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Tag Archives: individual
Posted: January 8, 2017 at 7:56 pm
Empowerment and a strengths perspective which support the development of innate abilities and recognize differences in a positive manner are also helping social workers increase the individual clients capacity to learn to use his or her own systems constructively
More than a simple linguistic nuance, the notion that social workers do not empower others, but instead, help people empower themselves is an ontological distinction that frames the reality experienced by both social workers and clients (Simon, 1990, p. 32, quoted in Saleeby, 2006, p. 98)
Introduction: This paper firstly looks at empowerment, what it is, and how it can assist social workers in enhancing their clients competence through development of self-efficacy, mastery, and their ability to use their own resources (both inner and outer) in a productive and beneficial manner. The paper then looks at the Strengths Perspective and how social workers can use this lens to assist clients in re-framing their sense of self, and therefore enhance their clients capacity for self-determination. The paper then looks at empowerment and the Strengths Perspective in action, through the utilization of Solution Focused theory.
In this paper it is argued that the action of empowerment is fundamental to the application of a strengths perspective. It is also argued that a positive recognition of difference, such as for those experiencing mental health issues, or who may be gay or lesbian for example, can assist clients in normalizing their lived experience.
Empowerment: Empowerment is both a theory and a practice. It is also a process as well as an outcome (Zimmerman, 1995; Gutierrez, DeLois and GlenMaye, 1995; Carr, E.S., 2003).
The practice of empowerment grew out of the womens and black rights movements of the United States in the late 60s/70s where it was recognised that these two powerless/oppressed groups did not have equal access to human services. This had a negative effect both at the level of the individual and at the level of the institution of the family, which meant that the impaired systems [were] unable to shield individuals from the negative effects of the oppressive institutions (Gutierrez et al, 1995, p. 534), thereby self-perpetuating the oppressed state of those, and other subjegated, groups.
The goal of empowerment is to increase personal, interpersonal or political power, so that individuals, families or communities can take action to improve their situation (Gutierrez et al, 1995, p. 535) Australian examples of empowered communities would include the Womens Electoral Lobby and the Tent Embassy, also developing in the 1970s for example This goal means an increase in the actual power of the client or community [as opposed to their coping with, or adaptation to, the dominant paradigm] so that action can be taken [by them] to prevent or change the problems they are facing (Gutierrez et al, 1995, p. 535). A crucial aim of empowerment is therefore enhancing the possibilities for people to control their own lives (Rappapport, 1981, p. 15) and augmenting their sense of self-determination.
The process of empowerment, involves the development of consciousness consciousness raising/conscientization, and psychological empowerment (Carr, 2003, p. 15; Zimmerman 1995) facilitating a reduction in self-blame, an assumption of personal responsibility for change, and enhancement of self-efficacy (Gutierrez et al, 1995, p. 535). Empowerment also involves the understanding by oppressed people that the nature of their oppression is structural and systemic and is not self-inflicted (Cowger, Anderson & Snively, 2006). Further, empowerment involves a commitment to challenging and combating injustice (Pease, 2002, p. 136, quoting Ward and Mullender).
Consciousness raising, practiced by many a feminist in the 1970s for example, is learning about, and increasing ones self awareness of, their individual social fit within…
Posted: December 25, 2016 at 11:09 pm
The Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) is the most senior manager of an offshore platform operating on the UKCS.
Many offshore operators have adopted this UK offshore management model and title and applied it to their operations in all global regions irrespective of the local regulations in force.
In the UK the individual must be officially registered as an OIM with the Offshore Safety Division of the Health and Safety Executive and the OIM is responsible for the health, welfare and safety of the personnel on board the installation, whether a drilling rig, production platform or a support vessel (e.g. a flotel).
The OIM position had arisen in part from the Inquiry into the 1965 Sea Gem disaster, in which the Sea Gem drilling rig collapsed and sank in the southern sector of the North Sea with a loss of 13 lives. The Inquiry recommended that ” … there ought to be a ‘master’ or unquestioned authority on these rigs” and that ” … there ought to be the equivalent of a shipmaster’s daily round when the ‘master’ could question those responsible for different aspects of the day-to-day management of the whole.” The recommendations from the Sea Gem Inquiry were formalised in the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 which requires a registered OIM to be in charge of each installation.
Training and selection of OIMs has been the subject of research projects and specialist training.
Posted: November 30, 2016 at 6:31 pm
FM-2030 (October 15, 1930 July 8, 2000) was an author, teacher, transhumanist philosopher, futurist, consultant and athlete. FM-2030 was born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary (Persian: ).
