A Support Group For Alzheimer's Caregivers: A View from the Inside Out and From the Outside In

  • Catherine P. Papell Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY


The Native American admonition, "Do not criticize a person until you have walked a mile in his moccasins," addresses a profound and never-ending challenge to a professional helping person. We social workers must strive always to understand, comprehend, perceive what is going on in the minds and hearts of our clients without having experienced their experiences. As professionals we listen carefully and knowledgeably. We question informally and formally. We research quantitatively and qualitatively. We develop skill in communicating empathetically so that our clients can try to tell us. However within our clients, "inside the skin" that separates them from us, in the innermost self of each, there is always something more-a special and totally unique process of the self that is always changing and happening as the person moves through the helping experience.


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