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


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

GAPS National Conference 2021: Caring in an Uncaring World – Moral Injury and Ethical Practice


Friday 8th October 2021


Bristol and Online


9.15am - 3:45pm




GAPS, Sally Weintrobe, Sarah Banks
Caring in an Uncaring World: Moral Injury and Ethical Practice
How do we ‘carry on’ as professionals and carers within planetary and social systems that are fragmenting and disintegrating before our eyes? How can we promote spirit and integrity in our caring professions when our best efforts to maintain, and even improve, standards of social justice and ethical practice are undermined?
Caring in an uncaring world can often leave us feeling helpless, disempowered and even morally injured.  For example, when we leave those in psychological distress waiting without hope, or place children and elderly persons in homes that are unfit for purpose, and in doing so use depleted council resources which we know are being syphoned into private investment accounts, our sense of doing good in the world is attacked.
But there may be ways that we can embolden ourselves and others towards making a difference, to practice individually and collectively in ways that are more ethically purposeful and less morally injurious to ourselves and those we try to help.
This challenging conference has been inspired by the writings of our keynote speakers, Sally Weintrobe, Psychoanalyst and Founder Member of Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA), and Professor Sarah Banks (Durham University).
The aim is to encourage and support participants to identify and explore the conflicting moral environments that we work in, firstly guided by Sally’s ideas on ‘life in the (climate and/or neoliberal) bubbles’ and ‘moral injury’, and followed by Sarah’s thinking about ethical resistance and recovery.  Reflective discussion groups will be facilitated to assist participants in in developing their own ideas and connections.

How to attend:

Each year we hold a national conference which provides social work practitioners with a welcoming space to gather, reflect and discuss ideas.  This year, the conference will be presented both online and for physical attendance by participants in Bristol. 

Sally Weintrobe

Sally Weintrobe

Sally Weintrobe is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society (BPAS), an original member of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) and chairs the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Climate Committee. Her current work is on the culture of uncare, a culture that she argues works to sever our felt caring links with the environment and with each other. Sally writes and talks on how to understand what underlies our widespread disavowal of climate crisis. Her new book ‘Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis – Neoliberal Exceptionalism and the Culture of Uncare’ was published earlier this year. Her recent article ‘Moral injury, the culture of uncare and the climate bubble’ in the Journal of Social Work Practice introduces the themes she will be attending to in her presentation.

Sarah Banks

Sarah Banks

Sarah Banks is Co-Director, Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and Professor, Department of Sociology, Durham University, UK. She teaches and researches on professional ethics, community development and participatory action research. She coordinates an international research partnership exploring ethical challenges during Covid-19. The fifth edition of her popular textbook, Ethics and Values in Social Work (London, Red Globe Press, 2021), was recently published.

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We are eager to offer a full calendar of online and in-person workshops, conferences, lectures and discussion groups.  We are really keen to hear from people who have something to share with our audience.  We would like to hear from you about ideas for an event.

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