Self Development In Social Care

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In social care, we work with some of society’s most vulnerable people. For a practitioner to best support an individual they must first be able to care for themselves. There is huge value in being aware of who we are, our strengths and our areas for improvement. This can directly affect the relationships and experiences we have with ourselves, clients, and our peers in social care practice. For this assignment, I will look at the importance of ‘the self’ and personal and professional development in social care. The self can be defined as ‘an organised, consistent set of perceptions of and beliefs about oneself’ (Passer, Smith, Holt, Bremner, Sutherland & Vliek, 2009, p676). We should aim to understand ourselves, learn know how we function…show more content…
It is also key to be aware what we are or are not capable of in our work. It is important to continue to grow and develop personally and professionally. This is an ongoing process throughout our lives. According to Day, Halpin & Zaccaro, 2004, (cited by Share & Lalor, 2009, p123) for ‘self-development to occur, a person needs to become aware of his/her internal processes {thoughts, feelings, moods, beliefs and actions} and have an awareness of how these internal processes impact on others as an external process’. Self-awareness and self-development work hand in hand with one another, as do personal and professional development. ‘Conscious bringing into awareness of a greater understanding of both who, and how, we are in the world is known as the process of personal development’ (Parfitt, 2006 as cited by Share & Lalor, 2009, p233). By actively working on our self-development we can advance and progress and not be stuck at a certain point. ‘The social care worker is not practising to his or her full potential if they are not engaged in awareness and development of the self’ (Share & Lalor, 2009, p123). ‘Self-awareness, self-management and self-care are critical elements of emotional and professional competence’. (Winter, 2009 cited by…show more content…
However, it is not only important to be able to use these coping mechanisms for example, after a difficult day to exercise or meditate but to incorporate these techniques into everyday life. Having these activities integrated into our regular day to day lives can also help maintain a healthy work-life balance. Social care can be a fulfilling and rewarding career however there can also be very difficult experiences and so it is vital that we are prepared to care for ourselves in order to avoid burnout, desensitisation and to be able to continue working with and supporting those who need us. We should be open minded in our work and attempt to learn from both positive and negative experiences. ‘We would be missing the opportunity given to us by the people with whom we work if we did not learn and grow from our experience’ (Howard & Lyons, 2014, p126). ‘The therapeutic self broadly refers to the process of the individual evaluating the effect of his or her characteristics, values and practice interactions with others and the extent to which this brings development and insight’ (Freshwater 2002 cited by Kwaitek et al, 2005, p 27). If we are modelling confident and proactive self-care and self-development we can be a positive role model for those we work with. This concept of self-awareness and developing oneself can promote and encourage one to be the best that they can

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