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When you have a strong grasp of the basic tenets, strengths, and weaknesses of key theories of psychology, you can make an informed decision as to which theory or theories best apply in understanding a particular set of behaviors. By keeping a journal of sorts, you can document the characteristics of each theory as you learn about it. Your journaling will be a useful reference for you long after you complete this course. The Psychology Theories Template provides a matrix where you can record what you have learned about each theory.

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For this Assignment, you will explore key concepts found in psychodynamic theories and begin your journaling of this week’s theories.


To complete

Begin populating the Psychology Theories Template related to this week’s theories—psychodynamic theories. As you begin populating your template, consider the following:

  1. Identify who or what contributed to the development of the theory. Were there key researchers or seminal research that led to the theory?
  2. Record whether the theory emphasizes nature (biology), nurture (environment), or both.
  3. List the primary characteristics or features of the theory (its key tenets and concepts). Be sure to include if a particular period of life is emphasized.
  4. List the noteworthy strengths and weaknesses of the theory.
  5. (Optional) Include any notes that you find helpful in understanding and applying the theory, such as potential contemporary themes or fields of research in which the theory could be applied.


For this Week’s Journal, complete the following activities:

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Part A

According to section 1.05(c) Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity of the NASW (2017) Code of Ethics, “Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical ability.”


National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English



Instructions: The table below shows a list of Social Identities. Place an X in the box to signify whether you hold privilege or lack privilege based on that identity. Then briefly explain why you identified as holding or lacking privilege. Provide a concrete example to demonstrate your understanding of privilege related to this specific identity characteristic. In the final column, provide a brief narrative about why you hold or lack privilege based on that specific identity.

Your place of privilege is often determined by the perceived social group in which society places you, and privilege varies depending on the context and intersecting identities. You may hold a position of privilege with one identity, while simultaneously holding a position which lacks privilege from another identity. You will not be graded on how you self-identify. The goal is to engage in self-reflection and critical thought. You may choose not to disclose any identity. If you prefer not to state, explain which groups hold privilege based on that identity characteristic and how that affects other groups.


Social Identity Hold


Lack Privilege Prefer Not to State Why?
Example: [Social Identity] x     I identify as OR Other people identify me as ____. This identity holds [does not hold] a position of privilege in society because…

In US culture, [this identity] is considered the “norm.”

A specific example of the privilege [or lack of privilege] that I experience is seeing [not seeing] positive representations of people who look or believe like me in the mass media. This is a privilege [or lack of privilege] because…

My experience with this identity characteristic is…

Socio-Economic Status        
Mental or Physical Ability        
Sexual Orientation        
Gender Identity or Expression        
National Origin        
Immigration Status        
Marital Status        
Political Belief        




According to the preamble to the NASW (2017) Code of Ethics, “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.”


However, addressing social oppression often means challenging our own positions of power and privilege. This can evoke difficult emotions, and there may be times you will want to disengage from the work. As a social worker, it is essential to engage in critical reflection so that unexamined personal bias does not negatively affect client interaction.



Instructions: Based on your experience completing Part A, answer the reflective questions in the Table below. Responses should be short answer and demonstrate critical thought and self-reflection.


Question Response
What feelings did you experience when identifying positions of privilege?  
Why do you think you experienced these feelings?  
What feelings did you experience when identifying identities that may lack privilege?  
Why do you think you experienced these feelings?  
How may these feelings help or hinder your ability to competently engage in culturally aware social work services?  
What does it mean that social identity and privilege are socially constructed?  
What are specific steps that you will take during this quarter to develop your understanding of concepts presented and be willing to consider diverse perspectives?  




Social Workers advocate for human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. The reasons that social workers engage in critical reflection is to be able to identify their own positionally, disrupt their role in oppressive structures, and use their power and privileges to advocate for social justice for all groups. For this part of the journal, you examine environmental justice.


According to the Council on Social Work Education (2015):


Environmental justice occurs when all people equally experience high levels of environmental protection and no group or community is excluded from the environmental policy decision-making process, nor is affected by a disproportionate impact from environmental hazards. Environmental justice affirms the ecological unity and the interdependence of all species, respect for cultural and biological diversity, and the right to be free from ecological destruction. This includes responsible use of ecological resources, including the land, water, air, and food. (p. 20)


CSWE. (2015). 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards for Baccalaureate and Master’s Social Work Programs. Retrieved from https://www.cswe.org/getattachment/Accreditation/Standards-and-Policies/2015-EPAS/2015EPASandGlossary.pdf.aspx



Instructions: Using the table below answer the following questions. Responses should be short answer and demonstrate critical thought and self-reflection.


Questions Response
How is environmental justice related to human rights, social justice, and economic justice?  
Describe two different locations within your community that when compared demonstrate environmental injustice. If possible, insert an image into this document showing the environment.  
How do the identity characteristics you identified in Part A of this Journal influence your relationship to these two locations in your community?  
What is the social worker’s role in addressing environmental justice?  
What are specific steps you can take to address environment justice in your community?  


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