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Relationship-based practice and the creation of therapeutic change in long-term work with children and families: Social work as a holding relationship

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Relationship-based practice and the creation of therapeutic change in long-term work with children and families : Social work as a holding relationship. / Ferguson, Harry ; Warwick , Lisa; Disney, Tom et al.

In: Social Work Education, Vol. 41, No. 2, 31.03.2022, p. 209-227.

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Ferguson H, Warwick L, Disney T, Leigh J, Singh Cooner T, Beddoe L. Relationship-based practice and the creation of therapeutic change in long-term work with children and families: Social work as a holding relationship. Social Work Education. 2022 Mar 31;41(2):209-227. Epub 2020 Nov 30. doi: 10.1080/02615479.2020.1837105

Author

Ferguson, Harry ; Warwick , Lisa ; Disney, Tom et al. / Relationship-based practice and the creation of therapeutic change in long-term work with children and families : Social work as a holding relationship. In: Social Work Education. 2022 ; Vol. 41, No. 2. pp. 209-227.

Bibtex

@article{8813c75189b346e9b0dbdc8b4a8927a4,
title = "Relationship-based practice and the creation of therapeutic change in long-term work with children and families: Social work as a holding relationship",
abstract = "Relationship-based practice has become a dominant theory through which what goes on between social workers and service users is understood. However, the presence of a relationship explains little and much more critical attention needs to be given to the kinds of relationships involved in social work. This paper is based on an ethnographic study of long-term social work that spent 15 months observing practice and organisational life, a key aim of which was to find out how social workers establish and sustain long-term relationships with children and parents in child protection cases. The paper introduces into the social work literature the concept of a {\textquoteleft}holding relationship{\textquoteright}, which was present in several of the cases we studied, especially where therapeutic change occurred. It shows in detail how a {\textquoteleft}holding relationship{\textquoteright} involved social workers being reliable, immersing themselves in the service user{\textquoteright}s day-to-day existence, getting physically and emotionally close to them, and practicing critically by taking account of power and inequalities and using good authority. The concept of a {\textquoteleft}holding relationship{\textquoteright} draws on psycho-dynamic and sociological theory to provide new ways of thinking that can help make sense of the practical and emotional relating involved in social work and promote the development of such helpful relationships.",
keywords = "Relationship based practice, Child protection, Social work, Ethnography, Holding, Containment, Long-term social work",
author = "Harry Ferguson and Lisa Warwick and Tom Disney and Jadwiga Leigh and {Singh Cooner}, Tarsem and Liz Beddoe",
year = "2022",
month = mar,
day = "31",
doi = "10.1080/02615479.2020.1837105",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "209--227",
journal = "Social Work Education",
issn = "0261-5479",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Relationship-based practice and the creation of therapeutic change in long-term work with children and families

T2 - Social work as a holding relationship

AU - Ferguson, Harry

AU - Warwick , Lisa

AU - Disney, Tom

AU - Leigh, Jadwiga

AU - Singh Cooner, Tarsem

AU - Beddoe, Liz

PY - 2022/3/31

Y1 - 2022/3/31

N2 - Relationship-based practice has become a dominant theory through which what goes on between social workers and service users is understood. However, the presence of a relationship explains little and much more critical attention needs to be given to the kinds of relationships involved in social work. This paper is based on an ethnographic study of long-term social work that spent 15 months observing practice and organisational life, a key aim of which was to find out how social workers establish and sustain long-term relationships with children and parents in child protection cases. The paper introduces into the social work literature the concept of a ‘holding relationship’, which was present in several of the cases we studied, especially where therapeutic change occurred. It shows in detail how a ‘holding relationship’ involved social workers being reliable, immersing themselves in the service user’s day-to-day existence, getting physically and emotionally close to them, and practicing critically by taking account of power and inequalities and using good authority. The concept of a ‘holding relationship’ draws on psycho-dynamic and sociological theory to provide new ways of thinking that can help make sense of the practical and emotional relating involved in social work and promote the development of such helpful relationships.

AB - Relationship-based practice has become a dominant theory through which what goes on between social workers and service users is understood. However, the presence of a relationship explains little and much more critical attention needs to be given to the kinds of relationships involved in social work. This paper is based on an ethnographic study of long-term social work that spent 15 months observing practice and organisational life, a key aim of which was to find out how social workers establish and sustain long-term relationships with children and parents in child protection cases. The paper introduces into the social work literature the concept of a ‘holding relationship’, which was present in several of the cases we studied, especially where therapeutic change occurred. It shows in detail how a ‘holding relationship’ involved social workers being reliable, immersing themselves in the service user’s day-to-day existence, getting physically and emotionally close to them, and practicing critically by taking account of power and inequalities and using good authority. The concept of a ‘holding relationship’ draws on psycho-dynamic and sociological theory to provide new ways of thinking that can help make sense of the practical and emotional relating involved in social work and promote the development of such helpful relationships.

KW - Relationship based practice

KW - Child protection

KW - Social work

KW - Ethnography

KW - Holding

KW - Containment

KW - Long-term social work

U2 - 10.1080/02615479.2020.1837105

DO - 10.1080/02615479.2020.1837105

M3 - Journal article

VL - 41

SP - 209

EP - 227

JO - Social Work Education

JF - Social Work Education

SN - 0261-5479

IS - 2

ER -