As social workers, one of the first things we do when working with a new client, or when presented with something new to deal with, is assess what’s in front of us. We look at the big picture, we take in the situation we are presented with, see what strengths arise straight way, make ourselves aware of areas for growth and support and consider what we can do to help, to make things better, to achieve a better outcome for whomever it is we are working with.
This can work really well. Sometimes. Other times, it doesn’t work well at all.
An example of a time when doing a big picture assessment may not work well is when you’re applying for mental health accreditation. One of the biggest issues I hear from social workers is that even though they really want to become an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, the very thought of attempting the accreditation application is so overwhelming, they get stuck before they begin.
One of the reasons this may be is because they are looking at the accreditation process as a whole and focussing on the outcome. That it is mammoth task and there is so much work between starting and gaining accreditation that there isn’t much point in applying at all. They barely even look at the application without deciding that it’s all too much. And for some social workers, it will be.
But rather than quit before you begin, have a think about a different way of getting to where you want to go. Add some steps to the process rather than trying to get it over and done with quickly. One of the hardest things I had to learn when I was completing my accreditation application was to take it one step at a time. I was so ready to get my accreditation, so keen to start private practice work and take back some control over my working life, that I tried to get it all done at once and that definitely did not work.
Try breaking it down, work through it step by step. Start at the start and be methodical about it. It may seem like it’s taking a long time but it will be worth it in the end. Having to re-write sections of your application or worse, having to re-submit can be demoralising and costly.
Giant leaps can make things feel overwhelming, smaller steps can mean the end goal seems more achievable and the journey to get there is less stressful.
When I wrote the Ultimate Roadmap to Becoming an AMHSW, I made sure I broke down each section of the accreditation application so that that social workers could work through it, one piece at a time, and then spend an hour with me reviewing their application and tweaking it where needed. Much less overwhelm, much less stress.
Everyone works differently of course, but we would not expect our clients to identify and achieve the goals they set for themselves without there being quite a few steps in between. Can you imagine saying to a client “okay, we have identified your goals, please set aside next weekend to achieve them”. So why do that to yourself?
If you want to find out a better way to reach your goal of mental health accreditation then grab a copy of The Ultimate Roadmap to Becoming an AMHSW HERE or for a FREE 15 minute consultation with me CLICK HERE so we can work out how best to get you where you want to go.