Frontline Service Workers' conceptualisation of their Client's Anger and how it shapes their Practice.

Bosly, Fiona Ruth (2007). Frontline Service Workers' conceptualisation of their Client's Anger and how it shapes their Practice. MPhil Thesis, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences, University of Queensland.

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Author Bosly, Fiona Ruth
Thesis Title Frontline Service Workers' conceptualisation of their Client's Anger and how it shapes their Practice.
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Karen Healy
Subjects 1607 Social Work
Abstract/Summary Workers in the frontline of practice often work with vulnerable people and are therefore more likely to be exposed to the expression of that vulnerability. As workers they are often dealing with the powerful emotional states of their clients, of which anger is one. How they conceptualise client anger and how it shapes their practice has important implications both for themselves and their clients. This thesis explores these questions and seeks to understand how frontline workers manage client anger and how they use that information in their practice. This exploratory and descriptive piece of research is based on eight interviews with frontline service workers from Centacare, a non-government community agency. Respondents were drawn from a range of services offered by Centacare which included family violence prevention programs, counselling, relationship education and employment services. Frontline workers understanding of client anger is varied and complex and is consistent with the literature on current understanding about anger and its purpose. Workers could also distinguish between client’s abusive or respectful use of anger. However, a number of implications for practice emerged from the research. When working with client anger, the need for supervision was highlighted as a means of assisting workers to debrief and professionally develop their skills. Some workers who did not have access to these processes experienced a rise in their levels of anxiety, for a variety of reasons. Some workers were better able to self care in the face of client anger and were able to manage their own emotional state in ways that enhanced their practice and assisted their clients. These findings have implications for supervisors and managers who manage frontline service workers. It can provide them with an understanding of what workers may be struggling with in their role as professional helper when working with angry clients. It also had implications for educationalists in that more emphasis can be placed on focusing on the possible complexity that vulnerable clients bring to frontline human service workers.

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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 15:27:53 EST