Contextual integrative eclectic practice
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This study examines a problem of eclectic clinical social work practice: how to adopt different practice models to different clients in different situations. The researcher assumed that eclecticism in social work practice reflects a change in the understanding knowledge in the natural and social sciences. The study's question is what perspective or guidelines can be drawn from understanding knowledge on the continuum between objectivism and relativism for the process of selecting and integrating different practice approaches.;The study was conducted as a philosophical inquiry. It examined the epistemological foundations of historical approaches to social work, the rejection of logical and empirical positivism in various sciences, the weakness of relativism as an alternative approach to knowledge, and attempted to establish an approach to knowledge between the poles of objectivism and relativism for social work practice.;The study's findings are: (1) Various historical approaches to social work practice have reflected the dominant epistemologies of their time. (2) The current influential epistemology in social work, empirical positivism, has been rejected by many sciences. (3) The rejection of empirical positivism has led to pluralism which is suggested as the background for eclecticism in clinical social work. (4) A continuum theory of knowledge, which places human knowledge between the poles of objectivism and relativism, offers a feasible theory of knowledge for the human service professions. (5) From a continuum theory of knowledge we can derive a contextual-integrative conceptual model for eclectic practice. The contextual-integrative model gives practice models limited contextual validity, and suggests the existence of reciprocal interrelationships between contexts or entities referred to by various practice models. The contextual-integrative conceptual model suggests a number of guidelines for the process of selection and adaptation of different practice models to different clients in different situations.