Self Assessment

Self-Assessment – Due11:59 PM

The past is often alive in the present. In order for you to engage your clients in processing their familial patterns, you need to have done this work on a personal level as well. By understanding your family and who you are within this family context you are able to identify counter-transference reactions with your clients which is an ethical responsibility of social work practice. Many social workers believe, “you cannot bring a client further than you have brought yourself”. By exploring and reflecting on our own experiences, including factors of resilience and risk, this assignment will highlight ways in which we can be more empathetic towards ourselves and others. Lastly, this assignment will help us learn how to engage in reflective work with clients about their histories.


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Section One (1 page or paragraph): Who does your family consist of (biological and non-biological ties)? You can provide this information via one paragraph description or a genogram/table/chart.


Section Two (1-2 pages): Conduct a systemic analysis of your family of origin from a structural

and systems perspective. Issues you may cover include (choose 2-4 of these):

boundaries (within the family as well as between the family and the world)




rules (spoken and unspoken)

feedback loops




attachment styles

family myths

significant losses

communication style and patterns




social networks

intergenerational patterns

environmental actors

cultural dynamics

You must give specific behavioral examples to back up your analysis. For example, it is not sufficient to state that there were strong intergenerational boundaries, rather, you should discuss the specific behaviors that demonstrated that those boundaries existed.

In completing this section you will need to cite at least two scholarly articles and or books that address the concepts you are discussing. You will also need to give specific behavioral examples to illustrate your concept as it plays out in your family of origin.


Section three: (1-2 pages) Select an underlying theme that emerged from the analysis of your family which has influenced your empathy towards others. Research this theme and discuss how it impacts families in general and specifically impacted your family. You may create your own theme or select from the following list:

1. The effects of alcoholism or addiction on the family.

2. Gay and lesbian families.

3. Blended family issues.

4. Single-parent family.

5. The effects of violence or abuse.

6. Poverty and the family.

7. Family secrets.

8. Legacies of loss.

9. The role of ritual in the family.

10. Birth order.

11. Cultural themes.

12. The effects of mental or physical illness on the family.

13. Gender roles within the family.

14. Family stories and the construction of meaning.

15. Models of marriage.

16. Enmeshment and disengagement.

17. Emotional milieu within the family.



Section four: (1-2 pages) Discuss how the structural and/or systems issues you have identified, along with the theme, influence (1) empathy, and (2) countertransference, and (3) implications for practice.


Your paper should be 5-6 pages long, double-spaced, APA style (1” margins, 12-point Calibri font). Use one space after a period. Do NOT use two spaces between sentences.