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Chamberlain University MSW 551 Field Journal

Name: Ruben Diaz

Date: September 13, 2020

Site: Boys and Girl Club of Arlington Heights

Include what happened, how you feel about it, what thoughts are behind your feelings, what values are at stake, what you can learn from the experience, and what you plan to do.


What happened:

The Teen Drug Use Prevention Group started out rough. I didn’t want to be overly controlling, but right away they started joking about drugs. I think they were testing me. I ended up sharing some of my own drug use history and how I got into recovery. A staff member, Katie, was cofacilitating, and she just sat back because we agreed I was ready to take on more group leadership.


How I feel about it:

Really mixed feelings – embarrassed, proud, confused.


What thoughts are behind my feelings:

On the one hand, I think I gained some trust from the group by being honest and showing them I came from a similar background. On the other hand, it felt like a desperate move on my part – there had to be another way to get them to stop joking and go deeper. Katie seems like she comes from a more stable background, so maybe she judged me for my past drug use. I’m still not sure how I could’ve handled it differently.


What values are at stake:

I actually like these kids a lot. They remind me of myself. I want them to succeed, they’re street-smart and have a lot of potential. So my belief in human potential is why I’m doing this at all. And social justice – the kids in this neighborhood don’t have too many ladders to climb. I want this group to be a ladder.


What I can learn:

I think next time I need to plan better and expect some resistance. We had this whole curriculum planned but we didn’t talk about how to get the kids to buy into it.



What I plan to do:

I’m going to talk with Katie about resetting with the group and have them go around and talk about their life goals, their dreams. I might even use that ladder idea.


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