Identity empowerment is defined as the deliberate enhancement of clients' awareness of their values and goals and of clients' expression of these values and goals in everyday behavior. Values are the deepest and broadest objectives or goals with which an individual can identify. Identity empowerment culminates in observable increases in clients' behavioral expressions of their values in social commitments. The process of clinical discussion and behavioral applications promotes clients' well-being and effectiveness by increasing the durability and flexibility of their bonds with significant others and by strengthening their motivations to accomplish meaningful goals in their lives.
Two case studies illustrate selected uses of clinical sociological theory. The cases suggest a number of unique contributions of sociological practice in crisis intervention and in the formulation of clients' options during periods of more gradual change.
Ten selected clinical sociological concepts bridge micro- and macrosociological structures and represent different levels of analysis. Each concept is a context or frame of reference for a particular aspect of identity empowerment and its concomitant changes in interpersonal behavior, group membership, and societal participation. Although it is frequently in crises that clients' awareness of their values and value negotiations with others is most dramatically heightened, these clinical concepts are a basis for therapeutically directed efforts to strengthen their self-understanding both during crises and in periods of gradual change.
Hall, C. Margaret
"Identity Empowerment Through Clinical Sociology,"
Clinical Sociology Review: Vol. 8
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/csr/vol8/iss1/7