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This chapter explores the relevance of practice guidelines for the advancement of clinical social work by attempting to explicate the current epistemology of empirical social work practice, Justificationism, and contrasting it with an alternate epistemology, Fallibilism (Karl Popper's Critical Rationalism). The chapter asserts the superiority of fallibilism for the advancement of knowledge and recommends its implementation. It is further argued that whether or not clinical practice guidelines are essential to practice depends on whether guidelines can be more explanatory (helpful) than some other alternative such as Falibilitic Critical Thinking (Fa.C.T.) when critically assessed against it. Examples and arguments are offered for the reader's evaluation suggesting that practice guidelines may be of some heuristic value (when based on well-tested evidence), but are not superior to the more fundamental cognitive activity of fallibilistic critical thinking, and therefore may be redundant.
mental health, evidence based practice, social work, psychiatry
Gomory, T. (2000). Social Work Practice in the Real World: An Argument for Evidence Tested Practice. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_csw_faculty_publications-0074