I was slightly intimidated by a course I started two weeks ago. My assumptions about the “Foundations for Evidence-Based Practice and Program Evaluation” course were that it would involve math and a ton of research. I allowed my anxiety to take over for no reason. The course is about evidence-based practice, evaluating them, and has a limited amount of math. The first assignment was intended to help me, as a student, become self-aware of my own beliefs based of off tradition, faith, or popular opinion. While completing this paper, I realized it tied into week one readings from my second course of the semester. The readings were about cultural competency and clinicians being comfortable with their personal identity.
Typing out these two papers and participating in class helped me to recognize my biases. My values, beliefs, and personal experiences have shaped the way I initially think about different topics. I understand that this does not make me close-minded, but it prompts me to gain perspective of other people that I interact with daily including clients at my field placement. I have learned the importance of processing my biases and challenges out loud. This helps me grow within the social work field and within my personal life.
Identity is important and I feel that is goes deeper than gender, race, ethnicity, sex, and age. You can’t leave out a person’s life story. That leads me to think that identity changes over time with every day experiences. A simple way to explain it may be…graduate school has caused me to do some “soul searching.” And as I grow more confident in my identity, it helps me to collaborate with clients versus acting off of my instinct. If you read this blog you may want to ask yourself “What is something that I value strongly that may cause me to be judgmental (or biased) towards others?” in hopes that you grow to a place where you can accept the differences in others, appreciate their story, all while being comfortable with who you are!