Being aware of oneself as a social worker is imperative if one plans to be an effective and competent social worker. There will be many incidents and situations social workers may chance upon in their professional work, which may present some difficulty concerning the next step to take in working with a client. Being aware is the first step.
The family subset that will be explored in this paper is a mother and a son dyad that I worked with in my internship last year. The mother, who will be referred to as Ms. Patrick and her son, who will be referred to as Sam were having difficulties at home. Ms. Patrick is a widowed White female in her late-fifties and her son, Sam, is a Bi-racial (African- American/White) 16-year-old male. Sam is the youngest child of Ms. Patrick and her deceased husband. Ms. Patrick and her deceased husband had six children, including Sam. Sam is the only child left, living in the household.
Ms. Patrick stated she was “in a battle with her son for control”. Ms. Patrick described her son as disrespectful and disobedient. Ms. Patrick sought therapy first; she wanted her son to join her in future sessions. Ms. Patrick sought therapy, because she wanted to figure out if there was a way she could change herself to fix her son. Sam did come into therapy at his mother’s insistence, in later sessions.
During a session alone with Sam, he described his mother as being rash and irresponsible. Sam stated that at times his mother would call him the “N” word, especially when she was extremely mad at him. Sam quickly recovered and stated that his mother was not a racist. At that moment, I could comprehend partially why Sam would not have any respect for his mo...
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...ocial work practice, I believe I will encounter not only clients who hold discriminating beliefs, but co-workers, supervisors, and other professionals that I will need to collaborate with on the behalf of my clients.
Social workers may in their professional careers, be faced with situations which may cause them to question the next step. If social workers uphold their ethical standards, most challenging situations will be handled in a way that is fair to the client. Social workers must be aware of themselves as therapist in order to be an effective professional.
Anderson, R. E., Carter, I. E. & Lowe, G. (1999). Human behavior in the social environment: A
social systems approach. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
Nichols, M. & Schwartz, R. (2008). Family Therapy: Concepts and methods (8th Ed). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
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