Moving from insight exploration to action phase is a significant and challenging phase in a social worker’s profession. At this point, it is necessary to identify the need for change and outline possible options that will be most helpful in reaching the set goals (Hill, 2014). Clients may experience alterations in the ways they feel, think, or behave (Hill, 2014). The primary duty of a social worker at this stage is assisting clients in deciding on their next steps rather than give instructions.
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My greatest strength in the phase of fostering action is the ability to identify clients’ challenges. Specifically, I feel confident about pointing out discrepancies, contradictions, defenses, and irrational beliefs about which clients do not know or which they are not able or willing to modify. With the help of practical experience and the analysis of scholarly publications, I have gained a sufficient ability to discern clients’ problematic issues. Additionally, I can present this information in a friendly and delicate way so that a person with whom I communicate does not feel reserved or distressed. In the majority of cases, I have managed to foster a better understanding of the situation and avoid resistance to perception or change on the part of clients.
My biggest challenge at this stage is self-disclosure for exploration. I cannot reveal my personal information easily, particularly in what refers to my history or feelings. I am quite discreet in this respect, and I find it rather difficult to expose my history or feelings to strangers. I find this issue a considerable challenge since a social worker must be able to share his or her feelings if they want to gain the same result from their clients. Thus, I will work hard to eliminate the mentioned barrier to my successful practice.
Integrating Treatment Phases
The ultimate purpose of social workers’ collaboration with clients is bringing all the stages of the treatment process together. While it is crucial to learn each of the skills separately, the integrated use of them is much more important in a social worker’s job (Hill, 2014). Thus, the emphasis is not on specific knowledge or skills but on the ability to employ them simultaneously to cover various purposes.
The aspect in which I find myself most confident is helping the clients to understand their thoughts, feelings, and actions. I am quite good at listening to visitors’ problems, and in the majority of cases, I can quickly identify the problems existing in people’s lives. As a result, it is easy for me to help clients comprehend the obstacles existing on their way toward gaining a satisfactory mental condition. To gain positive results, I integrate such skills as attentive listening, asking open-ended questions, making appropriate pauses, and repeating and restating clients’ statements with a focus on their feelings or thoughts.
A challenge I frequently experience at this stage concerns knowing what to do or say next after a client talks. Sometimes, I need a few moments to combine the details of what a person has said and real appropriately. However, as Hill (2014) notes, there is “no “right” way to implement the helping model” (p. 437). Thus, every time, I try to find the most effective approach with each visitor. I will continue looking for the best solution to cope with my hesitance and to be able to offer the most effective solution as soon as possible.
Getting to Know Your Style Further
To anticipate my style of work further, I have carefully analyzed both strengths and weaknesses of my present practical experience. So far, there are several factors serving as advantages and disadvantages for promoting my career. The greatest strength is the ability to work with clients who differ from me in a majority of ways. Such aspects as race, gender, ethnicity, age, and social economic status have never been obstacles in my communication with people.
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This characteristic is quite helpful in a social worker’s job where I meet and cooperate with a variety of people. Irrespective of whether one is of the same ethnicity or social economic status as me, I can always be objective. The same concerns age and gender: I can easily arrange contact with both mine and opposite gender and with clients of my age or those younger or older than me.
What constitutes a major challenge at this stage is the ability to work with individuals who are dealing with issues that I personally find difficult to handle. For instance, I do not support the right to abortions, and it would be quite difficult for me to work with a person coping with this issue. I do not think I could support such a client to a sufficient extent because of my personal beliefs. However, I fully realize that this is a serious drawback for me as a professional, and I will strive to overcome this challenge. I believe that practice and self-analysis are helpful in managing professional problems.
Hill, C. E. (2014). Helping skills: Facilitating exploration, insight, and action (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.