As a social worker, you interact with individuals who are at various stages of change in their lives. This may become frustrating for you when clients are struggling to achieve their goals.
Thus, it is important for you to develop strategies to process your experiences so that you can maintain your compassion and professionalism.
As you consider the strategies you have developed to address these issues, also consider how you might help other social workers to develop such strategies.
Perhaps you consulted with your supervisors when you had difficulty processing your emotions in particular situations. As you consider assuming a supervisory role, how might you apply your learning from those experiences to helping those whom you supervise?
For this Discussion, review the Levy case study in this week’s video (transcript attached). Consider how you, as a social worker, might address the challenge of remaining engaged with a client while not letting your emotions affect the interaction. Also, consider how you, as a supervisor, might discuss this topic with a social worker whom you supervise.
Post a strategy that you, as the social work supervisor in the Levy case study video, might use to debrief the social worker after the session described in the video.
Support your post with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.
Respond to at least two colleagues with a thoughtful question or suggestion that builds on your colleague’s strategy for debriefing.
Return to this Discussion to read the responses to your initial post. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
Colleague 1: Rojelio
SOCW 6070 Week 8: Remaining Compassionate and Professional
Debriefing Strategies as the Social Work Supervisor
The role of the supervisor is crucial to the social work trainee. Supervisors provide guidance that coincides with the creation of the trainee’s identity as a professional (McTighe, 2011).
This process can be viewed as essential due to the placement of “self” within building an identity. While skills, education, and understanding that may include cultural competence are standards of practice, a sense of “self” through the additions of implementing personality or the appropriateness of personal experience can be effective tools (McTighe, 2011).
Self-understanding provides the opportunity to examine how one responds to their environment and how emotional response correlates to connections formed with patients (McTighe, 2011). Compassion and its place in awareness of self are components of growth and development for the aspiring professional.
Within the context of the Levy video, my approach to debriefing with the social worker would begin with empathy. In regards to the Levy video, I viewed the situation as an instance of supportive supervision. The social worker appeared distressed due to her emotional response in working with Jake Levy and his shared experiences/trauma (Laureate Education, 2014).
Supporting the individual’s self-efficacy by addressing stressors as well as the impact of client trauma would be the first step in providing guidance (National Association of Social Workers and Association of Social Worker Boards, 2013).
Discussing the ethical boundaries with the social worker may be the next step of this suggested strategy. This would tie into separating work from life at home which I believe can come in the form of self-care. I am a firm believer in connecting with patients; however, certain boundaries should be in place.
The social worker also expresses her concerns with Jake about to have a newborn baby in the family (Laureate Education, 2014). She worries that this may lead to additional stressors in Jake’s life. I would address this with the social worker, validating the use of “self” in her professional identity.
My approach would include talk of “self” which could open conversation of my own experiences in working with patients. An element of supervision includes the sharing of knowledge, experience, and the implementation of skills (National Association of Social Workers and Association of Social Worker Boards, 2013).
I would attempt to normalise the situation presented by the social worker’s emotional response and how the profession can be mentally draining and traumatic in some ways. Just as the profession guides practice through empathy, understanding and the integration of practices such as trauma-informed care with patients, there should be common consideration among colleagues and how client trauma can impact clinicians.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014c). Sessions: Levy (Episode 5 of 42) [Video file]. https://class.waldenu.edu
McTighe, J. (2011). Teaching the use of self through the process of clinical supervision. Clinical Social Work Journal, 39(3), 301-307.
National Association of Social Workers and Association of Social Work Boards. (2013). Best practice standards in social work supervision. https://www.socialworkers.org/LinkClick.aspx?filet…
Colleague 2: Joy
A strategy that you, as the social work supervisor in the Levy case study video, might use to debrief the social worker after the session described in the video.
The clinical supervisor serves a key role in guiding the trainee through this process. As a social worker, you interact with individuals who are at various stages of change in their lives.
In the Levy case the social worker is experiencing secondary trauma (Laureate Education, 2014c). She is envisioning the narrative of her client Jake which includes vivid details of explosions, screams, and a man dying.
She feels that she might be having these experiences due to the fact that she feels that it is a nightmare that this gentleman has a baby on the way and she has concerns for his ability to properly raise his own child.
It is imperative for the social work supervisor to employ the following when helping the supervisee debrief: active listening, critical thinking, empathy, summarization, and more. The supervisor is responsible for providing direction to the supervisee.
The debriefing process will enable the supervisor to separate the social worker from the attachment she and Jake are forming. Coming up with ideas that will allow the supervisee to better process the matter and incorporate self-care and mindfulness will be beneficial. Also, journaling will be effective and helpful.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014c). Sessions: Levy (Episode 5 of 42) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu