Mrs Pepper

Revised Version

A8 – Demonstration of practice skills (including the development of empathetic relationships) in a range of social interventions with individuals, families and communities;

CW was experiencing moderate depression, with anxiety, symptoms of low mood, sadness, loss of pleasure and interest in activities, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, and an inability to concentrate. These symptoms usually impact on the individual’s social and occupational functioning (Goldberge, 1998). I was able to establish a good rapport with CW at an early stage by being respectful, listening to her and valuing her opinions, which was valuable in establishing good communication between us. Communication was important because it allowed me to develop a good therapeutic relationship with CW, which helped to identify when things were not going well, and recognise risk at an early stage

Working with CW proved to me that my practice needed to be flexible to her changing needs, finding a specific model which fits all just didn’t happen. I needed to be able to adapt and respond to a range of circumstances and behaviours. In doing this it was crucial for me to understand and implement specific social work models. A person centred approach was essential. I continuously checked that CW’s wishes and beliefs were at the centre. Her involvement and participation in planning was essential in empowering her to identify and make changes in her life. I did this by asking her what was not working in her life, and did she want to work towards changing it. This gave us a focus to move forward. I promoted this by being flexible when we met to ensure it was a suitable time for CW, as she identified she worked better in the morning, listening to what she said (even if I did not agree), and by developing sensitivity and empathy in working with her.

Tait and Lester 2005 argue that service user involvement can mean a wide range of activities from partnership working at...