Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Deena Mandell

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


There is a wealth of literature validating the notion that social workers may be vulnerable to costs associated with the performance of caring work, in other words, ‘the cost of caring’. There is also a significant amount of literature that describes the coping strategies required to manage these effects. The participants in this study illustrate that a social worker’s well being need not be sacrificed in the interest of maintaining the principle of client-centered practice. Social workers have a responsibility to care for themselves, both in the interest of offering competent services to their clients, and in order to assure one’s personal and professional well being and quality of life. Many of the coping strategies identified in the literature emphasize the role of the individual in managing the effects of the work of a therapist. However, the protective potential of these strategies may be strengthened by the existence of a supportive and understanding team and administration. It is the quality of attention paid to mitigating the possible negative effects at the level of the individual therapist, the team and the organization that is key in the possible negative effects of the work. It is with the appropriate ‘attention’ that one may experience the role of social work as rewarding and fulfilling, in effect to have the experience of ‘a good news story’.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons