A constructivist perspective on clinical social work practice with ethnically diverse clients

  • Greene G
  • Jensen C
  • Harper Jones D
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


A person's reality and definition of self are socially constructed; ethnicity is integrally involved in this process. Clinical work is successful if the client constructs a self with a sense of positive self-esteem and empowerment. The profession views social workers' use of self as important in successful clinical work, especially with clients ethnically different from themselves. This article provides a framework adapted from a constructivist perspective for the clinician's skillful use of self in therapeutic discourse. The framework consists of five stances the clinician can use in transcending the discomfort he or she may experience in a cross-cultural clinical situation. Use of these stances facilitates clients' ethnic validation, which is essential to positive therapeutic outcomes. This article uses case examples to illustrate the use of the framework.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Cultural Diversity
  • *Ethnic Groups/px [Psychology]
  • *Psychotherapy
  • *Social Work
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Family Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Power (Psychology)
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Self Concept

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

  • PMID: 8851357


  • G J Greene

  • C Jensen

  • D Harper Jones

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free