CHAPTER 6 PREPARATION Settings, Modalities, Methods, and Skills Summary of Content 1. Anticipatory Empathy To create an accepting and supportive service environment, the worker demon- strates anticipatory empathy—the capacity to get “inside” clients’ lives and to experience how they are feeling and thinking. To develop and convey empa- thy, the practitioner begins by examining the available data, including what is known about the client’s situation through the request or referral the agency’s structure of service, including its policies and procedures the nature of the community it serves, and other considerations. Essential to developing and conveying anticipatory empathy is the ability to view the world from potential and actual clients’ probable perception of reality and the meaning that they might attribute to their current situation. A four-step anticipatory empathy process facilitates this ability: identification, incorporation, reverberation, and detachment. Practitioners’ preparation for understanding clients’ life issues and feelings needs to be flexible, individualized, and multidimensional—never rigid or simplistically linear. Students have to be careful that the anticipatory prepa- ration does not become a preconceived script, with automatic expectations. Stereotypes and preconceptions must be avoided.
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