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Discussion Post and Peer Reply

The writer is required to post a critical recap (at least 300 words of Chapter 2) and they must also respond to at least one other person’s post comprehensively (at least

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1. In chapter 2 of Class, Race, Gender, Crime: The Social Realities of Justice in America (Barak, et. al, 2018), explanations of classical, positivist and critical criminological theories are introduced. Classical criminological theories may be recognized for their influence on the system of punitive retribution within the American justice system. Mentioned in the text as a contributor to the development of classical criminology is the doctrine of the social contract. This philosophy was developed by Thomas Hobbes and presented in his Trieste titled Leviathan (1651). According to Hobbes, humans left to their own devices live in a state of constant war with each other and without Leviathan (The State) are doomed to destroy each other or at least live in a state of perpetual war (Hobbes, 1651). An example of his theory can be seen as he writes, “…if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies” (Cahn, 2012 p.577). Furthermore, Hobbes continues, “because there be some that taking pleasure in contemplating their own power in the acts of conquest, which they pursue farther than their security requires” (Cahn, 2012 p.577). Seemingly, Hobbes theorizes that both security and greed are driving factors in our behavioral instincts. I would be interested to research these ideas further in how they relate to recent crime theory.

Positivist criminologists developed theories of biological analysis in an effort to further understand crime theory. Franz Joseph Gall developed the pseudoscience known as phrenology whereby measurements of human skull characteristics aimed to explain a person’s tendency toward deviancy. Such a practice would likely be mocked today as inhumane and ignorant. Undoubtedly, scholars have come a long way in their determination to understand criminal behavior. The study of the intersectionality of race, gender and class on the outcome of criminality is a noble and necessary endeavor. Having now read chapters 1

Social work has a long history with ego psychology. Ego psychology was

Social work has a long history with ego psychology. Ego psychology was very influential in early social work, and Mary Richmond (1867-1928) wrote Social Diagnosis in 1917. However, backlash emerged in the 1960s and 1970s due to the civil rights movement and the war on poverty. The founding of Clinical Social Work Journal in 1972 and Federation of Societies for Clinical Social Work in 1971 re-emphasized social work’s psychodynamic roots.

Well-known MSW psychodynamic scholars include the following:

Howard Parad, who wrote Crisis Intervention, Ego-Oriented Casework

Eda Goldstein, who wrote Ego Psychology & Social Work Practice; Short-Term Treatment in Social Work: An Integrative Perspective; and Self-Psychology and Object Relations Theory in Social Work Practice

Jerald Brandell, who wrote Psychodynamic Social Work

Joan Berzoff, who wrote Inside Out and Outside In: Psychodynamic Clinical Theory and Psychopathology in Contemporary Multicultural Contexts

Psychodynamic Theory in Current Social Work Practice

Ego psychology is used as the underpinning for supportive counseling. Ego-supportive treatment takes a “strengths-based approach,” and focuses on adaptation, restoring equilibrium, and building social supports. This is especially useful in work with clients who are severely mentally ill, homeless, in crisis, recently traumatized, and/or in nursing homes.

Known as the authority on the application of ego psychology theory to clinical social work practice, Dr. Goldstein’s influence was extensive and her contributions to the profession will be recognized for years to come. (She passed away in 2011.) Once we know the ego functions and ego defenses, how does it inform our assessment, treatment planning, and interventions?

Ego Functions and Defenses

Ego Functions

Ego Functions are the essential means by which an individual moderates internal conflicts and adapts to the external world.

The most comprehensive and systemic effort to describe and study ego functions is found in the list produced by Bellak in 1973. The clinical question regarding Bellack’s list of ego functions is how to strengthen adaptive manifestation of these functions in each of our clients. Do we assess a mild, moderate, or severe impairment in any of the client’s ego functions?

Ego Defenses

Anna Freud elaborated on the mechanisms that the ego uses to maintain homeostasis and mediate the impingements from inside (the id, the unconscious ego, the superego) and outside (unacceptable reality).

Defense mechanisms operate in our unconscious, while coping mechanisms are conscious. Defenses protect individuals from intolerable or unacceptable impulses or emotional experiences. Effective defenses enable optimal functioning without undue anxiety, while maladaptive defenses distort reality and impair overall ego functioning.

In assessment from this approach, the clinician is focused on several critical questions:

To what extent is the client’s stated problem situational or characterological? Or both? If so both, to what extent?

To what what extent is the client’s stated problem a function of impairments in her ego and defensive functioning?

To what extent is the client’s stated problem a result of an ineffective match between clients and their respective external environment?

What inner capacities and environmental resources does the client have that can be strengthened and mobilized to improve functioning? 


Key areas of assessment from this approach include intersection between current life stresses, impairments in ego, and defensive functioning and environmental factors.

Ego assessment helps the clinician determine whether interventions should be directed at the following:

Maintaining, enhancing, modifying inner capacities

Mobilizing, improving, or changing environmental conditions

Improving the FIT between inner capacities and external circumstances

Ego-oriented psychotherapy works across a continuum of focus, with one end being ego-supportive and the other end of the continuum at ego-modifying. 

