Mindfulness: 10 Lessons in Self-Care for Social Workers

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Beyond self-care

All of these are beautiful suggestions and regular practice can greatly decrease suffering. But, as a long term social worker, yoga therapist and mindfulness meditation instructor, I have found that the majority of stress and burnout experienced by social workers, especially those newer to the field, goes way beyond their individual self-care. Low pay, meager benefits, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue and systemic issues greatly affect the social worker as well. I feel there is a need to overhaul the expectations of the social work workplace structure and environment - allowing more flexibility in schedule, ample "mental health" days, pay grades that match other master-level positions and more realistic caseloads and performance expectations. We need to move away from placing responsibility on the individual social worker and looking more systemically for solutions.
Lastly, I would remove altruism from the list -- social workers usually have the opposite problem and need to practice accepting help and care from others!

AL more than 1 year ago

Organizational accountability

Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment. I believe both are necessary -- individual self-care and systemic change. I hope you'll read this post on organizational accountability and self-care: http://swkr.co/2gFCeGU

SocialWorker.com more than 1 year ago

I agree

I have also practiced as a social worker for over 25 years and I agree that the issue of stress and burnout is best resolved by addressing some of the systemic problems with the occupation.

Caroline Miege more than 1 year ago

Thank You

I really appreciate the reminder of the benefits of mindfulness. It was well written.

Deslynne Roberts more than 2 years ago


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Great gift book for social work graduates!