MODEL ANSWERS. Paper: MS-202: Working with individuals and Families

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Paper: MS-202: Working with individuals and Families I. Attempt all questions. Each carries equal marks.


1. Perlman suggested 3 types of Diagnosis. 2. Evaluation stage comes after the Termination stage in Casework. (True) 3. Social casework is also known as case study method.(False) 4. Society is a web of Social Statuses said by Robert Bersteid 5. Role of a Principal in a college is associated with: (C) Achieved Status 6. …………………..Recording is selective in its recording : (C) Process 7. Which among the following is not a technique of Interview in social casework: (C) Social diagnostic 8. According to Maslow 4th need in hierarchy of needs is: (A)Esteem 9. Which among the following is the contribution of Marry Richmond in social casework: (C) Social diagnostic 10. Reality Principle is associated with:(C) EGO II: Attempt any five questions (150-200 words.)


1) Define Social Case Work with its nature. Answer: - Social Case Work, a primary method of social work, is concerned with the adjustment and development of individual towards more satisfying human relations. Better

family life, improved schools, better housing, more hospitals and medical care facilities, protected economic conditions and better relations between religious groups help the individual in his adjustment and development. But his adjustment and development depend on the use of these resources by him. Sometimes due to certain factors, internal or external, he fails to avail existing facilities. In such situations, social caseworker helps him. Thus, social casework is one to one relationship, which works in helping the individual for his adjustment and development. Every individual reacts differently to his social, economic and physical environments and as such problems of one individual are different from those of another. The practice of casework is a humanistic attempt for helping people who have difficulty in coping with the problems of daily living. It is one of the direct methods of social work which uses the case-by-case approach for dealing with individuals or families as regards their problems of social functioning. Case work, aims at individualized services in the field of social work in order to help the client to adjust with the environments. Definitions of Social Case Work Mary Richmond (1915) “Social Case Work may be defined as the Art of doing different things with different people, co-operating with them to achieve some of their own & society’s betterment.” Mary Richmond (1917) Social case work is the art of bringing about better adjustments in the social relationship of individual men or women or children Mary Richmond (1922) Social case work means, those processes which develop personality through adjustment consciously affected, individual by individual, between men and their social environment‟ Jarrett (1919) Social case work is “the art of bringing an individual who is in a condition of social disorder into the best possible relation with all parts of his environment‟. Taft (1920) Social case work means “social treatment of a maladjusted individual involving an attempt to understand his personality, behaviour and social relationships and to assist him in working out better social and personal adjustment”. Watson (1922)

Social Case Work is the art of untangling and restructuring the twisted personality in such a manner that the individual can adjust himself to his environment. Nature & Characteristics of Case Work

one’s professional skills in their management.

2) Describe the types of diagnosis according to Perlman. Answer: - Social diagnosis is an attempt to arrive at an exact definition as possible of the social situation and personality of a given client. It is a search for the causes of the problem which brings the client to the worker for help. Diagnosis, is therefore, is concerned with understanding both the psychological or personality factors which bear a casual relationship to the client’s difficulty and the social or environmental factors which tend to sustain it. Types of diagnosis Dynamic Diagnosis

Clinical Diagnosis

Etiological Diagnosis

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3) What do you understand by Transference’? Describe briefly.




Answer:- Transference: “Transference is a form of displacement in which the individual Unconsciously displaces onto a current object those drives defenses, attitudes, feelings and responses which were experienced or developed in relationship with earlier objects (mainly persons) in the individual’s life.” Unconscious attitudes and associated feelings transferred from the past onto the present relationship, usually irrational. For instance, one could mistrust somebody who resembles an ex-spouse in manners, voice, or external appearance; or be overly compliant to someone who resembles a childhood friend. Transference may be positive (love, liking, etc) or negative (irrational, hostile feelings. Can be tackled by clarification (clarifying reality), interpretation, spacing the interview, etc. Counter – transference: - Social worker also has unconscious tendency to transfer on the client. - The job of the case worker to recognize his feelings and must control them. Types of Transference: Positive: E.g. Parents have shown to be friendly and helpful, the client will transfer a desire to help, friendship, guidance, emotional support and interest. Negative: E.g. Parents not shown interest and indifferent, the client will have feelings of unfriendliness, suspicion and distrust. Uses of Transference (3 stages): 1. Understanding the transference – his behavior, unconscious need of the client. 2. Utilizing the transference – integrate past and present experiences and earlier relationships. 3. Interpreting the transference – careful analysis of his unconscious defense.

