Using art to illuminate social workers' stress

Huss, Ephrat and Hafford-Letchfield, Trish ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0105-0678 (2018) Using art to illuminate social workers' stress. Journal of Social Work . pp. 1-18. ISSN 1468-0173 (Published online first)

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Abstract

Summary: This article aims to capture the self-defined holistic interaction between stressors, stress reactions and coping for social workers’ stress. We utilised an arts-based intervention in the form of a single drawing with 80 social workers, who were actively guided to explore their own stressors, stress reactions and coping.
Findings: Our findings suggest that whilst social workers define their stressors as being related to a lack of social work professional and managerial support (a macro problem), they experience this stress as lack of personal efficacy and self-worth and expect to cope by drawing on their inner strengths rather than by challenging the ‘system’ (micro solutions). Thus, they tend not to utilise available systemic ideas and theories in social work to address their own problems.
Application:These findings offer a way of exploring stress and coping as an interactive whole that helps to understand both systemic stressors and the gaps in social workers’ coping methods. It also explores the relationship between stressors, stress reactions and coping through the personal drawings and narratives of participating social workers. The findings are relevant for supervisors, and managers helping social workers to manage stress, and offer an example of how visual methods might be used as a pedagogic tool in social work education and practice.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Social work, creativity, methodology, narrative approaches, stress, art
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 24789
Notes on copyright: Ephrat Huss and Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Using art to illuminate social workers’ stress, Journal of Social Work (Journal Volume Number and Issue Number) pp. xx-xx. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
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Depositing User: Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 12:01
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 06:21
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/24789

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