Joseph M. Wronka, Professor of Social Work, Springfield College
(Submitted to the newsletter for Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement (SWASC)
In brief, an advanced generalist practice approach means the application of multi-pronged levels of intervention to eradicate social and/or individual malaise, thus ultimately promoting well-being by the satisfactory fulfillment of human need. Such levels of intervention can be defined as the: (1) meta-macro, “an area of practice requiring intervention on a global scale… undercutting fundamental assumptions, such as the nation state…”; (2) macro “sometimes referred to as primary prevention, an area of practice that deals with whole populations, generally on the national level”; (3) mezzo “sometimes referred to as secondary intervention, an area of practice requiring professional involvement with at-risk populations and reflecting a failure of whole population approaches”; (4) micro “sometimes referred to as primary intervention, an area of practice requiring professional involvement with clinical populations, whose symptoms often reflect shortcomings of previous levels of intervention; (5) meta-micro “an area of practice requiring interventions often divorced from professionalism per se that take place, by and large, in a person’s everyday interactions with the world, broadly defined” (Wronka, 2017, p. 377). Research, in turn, sometimes referred to as a quarternary intervention provides input into the previous levels to move toward best practice models. It can be either quantitative which “uses mathematics and statistical analysis as a basis of understanding” or qualitative which is “a phenomenon-bound, rather than technique-bound form of research that attempts to elicit meaning in human experience” (p. 388).