4) Describe the importance of recording in case work. Answer:- Importance of Recording in Social Work1. By maintaining records, a worker can improve his professional skills and techniques, can learn by his own errors and can thus make his help more effective and systematic. 2. Records not only help a worker to evaluate his own work, but he can also improve upon his own methods.

3. Records can create interest not only in the worker but also in the client and help in building worker-client relationship. 4. Records add to the body of knowledge of social work and also make this knowledge communicable. 5. Records make supervision and teaching easier and effective. 6. Records can be used for social research and planning. 7. Through records a worker can show his agency what work he has done. 8. Records ensure continuity of work, if another replaces one worker. 9. Records are useful for future references. 10. Records help in providing service on a systematic basis. 5) Answer:-- “Treatment is the sum total of all activities and service directed towards helping an individual with a problem. The focus is relieving of the immediate problem and, if feasible, modifies any basic difficulties which precipitated it.” Family is a special social group wherein members are bound to each other by blood or marriage. The main function of family is child rearing and growth and development of each member. Families fulfil their social responsibility by socializing children in the culture of the society. In fulfilling their functions, families interact with a large number of social systems and organisations like, kinship network, religious and economic institutions, schools, the work place, civic authorities, welfare and legal framework etc. Unique patterns of interaction – within the family (among members), and with outsiders evolve overtime. Family is a system wherein the experience of any one member affects the other members. A drug dependent son, a physically or mentally challenged child, the main earning member having problems at the work place, an elderly father / mother – all affect the social functioning of the family as a whole. Sometimes, the problem faced by one member is an expression of a serious problem with the basic interpersonal relationships, interaction and communication patterns within the family. Families go through a life cycle. Marriage takes place and children are born. Children go to school or work. The first child gets married – the daughter goes away or the daughter-in-law joins. The married son may or may not stay with the parents. The parents grow old and die. The son continues with the family. With each change in the composition of the family and role transition, various stresses occur. Most often, families are

able to cope with these normal transitions. But, some special situations cause a sense of inadequacy in the families and they are forced to seek professional help. Some of the problems, which put too much strain on family’s coping mechanisms, are severe marital discord, domestic violence, child abuse, incest and redundancy (unemployment). Major Roles of family in case work treatment 1. To prevent social breakdown. 2. To conserve client’s strength. 3. To restore social functioning. 4. To provide happy experiences to the client. 5. To create opportunities for growth and development. 6. To compensate psychological damage. 7. To increase capacity for self-direction. 8. To increase his social contribution.

6) Explain Counseling in Social Casework. Answer:- The term ‘counselling’ is used in a number of ways. Very often the term counselling and psychotherapy are synonymously used. In the current usage also, counseling and psychotherapy are used interchangeably. F.P. Robinson describes counseling as aiding normal, people to achieve higher level adjustment skills which manifest themselves as maturity, independence, personal integration and responsibility. The phrase “increasing human effectiveness” is used frequently to describe the goal of counselling. G.W. Gustad has defined counselling as a learning-oriented process, carried on in a simple one to one social environment, in which a counsellor, professionally competent in relevant psychological skills and knowledge, seeks to assist the client by methods appropriate to the latter’s needs and within the context of the total personnel programme, to learn more about himself, to learn to put such understanding into effect in relation to more clearly perceived, realistically defined goals to the end that the client may become a happier and more productive member of his society”. In short, counselling is an interpersonal process through which guidance and support is provided to persons with psychological problems. These problems may be personal