Ego-supportive interventions aim to restore, maintain, and enhance a client’s adaptive functioning.

Ego-modifying interventions aim to shift basic personality patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through insight and emotional resolution of long-standing pre-conscious and unconscious conflict.

Therapeutic Interventions

The two primary ways of intervening, from ego psychology, are ego-supportive interventions and ego-modifying interventions. Ego-supportive is aimed at maintaining and enhancing ego functions and ego-modifying is aimed at helping clients to make significant shifts in their overall internal and external functioning. Review the following chart to compare the characteristics of each approach.

Characteristics of Ego-Supportive and Ego-Modifying Approaches

Ego Supportive Approach

Ego Modifying Approach


Current behavior

Conscious thoughts and feelings

Limit past focus

Past and present

Conscious, unconscious, and preconscious

Nature of Change


Increased understanding

Better person-in-environment fit


Conflict resolution

Curative Process

Strengthen ego

Shore up defenses

Promote adaptation

Make unconscious conscious through interpretation

Use of Relationship

Real relationship

Positive transference

Corrective relationship

Use and understand positive and negative transference

 Case Examples

Now that we’ve studied the characteristics of therapeutic interventions, let’s explore case examples of the ego-supportive and ego-modifying approaches.

Ego-Supportive Case: Martin

Martin is a 59-year-old chronically, persistently mentally ill patient who has lived in a residential setting for the past 10 years after a lifetime of psychiatric hospitalizations. He suffers from schizophrenia, and bipolar I. He has been fighting with his roommate and support group mates more than usual. Through numerous sessions with the clinician, the work is aimed at helping him to be less impulsive and less aggressive with others in his social setting. If he does not improve, he may be at risk of losing his bed there.

Ego Modifying Case: Rhonda

Rhonda is a 35-year-old woman who has been maintaining a limited work and social world as an adult. Her childhood was marred by poverty and trauma in uncertain and dangerous environmental experiences—being in harm’s way as each apartment was overrun by rodents or lack of heating, etc. (literal structures letting her down). Her family structure and functioning was equally traumatic, uncertain, and at times threatening. (Mom had drug and alcohol addiction and was in and out of rehab.)

As a result, she has suffered from PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder. In therapy, after building a very positive relationship with the clinician, Rhonda explains that she cannot cope with the COVID-19 virus. She doesn’t believe any of the governors, public health experts, etc. She has withdrawn into her apartment and has been having nightmares about the virus, about the apartment building being dangerous to her, and she will not allow groceries to be delivered. She is dreaming about her building falling down, she has fears that the building itself just cannot be trusted, and that this virus will come and find her and get her regardless of disinfection and social distancing.

Literature Review Summary Table Name: Title of Study: Article Title Author(s) Year

Discussion Post and Peer Reply Writing Assignment Help Literature Review Summary Table


Title of Study:

Article Title





Specific Aims

Research Question(s)

Hypotheses (quantitative study)

A Priori Assumption (qualitative study)

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework


Methodology (qualitative or quantitative)

Study Design

(e.g., experimental, descriptive, ethnography)

Data Collection Tools (e.g., survey, semi-structured interviews)

Data Analysis (e.g., content analysis, ANOVA, t-test)

Setting and Sample

How many participants in the study?

Where did the study take place

Instrument/ Measurement Tool

List validated instruments with the Cronbach alpha number.


Beck’s depression scale: Cronbach alpha .80

Analog Pain scale: Cronbach alpha .67

SF 36 patient health survey: Cronbach alpha: .95




Future Research

Article #1


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

Article #2


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

Article #3


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

Article #4


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

Article #5


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

Article #6


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

Article #7


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

Article #8


Study Design

Data Collection Tools

Data Analysis

1 1 Literature Review Student Name College Course Number & Name Instructor’s



Literature Review

Student Name


Course Number & Name

Instructor’s full name and credentials

Date assignment is due

Literature Review

[The introduction to the paper at least 5 sentences with one source of reference and a fully stated purpose]

Methods of Searching

[A literature review was conducted using both electronic and manual resources…………..How did you conduct the research to support your project? Did you use the library, Google Search, CINAHL . . .?] must be at least one fully formed paragraphs (at least 5 sentences in length).

Review of the Literature

[The literature review examines each peer-reviewed article separately …………….. must be at least 5 fully formed paragraphs (at least 5 sentences in length) with intext citations.]


[The literature has shown that…………………………….must be at least two fully formed paragraphs (at least 5 sentences in length) with intext citations. ]


[The conclusion to the paper is at least 5 sentences, summarizes at least 3 key points, and has one citation.]


(All references in alphabetical order, most within the last 5 years, at least 4-5 references)

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of the article. Name of the Periodical, volume(issue), #–#.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Copyright Year). Title of the book (7th ed.). Publisher. DOI or URL

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Copyright Year). Title of the book chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of the book (2nd ed., pp. #–#). Publisher. DOI or URL