New Book Aims to Get Behind the Headlines to Offer New Insights for Social Workers and Psychologists


Social work has become increasingly depersonalised in an era of managerialism and performance management, with many aspects of what were once known as the "personal social services" having been lost.

Psychology and Social Work, is a timely reminder for social workers and other professionals that the personal and the individual should still be at the centre of everything they do. It brings together, in a genuine multidisciplinary approach, contributions from applied psychology arenas " such as clinical, health, forensic and organisational psychology - to social work theory and practice, in light of cutting-edge research and theoretical debates.

Uniquely, the book has been written by two academics with extensive backgrounds in psychology and social work, who say that despite historic tensions between psychologists and social workers, the two disciplines can learn a lot from each other's practices.

Dr Gabriela Misca, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Worcester and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, said: "The news is constantly full of social problems " abuse of older people in care homes, child deaths or abuse, prison riots " plagued by difficulties of personality and organisational behaviour around issues of power, gender and the establishment.

"Psychologists are increasingly called upon to advise and intervene on a variety of social issues but are often very focused on individual psychological aspects. Meanwhile, often for reasons of time, targets and a lack of confidence, social workers are often neglecting the psychological complexities that lie beneath those families and individuals on their caseloads.

"This book is designed to encourage social workers to explore these complexities further, using research from applied psychology, and for psychologists to learn from their colleagues in social work about the wider social issues affecting individuals."

Co-author Dr Peter Unwin, a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Worcester and Member of the British Association of Social Workers, added: "The book offers insights into the individual, family and organisation factors that lie behind our daily headlines and offers helpful pointers to better solutions, building on the insights and knowledge bases of psychology and social work.

"We draw on real, contemporary cases such as the Rotherham child abuse scandal and Baby P case, exploring the complexities from both sides of our disciplines."

As well as for a key reading for students on qualifying social work courses, the book provides a valuable resource for students on psychology and social sciences degrees aiding their consideration of further study and career development in areas of social work for such students.

Dr Jan Quallington, Head of the Institute of Health and Society, said: "In the current climate across health and social care it is vital that professionals work and learn together. This book encourages meaningful interdisciplinary professional working to the benefit of individuals and communities alike.

"The clear message is that the field of psychology has a lot to offer to the theoretical underpinning of social work; and social work practice brings psychology alive in health and social care settings."

For more information about the book visits