My Understanding Of Empathy As A Social Worker 's Client Share The Affective Part Of The Message

908 WordsDec 12, 20164 Pages
Shulman defined empathy as “helping the client share the affective part of the message; a social worker’s effort to feel, as best as possible, the emotions of the client” (2009, p.815). My understanding of empathy is the emotional ability to understand the client’s current situation, and the ability to understand what the client’s situation is without actually experiencing it. It is about having the ability to listen and hear what the client is saying. Being able to understand where the client is coming from, having the ability to engage and to have a sense of warmth towards the client. Initially, showing empathy was very challenging for me. During my process recordings, I often found it difficult to show or express empathy towards my clients. At one point, I honestly felt that I was in the wrong field until I sat with my field instructor and practice professor, who reassured me that I do have empathy. I only needed to learn how to identify and demonstrate it. Ms. West, who is an African American female, approximately 32 years old, came to FAP seeking services for herself and her daughter. Ms. West is a single mother raising her 13 year old daughter Jadah. Ms. West and Jadah have been residing in a low-income housing complex in Williamsburg. The neighborhood is gang infested and Jadah is being exposed to drugs and criminal activities in the neighborhood. Ms. West explained that Jadah has not been attending school and recently was arrested for shoplifting. Ms.

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