Level 3

General Emotional Interventions

Social work often involves dealing with emotionally charged situations that vary in intensity. It could be that someone has lost a loved one, become unemployed, being charged with a criminal offence, becoming homeless, diagnosed with a serious medical condition, being attacked along with so many others.

Then there is the fulfilment of people’s emotional NEEDS such as feeling loved, cherished, respected, have self-esteem, have self-worth, given unconditional acceptance, be cared for, feel valued, kept safe and protected, etc.These different situations tend to generate emotional responses that are frequently on the negative side of the emotional spectrum which includes grief, frustration, guilt, sadness, worry, anxiety, distress, trauma, anger to name but a few.

As Sir Isaac Newton said “For every reaction there is a counter reaction”, so the release of these pent-up feelings causes an emotional reaction which is often expressed through different behaviours such as stress, being upset, crying, depression, being quick tempered, agitation, aggression, suicide. As a high proportion of the work can involve dealing with emotionally charged or emotionally challenging situations, social workers are often tasked with providing vital emotional support and help client’s deal with the consequences of the negative emotional states that affect their daily lives. Therefore, it would be beneficial for practitioners to be trained in Emotional Management.

It should be said that this section is not about understanding emotions (for information on this, go to the KNOWLEDGE section).