Part 1 (1250 words)
Focus on how you addressed the following areas in your interview recording:
- Explaining confidentiality
- Building rapport
- Empathic responses and reflection of feeling
- Open ended questions to explore the client’s presenting situation
- Summarising and paraphrasing
- Active listening
You will also outline ways you can improve your practice.
Part 2 (1250 words)
Focus on how you addressed the following areas in your interview recording:
- Use of self when working with others
- Understandings of your positionality as a social worker
- How you managed your assumptions and feelings during the session, and how this impacted you when working with the client
- Considerations of your personal attributes (age, gender, culture, religion, ethnicity, other factors) with those of the client.
- Integration of theory in your developing of social work practice skills
Social Worker: Kamaljeet Kaur
As a Social worker, I tried adjourning through psychological counselling with Cherry so that I get to know well her intentions behind taking drugs and how the after-party event affected her psychologically. Researchers Mcauliffe & Chenoweth (2019), states that emotional numbing and guilt are among the most prominent stages of sudden trauma that can affect an individual’s psychology as well as develop raising depression within their mind. Being Cherry’s social worker to know her well and to understand her limits I wanted her to believe in confidentiality between me and her so as to develop a connection so that she feels quite comfortable narrating to me the events that happened and the ways they affected her mental state. I explained to her the client confidentiality rights which states that the information shared during the session can’t be shared with others unless they pose any harm to an individual or society. The name, personal details and the medical illness of the patent is kept confidential from other people. During the session I also explained to her that she needs to speak freely so this will not only help her but it will also help me understander her problem. This indicated that I am trying to understand her situation from her perspective without any judgment. This was helpful because Cherry had opened up to me and it gave her the feeling of comfort. After this I asked her about how she is feeling and is she comfortable and the response was a positive one which indicated that Cherry willingly wants to discuss and problem. I noticed that after stating the factors of confidentiality she was quite expressive about her thoughts and emotions. She felt a deep sense of trust and openly discussed the issues that were disturbing her or making her feel stressed.
In the view of Egan, Maidment & Connolly (2016), trust is a vital element under the sessions of counselling because a greater sense of confidence with great rapport could only be manifested with the trust of the client upon the social worker that also ensures an understanding of needs and self-reliability. Throughout the session, I listened to Cherry very carefully and tried empathising with her which in turn helped me gain her confidence. As she is a young girl and due to lots of restrictions from her parents, she might have done certain wrong things as that’s the expected behaviour of every teenager. This behaviour is usually observed when a child feels neglected or feels that the elders won’t understand them (Weller & Hansen Lagattuta, 2012). I also understood that fact during counselling her that this situation is quite delicate because her exams are approaching within 3 months and so any form of disturbing videos in Tiktok and Facebook can surely lead to the lodging of depression and guilt within her mental state. Besides this while, interviewing I understood she is undergoing peer pressure as she stated most of her friends do drugs and its normal. This creates a challenging situation for me as I need to explain to her that doing drugs is not normal for her friends and her and it could result to addiction. Her body language indicated that she under pressure. As she was taking deep breath during the session and there was no direct eye contact. This may indicate shyness , uncomfort or lack of interest. It posed a challenge during the session as the client may have avoided sharing some crucial information Rückert (2015).
Building up a rapport along with an overly empathetic response is also a way for the client to develop trust and functionality upon the social workers they are to be interviewed by. Researcher Healy (2018) proposes the view that rapport building is firmly accountable and so is thoroughly necessary because it enshrines the ability for the manifestation of satisfactory relationships as well as develops comfortable circumstances of representation of self to others. Analysing this evidence, I accounted into furnishing ideas for building a strong rapport between her and me and so I repeatedly asked her whether she feels comfortable during the session as well as I asked her about her present condition so as to understand how she is been feeling currently. Besides this when Cherry mentioned that she has not been feeling well and incurred some kind of stress in her mind I politely asked her whether she was comfortable in sharing her stress situation with me as well as I told her that if she feels like sharing only then she can share otherwise there is no obligation. These are tricks and tactics of raising successful ways for manifesting a good rapport building strategy with the client and so it seems that formulating a strong bonding is highly necessary as it helps to relieve the client from any added pressure as well as summon ways into sharing or redirecting of the pressure. To get a deeper knowledge of the situation I observed Cherry’s body language, facial expression and physical appearances. These are the major indicators of non-verbal communication which explains a lot about the actual emotion an individual is feeling (Weller & Hansen Lagattuta, 2012). Though Cherry had opened up to me but observing her non-verbal communication was also important to cross-check if the facts were correctly stated. More to the fact is that I asked Cherry open-ended questions like did she talk to her friends about her feelings of the video that they made as well as I asked her what does she feels about her friends and whether she took a chance to discuss it with her parents. These open-ended questions that I have framed were not slightly going to change the condition Cherry was incurring but indeed all these questions were meant to enhance and emphasize the present situation of Cherry’s psychological state to me. Besides the fact that these questions also helped me get to learn more about Cherry’s social condition as well as furnish me with ideas of oppressions, she might be facing from social elements across her.
