Hammock

A N N   B E R G A R T

Ann (1)  Hammock

I came to social work quite by accident. A recruiter gave a talk on campus when I was an undergraduate. I had never heard of social work, but after the talk I volunteered in a local settlement house and got hooked!

Deciding to enter social work was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel privileged to be invited into the most personal aspects of clients’ lives, and am continually in awe of their resilience as well as their courage in tackling difficult changes that scare them. Helping a group of clients or students develop into a caring community is yet a different kind of amazing experience. After many years as a full-time practitioner, followed by a return to school and then a decade as a full-time social work educator and part-time practitioner, I am now practicing and teaching part-time. I love the work, and will continue until my body and/or mind make it impossible. It’s just who I am!

 

I chose Hammock because …

 …  I can’t think of a better way to represent what Winnicott calls a “holding environment”. If we see that the hammock is strong and well-grounded, we trust it. We allow it to encircle and support us so that we can let go and rise a bit above our situation — without fear of falling. From that slight elevation we are temporarily released from the heaviness of what weighs us down, and this respite allows us to reflect on our lives and put things in better perspective. Is this not like the environment we strive to create for our clients?

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