The field of social work is an interdisciplinary field that can cater to numerous levels of a population that include micro, mezzo and macro practice (Mattsson, 2013). In relation to micro practice, it is important to recognize individuals holistically. The Biopsychosocial model helps to identify various factors and attributes that contribute to the pathology of an individual and can offer insight on treatment (Bradford, 2005). In essence of practice in the field, the discipline of social work follows a set of standards that are to be followed to ensure ethical practice within the field (Strom-Gottfried, 2000). This paper serves as a reflection on how I utilize the Biopsychosocial model to analyze myself and how I define the specific social work value of service and its importance and relation to my career as a developing social worker.
The Biopsychosocial Model is an approach to explain how biological, psychological and social factors combine and interact with one another to influence physical and mental health (Bradford, 2005). This framework helps professionals to assess and understand their clients better. These three domains are all interrelated with one another and their complex interaction can help determine the well being of an individual (Mattsson, 2013).
In relation to this model, I am biologically a 28-year-old female. I am able bodied with no chronic illnesses and I am currently not any medications. I am nearsighted and I wear contact lenses to correct my vision. I am allergic to pollen and certain raw foods. I am short in stature and I have a fast metabolism.
Psychologically, I grew up as an only child so I am naturally introverted. I am extremely private and I do not not open up to new people very easily. Change, extroverted individuals and crowds mentally exhaust me. In essence of my introverted qualities, I am also very shy, so I suffer from social anxiety when speaking up in class or in larger groups. I am slightly neurotic and I am conscientious of how I am perceived by people. Normally I am an optimistic person and I see the glass as half full. I’m more of an abstract thinker and a visual learner. I am a perfectionist so I stress out easily and over analyze everything. Rumination is a big weakness of mine and when I am stressed, I have poor sleeping and eating habits. In the past, I have suffered depression and anxiety. During high school and throughout early adulthood, I suffered from eating disorders. For mood state, I am quick tempered and impulsive.
Socially, I come a middle class family. Both of my parents are first-generation immigrants and migrated to America when they were both children. My ethnicity is Filipino and I am an only child. My parents raised me within the Catholic church and Filipino traditions. They are a very conservative and traditional couple and have been married for over twenty-six years. I am the first in my immediate family to seek post graduate education. Growing up, I lived in several different countries overseas. My father was in the US military so I am very familiar with the military lifestyle and culture. I was born in Texas but I consider North Carolina home. Growing up in the South and within the military community has definitely played a big part on how I view the world and my personality. North Carolina is the longest place I’ve ever lived and it’s where my father retired. My best friends live in North Carolina and it is the place where I completed middle school, high school and college for undergrad. I have two best friends who mean the world to me and who I run to for emotional support. I have known these two individuals for more than seventeen years and they know everything about me. I am also very close with my parents and I seek their advice often. I value their opinions greatly and I take their feelings into consideration when making decision about my own life. Career wise, I was recently accepted into the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I am a first year graduate student obtaining my Master’s in Social Work. For self care measures, I enjoy going for a run regularly, hiking, visiting different art museums, attending various symphonies and operas and playing with makeup. I am currently single, I have never been married before and I have no children.
NASW Code of Ethics: Service
A big principle that has encouraged me to enter the field of social work is the principle of service. As a developing social worker, the value of service is a key component in the type of work that I want to do. The National Association of Social Workers has rooted a set of ethics that are a foundation for the field and these principles include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence (NASW, 2008). For me, service means that we help to serve others who are in need. In essence of helping those who are in need, social workers use service as a way to address numerous social problems. As a profession, we aid in the enhancement and the well-being of the lives of individuals from populations that are vulnerable or oppressed. Social workers are on the forefront of social change and seek equality of opportunity for others regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion and etc. (Strom-Gottfried, 2000).
The value of service is important in our work as social workers, if not the primary value. As social workers, we want our work to make a difference. It is common for professionals in the field to put the needs of others as a priority in their work to help address various social problems. (Strom-Gottfried, 2000) Without the value of service, I feel the field of Social Work would lack the commitment and passion to help others.
I never actively set out to be a social worker but my life has always surrounded the value of service. Growing up, my father had a career in the US Army. He has served over 26 years in the military and during his career, he has always remained committed and dedicated to his profession despite the hardships and sacrifices he had to encounter. I look up to my father’s dedication and leadership roles in the army and this has always inspired me to obtain an occupation where I could be of service to others as well.
Growing up as a Filipino-American has shaped my identity more than any other experience. At an early age, I learned about economic disproportion. When I was just nine years old, I visited the Philippines for the first time and witnessed extreme poverty. My visit allowed me to see where my parents grew up and instilled a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the hardships they endured coming to America. Visiting a country like the Philippines exposed me at a young age that there are plenty of people in the world that lack the same opportunities and resources in the western world. Knowing my ethnic background and seeing how disadvantaged people are in the Philippines has always inspired me to help those who are less fortunate. This experience alone instilled the value of service in me and helped me to realize its importance. Eventually, the value of service has lead me to the field of social work. I am passionate about centering my work around helping others.
In short, it is essential that professionals become knowledgeable of any biological, psychological and sociological factors that could help assess their clients in clinical practice. To be more specific, the Biopsychosocial Model can help identify any contributing factors that effect the well being of a client as a whole. These systems are interrelated with one another and can help practitioners understand individuals holistically. In relation to the field of Social Work, this discipline abides by a set of principles that professionals in the field should follow. The principle of service is a primary value that I share personally and as a result, a big reason why I decided to pursue a career in social work.
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