I often think of psychotherapy as a meal – an opportunity to be nourished. What this meal is made of will depend, to a large extent, on what is wanted, affordable and available – financially and emotionally – and whether we have the time, space and stomach to consume and digest all that is there. The final choice of eating house may be influenced by many factors – what is already known about the choice and range of food available, whether it has been recommended and by whom, its location and how easy it is to get there, how the food will be served, whether the menu is written in a language we can understand and will be adapted to meet individual taste, whether there is room for us and, most importantly, what the bill will be and whether we can afford it. Having money buys choice and the chance to be served quickly. It also buys the expectation that the money spent will purchase food of a particular quality.
I started in social work in 1976 and over the years have had a variety of roles – as a residential worker, field social worker, family centre manager and academic. I’m currently retired but regularly present at conferences and lecture in the UK, Europe and Australia on themes covered in my writing or that trouble social workers.
I enjoy writing and am the author of the best-selling 3rd edition text Social Work Skills and Knowledge: A Practice Handbook (2012). In this book, and in other articles I’ve written, I highlight – and attempt to rectify – the superficial coverage given to social work skills in some areas of UK teaching and practice