Over The Past Few Years, My Understanding Of Social Work

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Over the past few years, my understanding of social work has changed tremendously. I first thought of the field as fixed, rigid, and one-dimensional. The more I learn about social work, however, the more I realize how vast and constantly evolving it is. Social workers study both empirical evidence as well as abstract theory and everything in between. In my studies at Vassar, I have learned the importance of a multi-systems approach to understanding a phenomenon. In my neuroscience classes, I learned that in order to gain the most accurate understanding of a behavior or mental function, one must study interactions at the level of the synapse, at genetic and evolutionary levels, in the context of an organism’s environment, and with …show more content…

Another important aspect of social work is acknowledging our own privileges and disadvantages. In working with homeless people, I realized how incredibly fortunate I was and am to have a roof over my head and food on the table every day. Being a straight cis-white woman from an upper-class family, I have not seen the vast social and financial hardships that most Americans face every day. In acknowledging this privilege, I am better able to acknowledge and help those around me. With everything I am so fortunate for, however, I must also acknowledge my own social and personal hardships. Growing up in a household afflicted by alcoholism and depression forced me to become independent at a very young age. This experience, along with being diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder when I was ten-years-old, has influenced my passion for mental health. Because I was lucky enough to have access to early intervention, I was healthier and happier, I could concentrate better in classes, and I more easily made and maintained friendships. Had I not had early intervention, I don’t believe I would be where I am today, having graduated from high school with great grades, gone to Vassar College, and been able to pursue my dreams with the support of best friends and a partner.
Among my achievements and experiences in human services, I was awarded entry to the Community Service Honors Society in high school, which I

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