Once graduating from a post-secondary institution with a diploma or degree in social work, your career begins. Similar to constructing a building, each year in social work inspires new professional goals, aspirations, and dreams. Social Workers engage in continuous professional learning that enhances work with people.

In Ontario, the OCSWSSW refers to this shared practice standard as our collective engagement in a continuing competence program https://www.ocswssw.org/the-continuing-competence-program/general-information-ccp/

As reflective practitioners in private practice and otherwise, it is also been my experience that excellent clinical social workers are most likely to stay abreast of cutting edge techniques, newest theories, and evidence-informed approaches. We are often seeking professional development opportunities that provide a healthy balance of theory and practice. Much like passing a driver’s license exam, social work involves the gradual development of skills, techniques, and practices founded on a confluence of theory borrowed from sociology, cultural anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and medicine. Over time, social workers achieve both technical and clinical goals that build unique approaches to care. In my view, clinical approaches are less formulaic, exacting, or precise than purely technical ones. In the early days, we spoke of ourselves in terms of clinicians as artists and not technicians. It was a way to clearly delineate social work from other counselling professions that relied more heavily on surveys, self-report questionnaires, and formal assessment tools. Enigmatic philosopher Gadamer refers to the art of healing in medical care, thereby supporting the view that there is more to technique when providing direct care to people seeking therapy. Have you thought about your new year practice goals this year? What do you plan to do differently from last year if anything? What are some of the ground level professional experiences that have helped you to get to where you are today?

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