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How Might Professional Workers Misuse Power In Ways That Are Harmful To Clients? Describe Ways That The Potential For Power Misuse Could Be Minimised.

1670 words - 7 pages

"Carers tend to hold various kinds of power and those being cared for tend to be vulnerable to misuse of that power" (Unit 20, p123).In this essay I shall explain how professional workers may misuse power in ways that could harm clients or service users. I will use relevant course materials to identify a range of examples of power misuse and look at ways in which to minimise this and demonstrate how they would operate.Misuse of power can happen when a professional person takes control of a situation. People on the receiving end of power misuse feel powerless. Brown and Turk (Offprint 26) suggest that children and vulnerable adults can be subject to sexual abuse because of an abuse of power. These vulnerable people are usually in care and because of their special needs, the carers have access to their bodies beyond what would be considered typical (Offprint 26, p114).One example of power misuse could be when a professional makes judgements about a client sometimes without looking at their personal life. If someone visits their doctor about feelings of unhappiness for example, the doctor would be inclined to look at the medical, model otherwise known as the biomedical model, to diagnose what is wrong with their patient rather than looking for reasons why their patient is feeling this way. This can lead to medication being prescribed, as the medical model would imply that there is a chemical disturbance in the brain (p150). Therefore many women who are suffering from Post Natal Depression feel that medical help is inappropriate and that it can lead to them being labelled 'mentally ill' or even their baby being taken away. (Unit 20, p137) When a person visits their doctor they are not treated as an individual hence why situations like these occur.Jenny (Unit 20) is a thirty year old first time mother who has moved to a new area because of her husband's job. Gwen, her sister-in-law visits, and having seen an article about post natal depression in the newspaper prior to her visit, comes to the conclusion that Jenny is suffering from this because of her lack of interest in her family and home. Gwen takes control of the situation with Jenny and contacts the appropriate authorities. (p143) By doing this, she could be considered to be using her power at a time when Jenny is most vulnerable. (p147) This is an example of power being misused on a personal level.However there are theoretical models of treatment such as a systemic or psychodynamic approach where therapy is used to help a person showing signs of postnatal depression, to overcome such feelings. In Jenny's case she is introduced to Jack, who is a community psychiatric nurse and he becomes very close to Jenny. He was taking control of the situation, comforting Jenny, giving her reassuring cuddles when she was upset.A therapist or counsellor should not visit someone at home uninvited nor should they make close physical contact with out a person's consent. (p155) Jack was clearly doing this and this...

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