has
happened in our early childhood
Lengthy and costly
Some claim it doesn’t actually work and it
is hard to assess or measure it’s success
as an approach
Theory is based on Freud who worked
with middle class patients in Vienna at the
end of the last century - how relevant are
his interpretations to modern life?
Cognitive approach
Structured approach of understanding and
changing behaviour
Theory is easy to understand and process of
theory is understood – it makes sense to the
Pays attention to what the client says – what
the person thinks and feels
Therapist then looks for faulty or dysfunctional
beliefs which affects how the client behaves.
There is no therapist interpretation or finding
“hidden meanings”
Direct approach
Easy to learn and apply – clients can learn the
techniques and use themselves in other areas
of their lives
Aims for independence of the client –
empowerment is key and so follows the care
value base
Widely used in health care and can be applied
to a wide range of issues e.g. stress, anxiety,
anger management
Cost effective and can be relatively quick
• Not suitable for all as it relies on
good language skills – the client
needs to be able to express their
thoughts and understand what
the counsellor wants them to do
• Hard to use with those that can’t
follow a rational train of thought
• Doesn’t deal with the underlying
causes of problems
• One problem worked on at a time
• Debate on it’s effectiveness –
some studies show it works,
some show it doesn’t
Humanistic Approach
Person centred
Therapist is non intrusive – meet clients
as equals in the process and not as the
Training is not dependant on other
professional qualifications
Doesn’t label client
Follows the care value base
Unconditional regard, empathy and
genuineness are qualities many health
care workers have already
Centres around the thought that people
have choices and can change their lives
– to become much more than they are
(self actualisation)
Can be applied to many situations
Very positive view!
Focuses on the short term nature of
• Ignores innate problems that
could be causing behaviours
• Short term
• Client needs good
communication skills
• Difficult to show
• No uniformity in training
• Key terms difficult to
understand e.g. congruence,
self actualisation
• Therapist has be non
judgemental to all people
which can be hard to obtain
AM I trained and competent
In this approach?
Does it seem to fit the with the presenting
Can I do an assessment?
What interventions can I use?
Is it cost effective?
Will it work?
Has it worked in the
What approach
will I use with
this service user?
Does it fit with our
Care value base?
What are the risks?
Are these risks acceptable?
What questions should a care worker ask before using an approach?
Task D2
Evaluate the usefulness of psychological approaches to
health and social care practice
You will need to consider our discussions on evaluating the
approaches, and read the case studies provided before doing
this task. If you use primary evidence remember
For the final part of your training you need to show that
you can evaluate the usefulness of the psychological
approaches used in HSC.
Prepare materials that show you have considered the
usefulness of the approach, the impact the approach
may have on a service user and the situations in HSC
where the approaches may be used. You MUST show
that you have considered the strengths and
weaknesses of the four major approaches used.