Becoming useful

I’m going to write about how people in helping professions can learn to be useful to those they help. I want to see if it’s possible to do this by telling the story of  my own learning and development. I also want to find out if telling this story in blocks of 300 words or so can enable people to engage through this blog.

Clearly, a number of people who have experienced professional help, use blogging as part of their recovery, so there should be plenty of expertise around that can guide me if my own perspective is deluded! I hope there are also people who inhabit helping roles who might come across this and find it useful.

I like the word ‘useful’ for its modesty. When we set out on our careers our hopes for the future can be ambitious. It is probably a universal task as we grow older to reconcile youthful ambition with the disappointments of reality and to avoid jaded cynicism. ‘Being useful’ is to me then a noble aim.

Perhaps a bit of a map of what I shall be writing would be helpful. The material roughly follows my career from emerging as an individual, through student days and into my years as a practitioner in helping professions. My introductory sections deal with some of my underlying beliefs and their origins. They will elaborate themes to which I have already referred. Then I explore a range of ideas and experiences more or less as I came up against them whilst I was learning my craft. My experience gradually expanded from one to one work with people in difficulty, to family work and then as I moved toward management to issues about organisations. I know some of this will be quite academic and theoretical – I am no J.K.Rowling!



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