If social work students are to flourish in their careers, and go beyond a basic sense of ‘competence’ in practice, it is essential to develop a sense of Professional Self. This book will help students develop critical understanding of their own social work practice, and the tools and skills required to become a professional social worker.

The Emotionally Competent Professional

Neil Thompson

The Emotionally Competent Professional

The emotionally competent professional
Neil Thompson


Social work involves working with people in distress and difficulties, people who have perhaps been traumatised by abuse or other life experience, people who have encountered major loss, suffering and pain. In addition there can be immense feelings of alienation and disaffection rooted in social inequalities and the discrimination and oppression associated with them. It would therefore be extremely naive not to recognise that there is a strong emotional component to social work.

It would also be naive not to recognise that, as professionals, we bring our own emotional issues into our work. The idea of the ‘objective’ professional as someone who can leave their feelings at the office door as they arrive for work is, ...

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