or interpersonal in nature. Thus Counselling seeks to resolve personal and interpersonal problems through a variety of approaches, and in a way that is consistent with the values and goals of society in general, and that of the client in particular. Counselling in this sense is not absolutely distinct from guidance and education that the social workers often give through various programmes. Rather, it is an additional skill and understanding of common, yet complex emotional and personality problems. Through counselling the counsellor helps the person to develop self-awareness and explore the possibilities to develop his/her latent capacities. Thus the scope of counseling is to increase both self-awareness and selfmanagement. 7) Answer:- Here are some of the usually employed forms of records: 1. Process records: They provide moment-by-moment narrative of clients’ behaviour and interactions between practitioners and clients. Process records give almost verbatim account of each session or encounter the worker with the client and/or others, and of home visits. Process records also include the worker’s thoughts, opinions and feelings, although they have to be specified as such and not as facts. This type of record is frequently used in educational and supervisory processes and forms the basis of students’ experiential learning. 2. Summary records: These records are very important in situation in which long-term, ongoing contact with a client, and a series of workers may be involved. Summary records primarily include entry data, sometimes social history, a plan of action and periodic summaries of significant information and action taken by the worker, and a statement of what was accomplished as the case was closed (closing summary). Periodic summaries may be made at specified periods of time like every two months or after every 5 sessions or they may be made when it is necessary to document some fact or action. It is focused more on what happens with the client rather than on the worker’s inputs. Summaries may need to be updated from time to time. 3. Problem-oriented record: These are particularly useful for social workers employed in Interdisciplinary settings like health care agencies. These records contain four parts. First is the data base that contains information pertinent to the client and work with the client. Second is a problem list that includes a statement of initial complaints and assessment of the concerned staff. Third are the plans and goals related to each identified problem. Fourth are follow - up notes about what was done and the outcome of that activity. Problem-oriented records usually consist of two forms: checklists; and a narrative based on SOAP format, that

is, subjective– patient’s report, objective – facts as determined by clinical activity, assessment – a statement about the nature of problem, and plan – for dealing with the problem. 4. Standardized forms: These summarize client information using short answers or checklists. These forms are developed by many agencies serving a specific client group like the mentally challenged or ill or the abused and battered, to get uniform set of relevant information. In recent years, more structured and systematized forms of recording are being used for ordering information, checking its validity, and drawing up and testing hypotheses. 5. Case Notes: These are the records of worker’s intuitive observations, reflections on treatment or interventions provided, and mentions of critical or significant incidents. Reading through last week’s notes may make the worker have certain expectations of ‘this week’s’ session. Keeping notes helps him to remember particular details, and to plot the progress of the client. Out-of-office experiences, such as home visits, attending weddings or funerals, going on hikes or for tea in a restaurant, taking a client to a medical or a specialist’s appointment, and clinically meaningful incidental/chance encounters are also included in case notes. 6. Log or Journal Entries: Logs or journals can be very useful in some fields of work. Someone who meets with a lot of different people in his or her work might keep a log or journal as a personal record of meetings and what was discussed. Note taking means jotting down details of meaningful contacts, including important phone calls and important or clinically significant collateral contacts, at the first opportunity. These notes act as aids to memory or recall at the time of actual documentation. 7. Card Files: In some agencies, like schools, data about the case work with a client are maintained on cards, which can be easily retrieved and give thumbnail picture of the entire case work done till then. Some illustrative entries in card file are as follows: 1. Name ————— 2. Referred on ——— 3. Referral From ——— 4. Initial Assessment —— 5. Meeting 1 ——— 6. Meeting 2 ————— 7. Meeting 3 ————— 8. Review Notes 9. Meeting 4 ———so on —— Brief entries are made after each encounter and progress reviewed.

These are some of the forms in which social workers may document case records. More than one form may simultaneously be used for one client.

III: Attempt any two questions.


Answer: 1) - Mary Richmond was born in 1861 in Belleville, Illinois and lived until 1929. Her parents died when Mary was very young, which forced her to live with her grandmother and aunts in Baltimore, Maryland. Her grandmother was an active women's suffragist who was well known for being a spiritualist and a radical. She grew up being constantly surrounded by discussions of suffrage, political and social beliefs, and spiritualism. This meant she was handed down good critical thinking skills and a caring attitude toward the poor, needy and disabled. Richmond was home schooled until the age of eleven, and then entered a public school. She had to be home schooled because her grandmother didn't believe in the traditional education system. When she was home schooled she dedicated herself to many readings, and was mostly self-taught through her dedication to learn. She graduated High School at sixteen and went to live with one of her aunts in New York until she became very ill and left Mary to fend by herself, leaving her in poverty. After living in poverty for two years in New York she returned to Baltimore and worked for several years as a bookkeeper, and became extremely involved with the Unitarian Church and developed good social skills. In 1888, she applied for a job as Assistant Treasurer with the Charity Organization Society (COS). This organization was in several cities, and was the first organization to develop a structured social work profession which provided services to the poor, disabled, and needy. Her involvement in this organization led to her contributions in social work. Mary Richmond increased the public's awareness of the COS and for fundraising. She was trained to be a "friendly visitor," which was the term for a caseworker. She visited the homes of people in need and tried to help them improve their life situation. She began to develop many ideas of how casework could best be conducted to help those in need. In 1909 she helped establish networks of social workers and a method by which they did their work. This all started when she became the director of the Charity Organizational Department of the Russell Sage Foundation in New York.

