Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Bereavement, resilience and drift

with one comment

I’ve always been interested in resilience as an idea that is useful to social workers; in a chapter I called it the ability to bounce back from adversity. But it’s interesting to see a completely different take on something we come across in practice. One of the main uses of ‘resilience’ in policy is in civil defence: it’s about the capacity of a community to bounce back from a disaster like a plane crash, or from a nuclear attack

I’ve been reading a computer expert’s slide show (you can see it here); it’s by Vincenzo de Florio and it’s about antifragility, that is how to stop a computer system from ‘drifting’ away from what you want to it do. In this context, he defines resilience as ‘a system’s ability to preserve its identity through active behaviour’. A system in the social work context would be an individual or a family. Identity is the fact that your relationships and activities work for you. Active behaviour is what you do to make your life work, and the quality of your life depends on your capacity to achieve the things you want to achieve in your life. I find the idea of drifting away from achieving what you want useful too.

So, to use the example of bereavement, grief may cause you to drift away from the main directions in your life, and bereavement work helps you to pull yourself back to the main directions you want in your life.

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Written by Malcolm Payne

1 September 2014 at 1:00 pm

Posted in bereavement

Tagged with , , , ,

One Response

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  1. I agree that this is a interesting way to look at impact of loss on the individual. The activity focus is one that resonates for social work.

    Irene Murphy

    1 September 2014 at 2:26 pm


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