The self in social work

Barnard, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7824-6022, 2012. The self in social work. Social Work and Social Sciences Review: an International Journal of Applied Research, 15 (3), pp. 101-118. ISSN 0953-5225

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Social work has a long and significant history in the use of the 'self'. The first part of this paper is a contextualising discussion around recent reforms to social work. The second part is a historical examination of the conceptualisation of the self in the contemporary era. This discussion is intimately wedded to notions of identity, 'social' and conceptions of the self. This discussion will review the major philosophical understandings of self, before examining the 'self' in social work. Recently social workers have developed the term 'use of self' to indicate important aspects of the professional relationship and how this term is defined rests on how one conceptualizes 'self'. The final part of the paper will examine how social workers describe and involve the self that they bring to their therapeutic and non-therapeutic work. Participants in case-study, narrative accounts describe the self that they bring to their work as individualistic although at the same time stress the relational, positioned, relationship-based self. This examination carries the concept of the self from the notion of self as separate and constant to the self as a process in interaction.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: In special issue: Social work research and social justice.
Publication Title: Social Work and Social Sciences Review: an International Journal of Applied Research
Creators: Barnard, A.
Publisher: Whiting & Birch Ltd.
Date: 2012
Volume: 15
Number: 3
ISSN: 0953-5225
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 26 Nov 2015 09:56
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:57

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