Parallel processes: Getting it write?

Ruth Emond, Laura Steckley, Autumn Roesch-Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper offers a critical reflection on the processes surrounding the writing of a book aimed at foster carers and residential workers. By utilising the concept of parallel process as well as the four modes of reflection identified by Gillian Ruch in 2000, we explore the ways in which the wider context of both direct work with children and reflective practice have been impacted by the tensions between relationally based, child-centred practice and wider managerialist imperatives. The paper draws parallels between these practice tensions and those currently in play within the academy. By employing a dialogical and reflective analysis of the process and interactions surrounding the writing of a practitioner-targeted book, the paper demonstrates the ways in which critical and process reflection post-event took place, considering the heretofore unexplored parallel processes between writing for practice, and practice. In so doing, it identifies the ways in which the authors mirrored practitioners in relation to the management of anxiety, a sense of constrained autonomy and confidence, and an avoidance of recognising and challenging structural and political context. Implications for the creation of practice literature and for the academy are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-363
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Work Practice
Issue number3
Early online date30 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • parallel process
  • writing for practice
  • relationship
  • containment
  • voice


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