Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SWK 5223)

A course at the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work taught by Carrie Jankowski, MSSW, LCSW

Month: December 2016 (Page 1 of 6)

BP12

Regarding the Mindfulness Practice homework assignment, please reflect on that process and share its impact: positive, negative, or neutral. How could you use this in your own life or how could it benefit your clients?

As we discussed in class closure last week, please state 2 things that you are taking away from this course in Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

When I did my mindfulness practice I had an overall positive outcome. prior to doing my mindfulness exercise I turned off my phone, laptop, T.V. and closed my bedroom and laid on my bed and close my eyes. Although the stress of school and work kept creeping into my thoughts I knew that I had to tune out everything including thoughts would have distracted my mind body and soul. Once was able to tone everything out I was able to be in tune with everything around me. I took deep breaths every second and once I finished my mindfulness exercise I felt relaxed and claim. I can definitely see myself incorporating the mindfulness excercise in the future.

The first thing I took away from this class is remembering how the social, environmental, biological development greatly impacts others when working with vulnerable clients. The second thing i will take from this class is epigenetics plays an important role in our overall behavior and perspective in our life.

BP 12

Mindfulness practice is very important. I suffer from both anxiety and depression. I read a couple books and deceived to give mindful meditation a try. I have practiced this technique for almost two years now.  Mindfulness is a very useful technique for those who suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression. Generally,  anxiety and depression symptoms increase when they reflect back on past events or project into the future. These habits increase the symptoms of depression and anxiety.  Mindfulness allows you to focus on the “right now” and leave both the past and future behind.

I found this technique useful. There are several other techniques such as: Thai chi, yoga, and imagery meditation. I think each person has to find a model that works for them.

From this course I am taking away the stages of older adults and the ecological perspective.  This will allow me to really focus on stressors in the environment that are keeping my clients from reaching their goals, help them find meaningful ways to change those.

BP 12 – Freedom in Contemplation

The mindfulness exercise of sitting idle for 10 minutes was a chance to see where my mental state was at that current moment. As I sat noticing my thoughts, I recognized the racing, anxious clamors jab their way in like tiny saboteurs. As I let them enter and fade, the unimportance and irrationality of each thought become somewhat humorous. What really matters, everything? nothing? I surrendered to the futility of fighting against or for any particular thought. My attachment to my pressure filled stream of plans and images, loosened its grip. I settled on plainly imagining the color blue; simply the color blue. I experienced senses of freedom and moments of relief.

 

Two things I will take away from my Human Behavior / Social Environment class:

The perception someone has about their own identity is crucial to experiencing a purpose filled life. By helping individuals find a role which makes them feel connected to themselves and their community can lead to overcoming a myriad of social problems. The idea of knowing and believing in who you are, can impact your ability to rise above your station, and create a narrative counter to the one handed to you at birth.

The case study project we completed opened my eyes to the importance of rigorous attention to each child connected to my caseload. Although there may be many service providers encountering a given family, If I see a yellow or red flag of concern, it becomes my responsibility to take action.

BP12

I took 10 minutes the other day, in complete silence, to myself…and it was amazing. I am actually quite interested in mindfulness practices and try to implement them into my life as often as possible, but life often gets in the way. Over time, I have become quite practiced as meditative breathing, body scanning, and relaxation. The most recent experience, of a few day ago, reminded me of the importance of taking those 10 minutes to dissolve the stress of daily life, and reminded me that I should allow myself those 10 minutes more often.

The previously mentioned exercise is very closely related to one of the most important points I am taking from this class: self-care. Stress is an ugly and destructive monster that can lead to a variety of mental and physical health concerns. But more importantly, it diminishes one’s quality of life. With that said, whether it be meditation, exercise, or bungee jumping, it is critical for people to allow themselves time to enjoy life. Self-care is particularly important for people in helping professions, as we tend to experience burnout a little more frequently, and a little more quickly than most other professions.

The second lesson I will take with me from this class is the importance of understanding where people are at in their life cycle, and how critically that impacts their current state. Going forward, remembering to pay attention to where my clients are at in life, and what they may have already been through, will be extremely useful in providing the best quality of care.

BP 12

 

In our closure discussion last class time; I will take with me; grief teachings and concepts and all concepts of getting older in adulthood. I will use these helpful practices in my future adult day center to help all participants live a more meaningful and remainder of their golden years while in their late adulthood.

I am most appreciative of the cognitive and brain development as it is the science that helps me to understand the beginning developments of life as it pertains to this development to the end of life. (Cradle to Grave)

BP 12

After watching the TED Talk on mindfulness I realized how I do not incorporate time to “just do nothing”. Even the first time watching the video I was eating and semi-listening to my son explain a Pokemon’s power. Needless to say, I had to watch the video again. This time more focused and alone. After internalizing the lack of self-care I take for my mind; I took the next ten minutes and tried to meditate. I found this hard to do since this is not something in my everyday practice. However, I can understand the need and have the motivation to include this into my everyday life. This would be a simple task to complete between driving from one client’s home to the others, right before bed etc.

Wow, what a success in completing the first semester of grad school! I am beyond impressed with myself and my abilities. This class has helped me understand a lot and put some personal challenges (in work and personal life) into perspective. Two main things I will be taking with me from this class will be the entirety of information over the ageing population. This is a population I have not had a chance to work with, let alone take the time to acknowledge. The information provided over this population will allow me to not only assist any client at any age, by either explaining what is possibly going on in their own family or what is going on to themselves, but also allow me to be more patient with my own family. The second main thing I will take with me if the holistic approach that is needed for this profession. By assessing the biology and environment of each person allows for a different approach and perspective that the individuals deserve and need.

