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Theoretical perspectives in the study of human behavior can easily be applied to cases in social work practice. The mental health field in particular lends itself to the application of different human behavior theories. Specifically, depression can be viewed through the lens of Social Cognitive Theory, or Social Cognitive Learning. There is one case of a woman with depression, whose name will be changed, that social cognitive theory can be applied to. Cheryl is a 58 year old woman who has been diagnosed with Major depressive disorder. She has had this diagnosis since she was 17 years old. Many of her symptoms and experiences can be viewed or explained in terms of social cognitive theory.
Social cognitive theory is different from social learning theory because it takes into account cognitive processes including thinking, memory, language, and evaluating consequences. According to social cognitive theory, individuals play a part in their development (Malone, 2002). Cognitive patterns play a very large role in depression (Furman & Bender, 2003). For example, people don’t h…