Characteristics and Skills of Human Services Workers

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The purpose of this paper is to write about the essential characteristics and skills of mental health human services workers. When discussing the fundamental characteristics of a human services worker, Team B felt that communication skills are vital. Without rapport and connection with the client, other skills cannot be effective. Of course, the most fundamental ingredients for a human services worker are a compassionate, patient, caring heart and a desire to see each individual achieve a personal best in all areas of life. “Without vibrant meaning, purpose, and direction, our life can never flower” (Doherty, 2009).

Everyday life presents different mental, emotional, and social challenges and rewards for the client that must be addressed by the human services professional; various forms of abuse such as physical, mental, drug, alcohol, sexual, and elderly abuse along with additional life conditions such as, poverty, financial hardships, unemployment, and illness are among the most familiar. Many people just need a helping hand to get started on the way to a better life .

For the human services worker, the essential characteristic of communication, beginning with the art of listening, is the foundation on which the relationship with the client is based. Listening means putting aside personal work or thoughts and truly hearing, sometimes through anger or insecurity, what the other person is saying with his or her heart.

Consequently, compassion brings an emotional toll on the human services professional, so another essential trait is the knowing of one’s limits and establishing these boundaries early in the association to prevent burnout which is a detriment among human services workers in all professions. “It makes sense that an emotionally weary individual would be less disposed to make the emotional investment required in dealing with clients as individuals rather than as depersonalized cases” (Drake & Yadama, 1996). On Jan 10, 2010, in a speech...
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