BP12

I loved the mindfulness practice, I have always found related activities successful. I would like to add this and yoga to my regular practices, I feel that both are very useful. I actually wrote part of a paper on mindfulness being used with sexually abused victims in my summer class, as an option to use if the individuals were not ready for therapy yet, or in conjunction with therapy. I feel that most Americans would benefit from taking the time to calm down with mindfulness. I have explored this on my own a bit, after attending a seminar last summer.

I am very thankful for this class overall.  I am glad to have just read chapter 15 in regards to my Mom moving here from Colorado 3 years ago to be near me, and ultimately for me to care for her. I am glad that she is here and will have better knowledge towards helping her now. I also have 2 teenagers and thus putting that knowledge to use will be great as well..

Thank you for being a great instructor.

 

BP 12

Regarding the Mindfulness Practice homework assignment, please reflect on that process and share its impact: positive, negative, or neutral. How could you use this in your own life or how could it benefit your clients?

As we discussed in class closure last week, please state 2 things that you are taking away from this course in Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

Congrats on finishing your LAST BLOG for the semester. Hopefully you will continue to use your website for a professional showcase in the future!!

 

Regarding mindfulness practice assignment, when taking ten minutes out of my day to simply do nothing other than focus on my mind and where I am during the present, I got a surreal feeling. Meaning that when I erased all other distractions and left myself with only my inner thoughts, the complexity of those thoughts increased and there was a sense of clarity in those thoughts. I would think of things such as where my life is and where it is headed, trying to maintain only the positive aspects of that future. This helped build my determination and gave me hope for things to come. I believe this process is a very positive one. This could be used in my own life and with clients during times when life seems a little overwhelming and there needs to be a way to get one’s priorities straightened out. A lot of times we are too busy with the routines of life that we forget what is important to us.

The first thing I will take away from this course is the concept of epigenetics. That is, the way the environment affects our biology. As stated in the previous class, I work with those suffering from mental illness and it is important to learn what road led them to their condition rather than focusing only on the symptoms of their mental illness. Having this knowledge would help develop more effective treatment plans that are specific to each individual rather than using a cookie cutter approach for intervention based on the mental illness that they have.

The second thing I will take away from this class is the theories and concepts surrounding children, primarily those in younger childhood. The reasoning for this is because I have a younger brother who is 8 years old and through my observation of him along with the material presented in the book, the knowledge has an application in my own life which cements the knowledge I am learning.

BP 12

Regarding the Mindfulness Practice homework assignment, please reflect on that process and share its impact: positive, negative, or neutral. How could you use this in your own life or how could it benefit your clients?

As we discussed in class closure last week, please state 2 things that you are taking away from this course in Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

The mindfulness practice involves taking a step back to reflect on one’s thoughts and to do so without judgement, letting thoughts come and go. I find this process to be positive overall but I think it’s difficult for me to implement it without assistance. This is probably because I am not used to taking the time out to be mindful and to focus on thoughts and feelings. I found it interesting in the video where it mentioned that 47% of our lives is spent thinking about all sorts of things so I definitely want to be able to incorporate such a practice from time to time because it’s surprising that we all spend so much time just thinking. I’m sure there are moments that I could definitely benefit from letting my thoughts flow in order to refocus myself. I believe this would benefits my work with clients by teaching them to help let go of some of the stressors they are experiencing in a moment. Not to forget about these issues entirely, but to take 10 minutes to just not think and to stop overthinking and judging ourselves. I believe we could all use more practice at that.

I will take away additional knowledge about children, adolescents and adults that I think will help me with my work. I feel like it was important to address the different theories in order to provide a strong foundation when I find myself working with clients. There are so many different approaches to the issues we face and to realize that a person’s problems can be addressed through many different perspectives is actually comforting. It makes me realize I don’t need to know all the answers and I don’t need to specifically use one approach to help a client problem solve. Understanding human behavior and how it interacts with our environment over our lifetimes encompasses such a vast amount of material but I’m learning that as social workers, it’s not necessary for me to be an expert in one particular theory or area. I can be just as helpful by learning about my clients and learning what areas to apply to each individual in order to help them.

BP12

Regarding the Mindfulness Practice homework assignment, please reflect on that process and share its impact: positive, negative, or neutral. How could you use this in your own life or how could it benefit your clients?

As we discussed in class closure last week, please state 2 things that you are taking away from this course in Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

The Mindfulness Practice was very insightful. It really made me realize how much my mind wanders and how often I get lost in my thoughts and other distractions (TV, phone, Internet). The activity had a positive impact on me. Ten minutes does not seem like a long time, but it felt like forever to me. In that time frame when trying to step back from my own emotions to process things differently I found that I had more on my mind than I thought. It made me realize how active my mind constantly is. However, the activity was a good way to help me to regain focus, calm down and destress for a moment. This exercise will be helpful to use throughout my life when I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed and just need time to debrief and do nothing to recharge. This could potentially become a daily activity for me. This activity will be very beneficial to clients as well as it will allow them to not focus so much on the daily distractions and stresses of life but rather recuperate, destress and regain focus.

Two thing that I am going to take away from this class are the importance of understanding child development and how much impact the environment has on behavior and development. This class offered great insight on why children develop and possibly behave the way they do and how the environment also has a great deal to do with a persons development and behaviors as well.

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