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Experiences from working as a personal ombudsman in Sweden: The professional role in social pedagogical and social psychiatric practice
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Personal ombudsman (PO) in Sweden is a highly person-centered and recovery-oriented practice that strive to support persons living with serious mental health problems. With the foundation in Case Management (strength model in particular) the practice has since been developed and renamed; people living with mental health problems did not see themselves as “cases in need of being managed” (Berggren & Gunnarsson 2010). Personal ombudsman has, together with a few other practices from around the world, recently been highlighted by WHO as an example of good practice as a community- and rights-based approach to mental health (WHO 2021). This motivates the PO-practice to be discussed and shared with other professionals and interested parties as an example of a social pedagogical practice.What type of professional role is needed to be able to work as a PO? To answer this question, I will turn to the phenomenological interpretation of Empathy as a basic type of interpersonal understanding aimed at the experience of others. The main point is that regardless of our capacity to understand how it is to live with serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia we can understand something of how the person is experiencing this condition (Davidson 2003). As I have argued elsewhere (Stigmar 2022), the discussion is aimed to show how a phenomenologically grounded theory of empathy can be used as a means to achieve a close interpersonal relationship that supports shared decision making and recovery from mental health problems. This framework can also serve as a way to uphold and preserve a professional and emotional distance in that relationship. The aim of PO is to support the person with whatever the persons feel is needed and to strengthen the person’s own capacity to make decisions regarding his or her life. That is; a mobilizing empowerment perspective that takes a holistic point of view with a foundation in the recovery movement. The lived experience of others is of crucial value which makes the connection between recovery-oriented practice and phenomenology both necessary and valuable. By actively training to assume the empathic attitude, within a pedagogical context (Boregren 2022), we can increase the possibilities for a professional “we-relation” and minimize the risk for emotional contagion and too much emotional compassion. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023.
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-59262OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-59262DiVA, id: diva2:1751360
Conference
The annual congress of Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA) 15-17 March 2023 at Oslo Met
Available from: 2023-04-17 Created: 2023-04-17 Last updated: 2023-11-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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