Neuroscience and Social Work

Robert J. MacFadden and Sarah Serbinski

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:
Neuroscience and Social Work


Social work has historically embraced a biopsychosocial perspective, but in teaching, practice, and research there has been much less emphasis on the biological side of this professional stance. Recent advances in neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, education, interpersonal neurobiology, and related fields have provided an exciting new paradigm to explore the issues that are central to social work, such as coping, adjustment, mental health, child and adult development, attachment, learning, emotion, and relationships. Social work is at the earliest of stages in translating the meaning and significance of this emerging knowledge for its own professional purposes, as recently highlighted within the special edition of Smith College Studies in Social Work in 2014. As has been the tradition, social work will continue to benefit from knowledge developed from cognate professions, such as psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and education. At the same time, neuroscience itself is at an early stage in the development and refinement of knowledge relevant to the understanding of the brain, mind, emotions, thinking, and behavior. However, even in this early stage of knowledge, neuroscience and related fields are providing some insights for social work.

Article.  8587 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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