Cengage Learning

Higher Education

Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series: The Skills of Helping Individuals, Families, Groups, and Communities, 7th Edition

  • Lawrence Shulman State University of New York, Buffalo
  • ISBN-10: 1111521255  |  ISBN-13: 9781111521257
  • 816 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2006, 1999
  • © 2012 | Published
  • Newer Edition Available
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This seventh edition demonstrates how there are common elements, core processes, and skills across all stages of helping and throughout work with all populations -- including individuals, families, groups, and communities. The text defines, illustrates, and teaches helping skills and provides manageable models for understanding them. It also looks at the underlying process and its associated set of core skills. Part of the BROOKS/COLE EMPOWERMENT SERIES, this edition integrates the core competencies and practice behaviors outlined in the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards set by the Council on Social Work Education.

Features and Benefits

  • New and updated examples of process recordings illustrate social workers in action, connecting today’s theory and research to the realities of working with clients. Shulman provides links to two different codes of ethics available online.
  • An increased emphasis on the latest findings related to evidence-based practice enhances this edition, with new, integrated coverage of spirituality across multiple chapters. The text also expands discussion of the role and skills of the social worker when advocating policy changes.
  • Special attention is given to the most recent literature in working with post-traumatic stress and disaster intervention to better prepare future professionals for a variety of social work experiences.
  • This edition reflects a deeper understanding, new skills, and intervention strategies in emerging areas such as the AIDS epidemic, homelessness, the elderly, addiction to crack cocaine and other substances, and sexual violence. It also depicts progress in social policies, such as managed care and welfare reform, and the effect on practice today.
  • The text thoroughly integrates the latest research and theory-building work for a holistic theory of practice that recognizes the complexity of social work. The author looks beyond the social worker-client interaction to consider supervision, resources, client motivation, cost containment, and client-related traumatic experiences.
  • Several chapters on groups have been consolidated, with increased attention on families and communities, providing for a more balanced approach.
  • Each modality section offers at least one case demonstrating intervention over time.
  • The time framework used in the section on work with individuals is used throughout the other method sections. Each section is consistently organized using the four phases of work--beginnings, work phase, endings, and transitions.
  • The book’s clear organization begins with a thorough explanation of Lawrence Shulman’s interactional helping model. The book outlines the skills of working with individuals, including ways to tune in to the client and self, values and ethics, and the phases of the helping process. Additional parts address work with families, groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Findings drawn from Shulman’s studies of social work practice, supervision, management, and medical practice, as well as research from other leading practitioners, provide empirical support for consistent core skills and elements of practice. The book reviews evidence-based practice models, but also draws on practice wisdom.
  • The author addresses a wide range of helping situations, enabling any social worker to find useful models to incorporate into his or her work. A cumulative index of case examples organized by topics allows students to quickly find examples in the book that relate to their own practice interests.
  • The book’s strong illustrative examples connect current theory and research on resilience, diversity, cognitive-behavioral approaches, stages of change theory, and feminist theory.
  • A separate chapter focuses on social work in the community.

Table of Contents

1. An Interactional Approach to Helping.
2. Oppression Psychology, Resilience and Social Work Practice.
3. The Preliminary Phase of Work.
4. Beginnings and the Contracting Skills.
5. Skills in the Work Phase.
6. Endings and Transitions.
7. The Preliminary and Beginning Phases in Family Practice.
8. The Middle and Ending Phases in Family Practice.
9. Variations in Family Practice.
10. The Preliminary Phase in Group Practice.
11. The Beginning Phase with Groups.
12. The Middle Phase of Group Work.
13. Working with the Individual and the Group.
14. Endings and Transitions with Groups.
15. Professional Impact and Helping Clients Negotiate the System.
16. Social Work Practice in the Community - Philosophy, Models, Pinciples, and Practice.
17. Evidence-based Practice and Additional Social Work Practice Models.

What's New

  • New! “Practice Comments” and “Practice Summaries” are incorporated into process recording examples.
  • New! Greater emphasis is placed on the integration of evidenced-based practices and techniques into the interactional model.
  • New! Examples are updated and work on trauma practice is expanded (including a discussion of secondary trauma).
  • New! Material from the chapter on ethics and legislation is integrated into earlier chapters (e.g., informed consent in the chapter on contracting).
  • New! The Council on Social Work Education Practice Standards are identified and linked to the text content.

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

To customize your learning solution, contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

  • Cengage Advantage, Looseleaf Edition

    ISBN-10: 1111521255 | ISBN-13: 9781111521257

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + Social Work CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card

ISBN-10: 1111997810  | ISBN-13: 9781111997816

Bundle: Text + DVD + Practice Behaviors Workbook

ISBN-10:  1133642853  | ISBN-13:  9781133642855

Bundle: Text + Helping Professions Learning Center 2-Semester Printed Access Card

ISBN-10:  1133070574 | ISBN-13:  9781133070573


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Social Work CourseMate with eBook Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1111767483 | ISBN-13: 9781111767488)

Cengage Learning’s Social Work CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Watch student comprehension soar as your class works with the printed textbook and the textbook-specific website. Social Work CourseMate goes beyond the book to deliver what you need!

Online Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1111480931 | ISBN-13: 9781111480936)


Online Instructor’s Manual  (ISBN-10: 1111481555 | ISBN-13: 9781111481551)


PowerLecture with ExamView®  (ISBN-10: 1111349924 | ISBN-13: 9781111349929)

This one-stop digital library and presentation tool includes preassembled Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides. In addition to an Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank, PowerLecture also includes ExamView® testing software which enables you to create customized tests in print or online.

Practice Behaviors Workbook  (ISBN-10: 1111771979 | ISBN-13: 9781111771973)

This new practice-oriented workbook includes experiential learning exercises explicitly aligned to the practice behaviors recommended in the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). The workbook encourages students to begin developing their skills with social work practice behaviors through case-based exercises, short-answer ethical questions, critical-thinking questions, and role-play exercises in class or as activity assignments to be done outside of class. Each exercise is linked to specific practice behaviors, and each chapter is followed by an assessment rubric to be completed by the student, a peer evaluator, or the instructor to foster accountability.

DVD  (ISBN-10: 1111827486 | ISBN-13: 9781111827489)


Helping Professions Learning Center, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1111832153 | ISBN-13: 9781111832155)

Using Brooks/Cole’s Online Resources Effectively: A Primer for Instructors  (ISBN-10: 0495001104 | ISBN-13: 9780495001102)

This booklet provides instructors with basic information on effectively integrating technology into their teaching--whether for a traditionally taught course, a hybrid course (part-live and part-online), or for a course taught exclusively online. Features include an outline of competency components for a successful online instructor, examples of instructional assignments utilizing various curriculum connector resources, guiding principles for teaching online with instructional design suggestions, and a “faculty favorite” section featuring samples of assignments employed by faculty using Cengage Learning texts and online resources.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Lawrence Shulman

Lawrence Shulman is a professor, as well as a former dean, in the School of Social Work at the State University of New York, Buffalo campus. A social work practitioner educator for more than 40 years, he has done extensive research on the core helping skills in social work practice, supervision, and child welfare and school violence. Dr. Shulman has published numerous articles and monographs on direct practice and is the author or coeditor of nine books. He also was the coeditor of the JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SUPERVISION and serves on five other editorial boards. In addition, Dr. Shulman is the cofounder and cochair of the International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Haworth Press. Recognized for his dedication to excellence in scholarship and research, pedagogy and curriculum development, and organizational leadership, Dr. Shulman is a recipient of the 2014 Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award, awarded by the Council of Social Work Education.