As A Social Worker, The Number One Most Important “Tool”

804 WordsFeb 24, 20174 Pages
As a social worker, the number one most important “tool” in my social worker toolbox is empathy. In my work with clients, it is crucial I have a keen appreciation and awareness of diverse life experiences. Furthermore, an awareness is not enough but must be coupled with an experiential component. In my current role as a social work intern, I am privileged to be spending time with individuals from various walks of life. Some of which I share cultural ties of familiarity and some of which I do not. It is important to me as a social worker that I have exposure to and experience with the lives of others outside the range of my comfort zone. For successful empathic intervention, it is not enough to ask the client questions about their…show more content…
For this assignment, I chose to interview Jan McRae, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who has a long history within the profession ranging from in-home social work to medical social work and now community mental and behavioral health. Together, she and I discussed unique strengths and challenges individual clients encounter along their path to recovery. In particular, we discussed specificities around Methadone and Suboxone treatments and pros and cons of each. My reaction to this interview was that it offered insight into the delicate and tricky path of adult addiction and recovery as well as encouraging my desire for empathic understanding of those unique life experiences affecting the clients that I am serving. My experience using public transportation, while not a new one, offered unique perspective into a client’s life as they might be travelling to SBHS to participate in services. First, it was uncomfortable and freezing cold. I walked a half mile to the bus stop in fierce and bitter wind. Then, I stood waiting for 20 minutes for the bus to come. It was not fun. Furthermore, the bus stop had no place to sit or shelter from the wind. I managed to find a rock to sit on but the wind was so bitter, it forced me to seek coverage behind a sign shielding me from the elements. It seemed as if I stood there forever waiting for that bus. Getting onto the bus was welcome and warm relief. As I travelled to
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