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Healing professions

Those in the healing professions are susceptible to burn-out, secondary trauma, and vicarious trauma.  Clinical social workers must be mindful of how these issues impact ourselves, our families and friends, and  our clients.  If we are burnout and lack empathy or experience trauma vicariously through our clients, we run the risk of failing to embrace our clients and of acting in unethical and incompetent ways, jeopardizing both their well-being as well as our ability to remain social work practitioners.  In an effort to help students develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with trauma and stress, we have incorporated self-care as part of four courses – Generalist Practice I, Generalist Practice II, Clinical Methods I and Clinical Methods II.  Self care will also be addressed in your field seminars.

Each week you are asked to engage in at least 45 minutes of self-care practice.  This could include taking a study break to go for a walk, meditating, engaging in centering prayer, or practicing yoga.  This could also mean making your own physical health a priority, such as scheduling a dentist appointment, setting an alarm to remind you to go to bed each night by a certain time, scheduling an appointment to address mental health needs with a clinician.  These are just a few examples.

Guidelines

During the first week of the semester,

  • After you have had a chance to review the course materials related to self-care, you will develop a schedule and plan for the semester that includes an hour each week for self care – 45 minutes for practice and 15 minutes for reflection.
  • You will submit this to the professor during the first week of class

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