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Social workers encounter a number of unique forms of occupational stress on a daily basis. The more thoroughly they understand the stressors they face, the better-prepared social workers will be able to manage them successfully. Self-Care in Social Work is a guide to promote effective self-care tailored to the needs of social workers, including both individual and organizational approaches. On a personal level, it goes beyond the typical prescriptions to exercise, eat well, sleep more, and get a massage or meditate. In fact, the book is based on the premise that self-care should not be an add-on activity only happening in the rare instance there is some free time. Instead, it is conceptualized as a state of mind and considered an integral part of a social worker's training.
In Self-Care in Social Work, the reader is taught how to approach individually oriented self-care through the development of self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-efficacy. At the organizational level, readers are guided through a process of learning about areas of match and mismatch between themselves and their agency structure and culture. The book is timely in that the economic downturn has put pressure on agencies to do more with less, which ultimately leads to stress.
Burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma are topics that students, instructors, practitioners, and administrators are concerned about. A practical guide to stress management and approaches to self-care, this book includes narratives gathered from both students and practitioners in the field. It is an excellent resource for social workers, counselors, and mental health professionals in education.
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Kathleen (Kathy) Cox, PhD, LCSW, is an associate professor at the School of Social Work at California State University, Chico. She earned her MSW from San Diego State University and her doctorate from the University of Southern California. She previously worked as a licensed practitioner, clinical supervisor, and administrator in the field of children's mental health. Kathy currently teaches a variety of courses in social work practice, practicum, and research. The focus of her scholarship is strength-based assessment and intervention with high-risk families, traumatic stress, and self-care for helping professionals.
Sue Steiner, PhD, MSW, is a professor at the school of Social Work at California State University, Chico. Over the years, she has taught community practice, program development, grant-writing, research, social welfare policy, and field practicum courses. Sue has worked in community organization, social welfare policy, and organizational development. She is the coauthor of An Introduction to the Profession of Social Work (3rd ed.) (Brooks Cole, 2009), and her current scholarship focuses on effective teaching methods.
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