The Vedic Theory of Clinical Social Work
Posted July 31, 2004
The Indian Journal of Social Work (IJSW), vol. 64, issue 3 (July, 2003) has published an article authored by David Wolf (Dhira Govinda dasa) entitled The Vedic Theory of Clinical Social Work. This article, in addition to its specific contribution to the profession of social work, serves as a model for Vaisnava theorists and practitioners in diverse professions for the relevance of Vedic principles and practices in today's world. In practically every field of endeavor models and theories based on Vaisnava knowledge can and should be developed and implemented. This entails demonstrating not only the capacity for dovetailing the tenets and systems of a vocation with the process of Krsna consciousness, but also showing that that which is valid and useful in any sphere of activity finds its completion and fulfillment in the philosophy and practice of Vaisnavism. Sections and subsections of the article include Structural Characteristics (Vedic Ontology, Epistemology of the Vedic Theory of Clinical Social Work, The Three Gunas as the Basis for Predictive Ability), Vedic Theory in the Context of Social Science Paradigms, Characteristics as a Theory of Therapy, Empirical Status, and Assumptions About the Nature of Man and Moral Implications. This Vedic model is based on a comprehension of the gunas, as coverings of the fundamental nature of the self, and as a foundation for psychological and social action. A few years ago, as part of my doctoral research, I developed a psychometric instrument, the Vedic Personality Inventory (VPI), for assessing guna predominance. The VPI has been utilized in several endeavors, including studies on the efficacy of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra in relieving stress and depression, and research on guna predominance amongst persons with speech difficulties. The VPI and the Maha Mantra research is noted in the recent article in IJSW, and other articles related to those topics are listed at the end of this article.
By establishing a research base for the practices, values and tenets of Vaisnavism, utilizing modern methodologies, many sectors of the world will be influenced and impressed by the applicability and efficacy of the process of Krsna consciousness. For example, the guna research provides a statistical basis for sattvic activities, while also establishing the importance and consistency of the Vedic psychological paradigm. I encourage devotees in all fields to illustrate the importance of the principles of bhakti-yoga to each area of human endeavor.
The Abstract for The Vedic Theory of Social Work is provided below:
"Using Fischer's model for the analysis and comparison of clinical theories of induced change, a theory of clinical social work based on Vedic principles and practices is presented and analyzed. Vedic theory is consistent with social work values, and the theory provides, especially with regards to the three gunas as foundational psychological constructs, a strong basis for empirical verification. Additional research on the components of the Vedic model is encouraged, and application of Vedic philosophy and principles to social work environments is suggested as being useful and valid for social workers who are comfortable with the tenets of this model."
Examining the effects of meditation techniques on psychosocial functioning. Wolf, D. B., & Abell, N. Research on Social Work Practice, 2003, 13(1), 27-42.
Implementing intervention research in doctoral education: Maximizing opportunities in training for outcome evaluation. Abell, N., & Wolf, D. B. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 2003, 23(1-2), 3-20.
Vaisnavism and the social and mental health sciences. Wolf, D. B. Journal of Indian Psychology, 2002, 20(1), 1-12.
Effects of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra on some mental health indicators. Wolf, D. B. The Indian Journal of Social Work, 2001, 62(2), 151-168.
A psychometric analysis of the three gunas. Wolf, D. B. Psychological Reports, 1999, 84, 1379-1390.
The Vedic Personality Inventory- A study of the gunas. Wolf, D. B. The Journal of Indian Psychology, 1998, 16(1), 26-43.
Putting Krsna to the test. Kalakantha dasa. Back to Godhead, Jan./Feb., 2000.
Appreciation for Maha Mantra research. Dhira Govinda dasa. Back to Godhead, May/June, 2001.
The Vedic Personality Index. Dhira Govinda dasa. Back to Godhead, May/June, 1998
The Vedic Personality Index: A followup report. Dhira Govinda dasa. Back to Godhead, March/April, 1999.