Some books she published with her ideas: Friendly Visiting among the Poor, Social Diagnosis and What is Social Case Work. Within these books she demonstrated her understanding of social casework. She believed in the relationship between people and their social environment as the major factor of their life situation or status. Her ideas were based on social theory and that social problems for a family or individual should be looked at by first looking at the individual or family, then including their closest social ties such as families, schools, churches, jobs, etc. After looking at these factors the community and government should be looked at. This will dictate the norms for the person to help determine how to help the person make adjustments to improve their situation. Richmond focused on the strengths of the person rather than blaming them for the bad. Her focus was mostly on children, medical social work, and families. All of her ideas are now the basis for social work education today. She also had an influence in the history of social welfare from her research and study Nine Hundred Eighty-five Widows, which looked at families, their work situations, the financial resources of widows and how widows were treated by social welfare systems. The social workers she worked with at the Russell Sage Foundation were among the first enabled to develop methods and systems for helping needy families. Her success and leadership at developing social work and research encouraged many other organizations to continue financial support and development of the practice of social work. Mary Richmond's book, Social Diagnosis, which was published in 1917 may be considered as the first book in casework. It set forth a methodology of helping clients through systematic ways of assessing their problems and handling them. Besides, the book introduced the principle of individualization and also acknowledged the client's right of self-determination. The first training programme for caseworkers was in the form of summer courses. Then the need for more substantial training was found necessary and schools of social work, attached to agencies, came into existence. When these schools attained a certain standing in the community, they were recognized as professional schools under the administrative authority of universities.

2) Describe various phases of Social Casework. Answer: - Study, assessment, intervention, termination and evaluation are the main divisions of the social casework process. They are the threads of the process that will continue to be interwoven throughout the social casework process. We, as social workers

would logically place study, assessment, intervention, termination and evaluation in that order. Actually these steps are not performed in sequence, and as Gordon Hamilton said they are woven in and out, one process paralleling another. She further explained that we made a tentative or temporary diagnosis in the beginning and even planned out a treatment. However, our minds go on drawing inferences and we continue in the preparation of the study to understand the client better. Intervention or treatment begins with the first contact. According to Skidmore the study process is treatment when it helps the client to clarify the problem for him or herself, and to make changes in or her life situation resulting from this understanding. Since our assessment is on ‘persons’ and not ‘problems’ and while we are trying to understand the nature of the problem, we are also trying to understand what sort of person has the problem. So understanding the person is a continuous process. As long as the assessment continues the phases of study, intervention, termination and evaluation continue to recur. The phases may overlap and may proceed simultaneously. However, there tends to be an emphasis in time on one or the other. Although, specific stages are not the rule, the processes, though interwoven, should be stated in orderly stages of procedure or the case may lose its focus and may drift. Study In the study phase the client presents the problem. This phase begins with the caseworker involving the client fully in the process. The essential functions of the worker are to facilitate the client to participate and interact in the process. This stage is crucial because the client makes the important decision of whether to enter into the treatment. Whether to accept or decline a service is the client’s decision. The client, not the worker makes the choice. So the initial contact needs to be fruitful and constructive to encourage the client to continue in the service. Study basically involves three main activities, which will help in understanding the client: a) Ascertaining the facts; b) Pondering their meaning; and c) Deciding upon the means of help. Tools and Techniques in the Study Phase Interviews with the client and those significantly involved in the situation can motivate, can teach, can secure information and can help the client to bring out things, which are bothering him/her. It is also one of the best ways of observing a person’s behaviour. Records and documents also have a special place. Collateral contacts are also helpful as these are contacts

