“Professional feelings:

by Ulla Karjalainen

Institution: Högskolan i Gävle
Year: 2016
Keywords: emotions; social work; social worker; unaccompanied refugee children; Social Sciences; Sociology; Social Work; Samhällsvetenskap; Sociologi; Socialt arbete; Social work – specialisation in international social work (in eng); Socionomprogrammet – inriktning internationellt socialt arbete (på eng); Socialt arbete; Social work
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2130998
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21422


The purpose of this qualitative study was to get a better understanding how professionals working with unaccompanied refugee children perceive and reflect on their emotions evoked by their work and on their preparedness to handle them. Therefore, I chose to investigate how the sample of professional recognised, expressed and managed their emotions at work; what role did support and self-reflection play in exploring emotions; how the professionals saw the role of emotions in their work with unaccompanied refugee children; and how the participants described their preparedness to handle their emotions from the social work education. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine professionals working directly with unaccompanied refugee children. The findings indicated a lack of consistency in the views; where some said emotions could be utilised as a tool in social work, others viewed that expressing emotions might be seen unprofessional. Self-reflection and support of the colleagues and the counsellor in handling emotions were valued by the participants; it was seen to be helpful in working on emotions and becoming a better professional. Another emerging theme was the lack of discussion about emotions in social work education.