Over 75 insightful illustrations highlight almost every common issue that students face in their field work and demonstrate how each situation can be handled. Clearly identified topics in each chapter guide social work students through the many pitfalls and relationships of field work, including how to enter an agency and what professional comportment looks like. A focus on key relationships (with field instructor, agency staff, faculty advisor, authority, and the all-important client relationship) helps prepare students for effective social work practice. Second and third person narration offers a personal approach to field work to keep readers engaged. Practice illustrations, examples from field programs, and guidelines help students review and master key skills. Useful strategies for dealing with the many conflicting demands of family and friends and ways of managing the effects of personal history on field work help students deal with the feelings and challenges they will encounter in the intricate relationships they must sustain with clients, field instructors, and faculty advisors.

I Feel Like Spaghetti—All Strung Out
I feel like spaghetti—all strung out

When Your Personal Issues Get in the Way

Your personal issues are getting in the way when you deflect the feedback being given. One sign that personal issues are interfering is when a student begins feeling picked on by his or her field instructor. The student becomes argumentative and creates a conflictual relationship, an unfortunate approach since the field instructor has to be seen as the expert, while the student is not.

If you find yourself in this mode with a field instructor, pause and consider. These reactions may be signs that you are avoiding a piece of self-reflection. Although field instructors are not perfect, listening is more effective than reacting. If you are ...

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