In social work, theory and practice are inextricably linked. This ground-breaking book explores the ways in which theory informs practice and how practice can test and inform theory. With the help of detailed explanations, practitioner quotes and case examples, Neil Thompson guides the reader through the process of 'theorizing practice' clearly and accessibly. Tackling advanced concepts in an accessible way, he critically discusses social work approaches and perspectives, including post-structuralism and postmodernism, and highlights the role of existentialism in understanding the challenges of contemporary practice. Social work requires the ability to handle complexity. This book helps the reader to expand their capacity for reflective practice, critical analysis and the personal evaluation of theoretical positions. It provides much needed food for thought about the complexities of theory and practice, with the aim of inspiring high-quality work and enlivening day-to-day practice.