Self Awareness And The Social Work

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Self-awareness and the use of self is a key component in social work practice. Depending upon how one integrates their personal being and accompanying thoughts, experiences, emotions, and consciousness into the helping profession has a profound impact on whether that integration is positive or negative, particularly when it comes to that of one’s relationships with their clients. While remaining impartial is often critical to effective social work practice, the complete separation of self from one’s professional practice is not only impossible to realize, but would arguably have less of a meaningful impact with one’s relations with clients as well as self. Understanding the use of self and the importance of self-awareness in the social work profession is the first step in establishing a healthy means of practicing and the impact that our own individuality has when interacting with clients. In this paper I will analyze, and further critically reflect upon, four academic journals on the topic of the use of self in social work; later applying this learning to an experience from my field placement.

In their article, “The Integration of Personal and Professional Selves: Developing Students’ Critical Awareness in Social Work Practice”, Jay Marlowe, Cherie Appleton, Shirley-Ann Chinnery, and Stuibra Van Stratum (2015) interestingly explored the concepts of self-awareness and use of self at the stage immediately prefacing the career level. Focusing on third-year social work
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