Excerpts from BSW Portfolio, Portland State University, Providence Health & Services Internship

BSW Field Placement: Providence Palliative Care Connections Partners Program
Field Instructor Comments

Fall evaluation: “Student brings strong motivation and critical thinking skills to his practice.
He is compassionate and thoughtful providing interventions for clients.”

“Student shows strong intuition in his social work interventions. He is motivated to learn.
Student is a strong addition to our Palliative care team.”

Winter evaluation: “Student is well organized, and comes to internship prepared and eager to learn. Student shows strong dedication and insightfulness in assessments and follow through on care plan for palliative care clients.”

“Erik brings strong social work skills to this compassionate care environment. His ability to analyze, assess and follow through is a great service to our clients.”

Self-Care Plan

Keywords: Vicarious trauma; secondary stress; and burn-out

My self-care needs post-graduation shift from an academic mindset towards seeking employment. The primary challenge I anticipate post-graduation is accepting adversity while seeking employment as a natural challenge that is meant to remain uncertain.

I plan to address the post-grad ‘unknown’ by maintaining a positive perspective, as I plan to follow the wisdom of Dr. Wickes, who mentions that, ‘perspective requires a calm within the storm’. I had the pleasure to listen to his lecture during the fall of 2013, “Riding the Dragon,” a self-care conference for healthcare professionals, offered by Portland Providence Medical center. Dr. Robert Wickes (2014) is a clinical psychologist, who specializes in the prevention of secondary stress for helping professionals. He has spoke to members of congress, the staff of John Hopkins School of Medicine, and Harvard’s Children’s Hospital. He also addressed caregivers in Beijing, Hanoi, and Northern Ireland.

My anticipated self-care needs include: physical exercise, continual spiritual development through meditation/prayer, and maintaining an optimistic mindset despite possible challenges securing employment post-graduation.

The primary purpose of my self-care plan aims to limit idealistic thinking, incessant planning, and accepts my own weaknesses as strengths. First, I learned from the self-care fair the power of resilience, that requires presence in suffering, soft front, strong back, that is not defined by someone else’s sorrow.

As Dr. Wickes mentions, the prevention of secondary stress does not mean it is easy, the key is to not change others, instead to change ourselves–to change our thinking and replace fear with faithfulness, as Dr. Wickes (2013) mentions “Let them fall where they may.”

Mantra: breathe easily; free from fear, with intention, instead of post-traumatic stress, post-traumatic growth.

The right spirit draws from difficult experiences with the balance to presence of others: self-love, peace, and presence to something greater, “mindfulness.”
Thich Nhat Hanh: “You are not going to win. Do not go to them for help.”

5-levels of critical reasoning to monitor whether or not we are caring too much or too invested in our clients:
1.) Critical now emergency
2.) Critical for others
3.) Not critical–leisure
4.) Not critical leisure
5.) Over involvement–lean back
Manage burdens, concerns, absorbing negativity with detachment, reappraisal, and debriefing.
Understand that interactions with clients require: intentionality, to perceive and understand the peaks and valleys that require courage:
1.) Patience
2.) Perseverance
3.) Courage

Danger: personal and professional stress comes together while clarity and kindness balance.

It does not matter the amount of darkness that remains, the challenge is how do you stand in the darkness? The goal is to deepen understanding in the darkness, because in the darkness meets in light. Do not give your joy away. Habit and schedule may result in stress, refresh with, “All things new.”

The types of friends we should keep:
1.) The prophet: Who is pulling your strings?
2.) Cheerleader: The sloppy sympathetic type.
3.) Harasser: do not take yourself so seriously
4.) Inspirational
5.) Limit the negative grandiosity

“Devote time each day to practice gratitude, practice the mantra: “Accept life unconditionally, recognize givens, understand givens, living under givens.”
Reframe focus through loss of perspective: mindfulness is the portal to perspective. Presence is the space within you including the dimensions of: self-care, self-intrigue, mindfulness, gentle: see yourself in a good way; commit to yourself a deeper self-love. Mindfulness is a window to compassion, that includes love to soften your soul for others, must face pain in a mindful way.” (Wickes, 2013)

“Always encourage intrigue, while understanding that intervention can become the tyranny of hope when one expects too much, reframe and become in-touch with space. “Where in life do you feel the freest?” Mindful without judgment, say the word, ‘judgment,’ aloud.

“The goal is to enjoy the life you have now, share it with others because change does not occur in an individualized vacuum.”

Wickes, R. (n.d.). A Ministry of the United States Province of Holy Cross-.Retrieved
May 17, 2014, from http://www.robertjwickes.com/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s