The theory tree: an extensive representation of social work theory for use in practice
The social work profession sources theory from a range of disciplines whilst training students in everyday practice. As a result of this diversity, students and new practitioners alike can face a challenge in the complexity of recalling large amounts of unstructured information while simultaneously performing social work interventions. Current theory-practice models cater to the application of theory, but leave the practitioner unclear as to how to recall, organise and retain the multitude of theories at their disposal. The Theory Tree has been developed as a visual model to support social work students and new practitioners in their everyday theory-practice identification and application. This model has unique features in its capacity to respond to the relational interaction of theory and sub-theories, as well as crossing both professional and knowledge domains. The Theory Tree can be used effectively in the classroom setting and in field placement supervision.