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Expertise and humanity: the supportive professional relationship from the perspective of clients in drug treatment

Authors:

Leila Billquist ,

Gothenburg University, SE
About Leila
Leila Billquist is Senior Lecturer and researcher at the Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interests are social services agencies and client related work, with a particular interest in organization and profession.
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Anette Skårner

About Anette
Anette Skårner is Senior Lecturer and researcher at the Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interests are (1) social networks and social support, (2) drug treatment, client related work and clientship, (3) drug use and sexuality.
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Abstract

Expertise and humanity: the supportive professional relationship from the perspective of clients in drug treatment The importance of the relationship between professional and client is strongly highlighted in research that deals with psychotherapy as well as clinical social work and counselling. The aim of this article is to explore the characteristics of supportive professional relationships. The main question is what, from the clients point of view, constitutes such a relationship in psychosocial drug treatment. The study was performed in Sweden. The empirical data consist of qualitative interviews and focus groups with clients in four residential treatment centres where compulsory treatment takes place. On the basis of this data we identify five interactive and partly overlapping themes that together constitute the supportive professional relationship: (1) “A perfect match” – the professional as a person; (2) Physical and psychological presence; (3) Like friendship – but still not; (4) Trustful cooperation; and (5) Vehicle for flexible and multifaceted support. Expertise en menselijkheid: de ondersteunende professionele relatie in de verslavingszorg vanuit het perspectief van de cliënt In onderzoek op het gebied van psychotherapie en sociaal werk wordt het belang van de relatie tussen professional en cliënt onderstreept. Het doel van dit artikel is om de kenmerken van ondersteunende professionele relaties vanuit het perspectief van cliënten binnen de verslavingszorg in kaart te brengen. Het onderzoek vond plaats in Zweden en omvatte kwalitatieve interviews en focusgroepsgesprekken met cliënten in vier residentiele instellingen. Uit de analyse van dit kwalitatieve materiaal kwamen vijf interactieve en elkaar deels overlappende thema’s, tezamen kenmerkend voor een ondersteunende professionele relatie, naar voren: (1) “De perfecte match” – de professional als persoon; (2) Fysieke en psychische aanwezigheid; (3) Net als vriendschap – maar toch niet helemaal; (4) Betrouwbare samenwerking; (5) Een voertuig voor flexibele en meervoudige ondersteuning.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/jsi.299
How to Cite: Billquist, L. & Skårner, A., (2012). Expertise and humanity: the supportive professional relationship from the perspective of clients in drug treatment. Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice. 21(3), pp.27–43. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/jsi.299
Published on 10 Sep 2012.
Peer Reviewed

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