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The Importance Of Empathy In Social Work

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In the reading, the author discusses throughout the chapter skills and techniques in the middle phase of working with a service user. Honesty is a value that is highly respected in the social work profession because it creates authenticity and trust in the therapeutic alliance. I agree with the statement completely, as I believe that being honest in regards to what one is feeling as a social worker allows the service user to be honest with how they are feeling as well. Further, it is explained that empathy is of vast importance when working with a service user in order to connect, help them uncover what they are feeling, and find specific approaches and techniques that would be beneficial to the service user. Although I agree that empathy is an important skill for a social worker to have when working with a service user, I feel that at times it can be an issue. To be specific, if a social worker is trying to understand how a service user may be feeling right after they have confided in them about a traumatic event, for example, it may be detrimental to the therapeutic relationship if the social worker tunes out of the conversation to think back to a similar event in their own personal life. As a result, the social worker could be missing cues in the conversation while they are reminiscing in order to put themselves in the service user’s shoes and ultimately make the client feel as if they are being ignored. Personally, if I were in a situation in which I was a worker and my

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