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Developing your communication skills in social work

Ibadete Fetahu
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’This book will appeal to undergraduate social work students who are keen to improve their communication skills.’

Title of the book: Developing your communication skills in social work

Authors: Paula Beesley, Melanie Watts, Mary Harrison

Publisher: Sage 

Reviewer: Jennie Walker, Divisional Lead Nurse for Research and Innovation, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

What was it like?

This book is an easy to read text aimed particularly at the social work student. The text offers a clear practical guide to communication skills across different social work scenarios. There is a structured approach to developing the readers understanding of the theory underpinning effective communication in the social work setting and highlights practical ways in which the learner can enhance their verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Topics covered include initial engagement with service users, holding sensitive conversations, working with resistance and managing endings.

What were the highlights?

The highlights of this book include the wide range of case studies focused on different user groups and areas of practice to emphasise the key points made within the text. Example cases clearly demonstrate how actions can be directly applied in a practical context. The text includes also includes a wealth of reflective tasks designed to stimulate refection on skills and encourage critical thinking and discussion with colleagues or supervisor. The integration of the knowledge and skills framework and professional standards also helps the reader map their progress towards professional registration.

Strengths and weaknesses:

The strengths of this book include practical exercises to develop self-awareness of personal communication styles. Each chapter ends with a useful audit tool with which the reader is encouraged to evaluate the skills discussed within the chapter. This facilitates a developing recognition of specific strengths and identification of areas for further development.

Who should read it:

This book will appeal to undergraduate social work students who are keen to improve their communication skills.



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