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December 13, 2011

December 2011 Reflections

My population of interest is adolescents because this is a time in which there are lots of changes occurring biologically, socially, and psychologically. Also, since this population is under 18, they are considered minors and do not have legal rights that adults have, such as confidentiality from parents or the ability to move out of the home unless the living situation is extremely bad. Since so much is changing in the lives of adolescents each day, it is important to view clients in through the lens of the multidimensional framework.

Recognizing biological changes such as puberty (bodily changes) and cognition (increased brain functioning) are important because puberty can be a great stressor as youth develop at either similar or different rates from peers. It can also cause tension between adolescents and parents as they realize that they too are aging and their bonds with their children begin to change into more adult relationships. Psychologically, it is important to acknowledge Erikson’s stages of development, as youth face identity vs. confusion as they learn more about their interests and try to discover more about who they are and who they would like to become. Socially, the structure of school changes, and so do the expectations of society, parents, and others.

While still developing, adolescents face these many changes and may react to the changes in both positive and negative ways. It is important for social workers to learn to identify the many facets that may be affecting an adolescent when working with them. It is of utmost importance that no dimension of the multidimensional framework is ignored because they all play a role in the development of all people. Neglecting one aspect can skew the framework of the client, and then the client might not receive the help s/he needs.

My professional goals have generally remained the same throughout the semester. However, I have thought more critically about how I can achieve them and really work to make a difference for my clients. During one discussion with peers, a discussion of advocacy arose, and the question of whether or not a therapist was an advocate was raised. I had never considered this, and my peers said that who you take on as a client makes the difference. It is social work if you work with oppressed populations and help those in need. This discussion helped me to realize that I want to work with these populations and really fight for equality.

I am honestly surprised by how much I am learning and how useful I find the information. I had never considered many of the policies and infrastructures that affect how people live and function. I now understand the importance of learning about policy level work and have even seen this live as I witness and am involved in the occupy Wall Street movement. This movement is aiming to achieve policy changes in order to help the oppressed in the United States. I am shocked that of all the times in history that this could happen, it would happen now, when I am learning about the history of social work, what makes social work, policies, and the role of communities. It is an exciting time to learn about macro practice and to be able to help affect change.

One of the most beneficial topics that I learned about was SWOT because I can put that into practice when studying Albion High School. This will help organize our data in a way that my classmates and other social workers can understand. I also found the Checkoway article to be interesting because it deals with the same group skills that I am learning in interpersonal practice. These types of intergroup dialogue would be something that I would be interested in conducting in schools with my degree. Similarly, the differentiation between a problem and condition and breaking down elements of a social problem will also help me in interpersonal practice because it will help me to understand what larger barriers my client may be facing.

Posted by desolada at December 13, 2011 10:25 AM

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