1.2 Coping with feelings of distress
In considering Cassie and the team’s work in Activity 1 you will have identified features of the situation which are likely to make them feel anxious, distressed or possibly even scared. You might have identified supervision as a place where Cassie or her colleagues could seek support and take their feelings. Martin Smith (2005) argues that a common, although frequently unacknowledged, feature of social work practice is dealing with one’s own feelings of fear or distress. These emotions can arise in everyday contexts: sometimes they emerge unexpectedly and can appear irrational. Sometimes they may be influenced by our past experiences. It can be difficult to explain to others why we are distressed; or we may feel too embarrassed and vulnerable to share our emotional reactions. In these circumstances, writing about the incident and our feelings can be helpful. Activity 2 invites you to try this out.
Activity 2 Reflecting on distressing situations at work: what helps?
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