To state that counselling is fundamental to social work practice is controversial. Criticisms of casework by what has been known as the radical practice movement (Ferguson and Woodward, 2009) have suggested that developments in social work have moved away from a dependence on counselling. Social work has undergone major changes including policy developments such as care management and emerging principles such as user empowerment. Despite these changes, social work still draws on the concepts and skills of counselling (Trevithick, 2005a). The skills, which focus on the relationship, are fundamental to many interventions, even though the context of those interventions may be different. This chapter therefore tries to identify how theories relating to counselling underpin social work.
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