Teaching Mental Health and Well-Being Online in a Crisis: Fostering Love and Self-compassion in Clinical Social Work Education

Article


Gates, Trevor G., Ross, Dyann, Bennett, Bindi and Jonathan, Kate. 2022. "Teaching Mental Health and Well-Being Online in a Crisis: Fostering Love and Self-compassion in Clinical Social Work Education." Clinical Social Work Journal. 50 (1), pp. 22-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-021-00786-z
Article Title

Teaching Mental Health and Well-Being Online in a Crisis: Fostering Love and Self-compassion in Clinical Social Work Education

ERA Journal ID34205
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsGates, Trevor G. (Author), Ross, Dyann (Author), Bennett, Bindi (Author) and Jonathan, Kate (Author)
Journal TitleClinical Social Work Journal
Journal Citation50 (1), pp. 22-34
Number of Pages13
Year2022
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0091-1674
1573-3343
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-021-00786-z
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10615-021-00786-z
Abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shifted clinical social work (CSW) and mental health education in Australia, and indeed throughout much of the globe, onto online delivery. The disruption caused by COVID-19 presents unexpected challenges in fostering the development of skill sets among social work educators in partnership with students. This article is a reflexive collaborative autoethnography written by four educators of different international and cultural backgrounds at a regional university in Queensland. Our university has experienced a shift from primarily a face-to-face delivery to online delivery due to social distancing. This article is grounded in an ethic of love, a values-based relationship-oriented practice promoting care, collaborative dialogue and solidarity between people, using self-compassion and reflexivity. We explore how COVID-19 has forced the authors to alter their teaching practice, cope with uncertainties, and respond with loving kindness to the shifting needs of students. We draw upon our experiences as educators of diverse cultural, linguistic, gender, and sexualities from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria and reflect upon how we have simultaneously turned inward and outward through technology. We draw upon person-centered, narrative, trauma informed and anti-oppressive clinical and educational approaches when exploring self-compassion and loving approaches with the students. We discuss the need for self-compassion and love of others as we respond to the current crisis by modeling self-compassion and love for CSW students who are experiencing crises, including loss of employment, separation from family overseas and interstate, isolation from colleagues and loved ones, and healthcare issues.

Keywordslove; self-compassion; online education; clinical social work; reflexive collaborative autoethnography; clinical educators; COVID-19
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440999. Social work not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of the Sunshine Coast
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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