In this activity, you will reflect on your own familial and cultural experiences

Getting Started

As discussed in Workshop One, self-awareness and a commitment to ongoing personal reflection are important components of ethical and effective social work practice. In particular, new social workers must reflect regularly on experiences of their own upbringing and family. There are many opportunities to empathize with and relate to families in a way that is beneficial to their experience, but there are also chances to be triggered in a way that is distracting or even detrimental to the client experience. For this reason, it is important to be conscious of your own identity and background and to anticipate potential triggers. Similarly, it is important to be knowledgeable about your own culture as well as the cultural identities of your client population, which you will address in the next activity.

In this activity, you will reflect on your own familial and cultural experiences as they relate to psychoeducational approaches. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to consider and reflect on any current family and group interactions you have as a method to support your growth as a future social worker.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Explore the impact diversity and difference have in shaping life in mezzo social work practice. (PO 2)
  • Develop self-reflection and self-regulation to effectively manage the intersection of personal and professional values. (PO 1)

Resources

  • Textbook: Social Work with Groups: Comprehensive Practice and Self-Care
  • File: My Cultural Identity.pdf
  • Website: diffen.com

Background Information

Awareness of our cultural backgrounds and personal attitudes toward others’ cultural makeup allows us to grow as human beings and to be more effective as social workers. We receive messages early in our development that tell us how to receive others who are different from us. These messages continue to affect us throughout our lives. Stereotypes and other messages about culture can be difficult to identify because they may be engrained in ways that we don’t recognize. We hear and see things about people on a regular basis and can internalize them (or integrate them as reality) without really knowing that we are doing it. Thus, social workers need to be even more aware of stereotypes—and how to counter them—than the general public. To the degree that you are transparent with yourself about your experiences and underlying beliefs, you can challenge unproductive assumptions and use internal strengths to improve your services as a future social work professional.


Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade
  2. In your textbook, Social Work with Groups: Comprehensive Practice and Self-Care, read Chapter 7, “Working with Diverse Groups.”
  3. Review the Comparison Chart “Ethnicity versus Race” on the website Ethnicity vs. Race.
  4. Reflect on your cultural identity and its impact on your future practice by completing the self-assessment worksheet My Cultural Identity.

 

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In this activity you will reflect on your own familial and cultural experiences

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