Journal Article

Social Workers’ Responses to Experiences of Fear

Martin Smith, Jean Nursten and Linnet McMahon

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 34, issue 4, pages 541-559
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Social Workers’ Responses to Experiences of Fear

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This paper follows on from the paper ‘Social workers’ experiences of fear’, written by the same authors, reporting on a research study that showed how social workers interviewed experienced fears of assault, death, losing control and rejection from their seniors during their working hours. Now, from the same study, examples are given that illustrate ways in which participants were affected by, and responded to, these fears. Substantive quotations from in-depth interviews are provided showing effects of fears as being physical, cognitive and emotional and as manifesting themselves differently with the passing of time. Also given are examples of what it was that participants found to be helpful, or unhelpful, when attempting to deal with their fears and particular attention is paid to supervision in this respect. The paper argues that drama therapy literature has much relevance to the management of fear as participants often reported different parts of themselves performing roles when affected by and responding to fears. Implications for social work training are considered in this light. Generally, it is claimed that the more social workers can learn about fear and its manifestations and implications in their work, the better they will be able to respond to it and deal with it.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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