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Social work is a vast field. It involves considering several factors of a community or an individual’s life. One thing that makes it more fascinating is the science that underpins social work.

Contrary to popular belief, social work is a science. Social workers can guide their clients, but they need help to perform their work rather than basing decisions on guesswork and intuition.

Instead, social workers study and implement specific approaches grounded in research to create practical solutions and address client problems rather than grasping at straws.

One of the approaches taught in an online BSW to MSW program at prestigious academic institutions such as Spalding University is the biopsychosocial approach to social work.

Social workers lean on the biopsychosocial approach to avoid personal biases and assumptions interfering with effective treatment plans.

Discover how the biopsychosocial approach is carried out in the social work industry.

What is the biopsychosocial approach?

Social workers tend to work from an ecological perspective. After all, all problems are systemic regardless of origin.

However, this can only do so much as social work issues are maintained by an imbalance within and between spiritual and biopsychosocial elements.

Through the biopsychosocial approach, social workers can learn about their clients on multiple levels and better understand their subjective viewpoints.

In doing so, they can effectively determine which solutions will address critical issues and enhance the overall well-being of their clients.

This is extremely important, considering that data reveals roughly one in four people worldwide will suffer from mental disorders at some point.

Unlike other models, the biopsychosocial approach to social work suggests that significant biological, psychological, and social environment interaction impacts how and why distress and illness occur.

Using the biopsychosocial approach, social workers examine problems through the following lenses:

  • Biological lens

The biological component refers to the role of natural systems in the health and well-being of a community. For instance, if a particular community is dealing with homelessness, social workers look at the biological impact of the challenge and the reciprocal interconnections of ill health and homelessness.

  • Psychological lens

The psychological dimension emphasizes the role of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions in individuals and communities. In this section, social workers examine the mind-body connection in assessing various social work phenomena, such as the emotional regulation of stress and depression.

  • Social lens

The social lens highlights how individuals relate to numerous social groups and institutions and vice versa. Through the social lens, social workers can view the impact of racism, ageism, and sexism on the ability of people to reach goals. It also reveals essential strengths in the social systems surrounding clients, which can help solve the issue.

It is worth noting that the interactions within the biopsychosocial approach to social work are cyclical. For instance, a social factor such as a lack of relationships could impact a psychological aspect such as self-worth.

Self-worth issues can subsequently result in isolation, further impacting the original factor of social relationships. These interactions are possible among several biological, psychological, and social aspects.

Work towards your social degree today.

Learn more about the biopsychosocial approach and different approaches to social work when you sign up and enroll today.


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