chapter  7
From Theory Toward Empathic Self-Care: Creating a Mindful Classroom for Social Work Students
Pages 15

Training social workers is a challenge because the combination of science and art that characterizes professional practice is not easily taught in a classroom. Social workers

provide the majority of services and referrals in health, mental health and psychology in the United States (Grant et al., 2009) and most public social service administrators in the United Kingdom begin their careers as direct mental health practitioners (Pottage and Huxley, 1996). Given these realities, it is important that schools of social work provide an avenue for educating social work students in integrative health. Compared to the traditional biomedical model of disease, the integrative health model places greater emphasis on care of the whole person within a social, environmental and cultural context (Boon et aI., 2004). Integrative health practices stress health promotion and well-being and view the client and practitioner as partners in the healing process. Guided by the belief that people are responsible for and can positively influence their own health (Epstein, 2003a), these practices align with client empowerment, a core tenet of social work practice.