Introducing social work: a starter kit
Introducing social work: a starter kit

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Introducing social work: a starter kit

7 Resistance to social work involvement

Many people using social work services would prefer not to have to use them, and some service users are compelled by law to experience contact and interventions that they may perceive as being serious and unwarranted intrusions into their lives. Also, social workers will often have to tell people things they don’t want to hear, taking into account competing needs, interests and resources in the service users’ environment. It is essential therefore that social workers anticipate resistance and develop and practise communication strategies for clearly hearing and understanding the various sources and reasons for resistance. They must develop flexible approaches for managing these, and wherever possible, to the service users’ advantage.

On occasions, resistance can spill over into aggression. For example, when the resistant person does not feel listened to or is frightened. Susanne Koprowska (2014, pp. 174–5) clarifies that hostility and aggression include: shouting; swearing, using abusive language, verbally or physically threatening behaviour, physical assaults, invading personal space, or preventing someone from leaving. Ford et al. (2010) point out that some authors or organisations would define these behaviours as forms of violence.

K832_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus