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2.2 Identity and identities

Self-identity

In the previous section we considered the importance of people’s individual biographies to an understanding of who they are. Such biographies play an important part in making us who we are. In this section we will explore some of the ideas that have contributed to social workers’ understanding of the concept and importance of ‘identity’. These ideas are all examples o
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1.3 The social work process

The social work process comprises a sequence of actions or tasks that draw on all of the components of practice discussed so far. Although its process is presented sequentially, it rarely follows a clear linear route and is more often a fluid, circular cycle whereby workers move from assessment through to implementation and evaluation and back to assessment again. Despite this fluidity, some parts of the process, such as assessment, have clearly defined procedures guided by local or national
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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3.1 Frequency

Frequency refers to how often or how frequently someone should exercise. To improve aerobic fitness, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends an exercise frequency of three days per week of vigorous exercise or five days of moderate exercise for healthy adults (Garber et al., 2011). The terms ‘vigorous’ and ‘moderate’ will be defined in the next section.

A frequency of 3–5 days per week using a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise is also recommended.
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3.3.1 A conflict of interest

One of the difficulties of the involvement of drug companies in the mental health field is that it produces a conflict of interest. To put it crudely, drug companies rely on a continuing supply of patients to keep them in business. This is not always congruent with people's best interests, as you will see below. Although mental health services are intended to help people experiencing mental distress, they also have other driving forces. The market economy model of provision has encouraged the
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2.3 Community care, fear and the ‘high-risk’ service user

So far in this course you have seen how the concept of risk has come to suggest danger. This section explores in greater depth how the changes that have led to this situation have impacted on mental health policies and practice. The next activity involves reading an article to help you consider risk in the context of mental health services.


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3.17 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: respect confidentiality

During their professional practice, practitioners will be told a lot of personal information about their clients. This information is imparted in the context of a trusting relationship in which users trust that the information they have conveyed will be used only in their best interests and divulged only with their consent. The duty to respect users' confidentiality flows from the duty to respect their autonomy. People cannot make their own choices and control their lives if they cannot contr
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3.15 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: respect for autonomy and consent

Many practitioners claim that the patient-centred nature of their therapy means they automatically respect the user's autonomy. On closer inspection, CAM practitioners’ commitment to respecting the users' wishes and values may be less patient-centred than they would like users to believe. Some CAM practitioners may fail to acknowledge users' rights, particularly in the area of risk disclosure and gaining consent to treat, or even touch, the user. Some CAM practitioners mistakenly believe th
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3.4.2 CAM practitioners are more ethical than conventional doctors

Proponents of CAM argue that because it is safer and has fewer side effects than conventional medicine, CAM practitioners must be inherently more ethical than doctors. This is a false argument in several respects. While CAM is generally very safe compared with some powerful conventional remedies (a point acknowledged in para. 4.21 of the House of Lords Report, 2000), all therapies can cause harm in unskilled hands. Some side effects of CAM are potentially serious, particularly if there is a c
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3.3 Why ethical behaviour is central to the health care relationship

The health care relationship is basically a relationship of trust. This implies that practitioners are motivated by the users' best interests; will not exploit the therapeutic relationship to satisfy their own ends; will behave in an appropriate manner that is conducive to the healing process; and will refrain from behaviour that could harm users, including being physically or psychologically unfit to treat them. The examples in Author(s): The Open University

3.1 Introduction

This extract considers what it means to practise ethically; why ethics is so central to the health care relationship; and the responsibilities of practitioners, professional bodies, users and those making health care decisions for other people (for example, parents and carers of users who are unable to make their own decisions). This extract also explores the unique ethical issues raised by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and the extent to which ethical obligations and legal requ
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2.12.2 Litigation

The level of litigation against CAM therapists is currently very low, particularly compared with corresponding actions being brought against doctors and other health care professionals. This, in turn, is reflected by the low annual indemnity insurance paid by most CAM practitioners. CAM therapists tend to attribute this to CAM's safety profile compared with orthodox medicine, together with CAM practitioners’ ability to forge better therapeutic relationships with users. However, other commen
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2.4.1 Reductionism and ‘ownership’ of the body

Social scientists interested in changing relationships between workers and users of health care often draw attention to what is termed the loss of ownership or loss of governance of the body. These terms mean that a person's body is treated in some health situations as more important than the person themselves. It is almost as if they are purely a case, an example of a type of disease, or a set of symptoms. Traditionally, such criticisms were levelled against biomedical approach
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2.4 Ownership, control and ideas about the body

This section focuses on the extent to which a person becomes invisible when a practitioner rigidly adheres to a specific view of health and disease, and fails to accept that others (specifically the person they are treating) may have different ideas about illness or, indeed, about their body. The imposition of a fixed view of illness and disease can be extremely disempowering for people seeking help.

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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions). This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence.

Couse image: B
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4.3 Conclusion

Social work practice is based upon assessments of situations and decisions about strategies to be adopted. Sometimes there can be a tension between the law and working within social work values; the law provides the framework for practice. In the next section you are going to examine the legal structures and processes within which social work skills are applied.

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1.4 Rights

Rights is a word that is used in different ways. Lawyers use it to indicate that a person is entitled to something, for example not to be dismissed unfairly from their job or to sue for damages if they have been sold faulty goods. Others sometimes talk of rights when they are making a moral claim, for example that they ought to be allowed to demonstrate or that a particular law is unjust or unfair. In this course we use rights primarily in the first sense, i.e. when we are talking about the a
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4.4.2 Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is another renewable source that is not derived from solar radiation. As the name implies, its source is the earth's internal heat, which originates mainly from the decay of long-lived radioactive elements. The most useful geothermal resources occur where underground bodies of water called aquifers can collect this heat, especially in those areas where volcanic or tectonic activity brings the heat close to the surface. The resulting hot water, or in some cases steam, is used
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4.3.2 Wave power

When winds blow over the world's oceans, they cause waves. The power in such waves, as they gradually build up over very long distances, can be very great – as anyone watching or feeling that power eventually being dissipated on a beach will know.

Various technologies for harnessing the power of waves have been developed over the past few decades, of which the 'oscillating water column' (OWC) is perhaps the most widely used. In an OWC, the rise and fall of the waves inside an enclosed
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3.3 Nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is based on harnessing the very large quantities of energy that are released when the nuclei of certain atoms, notably uranium-235 and plutonium-239, are induced to split or 'fission'. The complete fission of a kilogram of uranium-235 should produce, in principle, as much energy as the combustion of over 3000 tonnes of coal. In practice, the fission is incomplete and there are other losses, but nevertheless nuclear fuels are more highly concentrated sources of energy than fossi
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