We need to talk about self-care (but not in the way you think)
Keywords:self-care, radical self-care, barriers to self-care, macro social work, social work education
Self-care is widely acknowledged as crucial in the social work profession. While this area of research has begun to expand in recent decades, there is still much to be explored. Most studies in this field cover issues like the types and frequency of self-care engaged in, how
to teach it, and how it relates to the prevention of issues like burnout. This research brief will review the literature surrounding these important matters, highlighting a gap pertaining to the practical understanding and application of self-care. How do social workers and social work students think and feel about self-care and the way it is currently taught? Do they know how often most of their peers engage in self-care? Do they know how to realistically incorporate self-care into their own lives? This research brief will discuss what is currently known about the answers to these questions, culminating in suggestions for future research and recommendations that will give future social workers realistic expectations and tools with which to enter the field.
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