other than the client or his or her immediate family, for example, schools, hospitals, employers and relatives. Assessment Assessment is the understanding of the psychosocial problem brought to the worker by the client. Assessment means to ‘know through’ or recognizing or understanding thoroughly; it attempts to answer the question ‘what is the matter”. As Hamilton says ‘it is a realistic, thoughtful, frank and “scientific” attempt to understand the client’s present need. Assessment begins with a further elaboration of the problem by the client giving the worker a better perspective and understanding of the problem. As the case progresses and more information are added, the initial impressions are established, changed or even rejected. There is a circular quality about assessment. It never stops during the casework process. As Skidmore and Thackeray say that it is fluid and dynamic as it is ever changing, beginning at study and continuing to termination. Drawing of tentative inferences begins with the first interview and observation continues throughout the case. All skills rest in knowing what to look for, what to disregard and how to review the findings in the light of the present data. As one moves along with the client to explore, the meaning of the facts becomes clearer. When one asks relevant questions, helps the client to bring out the necessary data, whether he/she is telling about his/her current situation, his/her life experience, or his/her purposes in using the agency, whether he/she arranges with us for a home or collateral visit or for an interview between the worker and another member of the family, one comes to an understanding of the problem and the person who has the problem. Intervention Technical definitions of “intervene” as given in Webster’s Dictionary include “to come in or between by way of modification” and “to come between in action”. Intervention knowledge would include that knowledge which helps caseworkers bring about change in those situations with which they are concerned. This knowledge focuses on the questions, what can be done to modify this situation, and will it be effective? Intervention begins with the set of goals as decided together by the client and the worker. Goals, as mentioned earlier are determined by the client’s needs and the availability of external resources if the services within the agency are not available. The ultimate objective of the worker is to reduce the client’s distress and decrease the malfunctioning in the client’s situation or to put it positively as Hollis says it is to enhance the client’s comfort, satisfaction and self- realization. Here we

must look at client motivation and client strengths and at how the situation can be modified or changed. Termination Termination as used in social work means the ending of a process that began when the agency agreed to enter into the interventive process. The processes of study, assessment and intervention do not continue forever. The worker and the client together understand and plan out termination. Termination is also the stage when the client can look back with satisfaction on what has been accomplished. Worker takes the initiative, outlines realistic goals, confirms the importance of what the client can do and is expected to do in resolving the problem. Termination in other words is the signal that the worker uses to confirm that the worker has confidence in the client’s ability to learn to cope with situations and to grow. The role of the worker is of an enabler and also as a resource for the client in the present situation. Termination planning removes certain wrong notions that arise in the client about shifting the responsibility to the agency or to the worker, thus avoiding the feeling of dependency and false hope by some clients. As the relationship gradually comes to a close, the worker reviews the total number of gains made in the interventive process. This review, based on worker’s observations and client’s contributions will also include a self-assessment by the client. This phase is basically highlighted by the reassurance of the client in his / her readiness and willingness to function more effectively. Evaluation Evaluation is the process of attaching a value to the social work practice. It is a method of knowing what the outcomes are. Evaluation is done for three important purposes, which are: 1) to let the agency and the worker know if their efforts have brought fruitful results in the service provided. 2) For public relations. 3) To build a case for promoting funds. Casework practices need to be evaluated from time to time. This subject needs to be tested and researched and most importantly needs ongoing validation. They need to be proved to the public that they are effective and beneficial to the clients. Casework practice should be subjected to critical review. Workers need to be held Practice of Social Casework accountable for what they do and for their social work competence. Workers need to win approval from the public for their programmes. They may sometimes have to be told that their services are overlapping and ineffective. Workers have to enhance their own image and

also of the agency to develop public relations. The clients need to give a feedback on the effectiveness of the services.

