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Relationship Skills in Social Work

Relationship Skills in Social Work

March 2011 | 152 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Human relationships lie at the very heart of social work practice, and an understanding of their importance is a crucial aspect of training. This book considers the place of relationships in current practice and explores the ways in which social workers can use relationship skills to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients.

The book also offers a unique discussion of the social worker's relationship with him or herself, arguing that self-awareness is as essential to good practice as an emotional understanding of the other. In doing so, the book promotes a new model for relationship-based social work, which emphasizes the importance of both the inter- and intrapersonal.

Opening with an introduction to the theoretical bases of the relationship-based model, the book then focuses on their direct application to social work practice. Key topics include:

  • Self-awareness and using oneself
  • Knowing the other person
  • Sustaining oneself
  • The ethics of relationship-based social work
  • Internalizing knowledge, skills and values

Using reflective exercises and case studies, the book encourages students to relate the tools they have learnt to practice scenarios from the real world, and is essential reading for all qualifying social work students.

Introduction to Relationships in Social Work
The Centrality of Relationships in Social Work
The Theoretical Bases of Relationship-Based Social Work
Skills in Relationship-Based Practice: Self-Awareness and Using Oneself
Skills in Relationship-Based Practice: Knowing the Other Person
Skills in Relationship-Based Practice: Sustaining Oneself
The Ethics of Relationship-Based Social Work
Conclusion: Internalizing Knowledge, Skills and Values

"Roger Hennessey has written a wonderfully warm and readable book about the importance of a relationship-based approach to social work practice. It is full of wisdom, humanity, and commonsense. The book is rich with examples and exercises. You know that you are in the hands of an expert whose skill, experience and understanding shine and reassure on every page."

Professor David Howe, School of Social work and Psychology, University of East Anglia

This is a book that fills a gap in terms of a re-focus on relationship-based social work. I have found it accessible and a good resource for third year social work students.

Dr Eleni Skoura-Kirk
Dept of Health,Wellbeing & the family, Canterbury Christ Church University
September 10, 2013

This is a well written book which is easy accessible to students at all levels. The emphasis on "self" as a tool for practice is wonderful to see. It links with theory opens up the opportunity for students to gain a clear understanding of relationship based social work.

Lesley Parish
Social Work Office (Redditch), North East Worcestershire College
February 23, 2013

A really good read for Yr 1 students that will support student development into Yr 2 and Yr 3 practice placements.

Mr Sam Miller
Division of Social Work, Huddersfield University
June 21, 2012

A person centred book making real links between theory and practice. the humanity of the social work role comes across clearly; an affirming text which i would recommend to AMHP trainees who need to brush up on their academic study of the relationship of social workers with the people with whom they work

Ms Judith Matthews
School of Applied Social Science, Brighton University
November 7, 2011

This book has a good balance of focus on both client work and practitioner self awareness. A helpful resource for practitioners.

Mr Jim Cantwell
Humanities , Waterford Institute of Technology
October 4, 2011

A lovely accessible book examining the importance of the self in relationships with service users. Excellent as a teaching tool in large group teaching but also vital in individual learning. An easy read, very informative and interesting.

Mrs Kerry Fidler
School of Social Work, University of Leicester
June 24, 2011

This is an excellent book that provides a good deal of insight into the developing relationship skills in social work. I liked the fact that it used simple and easy to follow concepts.

Mr Tarsem Cooner
Inst of Applied Social Studies, Birmingham University
March 24, 2011

A good book to refer to in our skills lab programme. Is also of value in the teaching of Lifespan Development. The text has a readable style.

Mr Dave Mason
Faculty of Health, Staffordshire University
March 9, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Sage College Publishing

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