Reflective learning in social work education in the field of substance abuse
CITATION: Slabbert, I. 2015. Reflective learning in social work education in the field of substance abuse. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 51(4): 549-591, doi: 10.15270/51-4-485.
The original publication is available at http://socialwork.journals.ac.za
Reflective learning is very much part of social work education. A qualitative study was proposed with final-year social work students at a selected university in South Africa doing a course in the field of substance abuse. The participants completed a reflective exercise on abstaining from an aspect/habit/substance in their own lives for three weeks. Six themes emerged, namely abstinence from: depressants, stimulants, opioids, food, social media and bad habits. Findings indicated that students gained an insight into possible harmful patterns in their own lives as well as into the complexity of life-long abstinence in prospective clients’ lives. Recommendations are provided for social work education, practice and research.