Social Science K217

Why can recounting past experiences be important in helping service users have a sense of who they are? Should care workers always encourage people to recall their pasts?

Recounting past experiences is an important part of the way in which we develop a sense of self; for service users this can contribute to making care individualised. This sense of self is linked to the early stages of attachment described by John Bowlby; that the intersubjectivity between infant and care giver forms the basis of a sense of identity that develops throughout life. When talking about ourselves and our experiences we are re affirming this identity. ‘Identities are lifelong projects and they build on foundations laid in the very first relationships of our lives (K101, block 2, p 33.)  

Service users may have issues with sense of self and of identity as a result of life events and experiences; early life, chronic illness and institutional living can all have an effect on a person’s sense of identity.   I will look at the case study from K101 block 2, of Jordan as he completes his life story with the support of his care worker Suzanne. I will look at why it is important for Jordan to recall his past experiences and the relevance in the development of a sense of self and of identity.
I will also look at the experiences of those who lived in Lennox Castle (K101, block 2) and its effect on their sense of identity, and how recounting their experiences has helped to develop a sense of self and of identity for the ex-residents as they took up life outside the institution.  
A nice and clear introduction

Sense of identity can be an issue for some service users when the mechanism of forming a sense of self is interrupted or incomplete. If the first relationships of life are abusive, neglectful or inconsistent, this can lead to insecure attachment by the child which adversely affects how that child sees himself and the world around him. ‘Insensitive and inconsistent care is...