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Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship based approaches in social work

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Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship-based approaches in Social Work

Discussion

GAPS encourages connection and reflection among the social work community. We invite you to take part in our online discussions to exchange thoughts and ideas about the articles and subjects raised. We have recently encouraged our members and wider readership to contribute through the Writing for GAPS initiativeWe have been really delighted with the response.

We invite you to read, think, and respond through the comments section.  This space is for practitioners, educators and students in the field of social work.  You must logged in as a GAPS member or subscriber (subscribing is free).  Please get in touch if you have any difficulty registering or logging in – we would really like you to take part.

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Recent Discussion Topics

The Reflexive Supervisor

The Reflexive Supervisor

The challenges and complexities of working in the human service field are varied and multi-faceted. Supervisors of practitioners require a range of competencies to ensure safe and ethical practice. The ability to take account of self and think reflexively is a crucial attribute of the thoughtful and effective supervisor

Tamara Holmes

Childism and the Child in Care in England

Childism and the Child in Care in England

This article is about children in care and their multi-professional care networks. The article proposes that professionals in the field committed to extending their appreciations of how to listen to and improve the ways in which they care for children could usefully add the lens of childism to their repertoire of practices.

Stephen Mills

Relationship Based Practice in Child Protection: An insurmountable problem?

Relationship Based Practice in Child Protection: An insurmountable problem?

Richard Devine asks: How realistic is it that I can form a therapeutic relationship in such a fraught context? How can I make sense of the gulf experienced between this encounter and the idealised concepts heavily promoted in social work literature? Ideas such as coproduction, collaboration, empowerment, and anti-discriminatory practice. Ideas such as unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and empathy.

Richard Devine

On Being and Becoming: Rogerian Approaches to Relationship Building and Eating Disorders

On Being and Becoming: Rogerian Approaches to Relationship Building and Eating Disorders

Broadly speaking, Carl Rogers’ hypothesis is that the person who presents in psychotherapy already has within them the resources, knowledge, and wisdom needed for healing, and that it is the work of the therapist to facilitate a therapeutic relational climate that enhances the client’s ability to draw upon their internal resources in the pursuit of growth and change (Rogers, 1942). This approach is of particular interest when applied to the treatment of eating disorders and attachment trauma.

Hannah Robb

The Middle Passage

The Middle Passage

The term ‘midlife crisis’ refers to a phenomenon where a mid-point of life can trigger significant identity, relational and lifestyle changes. Hollis shuns the term ‘crisis’ and instead talks about ‘the Middle Passage’ as representing a wonderful, though often painful opportunity to re-examine ourselves. During the Middle Passage, there is an invitation for greater consciousness. I am a white woman and a social worker in my own middle-age. I started writing this paper in the last week of February 2021 after a close colleague, a black woman, resigned.

Louise Sims

Joining, Contracting and Intervening: three parts to embedding clinical practice in a child protection system 

Joining, Contracting and Intervening: three parts to embedding clinical practice in a child protection system 

Professionals from a range of therapeutic disciplines join with social work colleagues in local authority children’s services departments to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families. Such clinicians can be referred to as ‘embedded’ in local authority structures. This article considers three recursive and interlinked processes – joining, contracting and intervening – that occupy the clinician in the process of becoming embedded. 

Jamie Evans

Learning from the Kindertransport Children’s Lives

Learning from the Kindertransport Children’s Lives

This article by Patricia Higham discusses the experiences of the Kindertransport children, and argues that today’s practitioners can learn strategies for practice from the Kindertransport children’s lives, including how to diminish the incidence of post-traumatic stress, mitigate the impact of traumatic life events on vulnerable individuals and facilitate post-traumatic growth.

Patricia Higham

How to Make a Social Worker – reflections on social work education

How to Make a Social Worker – reflections on social work education

I have recently left my job as a senior lecturer in a university to go back to practice with looked after children. It was a difficult decision and like most complex issues, the reasons for it were overdetermined. As the months pass in my new role, I have been reflecting on my experiences of working in social work education and considering them from my current position, as a practitioner.

Rhian Taylor

How do we understand relationships now?

How do we understand relationships now?

A discussion which began during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, when many social workers worked from home and met clients and colleagues online. Our Trustees, Nigel and Katharine begin the discussion with a longer view. You are invited to join in.

Nigel Elliott and Katharine Scanlan

Clare Winnicott Essay Awards

The 2024 Clare Winnicott Essay Awards are open for submissions from unpublished Social Work Practitioners and Social Work Students