Grandiose v Insignificant 3

This struggle seems to be one that bedevils relationships between professional social workers and volunteers. On the one hand there is the model of the volunteers as handmaidens to the all–seeing professionals. Here the volunteer can experience themselves as powerless and largely peripheral to any work being undertaken. It seems to be easy for professional workers to be frightened off by this fantasy and to take flight into the alternative; this is the model of the volunteers bringing all the desirable qualities of spontaneity, closeness to the client, informality and so on, with a fear that contact with the professionals would somehow deprive them of these qualities. Here the professional experiences him(her)self as having little to offer at best and as destructive at worst.

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