Journal Article

Challenges for Students Working in a Shared Traumatic Reality

Orit Nuttman-Shwartz and Rachel Dekel

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 3, pages 522-538
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcm121
Challenges for Students Working in a Shared Traumatic Reality

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Summary

The authors analyse a training programme for social work students which aims to provide the participants with tools for intervention in stress situations and crises that they experience with their clients. The present study was conducted among twenty students, who worked with adolescents during the forced relocation from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005. Analysis of their reactions to this intervention revealed five main themes: the nature of the helping relationship; integrating theory and practice; functioning in a changing and unpredictable environment; working in a shared reality; and the interaction between political attitudes and professional work. In contrast to conventional social work training, the course allotted considerable time to promoting dialogue, support, mutual aid, and reflection. It also extended the students’ intervention skills to the micro and macro levels of the helping professional relationship. Despite the limitations and costs of the course, the authors recommend further development of similar programmes, and continued evaluation of their effectiveness.

Keywords: relocation; shared reality; training programme; stress; trauma

Journal Article.  7172 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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