Week 8 Blog

Learning Goal: I’m working on a social science discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

BY DAY 3

Post a blog post that includes:

  • An explanation of the use of self during your field education experience that you may have encountered or that you might encounter
  • A description of potential boundary challenges in your field education experience

BY DAY 4

Respond to the blog post of three colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Validate an idea in your colleague’s post with your own experience.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.

Colleague 1: Shaliah

An explanation of the use of self during your field education experience that you may have encountered or that you might encounter.

Working with the drug and alcohol population you have to have empathy and have a nonjudgmental approach. I have not encountered an interaction where I practiced use of self yet, however, there will be opportunities to do this as most clients do need emotional support and connection during their treatment. Ganzer (2007) stated that the relationship between clinician and patient fosters growth and promotes change and using the use of self can complement this, especially with clients who have trauma. Most clients come into treatment with trauma, from experiencing violence or being a victim of violence. One client can have PTSD from witnessing domestic violence in his household and a worker can practice use of self by sharing experiencing this as well growing up to where there’s an understanding coming from the therapist which can bring comfort to the client.

A description of potential boundary challenges in your field education experience.

Potential boundary challenges is sharing too much with a client and interrupting the client/therapist dynamic. The use of self is to build connection with the client and allow them to see the therapist’s “human self” outside of their therapist role, however, too much self-disclosure may not always be positive for the client. If the use of self is not being practiced with full mindfulness and awareness of what or how much is being shared, lines will cross and/or the therapist can “dump” additional things onto the client which will not be beneficial.

Reference

Ganzer, C. (2007). The use of self from a relational perspective. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35(2), 117-123.

Colleague 2: Mikala

An explanation of the use of self during your field education experience that you may have encountered or that you might encounter

 

The use of self can be used in different ways and is used differently with each individual. Ganzer (2007) stated the use of self involves the individuals’ personal characteristics, attitudes, experiences and behaviors. When a social worker decides to use self, they have to make sure that it is an appropriate time to use it, how much information to share and that it does not harm or trigger the client. The social worker should also be aware of their own personal triggers to ensure that they remain safe. I currently am a therapist for children, so I often times use self to help build rapport with my clients. I use things that I have done as a child, but I only bring it up if we are on the topic already, and if it will help the client. I also use this to give the client a different perspective on the issues or problem.

A description of potential boundary challenges in your field education experience

 

There are many different boundary challenges that one can face being a therapist. One potential boundary challenge is attachment to the client. I meet with my clients at least on a weekly basis. During this time, we are building a relationship. I must keep in mind that it is a professional relationship, and that I am there to help the client and the family be successful. Another boundary challenge that I may encounter is the client feeling like I am yelling, or “punishing” them. I have encountered this during a group session and I had to explain to the child that I was not yelling- but that I was just talking louder so that everyone could hear. The client thought that I was yelling at them, and that I was mad. In my mind, this is a boundary challenge because I am not there to be mean, or yell at them, and I don’t want them to think that; as a result it can impact our overall relationship and rapport that we have built.

References

Ganzer, C. (2007). The use of self from a relational perspective. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35(2), 117-123.

Colleague 3: Jeremy

An explanation of the use of self during your field education experience that you may have encountered or that you might encounter

Social workers bring their beliefs, values, and norms into the therapeutic relationship. A way to utilize the self during field education is to be genuine. Genuineness brings being your true self and incorporating it into the therapeutic relationship (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). Being yourself can assist in building rapport, increasing trust, and providing an example of a role model by giving a sense of hope and a healthy relationship for the served individual. Being a role model allows the served individual to see another individual who has experienced similar circumstances and hope to motivate and encourage their recovery.

A description of potential boundary challenges in your field education experience

A boundary challenge can become being too friendly and acting as a friend. The therapeutic relationship can become close. According to Birkenmaier and Berg-Weger (2018), “areas that are particularly at risk for boundary conflicts and infractions include sexual relationships with current or former clients, friendships (including social events), meetings with clients in public places, social networking contacts. Additionally, electronic communications, physical contacts, gift-giving or receiving, financial conflicts of interest, professional relationships with multiple family members, and the bartering of goods and services” (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger (2018). Too much friendliness between the served individuals and provider can cause crossed boundaries. Crossed boundaries can include adding a provider to their social media, asking personal questions, and romantic involvement. These issues can cause legal and ethical complications, including loss of employment and license and legal compensation and penalty for malpractice.

References

Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork (4th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018). Understanding generalist practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

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