Implementing the learning from the mindfulness-based social work and self-care programme to social work student practice during COVID-19: A qualitative study

Alan Maddock*, Pearse McCusker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This is the first study which has explored how social work students have applied the learning from a bespoke Mindfulness-Based Social Work and Self-Care (MBSWSC) programme to their social work practice. A qualitative research design was chosen, and a realist ontological position taken. The qualitative data were collected from reflective journals from seven social work students on placement who had completed the MBSWSC programme. An inductive thematic and comparative analysis methodology was used to identify key themes. This study found that the MBSWSC programme supported students to cope with the stress and anxiety that manifested before and during their placement. Students highlighted how switching from an avoidant to an approach oriented coping strategy allowed them to alleviate any negative thoughts or feelings they were experiencing. Students identified that this allowed them to employ more positive responses when dealing with stress. Students outlined that the learning from the programme allowed them to develop increased self-awareness, empathy, reflection and reflexivity skills, all of which will likely enhance their capacity for anti-oppressive social work practice. It is clear that improved access to the MBSWSC programme will allow social work students to develop the skills necessary to practice sustainably over the longer term.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Article numberbcac094
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • approach coping
  • mindfulness
  • self-care
  • social work skills
  • stress
  • student social worker

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