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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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......nobody Offline
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Social Work? - March 1st 2016, 01:26 AM

I want to go back to school for social work but my mom doesn't think I'll make it through. I don't know if I can make it in the field, I mean, I get triggered easily, but it will take four years for me to get the degree, possibly three if I kick myself into gear. Four years is plenty time to work on those triggers, right? I know that everyone is different but I think I could handle it. I've made it through school before, sure I skated but I still got my associates degree.

Of course this is all assuming that I get into the college I want, I got into it once before but couldn't continue because I didn't have the money. This time around I feel more confident I can afford it.

I don't have a job anymore so I can devote my time to school, and can always get a work study to help me pay for my classes too.
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Re: Social Work? - March 1st 2016, 01:42 AM

Only you can make the final decision. Yes, this would give you time to work on yourself (and should emphasize that it's important.) Keep in mind that you will likely be confronted with things that trigger you too. A lot of times the content of social services programs will cover "triggering" topics and you'll have to get through them. You don't have to decide this immediately. If you're doubting whether you can make it in the field, regardless of why, don't immediately jump into a program. Look at the course requirements for some programs and see if you'll be able to handle it and talk to social workers (whether they know you or not), and see what the field really entails. If you get directed away, that's not always a bad thing. If I had listened when the counseling faculty suggested I wouldn't finish and they were trying to prevent disaster down the road, I'd be in a lot less debt and would've wasted a lot less time. I know they're different, but remember that if people who care have concerns, they aren't necessarily trying to squash a dream, they may be trying to keep you from getting into something that isn't going to work. There's a balance between pushing for what you want and accepting that sometimes it's not going to be a good idea.

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Re: Social Work? - March 1st 2016, 02:27 AM

Have you worked at a social service agency in the past? I think shadowing a social worker can help you decide. I say this because I'm taking a course called intro to social work profession and I can detail you on things through VM or PM but in short, a large percentage is focused on experience. At any rate, something my professor had said was that social work school is 95% learning about yourself. There's a huge emphasis on self care and managing things to avoid burnout. I also know that people who go into the helping profession are like "wounded healers" this term was used to describe a shaman in indigenous cultures but I think it applies to social workers and anyone doing people's work. In that way, there are people who start out being a client and later decide to be a social worker.

I think if this is something you want to do, to give it a shot and apply. If that doesn't work out, you have options. And if you do get into the program, theoretically there should be support services for the social workers in training
Are you worried about the education and training involved only? Or are you worried about the work conditions? Either way, you'll learn as you go. And there are a variety of options in social work. Not all is extremely stressful. That would be a misconception

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Re: Social Work? - March 5th 2016, 03:23 PM

I think it's great that you are interested in social work, but as others have said, you do need to consider your own wellbeing and longevity. If I were you, I would ensure that I put extra support in place before embarking on the training. Find a reputable counsellor that you feel you can trust. This is what I have done.

I'm studying to become a Speech and Language Therapist ('Pathologist' if you're on the other side of the Atlantic) and, despite the common misconception that all we do is get rid of lisps, the work is actually quite gruelling. A lot of the patients have lost their speech due to brain injuries and are not in a great place physically or mentally when we see them. It can be draining if you are not robust enough to cope with seeing people in distress. There's also the workload - there is a national shortage of SLTs, so the ones who are around have lots of cases, and each patient is very different. These are all issues which apply to social work as well.

My mother has always told me that I will not finish this degree. She is not trying to squash my dreams - she just doesn't want to see me fail and waste time, effort and money in the process. She thinks I should go back to working with children in day care centres. But the reality is that I want to do more than that and the urge would always be there. I have to follow my heart, even though I know there is a chance I might not make it because of my own issues.

But I still want to give it my best shot and it feels like you want to do the same. So my advice is to take notice of what the Katie and Susan have said but, also, do think about finding a counsellor before you start the training. It can be argued that counselling is a form of social work, so the counsellor will have some idea of what you are facing. But, more importantly, the ability to talk to someone should never be underestimated. Many professions have to provide workers with someone who they can 'debrief' with after difficult situations, but the option is not always there during the training period. Furthermore, it only happens in certain circumstances. I think that it is worth doing it on a regular basis to stop "emotional backlogs" and to do it with someone you know and trust, hence the need for a counsellor.

I wish you the best of luck with all of this. If you ever want to chat with someone who is/was in a similar situation, feel free to send me a message.

Be kind to yourself.
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