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RE: SOCW6520- Response to 3 Students – Blog (wk8)

RE: SOCW6520- Response to 3 Students – Blog (wk8)

RE: SOCW6520- Response to 3 Students – Blog (wk8)

Question Description

Due 07/19/19 by 2PM EST

Respond to the blog post of three colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Validate an idea in your colleague’s post with your own experience.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.

Response to Charmaine

An explanation of the use of self during your field education experience that you may have encountered or that you might encounter

The use of self can be negative; however, when used appropriately, it can be positive and promote change within the client. Ganzer (2007) agrees by noting that the use of self can be beneficial to the therapeutic relationship. My field experience has exposed me to multiple situations where the use of self is helpful. My agency works with children and families in which the children have been maltreated and more than likely removed from their parents/caregiver’s care. When working with some parents and sharing that I too am a parent resulted in the client feeling like I was able to empathize with them as a parent. Also, during supervision, I am able to openly share and process any biases and prejudices I may have with my field instructor.

A description of potential boundary challenges in your field education experience

Many individuals view my agency as “the people who took my children” instead of viewing the agency for what it actually does, and that is to work effortlessly to sure the safety of the children and reunify the family. Many of our clients also are diagnosed with a mental illness; from mild to severe. With that being said, it is important for me to not share too much of my personal life with the client. For instance, I have shared that I am a parent but have not disclosed the age, gender, etc. with clients. Although some adult clients have asked and asked about what school my child attends. Instead, I am careful to use the use of self in a way that upholds my professional boundaries, while simultaneously empowering the client to draw their own conclusions and take ownership of their own decisions (Birkenmaier and Berg-Weger, 2018).


Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). Socialization into the social work profession. In The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork (4th ed., pp. 34-62).

Ganzer, C. (2007). The use of self from a relational perspective. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35(2), 117-123. Doi:10.1007/s10615-007-0078-4

Response to Phillip

An explanation of the use of self during your field education experience that you may have encountered or that you might encounter

The importance of the concept of mindful use of self to the field of social work permits an importance on self-awareness as a foundation to understanding the role of conscious use of self in the development of effective helping relationships at micro- and macrolevels of intervention. However as new social workers, we need to be reminded that they are just beginning the ongoing process of refinement of conscious use of self and that it applies at micro-, mezzo-, and macrolevels of intervention (NASW, 2000). When I think of self, I think of simply reflecting who I am and taking care of myself to better server/help others. “With self-care as the personal value, individuals formulate different plans to promote or enhance that value in their lives, utilizing various means of implementing those strategies. In this joining process, it is important to spend ample time reflecting on who we are as we sit across from those coming to us for support (Jacobson, 2001).

The “self” we bring into social work room as we empathize, connect, share, and respond has the potential to deeply affect those we therapeutically come into contact with. It is our responsibility as clinical social workers, and as mental health care practitioners in general, to ensure that we present our “selves” in a manner that is most likely to promote growth, healing, and empowerment in our clients. This is a career-long process, as we are constantly moved and shaped by our life experiences and by the people with whom we interact – including our clients – in a multitude of ways.

I am encountering taking care of self in the present or in the future. Personal therapy provides a safe place for us, as mental health care professionals, to work through our own dilemmas while simultaneously sharpening, polishing, and refining the “self,” we bring (Leiby, 1997). The literature suggests that personal therapy is a highly valued activity for therapists new and seasoned alike. “Moreover, many therapists assert that their own personal therapy was more important than coursework or supervision for their development of a professional identity into the therapeutic space”, as stated by Jacobson, 2001. My own personal therapy is weekly and I have benefited from this experience, as I can talk about though issues about work and personal life. I am taking care of my own self and making sure I am in the mental shape I need to be in this profession.

A description of potential boundary challenges in your field education experience

A potential boundary issues that I have is that our work is done in the community setting, so you see people that you know and that there sometimes are clients out when you are out. I try to make sure that I work in areas in which I do not go. Also, boundary issue is not sharing my personal life or pass down my own beliefs. I am openly gay, so when people see me outside of work with my fiancé people are quick to judge or pass conclusions. I keep personal life aside from work and do not impose my values on others. Especially in the area in which I live are not opening respondent of the LGBTQ community.


Jacobson, W. B. (2001). Beyond therapy: Bringing social work back to human services reform. SocialWork, 46(1), 51-62

Leiby, J. (199 7). Social work and social responsibility. In M. Reisch & E. Gambrill (Eds.), Socialworkinthe 21st century {pp. 3 59-367). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

National Association of Social Workers. (2000). Cultural competence in the social work profession. In Social work speaks: NASW policy statements, (pp. 59-62). Washington

Response to Sierra

  • An explanation of the use of self during your field education experience that you may have encountered or that you might encounter

As a social worker I exemplify my use of self during my field education experience by bringing my attitudes, beliefs, and experiences to the therapeutic relationship. The use of self must be balanced between the professional and the personal. In my field placement I must determine what extent I would like to use the use of self. When sharing information with clients it can be both negative and positive experiences in terms of the professional encounter (Birkenmaier, & Berg-Weger, 2018). Some self-disclosure should be for the clients benefit. During my field placement I do not go into much detail about myself but with going through life experiences I am able to apply them in sessions. If a client shares the same beliefs as I do, I may agree with what they are saying or add to what they are saying while making sure it is about them.

  • A description of potential boundary challenges in your field education experience

Potential boundary challenges in my field education experience may be interjecting too much and shifting the focus on yourself as an intern rather than the client. Doing so can be damaging to the therapeutic relationship. Self-disclosure can impede progress toward desired outcomes due to the discomfort of shared experiences. Boundaries are important to have just so the relationship between myself and the client can stay progressive (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger,2018).


Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork (4th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

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