Episode 4 - Dr. Alex Gitterman: The Life Model: A 30-year Reflection

Monday, October 06, 2008, 1:32:16 PM

Image of Dr. Alex Gitterman

Dean Nancy Smyth speaks with Dr. Alex Gitterman, the Council on Social Work Education's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, about the Life Model of Social Work Practice and its continued influence on the field.

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Average Rating: 4.7 stars (3 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  systems perspective vs. the ecological approach, Thursday, June 02, 2011

By Shermeeka Mason :

I truly enjoyed this podcast because of Dr. Alex Gitterman's explanation of the Systems Perspective and the Ecological Approach. He states that--though the two theories strive for the same conclusions-- he notes that the latter tends to focus more on the relationships between human beings and how those interactions affect their environments--and the people within the environments.

He stresses that--as social workers--we have to understand ecology in order to understand people. It is based on the concepts of biology--which focuses on natural science. Therefore, Dr. Gitterman and his late co-author found it paramount to integrate ecology and the traditional social work methods. In turn, future social workers will have a deeper understanding of the human condition and how interactions influence entire environments.

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Average Rating: 5stars  an excellent podcast for students interested in social work!, Saturday, January 23, 2010

By Sean Farrell :

This interview with Dr. Gitterman gives an insightful historical retrospective of social work practice. As a current graduate student of social work and having not yet read the book, it was easy for me to conclude that Gitterman and Germain are heavy influences in my current curriculum. As I continue to develope a generalist perspecive in social work, I have become more and more interested in ecological theory and its practices. Listening to this podcast really helped me connect and reflect on a lot of content that I experienced in my first semester of graduate schooI. Though we have not yet covered the Life Model in my coursework, this podcast helped connect some dots for me. I myself have been engaged in discussion and debate regarding the differences between systems theory and ecological theory with classmates. With that being said, it was most interesting to hear how Gitterman and Germain developed their model perspective from the same debate. After listening to Dr. Gitterman discuss the elements of the model I am quite exicited with the prospect of what the Life Model has to offer me. After listening to this podcast I have put the 3rd edition of the Life Model on my reading list.

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Average Rating: 4stars  the life model of social work practice , Sunday, January 17, 2010

By Jonathan Livengood :

I found the conversation between Dr. Alex Gitterman and Nancy Smyth as being very pertinent to my continued development as a social worker. During my undergraduate career I was first introduced to concepts which came out of the book The Life Model of Social Work Practice without knowing it. The book was not used in the curriculum. The concepts of person in environment, strengths based, empowerment and the ecological perspective used as a framework for social work practice came from the work of Gitterman and Germain.
A part of the conversation focused around how Gitterman and Germain came to developing the Life Model. It was very insightful to hear Dr. Gitterman describe the process of integrating social case work and group work, Gitterman being versed in group work and Germain in case work. The ecological perspective being chosen as it comes from biology being natural and close to life processes.
As a current graduate student my experiences with the ecological perspective as well as the concepts from the Life Model have become more comprehensive. My exposure to these concepts has been a direct influence from the work of Gitterman and Germain's Life Model. To be able to listen to Dr. Gitterman talk about his work, and the reaches of it, was truly a reflective experience.

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