Original Article

A New Intervention Skills and Measurement Method for Clinical Social Work Practice

Yumi Oshita and Kiyoshi Kamo


We present an intervention skills and measurement method for assessing transformation dynamics in clinical social work practice. This social constructionist framework, influenced by Wittgenstein’s language game theory, overcomes the conflict between traditional qualitative and quantitative research methods. Our theoretical framework is constructed through the following procedure. Problems are defined as a complaint behavior of complaint-obeying rules of utterance and meaning constructions composed in a language game process by clients. Clearly defined techniques to transform language game rules are then systematized, encouraging the client to find a self-solving activity. Thereafter, we present new methods for measuring these transformation processes. The dynamics of the transformation process, generated by new intervention techniques, are measured quantitatively and qualitatively using Bales’ interaction process analysis. The effectiveness of this measuring method is assessed through a case study of chronic pain. The transformation processes of the client’s language game are visually depicted in our original three-dimensional graphs. This new measurement method can contribute to measuring activities in social work practice, which aims to alter a deviance amplifying process of transaction in a human eco-system.

Keywords: language game • measurement method • intervention technique • Bales’ interactional process analysis • chronic pain

Japanese Journal of Social Welfare, 54(5), 11-22 2014