Revisiting the Use of Self
Questioning Professional Identities
In recent years, several developments have stimulated new ways of thinking about the social worker’s “self” or “selves” in all aspects of practice. The focus on practice with diverse populations, and the emphasis on “anti-oppressive” practice have highlighted elements of the relationship between social worker and client.
The objective of this book is threefold:
- 1. Offer the reader a historical/developmental overview of the concept of “use of self” and critically explore its adequacy for contemporary ethical practice.
- 2. Provide the reader with first-person, practitioners’ accounts of their own “use of self” in examples of reflective practice approaches.
- 3. Broaden the scope of the concept of critical “use of self” to fields of service where it is under-theorized in, for example, community work and corrections.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Deena Mandell
Introducing the Contributors
Chapter 1: Use of Self: Contexts and Dimensions – Deena Mandell
Chapter 2: Self as Subjectivity: Toward a Use of Self as Respectful Relations of Recognition – Amy Rossiter
Chapter 3: The Mo-Hebrew Conundrum: How Anti-Semitism in the Aboriginal Community Changed My Professional and Personal Identity as a Social Worker – Jeff D’Hondt
Chapter 4: Structuring Social Work Use of Self – Jill Grant
Chapter 5: Power and Status Contradictions – Paul Morrel
Chapter 6: Encounters in Social Work Practice – Martha Kuwee Kumsa
Chapter 7: Hope Has Two Daughters: Critical Practice within a Women’s Prison – Shoshana Pollack
Chapter 8: Managing Paradox in the Use of Self: The Case of Family Group Conferencing – Jeannette Schmid
Chapter 9: On the Merits of Psychological Autopsies: Why Reflexive Use of Self Is Important for Community Social Work Practitioners – Ginette Lafreniere
Chapter 10: “In and Against” the Community: Use of Self in Community Organizing – Eric Shragge
Chapter 11: Accomplishing Professional Self – Gerald de Montigny
Chapter 12: Ethical Use of the Self: The Complexity of Multiple Selves in Clinical Practice – Merlinda Weinberg
"This book is a treasure, a valuable and much-needed addition to the social work literature. Giving priority to the use of self perspective will clarify the elements of subjectivity brought to a relationship that encompasses one's personhood, identity, culture, diversity, and social position of class, status, role, authority, and power."
Atalia Mosek, DSW, Senior Lecturer and former Director of Social Work program, Tel Hai Academic College, Israel
"This volume makes a significant contribution by expanding the core notion of the "use of self," integrating recent theories and contextual approaches, broadening the scope of our understanding and providing enhanced means to conduct a reflective practice.
Importantly, practitioners are shown as people who are on a quest, what the editor points out as having a sense of adventure, risking their 'self,' which is seldom shown in professional or academic wrirtings. And yet, this is what brings strength. This too is a political statement. The editor and the team are to be commended for having achieved this."
Adrienne Chambon, Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
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