Professional relationship boundaries: a social work teaching module

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Social workers are often challenged by the complex and ever-changing dynamics within their relationships with clients, and struggle to find ethical responses within professional boundary grey-zones where boundaries with clients can be difficult to identify, yet easy to cross. Social work educators attempt to prepare students for these complex situations, yet in the United States research reveals rates of social work boundary violations that lead one to question the efficacy of social work ethics education. This article describes the educational competencies and instructional strategies that comprise an adaptable course module which was developed in response to this challenge, intended to increase students’ self-awareness, motivation and professional judgment-making abilities related to their professional boundaries. The educational competencies for this course include the abilities to: identify boundary violations, apply critical thinking skills to complex professional relationship contexts, increase awareness of self and other, and initiate prevention strategies. In contrast to traditional approaches to education, this article describes instructional strategies that are based on adult-learning principles, which purpose to effectively and creatively teach topic areas in such a way as to produce behavioural change. These course topic areas include a ‘Professional Relationship Boundaries Continuum’ conceptual framework, boundary violation impacts, personal boundary vulnerabilities, blurring boundary indicators, and risk-minimizing strategies.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages511-533
    Number of pages23
    JournalSocial Work Education
    Volume24
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Fingerprint

    social work
    Teaching
    self awareness
    ability
    social worker
    education
    vulnerability
    student
    moral philosophy
    educator
    learning

    Keywords

    • professional boundaries
    • ethics
    • professional misconduct
    • social work education
    • adult learning
    • training

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Social workers are often challenged by the complex and ever-changing dynamics within their relationships with clients, and struggle to find ethical responses within professional boundary grey-zones where boundaries with clients can be difficult to identify, yet easy to cross. Social work educators attempt to prepare students for these complex situations, yet in the United States research reveals rates of social work boundary violations that lead one to question the efficacy of social work ethics education. This article describes the educational competencies and instructional strategies that comprise an adaptable course module which was developed in response to this challenge, intended to increase students’ self-awareness, motivation and professional judgment-making abilities related to their professional boundaries. The educational competencies for this course include the abilities to: identify boundary violations, apply critical thinking skills to complex professional relationship contexts, increase awareness of self and other, and initiate prevention strategies. In contrast to traditional approaches to education, this article describes instructional strategies that are based on adult-learning principles, which purpose to effectively and creatively teach topic areas in such a way as to produce behavioural change. These course topic areas include a ‘Professional Relationship Boundaries Continuum’ conceptual framework, boundary violation impacts, personal boundary vulnerabilities, blurring boundary indicators, and risk-minimizing strategies.",
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    Professional relationship boundaries : a social work teaching module. / Davidson, Jennifer C.

    In: Social Work Education, Vol. 24, No. 5, 2005, p. 511-533.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - Social workers are often challenged by the complex and ever-changing dynamics within their relationships with clients, and struggle to find ethical responses within professional boundary grey-zones where boundaries with clients can be difficult to identify, yet easy to cross. Social work educators attempt to prepare students for these complex situations, yet in the United States research reveals rates of social work boundary violations that lead one to question the efficacy of social work ethics education. This article describes the educational competencies and instructional strategies that comprise an adaptable course module which was developed in response to this challenge, intended to increase students’ self-awareness, motivation and professional judgment-making abilities related to their professional boundaries. The educational competencies for this course include the abilities to: identify boundary violations, apply critical thinking skills to complex professional relationship contexts, increase awareness of self and other, and initiate prevention strategies. In contrast to traditional approaches to education, this article describes instructional strategies that are based on adult-learning principles, which purpose to effectively and creatively teach topic areas in such a way as to produce behavioural change. These course topic areas include a ‘Professional Relationship Boundaries Continuum’ conceptual framework, boundary violation impacts, personal boundary vulnerabilities, blurring boundary indicators, and risk-minimizing strategies.

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