Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Social Work in Our Personal Lives

Does Social Work creep into your personal life? Isn't that a guarantee?!

As social workers, people with a skill-set for problem solving, for compromise, and for hearing what isn't being said, are we in a position to be better partners in romantic relationships? Are we better parents? Better friends to have?

Are we destined to always feel a tad frustrated that we're always the ones who remains calm in an argument with a loved one, the person who looks for the real reason behind the emotion, the person who hears the "I'm scared and trying to protect myself by pushing you away, please don't let me" in the awful words being said. I wonder if it's easier for social workers to date each other, if the communication is more open, if the partners are better at finding the truth behind the words.

Are we, by nature of the field we've chosen, more naturally introspective? Is that a requirement of being a truly great social worker? Are we more likely than non-social workers to journal, to see a therapist, or to find productive ways of dealing with our emotions?

Could being a social worker be detrimental to our personal lives? Could our skill-set cause us to spend too much time trying to improve on things that may not really need to be focused on? Can it lead us to becoming the martyrs or the doormats of the world? Can it cause us to be less able to walk away from a bad relationship because we see the potential in the abuser, the alcoholic, the unmotivated?

Where's the line between using one's clinical skills and self-preservation?

(Disclaimer: These are all questions I ponder and questions I can't wait to read comments on. But for those who know me, no worries, this isn't indicative of something going on in my own life) :)

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