COUNSELLING AND SOCIAL WORK: LOOKING FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING
Keywords:counselling, social work, empowerment, facilitation of changing, social services, abilities, competencies.
AbstractA logical categorisation of the dimensions of counselling in social work should bear in mind the fact that counselling skills are at the basis of all social work tasks, as well as the fact that counselling is a major explicit part of describing the social work activity.Many social workers most likely cannot see where the place of counselling is. On the other hand, counsellors can be critical of the bureaucratic tasks of task focussing as part of social work. For some authors, the role of the social worker becomes that of a counsellor whenever the former endeavours to improve the client's capacity. Nevertheless, social work "often goes beyond counselling", because it enhances the resolution of problems and the help, which are "concrete, specific and focused". This dysfunction is important because it makes the difference between counselling skills focussing on an individual's emotional life and counselling skills focussing on solving the individual's problems and on practical aspects. Although counselling and social work can be guided by the same concepts and skills, and a trained social worker needs to be equipped at lest with the "basics of counselling", their aims can be different.
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