Forever drawn to the study of culture and society, embarking on a career in Social Work offered me unique ways of understanding human problems. Sharing many aspects of work with Psychology, Psychiatry, Child and Youth Work, Developmental Services Work, and Mental Health Nursing, Clinical Social Work embeds problems in an overarching systemic framework. Similar to mechanistic sciences such as engineering, systemic frameworks explore problems in relation to the systems in which they occur, happen, or manifest.
In this way, social work theory focuses less on the problem as the problem per se, and views the systems or processes that lead to, enhance, shape, or grow the problems as the place for investigation & intervention to occur. It becomes important to understand processes of communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and social interacting when assessing clinical problems identified by a person as distressing.
There is ample scientific evidence today that shows direct positive impacts of interventions that encourage people to try to do something different by modifying particular habitual patterns that more times than not lead to the problem. For example, couples who change up the time of day or place in their home that financial or sexual discussions occur, may improve things. The key is noticing what modifications work to lessen or reduce the problem, and then to do more of what works!!!
Identifying the why something worked is really not all that important, and often distracts clients from shifting their real emotional work to tasks of healing. Sometimes, your tasks of healing are greater than you realize and include some cultural and historical importance as well. For example, are you comfortable with your name? When spoken, does your name signify your cultural heritage, history, and possibly religion? How do you feel about your first and last names?
I am often intrigued by names. I feel a sense of honour when individuals take the time to teach me about their name, cultural heritage, and personal histories. It has been my experience that most people ground personal history in the context of family both here in Canada and abroad. Individuals take pride in talking about the people, traditions, and practices that informs their modern life today.
Within a clinical context, conversations about your personal issues are more deeply understood when explored within this histo-socio-cultural frame. A broader context for understanding your values, beliefs, and traditions will enhance your views of your current situation and problems and allow you to go deeper into those aspects of your life that are simply non-negotiable.
Some familiar non-negotiable values for healthy-living likely include respect for self & other, kindness, fairness, and the freedom to express your point of view. Safeguarding your core values is indeed a human right, just as safeguarding your own name is.
Sunny dispositions deserve to shine!!!!
© Lisa Romano-Dwyer BSc, MSW, PhD, RSW
#wellness #heritage #values #civicduty #healthy #weallbelong #isolatecreate