Last Updated 16 May 2021

My Beliefs and Values

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A human service worker’s beliefs, values and clinical gestalt play very important role in how they treat and assist clients. Human service workers strive to put their clients at ease, and to help them meet their needs. Through the text exercises and classrooms discussions I have learned that there are many things that I need to work on in order to ensure that I will be an effective and productive social worker. In the exercise “Clients I might find hard to accept” I learned that it is not for me to agree or disagree with their beliefs, but it is for me to try to see things through their eyes in order to assist them properly.

The goal of every human service professional is to help those in need. To do these human service professionals must not push their beliefs or values onto their clients. I will come across clients that come from different backgrounds, environments, and who different beliefs and values. None the less they are human and should be treated as such. One must keep an open mind when working with clients. When doing so clients will feel respected, confident, and comfortable. Human service professionals must learn, and grow from past experiences. A Human service professional’s repose should be calm, exhibit reliability and confidence.

Clinical repose is an area that I need to work on. I need to be able to ensure that I can remain calm, regardless of what is occurring around me, or in my personal life. Large societal and system contexts, lead to immediate contexts. It is always good to know where a problem comes from, in order to find a solution that will be beneficial. Dillon & Murphy (2003) states: The clinician's anchored and relaxed presence acts as an island of calm and allows the client to stay self-focused without being distracted by the clinician's needs or anxieties. This repose is central to supportive presence.

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It provides a clear but unobtrusive holding environment for the work and the relationship. Clients come to know that they can count on the clinician to remain centered and steady regardless of events and developments. Even in the face of the unexpected, clinicians try to remain as calm and reliable as possible . My personal and professional assumptions about clinical helping and their relationships to my beliefs, values, past experiences, familiar and cultural background are: that in clinical helping one must see value for the lives, health, and well being of others.

In clinical helping one can learn from past experiences, from an individual’s cultural background, and maybe by even changing one’s values after learning and forming a connection with clients. Before this course I was under the impression that my beliefs, and values have no place in the human services field, I thought that leaving them out would be best for my clients, I have learned otherwise. I have come to the realization that one’s values and beliefs are what make them an excellent human services worker. Human service professionals have a genuine concern for other people.

When seeking employment in the human services field, future employees look for agencies that share their beliefs and values. I would find it very difficult to work with staff members who do not try to the best of their ability to help clients due to differences in values, beliefs, backgrounds, or preconceived ideas. The National Association of Social Workers (2009) states that an ethical principal for social workers is that: Social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity.

Social workers promote clients’ socially responsible self-determination. Social workers seek to enhance clients’ capacity and opportunity to change and to address their own needs. Social workers are cognizant of their dual responsibility to clients and to the broader society. They seek to resolve conflicts between clients’ interests and the broader society’s interests in a socially responsible manner consistent with the values, ethical principles, and ethical standards of the profession (p. 1).

Insights that I have gained about the strengths, I have are that my strengths in listening, and open my mind to the views of my clients are needed strengths, and will be beneficial to me and my clients. There are some areas in which I have determined that I need to work on further. I need to be more aware of the gestures that I am making, and my facial expressions, so that my clients will feel comfortable, and place their trust in me. I also need to find a way to use my values and beliefs to assist clients, but not to form my opinions, or influence decisions.

Dillon & Murphy (2003) acknowledges that: Individual values are cherished beliefs that develop in the context of family and sociocultural influences. Clinicians may value anything from personal autonomy to personal hygiene and can find themselves dismayed or offended by clients who do not share their value systems. As clinicians, we need to be aware of our values and how they influence our responses to clients in ways that may leave them feeling unaccepted.

Clinicians must be dedicated to being nonjudgmental—unconditionally accepting people for who they are without necessarily accepting all their behaviors. The clinician's nonjudgmental stance leaves clients free to confide openly and honestly without fear of rejection, shaming, or reprisal. As we work with clients and are exposed to diverse situations and beliefs, we often find that our values are challenged and changed. A side benefit of clinical work is that our lenses are inevitably widened so that we both see and appreciate more of the world beyond our own.

We ourselves stretch and grow through exposure to differences . Human service professionals must be able to put their feelings aside in order to serve the client. It is our ethical responsibility to not let our beliefs and values get in the way of our decision making. It is up to the social workers to ensure that their clients feel comfortable, respected, and that they have confidence in them as a change agent. I believe that I have a lot to learn, and a lot of areas that I need to work on, but with practice and awareness I will go far.


  1. Dillon & Murphy (2003) Interviewing in Action: Relationship, Process, and Change. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from e-books chapter 4
  2. University of Phoenix National Association of Social Workers (2009) Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from www. socialworkers. org/pubs/Code/code. asp
  3. Rankin (n. d. ) Motivational Interviewing in Human Services. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from http://www. media. ncrtm. org/presentations/ARCA_50/ppt/rankin. ppt

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