Morley, Ablett & Macfarlane (2019), propagate the idea that open-ended questions develop a larger opportunity for clients to discuss issues that have been concerning her across the state of mind she is pursuing as well as help Social worker into an accumulation of significant information regarding the variants of the client. This is the sole reason why I asked Cherry about all of these open-ended questions as well as I enquired as to how she is preparing for her examination as well as I also narrated to her about my academic integrity level when I was of her time. Most prominently throughout the session, I was one among the active listeners that Cherry has witnessed as I was more interested in knowing Cherry’s stress, situations and other obligations than of simply referring her to plea her social elements in removing the video. Talking or sharing events with others thoroughly helps in reducing stress. Several academicians have claimed that the best stress removal therapy is to talk and discuss it with close ones and this largely helps associate the emotions attached with the stress to others as well as ensures the stress to eradicate out of an individual’s system (Radstaak et al., 2020). I was compelled into knowing Cherry more as well as developed an idea regarding the relationship she shares with her parents. I felt that she was scared for her parents to know about the video in which she passed out after consuming drugs because she is afraid of upsetting them as she respects them. Which made me understand that Cherry has realised that the act was wrong which will affect her parents emotionally. Self-realisation is the first step that helps identify the problem.
One of the open-ended questions that I asked Cherry was that if she usually prolonged into consuming drugs where she replied that whenever she is with her friends she does so. I feel that to improve my practice I needed to have illustrations of the fact that I have discussed with Cherry such as the influence of discussing problems with parents and how it can help towards reducing stress levels to a certain extent. Besides this, I also feel that for improving myself I needed to need to patiently listen to her and try to ask more probing questions which would help me in identifying the problem. This also indicates that I need to work upon my communication skills. There were situations where I gave my inputs during the session which indicated lack of patience. For the next session I can note down all the issues raised by the client and in the end can give my suggestions. There were pauses during the conversations which helped me identify lack of communication skills. In the next session I would prepare some engaging questions which may interest the client and would make her speak more.
There are some key skills needed to develop a heathy relation with in the society and effective communication is the key. To main skills needed in social work practices are values, skills and knowledge attained from school of social work. The role of a social worker demands skills like time management, patience, communication skills etc Healy (2018).
When I was counselling Cherry, I used myself as an example to help her know that I also have been an average student and so in most cases, I did not study for exams until it was too late. This example made the client feel that I was empathetic with her and I could relate to her situation. This also helped in having a fruitful conversation between Cherry and me. Advocating of the evidence I found out that using self-experiences and relating of self-thoughts shall make the counselling more intriguing as well as enhance Cherry deeper into the process. During the session, it was observed that Cherry was could not make eye contact and she continuously look at the ceiling which may indicate a lack of interest or shyness. In this situation, I could have asked some other questions like her achievement, interest etc. This would have helped me understand her goals and priorities in life. Encompassing all of these affirmatives, I well understand my position as a social worker and so I was more active in hearing out Cherry’s agonies than of simply suggesting to her the ways to repair them. The reason for this fact is that as a social worker I felt hearing out Cherry and helping her to understand the implications of her actions was the purpose of the session. Once the problem identification is done the next step would have been goal setting. Besides prioritizing my role as a social worker, I also furnished Cherry with the most applicable advice to speak with her parents about her drug use so that she can make them understand her mental health. As a social worker most predominantly, I asked Cherry to join me for another productive session so that she can well be able to reveal her stress as well as I advised her to speak with all her friends and ask them to take down the video from TikTok.
Analysing of social environment into the process of counselling is highly applicable as these factors enumerate profound confidentiality to the client adjourning the counselling process. Researcher Rückert (2015), navigates the idea that for clear dissection of the social worker’s ability to counsel a client is patience and listing so that he/ she gets comfortable in the setting. This is one of the most applicable key skills that I can relate with as because being a responsible social worker wanting the counselling process to be effective, I repeatedly asked Cherry regarding her comfort level in the environment. There were significant assumptions and prejudice from my side regarding the development of Cherry’s character, but I controlled my thoughts regarding such prejudice and thus ascertained that first I should hear out Cherry’s words and her feelings and then redevelop upon her additivity towards drugs and other forms of substance abuse. Majorly I also felt that I needed to understand Cherry and her present feelings in the most optimistic manner and so I started asking her questions such as how she felt about her friends as well as her parents. All these sorts of questions have been asked to understand her social setting. Researcher De Berardis et al. (2014), navigates the idea for social workers that continuous assumptions lead to trapping of ideas as well as fosters hindrances into communication to a great extent.
Indeed, it is a fact that under my social work practices, I don’t concentrate upon any theory, yet I believe that all men and individuals are part of a larger system and not simply a single concept. Backing up this conceptualization is the system theory where Gray, et al. (2012), which adheres with the idea that under the systems theory individuals are all to be summoned under a functional complex system rather than be processed in isolation as well as this theory also advocates behaviour as a part of a larger theory. This is truly something, which I believe in advocating my social work because humans, families, needs and the economy are all monitored under a complex system and so there requires no derivation to the fact that whatever mental stress Cherry or any other individual undergoes are linkages to this complex system. Cherry undergoes stress and fear, as she is afraid that her parents might come to know about the substance abuse, she is involved with. She also feels agony towards her friends who made such as mistake in getting things out in a TikTok video, which might devastate her. Witnessing all these factors, I can purely be mentioned that according to system theory everything is linked to one another. Systems theory is precisely integrated into my social work practices, as I understand that human psychology is widely dominated by all linkages to a common theory of nature and so any prominent factor under this complex system can well create hindrance to this state of psychological nature. Larger than this the other factor is that I also integrate a social learning theory upon which I persist that man develops more through cognitive learning of social beings and so psychological facts could be well dealt with if one stretches more upon social learning along with the other factors aligned to it. These are the two dominant theories that I align with my social work practices, and I firmly believe that both of these theories are relevant but yet could be interpreted on their own and so I ensure that both experience and social knowledge advocates the creation of a better counselling process. Besides this, the other factors that I integrate into my practices are that any of my attributes likely gender, age, religion or pay should not be compared or contrasted with the client because counselling sessions should be unbiased and majorly focused upon humane knowledge than of social attributes.
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