My Philosophy of Social Work
Metropolitan State University
While thinking about this paper and determining what values, beliefs, and concepts influence me as a social worker, I found myself having difficulty in determining what those influences have been. I am thankful for this paper, as it has allowed me to step back and examine all of the things that have influenced me along this journey. The unfortunate part is that I more gaps than anything else, although that really excites me as I know there are many areas I can learn about and subsequently grow in. Throughout the writing of my philosophy, I was able to look back and see where many of my experiences propelled me forward in the hopes of becoming a social worker. I do want to note that while the most important factors that influences me is the Bible and Jesus, I will not be elaborating on this much but it will be noted throughout this paper. I have a decent amount of trauma in my life due to the family atmosphere I grew up in and I’m proud to say that while that affects me as a person, it hasn’t ever diminished me. Instead, I find that because of those experiences I have grown to be a woman who is secure in who I am, I can readily empathize with those around me, I see the need for people to be in life-giving relationships, and I believe that everyone has a story that is worth telling and most especially that people need someone in their life to listen to them. I have determined three things that I have incorporated in my belief system that impact me, not only as a social worker, but also as a friend. I believe in the dignity and worth of a person, I believe in the importance of human relationships and my general tendency as a social worker is to operate out of the psychodynamic theory.
My Philosophy of Social Work
Dignity and worth of a person
Growing up in a house where my parents fought a lot, I learned at an early age how to hate and disrespect people, doing and saying things to belittle people and cause them feel horrible. According to the NASW Code of Ethics (2008) this value is encompassed as treating people well – showing them that they are cared for, that we, as social workers, understand their needs and want them to succeed therefore helping them uncover options to grow and thrive. While I didn’t have that modeled for me in my home, I have seen it modeled to me by friends and I see it modeled by Jesus in the Bible (John 4; John 8:1-11; Luke 8:26-32; Luke 18:35-42). Due to my past, I am very aware of whether or not people are operating out of a place where they understand their dignity and worth. A therapy I would used to help clients understand their dignity and worth is narrative therapy. I think this would be a beneficial therapy to start with because it is a brief treatment, able to make a lasting impact in a short amount of time. I appreciate the importance of deconstruction in this therapy, as clients are able to see what has happened in their past to cause them to feel the way they do or believe the things that they believe (Cooper & Lesser, 2011). I listed this value first as I believe no lasting change can be made unless clients are able to grasp this in their hearts; they will not love themselves, value change or be able to relate to people healthily if this isn’t an integral part of who they are and what they believe. I was reading a book the other day and stumbled across a quote that has impacted my understanding of dignity and worth and I think utilizing this quote will help clients reflect on how their past beliefs are affecting their lives today: “If what you believe does not reflect truth, then what you feel does not reflect reality,” (Anderson, 2000, p.188). This is an area I am passionate about - people understanding what their identity should really be based on - and because of that I also place a high importance on the value of human relationships. My...