Cultivating Professional Resilience in Direct Practice

A Guide for Human Service Professionals

Jason M. Newell

Columbia University Press

Cultivating Professional Resilience in Direct Practice

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Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231176590

272 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231176583

272 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£87.95

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231544900

272 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£27.95

Cultivating Professional Resilience in Direct Practice

A Guide for Human Service Professionals

Jason M. Newell

Columbia University Press

Overwhelming empirical evidence indicates that new social workers, particularly those going into child welfare or other trauma-related care, will discover emotional challenges including the indirect or secondary effects of the trauma work itself, professional burnout, and compassion fatigue. However, the newly revised CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) does not mandate the inclusion of content related to self-care in social work curriculum or field education. In a textbook that bridges the gap between theoretical and pragmatic approaches to this important issue in human service work, Jason M. Newell provides a potential resolution by conceptualizing self-care as an ongoing and holistic set of practice behaviors described as the key to professional resilience.

To address the effects of trauma-related care on direct practitioners, Newell provides a comprehensive, competency-based model for professional resilience, examining four key constructs—stress, empathy, resilience, and self-care—from a range of theoretical dimensions. For those who work with vulnerable populations, the tendency to frame self-care solely within organizational context overlooks the importance of self-care in domains beyond the agency setting. Alternatively, he uses a framework grounded in the ecological-systems perspective conceptualizing self-care as a broader set of practice behaviors pertaining to the whole person, including the physical, interpersonal, organizational, familial, and spiritual domains of the psychosocial self. Alongside professional self-care practices at the organizational level, Newell makes a case for the pragmatic role of recreational activities, time with family and friends, physical health, spirituality, and mindfulness. The application of a comprehensive approach to self-care practice has potential to empower practitioners to remain resilient and committed to the values, mission, and spirit of the social work profession in the face of trauma.
Newell emphasizes the importance of professional self-care as it relates to providing ethical and quality services to others who are vulnerable and needing help. Clearly, if as helping professionals we do not take the first breath of oxygen, how is it possible to help others breathe? Carolyn Szafran, Washburn University
Jason M. Newell’s important book is a wake-up call to the field of social work and its accrediting body: self-care is the key to professional resilience. Awake and read this book! Charles R. Figley, Tulane University
Comprehensive in scope yet accessible to the busy professional, Newell’s book is an invaluable resource to both new and experienced practitioners. In it he seamlessly weaves together theory and research on the hazards of a career in human services, yet provides creative strategies to not just overcome these challenges but thrive in the face of them. A must read for students, professionals, and faculty! Brian Bride, Georgia State University
Newell provides a timely resource that supports therapist resilience in four key areas: stress, empathy, resilience, and self-care. Case studies and end-of-chapter discussion guidelines complement a thorough review of the literature. I highly recommend this book for students and practitioners alike, especially those who work with traumatized clients. Cheryl Lanktree, University of Southern California
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. An Introduction to Resilient Practice Through Holistic Self-Care
Section 1: Theory, Conceptualization, and Measurement
2. Understanding the Connection Between Stress and Trauma
3. Chronic Empathy and Trauma in Human Service Work: Implications for Social Service Professionals
4. Understanding and Preventing the Effects of Professional Burnout and Indirect Trauma: An Individual and Organizational Challenge
5. Assessment and Measurement of Occupational Stress and Trauma
Section 2: A Holistic Framework for the Application of Self-Care Practices
6. The Essential Practice of Professional Self-Care: The Key to Professional Resilience
7. Preserving Professional Resilience: The Ongoing Practice of Holistic Self-Care
8. The Ethical Obligation of Professional Self-Care, with James L. Jackson Jr.
9. Trauma-Informed Education, Training, and Professional Development
10. The Use of Mindfulness Practice as a Function of Self-Care
Epilogue: Finding Balance in Social Work Practice: Self-Care as Practice Wisdom
Worksheets
Personal Reflection Exercise: Resilience and Self-Appreciation
Personal Reflection Exercise: Engaging Group Discussion on Trauma
Sample Assignment: Deep Breathing Exercise
Sample Assessment of Organizational Strengths and Challenges
Self-Care Process: Setting Organizational Goals
Self-Care Process: Setting Personal Goals
Professional Development Assignment: Construct a Plan of Personal and Professional Self-Care
Suggestions for Developing a Comprehensive Plan of Self-Care
Sample Goals and Objectives for a Plan of Self-Care
Blank Template for a Comprehensive Plan of Self-Care
Sample Self-Care Plan: Personal Table
Sample Assignment: Journaling Mindfully
Bibliography of Recommended Readings
Bibliography of Suggested Internet Resources
Glossary
References
Index

About the Author

Jason M. Newell is associate professor and director of the social work program at the University of Montevallo.