Practice Wisdom: Mindfulness and Social Work

Cath Shaw, LNW writes:

Mindfulness and social work is a subject matter close to my heart as I have just started the MSc in Mindfulness Studies at The University of Aberdeen. In this Practice Wisdom, Pearce McCusker, lecturer at the University of Edinburgh has written an Insight for Iriss based on his research on mindfulness and social work. This Insight offers clear messages about the future benefits of mindfulness in social work with the caveat that the research base is still emergent and developing.

A powerful take-away for me as a practice educator was McCusker’s reflections within the research on anti-racist practice. He cites the findings of Wong (1994) that mindfulness allowed students to challenge their sense of self by accepting the discomfort that arose from their reflections about privilege and discrimination in less avoidant and judgemental ways. This is particularly relevant within the Black Lives Matter movement and McCusker places Wong’s findings within a small but developing body of work that explores how mindfulness can move from an individualised therapeutic idea to an intervention that challenges oppression (Hick and Furlotte, 2010; Berila, 2016; McCusker, 2019).

Enjoy the article and please email any comments on your own take-aways. And as always, please share anything of interest within social work practice and education. For a link to the article, please click here: Mindfulness in social work education and practice.

Cath Shaw @Learning Network West


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