Social Work and the Visual Imagination: Seeing with the Mind’s Eye

Froggett, Lynn orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8406-6231, Manley, Julian Y orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2548-8033, Smith, Martin and Roy, Alastair Neil orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4807-7352 (2018) Social Work and the Visual Imagination: Seeing with the Mind’s Eye. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780367075569

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Images are inscribed in the memory more easily than words, and some remain with the viewer for a lifetime. Combining hindsight, insight and foresight, the chapters in this book turn a spotlight onto various aspects of health, social work and socially engaged arts practice. The visual imagination is evoked in this book to help practitioners see beneath the surface of contentious and problematic issues facing human services today. Risk assessment, child sexual abuse, work-life balance, old age, dementia, substance misuse, recovery, sex work, homelessness, isolation, biography, death and dying, grief, loss, vulnerability, care, and the function of the museum as a preserver of memory, all come under the sustained gaze and examination of the contributors. Grounded in the arts and humanities, the visual sense as a gateway to empathy is explored throughout these chapters. References are included to visual art, curating dramatic performance, poetry, film, dance, photography, diary entries, and public exhibitions. In an age when people increasingly compose their lives by staring into various screens, this book celebrates the visual modality that can humanise services with ‘human-seeings’.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Social Work Practice.

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