YouTube channel Facebook account
česká verze


Issues » 2015/5 - Power and Powerlessness at Work with a Client »

Alice Gojová, Kateřina Glumbíková

(Powerless) Social work as a Source of Empowerment?


A social worker can be seen as a bearer of power, as someone who has the capacity to influence forces in the life of clients. He is also the bearer of social authority. In this context it seems illogical that the social worker feels helpless. Still, the research shows that workers are, in their practice, bound by legislative regulations and by public perceptions. They work in different organizations, with clients whose problems are difficult to solve. For these reasons, they may feel powerless. It is necessary to ask whether the helplessness is obtained during the process of social work. If social workers repeatedly face frustration due to their need to help clients and the perceived limitations of social work itself. Social workers may sometimes feel powerless. Within the unconscious defense against this feeling, they might then project their powerlessness onto their clients. The text aims to understand the feelings of helplessness of social workers on the basis of an analysis of the theories and research results. It points out the importance of this topic and proposes approaches as possible solutions.


social work, powerlessness, social workers, participatory approaches

Related papers

Akademické články Social Work as a New Market Opportunity?
Akademické články Social Work at Labor Office – From Stress to Powerlessness?
Akademické články The Coexistence of Different Concepts of Social Work within One Facility
Akademické články Unintended Consequences of Designation “Socially Excluded Locality”
Akademické články Do Social Workers Seek for their “Collective Identity”?

© 2014, Czech and Slovak Social Work | counter: [CNW:Counter] | … administration