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Additional info for Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work, 2nd Edition (Transforming Social Work)
The second preoccupation is with spontaneous gesture, especially talking with your hands and nodding. Students rarely arrive with the problem, but acquire it while studying communication skills – a tribute to the unconscious nature of much body language. Nodding is known to communicate encouragement and interest (Mehrabian, 1972) akin to ‘backchannel’ verbal encouragers such as ‘Mm’, ‘Right’. Hand movements too have meaning. g. thumbs up) which can have widely variant meanings in different cultures (Matsumoto, 2006); or illustrators .
Clients, though, could be puzzled when the social worker asked for information about their childhood as this seemed to them to have no bearing on their current difficulties. This looks like habitus at work, where the social worker has forgotten that in the context of making a social work relationship, doing things in a taken-for-granted way isn’t enough. Purpose and goals need explaining, checking out and agreeing, and these behaviours have to be engaged in deliberately by the social worker, as the client is unlikely to raise the issue.
4 Social work theory Research-based concepts and critical explanations from social work theory and other disciplines that contribute to the knowledge base of social work, including their distinctive epistemological status and application to practice. The relevance of psychological and physiological perspectives to understanding individual and social development and functioning. 5 The nature of social work practice The nature and characteristics of skills associated with effective practice, both direct and indirect, with a range of service users and in a variety of settings.