Safely negotiating the intersection: Managing the personal and professional dimensions of life in social work education

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Matthewson, Peter
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2022-11-10
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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Aotearoa
New Zealand
social work students
lived experiences
social work education
Unitec, Te Pūkenga courses
inclusive education
Citation
Matthewson, P.J. (2022, November, 10-11). Safely negotiating the intersection: Managing the personal and professional dimensions of life in social work education [Paper presentation]. ANZSWWER Symposium 2022, Emergence and Transformation in Social Work and Human Services, Melbourne, Australia
Abstract
Social workers and social work students come with their own personal lives and histories, that have grown in diverse social and cultural contexts. Students come into social work education with their own experiences of vulnerability, discrimination and oppression and / or privilege, that may be very similar to, or different from, the lives of people they will eventually serve in the social work profession. Many students also carry personal trauma, and personal experience of some of the issues that social work addresses. How can students be supported to process their own personal experiences, including past trauma, to ensure that they can be safe in the face of the demands and potential exposure to trauma of social work practice? It has been a common feature of counselling and psychotherapy education programmes for students to be required to undergo their own process of therapy while in training. However this has not been common in social work education programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand. This presentation will examine one attempt to address this need, through a written reflection and individual interview process, in a Professional Practice course in the second year of a four-year social work degree programme in Aotearoa New Zealand
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