Human relationships lie at the very heart of social work practice, and an understanding of their importance is a crucial aspect of training. This book considers the place of relationships in current practice and explores the ways in which social workers can use relationship skills to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients.

The book also offers a unique discussion of the social worker's relationship with him or herself, arguing that self-awareness is as essential to good practice as an emotional understanding of the other. In doing so, the book promotes a new model for relationship-based social work, which emphasizes the importance of both the inter- and intrapersonal.

Opening with an introduction to the theoretical bases of the relationship-based model, the book then focuses on their direct application to social work practice. Key topics include:

Self-awareness and using oneself; Knowing the other person; Sustaining oneself; The ethics of relationship-based social work; Internalizing knowledge, skills and values

Using reflective exercises and case studies, the book encourages students to relate the tools they have learnt to practice scenarios from the real world, and is essential reading for all qualifying social work students.

Drawing Themes Together: Theory and the Use of Personal Experience

Drawing themes together: Theory and the use of personal experience

Reviewing Theory for Practice

Social work exists as a socially organised response to people's needs and misfortunes – whether these are caused by mental or physical illness, neglect and abuse, or are simply the inequalities of society associated with social and psychological disadvantages. Social workers are called to work with clients in these kinds of states, with these kinds of backgrounds, and the central argument of this book has been that their work is likely to be more creative when it is relationship based.

The book began with a discussion of clients’ views about relationships. What matters for them is not only what social workers do – a ...

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