Enabling Reflection in Social Work Towards A PsychoSocial

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Enabling Reflection in Social Work: Towards A Psycho-Social Model Stan Houston, School of Sociology,

Enabling Reflection in Social Work: Towards A Psycho-Social Model Stan Houston, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast 1

‘The scale of rules and procedures may help achieve a minimum standard of practice,

‘The scale of rules and procedures may help achieve a minimum standard of practice, but inhibits the development of professional expertise and alienates the workforce’ (Munro Report, 2010, p. 11). For many social work practitioners, imagination and imaginative practices have been devalued as less important than technical or competency based work, or dismissed as whimsical and not based in the urgent, agency defined ‘reality’.

Reflecting on Reflection • Reflect on this scenario: ‘A middle aged, white, male social

Reflecting on Reflection • Reflect on this scenario: ‘A middle aged, white, male social worker undertakes a piece of life-history work with a young, black, female child from an emotionally insecure and socially deprived background’ How might these very different personal and social characteristics affect their interaction? 3

Global Definition of the Social Work Profession “Social work is a practice-based profession and

Global Definition of the Social Work Profession “Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing. The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels”. (2014, IFSW website )

Practice placements represent an opportunity for students to cultivate both professional and personal skills

Practice placements represent an opportunity for students to cultivate both professional and personal skills by developing self-awareness, self-care, empathy, critical inquiry and an increased experience and understanding of power dynamics This can be overwhelming, particularly when you are faced with challenging situations where tensions and dilemmas between personal and professional values can arise

Reflection: is when an individual has developed the ability to process and evaluate actions

Reflection: is when an individual has developed the ability to process and evaluate actions previously taken in practice to enhance learning and/or to create change (Dempsey, Murphy, & Halton, 2008; Schon, 1987). Reflexive practice occurs in social work when a practitioner has an awareness of situational contexts that include the use of language, power dynamics, and importantly, an awareness of how self (including emotions and cognitions) impacts on any inter/intra-personal process (Fook, 2013; Payne, 2005). A reflexive act involves one critically locating the history that informs a particular belief or action.

How the Model was Developed • NISCC/ Degree Partnership Conference – 2011 • Tender

How the Model was Developed • NISCC/ Degree Partnership Conference – 2011 • Tender to evaluate the model • Focus group research • Reaching an agreed iteration of the model 7

Overview of the Model • The domains shaping the person • The enabling process

Overview of the Model • The domains shaping the person • The enabling process using the domains Domains Enabling Process Ethical, sensitive practice 8

Applications • Practice learning • Supervision • Coaching • Mentoring • Consultation 9

Applications • Practice learning • Supervision • Coaching • Mentoring • Consultation 9

The Domains Relationship Power Culture Power Psycho. Biography Power Organisation Power Politics/ Economy 7

The Domains Relationship Power Culture Power Psycho. Biography Power Organisation Power Politics/ Economy 7

The Domain of Psycho. Biography • The life-course • Significant events • Narratives 1

The Domain of Psycho. Biography • The life-course • Significant events • Narratives 1 1

Connections 1 2

Connections 1 2

The Domain of Relationship • The importance of human relationship • Attachment theory •

The Domain of Relationship • The importance of human relationship • Attachment theory • Identity 10

Connections 14

Connections 14

The Domain of Culture • The material • The symbolic • Morality • Culture

The Domain of Culture • The material • The symbolic • Morality • Culture and power 15

Connections 16

Connections 16

The Domain of Organisations • Contact with formal organisations • Key features 17

The Domain of Organisations • Contact with formal organisations • Key features 17

Connections 18

Connections 18

The Domain of Politics/Economy • Neo-liberalism • Commodification • Inequality 19

The Domain of Politics/Economy • Neo-liberalism • Commodification • Inequality 19

Connections 20

Connections 20

Power • Power circulates through all of the domains • Power comes from the

Power • Power circulates through all of the domains • Power comes from the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ • Power shapes thinking and emotion • Power affects knowledge and ideology • Power is enabling and constraining • Power leads to the unequal distribution of resources (monetary, status, symbolic, educational) 18

To summarise so far…. Psycho. Biography Relationship Culture Organisations Politics/Economy 19

To summarise so far…. Psycho. Biography Relationship Culture Organisations Politics/Economy 19

The Enabling Process Stage One Stage Five The Five Domains Stage Four Stage Two

The Enabling Process Stage One Stage Five The Five Domains Stage Four Stage Two Stage Three 20

Overview of the Enabling Stages • Stage One – supervisor and supervisee apply the

Overview of the Enabling Stages • Stage One – supervisor and supervisee apply the domains to themselves • Stage Two – supervisor and supervisee consider how the domains shape interaction during the enabling process • Stage Three – supervisor and supervisee apply the domains to tune into the service user’s needs and plan the social work process • Stage Four – supervisor and supervisee apply the domains to reflect on the supervisee’s engagement with the service user • Stage Five – supervisor and supervisee review the learning from this process by combining stages one to four 21

Potential Outcomes • Tackling bias • Challenging oppression • Connecting empathically with service users

Potential Outcomes • Tackling bias • Challenging oppression • Connecting empathically with service users • Enhancing insights into risk and need • Strengthening supervision • Promoting good governance and best practice 22

Rolling the Model Out • Dissemination • Use in various enabling contexts • Impact

Rolling the Model Out • Dissemination • Use in various enabling contexts • Impact 23

Thank you Trisha Kelly Senior Lecturer in Social Work tkelly@glos. ac. uk 01242 714646

Thank you Trisha Kelly Senior Lecturer in Social Work [email protected] ac. uk 01242 714646