3) Write a detailed note on contribution of H.H. Perlman in social casework. Answer:- Helen Harris Perlman, with almost seventy years as a social work practitioner, supervisor, teacher, consultant, and author to her credit, was a legend in her field. The Samuel Deutsch Distinguished Service Professor Emeriti in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, Perlman developed the “Chicago School” of social work theory, an approach that has influenced social work education and practice around the world. She also served on national policy committees, lectured around the world, and participated in pioneering social work programs and research. Born on December 20, 1905, in St. Paul, Minnesota, she was the oldest of seven children, four of whom survived to adulthood. Her parents had come to St. Paul from Eastern Europe, and her father was a factory manager whose sympathies were often with his socialist and union workers rather than with his employer. Helen earned a B.A. in English literature and education from the University of Minnesota in 1926, a certificate in psychiatric social work from the New York School of Social Work in 1934, and an M.S. from the Columbia University School of Social Work in 1943. She married Max Perlman in 1935 and they had one son, Jonathan Harris Perlman (b. 1942). Perlman originally hoped to teach college English, but she found that in the 1920s opportunities in academia for women, and for Jews, were scarce. She went to Chicago to look for a job as an advertising copywriter, but instead found a summer job as a counselor at the Jewish Social Service. “I had no training, but I used the ways I had developed as a writer to understand people’s actions and behaviors and feelings and problems,” she explained. “A whole world opened up to me. I had no idea of the kinds of trouble people had. I had a great deal of satisfaction from being able to help them. I found that in many cases, families faced the same kinds of problems and conflicts that one encountered in the great works of literature.” When she was finally offered an advertising job that fall, she turned it down to stay in social work. She spent eighteen years as a social caseworker in family service agencies, schools, a child guidance clinic, and a psychiatric hospital, lectured part-time at the Columbia University School of Social Work from 1938 to 1945, and in 1945 became an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, where she taught until her retirement. She

also taught and lectured in Canada, England, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Scotland, India, and Puerto Rico. Perlman’s areas of study included ego psychology and its implications for clinical work; lifetime personality growth and development resulting from a person’s daily transactions at work, at home, and in society; therapeutic and educational problem-solving processes; and how social values and value conflicts affect future planning. She also taught social casework: its governing principles, ethics, values, and methods of helping and enabling people suffering from stress, disability, and other social or psychological problems. During the 1950s, while scholars continued to debate the merits of the two existing schools of social work theory, the New York Freudian and the Pennsylvania Rankian, Perlman culled together her own clinical experience and her work with experts from both schools to develop a third approach, the “Chicago School” of public welfare. A new method of looking at controversial treatment issues, Perlman’s work laid the foundation for the Chicago School’s problem solving approach, still used by social workers today. In 1957, Perlman published Social Casework: A Problem-Solving Process(1957), which was based on the premise that the “social surround” of our society and its value systems affect what is and is not possible, and that certain kinds of solutions breed new problems. It has sold over nearly two hundred thousand copies in English and been translated into ten languages. She wrote eight books, in all, which have been translated into eleven foreign languages, as well as over eighty published articles. She returned to her first love, literature, in her 1989 book The Dancing Clock. It offered a collection of her childhood memories to help others “explore and remember how they reacted to and were marked by events in their youth.” Her many honors ranged from the undergraduate Drama Prize for Best Playwright and the Best Writing of the Year award from the Department of English Literature at the University of Minnesota in the 1920s to her Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Council on Social Work Education in 1992. In 1996, the University of Chicago celebrated Perlman’s ninetieth birthday and commemorated the establishment of a chair in her name at the School of Social Service Administration. Perlman was also active throughout her career in professional and educational circles of social work, serving on the editorial boards of the Journal of American Orthopsychiatry and Social Work.

Perlman continued to teach single graduate courses for nine years after her retirement, including “The Minority Child in Twentieth Century Literature” and “Utopias and Human Welfare,” in which she sought to establish how present-day social workers and thinkers can, and should, connect with humanists of the past. Helen Harris Perlman died on September 18, 2004, in her home in Hyde Park, Illinois. Till her death at the age of ninety-nine, she remained a member of the Honorary Board of Trustees of the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago—still a respected expert in the field to which she had devoted a lifetime. SELECTED WORKS BY HELEN HARRIS PERLMAN The Dancing Clock and Other Childhood Memories (1989); Helping: Charlotte Towle on Social



Ahead (1989); Persona:


Casework (editor,



Role and Personality(1968); Perspectives


To in

See Social

Casework (1971); Relationship: The Heart of Helping People (1979); So You Want To Be A Social Worker (1962, rev. ed. 1970); Social Casework: A Problem-Solving Process (1957).