Published on November 1, 2007
Isaac PrilleltenskyPeabody College of Vanderbilt University[email protected]Http://people.Vanderbilt.edu/~isaac.prilleltensky: Isaac Prilleltensky Peabody College of Vanderbilt University [email protected] Http://people.Vanderbilt.edu/~isaac.prilleltensky Balancing Amelioration with Transformation in the Helping Professions Balancing amelioration with transformation : Balancing amelioration with transformation AMELIORATION Treatment Symptoms In the office Charity Individualistic Passive victim Neglects Power TRANSFORMATION Prevention Root causes In natural setting Justice Communitarian Agents of change Attends to Power How can we balance our work with individuals? : How can we balance our work with individuals? Strengths Deficits Detachment Empowerment X How can we balance our work in the community?: How can we balance our work in the community? Collective Individual Reactive Preventive X 9/7/1854…Removing the Handle: 9/7/1854…Removing the Handle Getting To The Bottom Of It…. : Getting To The Bottom Of It…. No mass disorder, afflicting humankind, has ever been eliminated, or brought under control, by treating the affected individual HIV/AIDS, poverty, child abuse, powerlessness are not eliminated one person at a time. Too Little, Too Late: Wellness Promotion Treatment Prevention 99% 1% CONTINUUM OF SERVICES BUDGET ALLOCATION Too Little, Too Late Prevention Helps : Prevention Helps Slide9: The Story of Grameen Bank Justice and Well-being in Kerala : Justice and Well-being in Kerala Collective Well-being Relational Well-being Personal Well-being Tenancy laws Nutrition in school Distribution Of resources Land reform Infant mortality Literacy Nutrition Life expectancy Social support Sense of cohesion Personal Empowerment Social Movements Government Action Outcomes Processes Slide11: Quadrant I Examples: Voice and choice in celebrating and building competencies, recognition of personal and collective resilience Quadrant II Examples: Voice and choice in deficit reduction approaches, participation in decisions how to treat affective disorders or physical disorders Strength Empowerment Deficit Detachment Affirmation Field in Helping Professions Quadrant III Examples: Labeling and diagnosis, “patienthood” and clienthood,” citizens in passive role Quadrant IV Examples: Just say no! You can do it! Cheerleading approaches, Make nice approaches Slide12: Quadrant III Examples: Crisis work, therapy, medications, symptom containment, case management Quadrant I Examples: Community development, affordable housing policy, recreational opportunities, high quality schools and health services Quadrant II Examples: Skill building, emotional literacy, fitness programs, personal improvement plans, resistance to peer pressure in drug and alcohol use Quadrant IV Examples: Food banks, shelters for homeless people, charities, prison industrial complex Collective Proactive Individual Reactive Contextual Field in Helping Professions New SPECs Three-year action research project: New SPECs Three-year action research project Oasis Center Bethlehem Center UNHS Balancing how we work: Balancing how we work Less Deficits-based Reactive Professional-driven Individual & Family More Strengths-based Primary Prevention Empowerment Community Conditions New SPECs action research approach: New SPECs action research approach Structures T-Team Councils Affiliation groups Forums Workshops Task Forces (internal and external Principles Participation Power sharing Ownership Meaning Messages Meaning of SPEC Meaning of change process personally and professionally New SPECs at Oasis: New SPECs at Oasis Values Clarification Philosophy Statement Defined Impact Areas Safety Participation & Empowerment Significance & Connection Justice & Equality Agency-Wide Outcomes Individual & family Community Program Activities & Outcomes Slide17: In every act, in every interaction, in every social action, we hold each other accountable to promote People’s dignity, safety, hope and growth Relationships based on caring, compassion and respect Societies based on justice, communion and equality We are all better when these values are in balance To put these values into action, we will: Share our power Be proactive and not just reactive Transform the conditions that create problems for youth Encourage youth and families to promote a caring community Nurture visions that make the impossible, possible We commit to uphold these values with Youth and their Families Our Employees Our Organization Our Community This is a living document. We invite you to discuss it, to critique it, to live it New SPECs at MOB: New SPECs at MOB T-teams Multiple Stakeholders Represented Internal & External Task Forces Affiliation Groups Internal Completed SPEC survey SPEC lunches Department Meetings External Building Social Fabric of Community Community Forum Slide19: Strengths How Power Operates in SPEC? : How Power Operates in SPEC? Not all elements of SPEC are equally transformative The more power equalization, the more transformative the intervention Some aspects, like S and P, are easier and less transformative than E and C Contradictory discourses about power and SPEC in intervention Major Challenge:Role Reconciliation: Major Challenge: Role Reconciliation We have to be able to reconcile our roles as helpers with our roles as critical agents of change Role reconciliation: Role reconciliation The potential benefits of this approach are multiple: The potential benefits of this approach are multiple First, clients or citizens would activate agency within them. They will no longer be regarded as victims of circumstances but as actors in change. Second, they will contribute to collective wellness by challenging the structures that cause the problems in the first place. Third, problems will no longer be regarded as individual concerns but as societal concerns. Fourth, health and well-being will be de-professionalized. Fifth, groups will be able to challenge the very structure that is supposed to help them, thus contributing to the accountability of mainstream institutions towards oppressed and marginalized groups. Conclusion: Conclusion A. It is only when we institutionalize critical consciousness that we have a chance of making a difference in the long run. B. It is only when we take control of health and well-being away from professionals that we have a chance of empowering the population, C. It is only when we activate the agency part within clients and community members that we can overcome passivity in the delivery and reception of services, and finally D. It is only when community members make the connection between their private ills and their public origins that they can be angry enough to make a difference in the institutions that dominate their lives. It’s like Venice…..: It’s like Venice….. Venice’s Lesson: Venice’s Lesson “The psychotherapist, social worker or social reformer, concerned only with his own clients and their grievance against society, perhaps takes a view comparable to the private citizen of Venice who concerns himself only with the safety of his own dwelling and his own ability to get about the city. But if the entire republic is slowly being submerged, individual citizens cannot afford to ignore their collective fate, because, in the end, they all drown together if nothing is done” (Badcock, 1982) Questions for discussion : Questions for discussion What factors enable and inhibit role reconciliation (between professional helper and agent of social change) in the helping professions and in community service organizations? How can we blend ameliorative and transformative approaches?