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Figure 2. Related agency. MSW PROGRAM. University. Agency. client. client. Seminar group. student. Field Instructor. MSW class. Liaison. Agency Supervisor. Principles of systems theory that apply to power 1.S eeking homeostasis – systems seek stability; good and bad

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Figure 2

Related

agency

MSW

PROGRAM

University

Agency

client

client

Seminar

group

student

Field

Instructor

MSW

class

Liaison

Agency

Supervisor


Principles of systems theory that apply to power

1.Seeking homeostasis – systems seek stability; good and bad

2.relationships are either complementary or symmetrical

Complementary is 1-2, 2-3,-3-4, 1-3, 2-4 etc. Involve power disparity, giving orders/taking orders – unequal power authority.

Symmetrical is equal relationships 1-1, 2-2 etc.

Problems arise when attempt is made to change complementary to symmetrical or vica versa

Problems also arise when there is conflict between those in a symmetrical relationship.

See Diagram example on next slide:

Mental health and Family and children services are seeing same clients. Mental health sees the client as a mentally ill single parent, living with older mother and father. From mental health point of view Mother needs responsibility of ongoing childcare with help of parents. Dept. Of family and children services is concerned with the child and sees the mother as neglectful, wants grandparents to take legal custody of child or place in foster care.

Thus, two services are in conflict with client in the middle. Neither has enough power to make what they wish, happen. The more conflict escalates the more WHAT? Happens.


3.Pay attention toTriangles - Triangles refer to relationships involving three or more people wiith the Same or differing degrees of power. In triangulation, alliances are formed, usually between two parts of the triangle to deal with the remaining part. In many cases the alliances may be unwilling or unwitting. For example, worker a who is having difficulty with her supervisor b, may form an alliance with an intern c who receives field instruction from b in order to get info on b. In families pathological triangles are often essence of dysfunctional behavior and scapegoating. What happens in a triangle is that at any given time, alliances are formed or maintained that block progress growth and development. Triangles often rigid. They occur when a predictable pattern of relating emerges among three of more people, at the expense of at least one of them. They ususally involve at least one person with greater or lesser power.

Triangles are often attempts to balance power disparities.

Below is the diagram described on previous slide!

Indicates overt conflict

4

symmetrical

4

complementary

1

WHAT CAN HAPPEN AS THE CONFLICT IN THE

SYMMETRICAL RELATIONSHIP ESCALATES?


1

2

2.5

3

4


Figure 3

Related

agency

Lines are added that

Indicate flow of resources

Or energy

Typical lines

in eco-map

MSW

program

University

Agency

Client

Client

Seminar

group

Student

Field

Instructor

MSW

class

Liaison

Agency

Supervisor


Figure 1

Add resource

relationship lines

among others

Related

agency

MSW

PROGRAM

Univer

sity

Agency

client

client

Seminar

group

student

Field

Instructor

MSW

class

Liaison

Agency

Supervisor


= good relationship

= weak relationship

= conflict or problem relationship

= covert conflict

= cutoff or broken relationship


Figure 1

Related

agency

Different lines

indicate different types of rel.

MSW

PROGRAM

Univer

sity

Agency

Covert conflict

client

solid

weak

client

Seminar

group

conflict

student

Field

Instructor

MSW

class

Liaison

Agency

Supervisor


Figure 4

Related

agency

4

Add power

ratings; notice

triangles

MSW

program

4-5

University

5

Agency

4

Client

1

Client

1

Seminar

group

2-3

Student

2

Field

Instructor

3

MSW

class

2

Liaison

3-4

Agency

Supervisor

4


When other relationships are added, along with

power ratings, we can see how complex intra- and

inter-agency systems really are.

Notice the number of triangles, all potentially

helpful or harmful.

In macro practice there is no such thing as a simple

one on one relationship!

What happens to you, when there is a conflict

between your client and your field instructor?

Your liaison and the agency director?


Figure 1

Related

agency

MSW

PROGRAM

University

Agency

client

client

Seminar

group

student

Field

Instructor

MSW

class

Liaison

Agency

Supervisor


Figure 6

Eco-map of student in

residential adolescent treatment

Field

instructor

4

Principal

4

Students

1

Clinical

director

5

SW Intern

2

Secretary

2-3

Teacher

3

Cottage

therapist

4


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