He became notable as a transhumanist with the book Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World, published in 1989. In addition, he wrote a number of works of fiction under his original name F.M. Esfandiary.
The son of an Iranian diplomat, he travelled widely as a child, living in 17 countries by age 11; then, as a young man, he represented Iran as a basketball player at the 1948 Olympic Games in London and served on the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine from 1952 to 1954.
In the mid-1970s F.M. Esfandiary legally changed his name to FM-2030 for two main reasons. Firstly, to reflect the hope and belief that he would live to celebrate his 100th birthday in 2030; secondly, and more importantly, to break free of the widespread practice of naming conventions that he saw as rooted in a collectivist mentality, and existing only as a relic of humankind’s tribalistic past. He viewed traditional names as almost always stamping a label of collective identityvarying from gender to nationalityon the individual, thereby existing as prima facie elements of thought processes in the human cultural fabric, that tended to degenerate into stereotyping, factionalism, and discrimination. In his own words, “Conventional names define a person’s past: ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, religion. I am not who I was ten years ago and certainly not who I will be in twenty years. […] The name 2030 reflects my conviction that the years around 2030 will be a magical time. In 2030 we will be ageless and everyone will have an excellent chance to live forever. 2030 is a dream and a goal.”
He was a lifelong vegetarian and said he would not eat anything that had a mother. FM-2030 once said, “I am a 21st century person who was accidentally launched in the 20th. I have a deep nostalgia for the future.” He taught at The New School, UCLA, and Florida International University. He worked as a corporate consultant for Lockheed and J.C. Penney. He was married to transhumanist Natasha Vita-More until his death/cryonic suspension.
On July 8, 2000, FM-2030 died from pancreatic cancer and was placed in cryonic suspension at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his body remains today. He did not yet have remote standby arrangements, so no Alcor team member was present at his death, but FM-2030 was the first person to be vitrified, rather than simply frozen as previous cryonics patients had been. FM-2030 was survived by four sisters and one brother.
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Posted: November 25, 2016 at 10:19 am
In a letter written on March 19, 1944, Ayn Rand remarked: Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Socialism are only superficial variations of the same monstrous themecollectivism. Rand would later expand on this insight in various articles, most notably in two of her lectures at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston: The Fascist New Frontier (Dec. 16, 1962, published as a booklet by the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1963); and The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus (April 18, 1965, published as Chapter 20 in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal [CUI] by New American Library in 1967).
The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state.
Rand knew better than to accept the traditional left-right dichotomy between socialism (or communism) and fascism, according to which socialism is the extreme version of left-ideology and fascism is the extreme version of right-ideology (i.e., capitalism). Indeed, in The Ayn Rand Letter (Nov. 8, 1971) she characterized fascism as socialism for big business. Both are variants of statism, in contrast to a free country based on individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism. As Rand put it in Conservativism: An Obituary (CUI, Chapter 19):
The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state, the same conflict that has been fought throughout mankinds history. The names change, but the essenceand the resultsremain the same, whether it is the individual against feudalism, or against absolute monarchy, or against communism or fascism or Nazism or socialism or the welfare state.
The placement of socialism and fascism at opposite ends of a political spectrum serves a nefarious purpose, according to Rand. It serves to buttress the case that we must avoid extremism and choose the sensible middle course of a mixed economy. Quoting from Extremism, Or The Art of Smearing (CUI, Chapter 17):
If it were true that dictatorship is inevitable and that fascism and communism are the two extremes at the opposite ends of our course, then what is the safest place to choose? Why, the middle of the road. The safely undefined, indeterminate, mixed-economy, moderate middlewith a moderate amount of government favors and special privileges to the rich and a moderate amount of government handouts to the poorwith a moderate respect for rights and a moderate degree of brute forcewith a moderate amount of freedom and a moderate amount of slaverywith a moderate degree of justice and a moderate degree of injusticewith a moderate amount of security and a moderate amount of terrorand with a moderate degree of tolerance for all, except those extremists who uphold principles, consistency, objectivity, morality and who refuse to compromise.
In both of her major articles on fascism (cited above) Rand distinguished between fascism and socialism by noting a rather technical (and ultimately inconsequential) difference in their approaches to private property. Here is the relevant passage from The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus:
Observe that both socialism and fascism involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories: socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates the vesting of ownership and control in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government.
Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means property, without the right to use it or to dispose of it. It means that the citizens retain the responsibility of holding property, without any of its advantages, while the government acquires all the advantages without any of the responsibility.
In this respect, socialism is the more honest of the two theories. I say more honest, not betterbecause, in practice, there is no difference between them: both come from the same collectivist-statist principle, both negate individual rights and subordinate the individual to the collective, both deliver the livelihood and the lives of the citizens into the power of an omnipotent government and the differences between them are only a matter of time, degree, and superficial detail, such as the choice of slogans by which the rulers delude their enslaved subjects.
Contrary to many conservative commentators during the 1960s, Rand maintained that America was drifting toward fascism, not socialism, and that this descent was virtually inevitable in a mixed economy. A mixed economy is an explosive, untenable mixture of two opposite elements, freedom and statism, which cannot remain stable, but must ultimately go one way or the other (Extremism, or The Art of Smearing). Economic controls generate their own problems, and with these problems come demands for additional controlsso either those controls must be abolished or a mixed economy will eventually degenerate into a form of economic dictatorship. Rand conceded that most American advocates of the welfare state are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property. These welfare-statists want to preserve private property while calling for greater government control over such property. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.
A mixed economy is ruled by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies.
Rand gave us some of the finest analyses of a mixed economyits premises, implications, and long-range consequencesever penned by a free-market advocate. In The New Fascism, for example, she compared a mixed economy to a system that operates by the law of the jungle, a system in which no ones interests are safe, everyones interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it. A mixed economy divides a country into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense. Although Rand did not invoke Thomas Hobbes in this context, it is safe to say that the economic chaos of a mixed economy resembles the Hobbesian war of all against all in a state of nature, a system in which interest groups feel the need to screw others before they get screwed themselves.
A mixed economy is ruled by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one anothers expense by an act of governmenti.e., by force.
Of course, Rand never claimed that America had degenerated into full-blown fascism (she held that freedom of speech was a bright line in this respect), but she did believe that the fundamental premise of the altruist-collectivist moralitythe foundation of all collectivist regimes, including fascismwas accepted and preached by modern liberals and conservatives alike. (Those who mistakenly dub Rand a conservative should read Conservatism: An Obituary [CUI, Chapter 19], a scathing critique in which she accused conservative leaders of moral treason. In some respects Rand detested modern conservatives more than she did modern liberals. She was especially contemptuous of those conservatives who attempted to justify capitalism by appealing to religion or to tradition.) Rand illustrated her point in The Fascist New Frontier, a polemical tour de force aimed at President Kennedy and his administration.
There is no such thing as the public interest except as the sum of the interests of individual men.
Rand began this 1962 lecture by quoting passages from the 1920 political platform of the German Nazi Party, including demands for an end to the power of the financial interests, profit sharing in big business, a broad extension of care for the aged, the improvement of public health by government, an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education, and so forth. All such welfare-state measures, this platform concluded, can only proceed from within on the foundation of The Common Good Before the Individual Good.
Rand had no problem quoting similar proposals and sentiments from President Kennedy and members of his administration, such as Kennedys celebrated remark, And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what America will do for youask what you can do for your country. The particulars of Rands speech will come as no surprise to those familiar with her ideas, but I wish to call attention to her final remarks about the meaning of the public interest. As used by Kennedy and other politicians, both Democratic and Republican, this fuzzy phrase has little if any meaning, except to indicate that individuals have a duty to sacrifice their interests for the sake of a greater, undefined good, as determined by those who wield the brute force of political power. Rand then stated what she regarded as the only coherent meaning of the public interest.
[T]here is no such thing as the public interest except as the sum of the interests of individual men. And the basic, common interest of all menall rational menis freedom. Freedom is the first requirement of the public interestnot what men do when they are free, but that they are free. All their achievements rest on that foundationand cannot exist without them.
The principles of a free, non-coercive social system are the only form of the public interest.
I shall conclude this essay on a personal note. Before I began preparing for this essay, I had not read some of the articles quoted above for many, many years. In fact, I had not read some of the material since my college days 45 years ago. I therefore approached my new readings with a certain amount of trepidation. I liked the articles when I first read them, but would they stand the test of time? Would Rands insights and arguments appear commonplace, even hackneyed, with the passage of so much time? Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Rand was exactly on point on many issues. Indeed, if we substitute President Obama, for President Kennedy or President Johnson many of her points would be even more pertinent today than they were during the 1960s. Unfortunately, the ideological sewer of American politics has become even more foul today than it was in Rands day, but Rand did what she could to reverse the trend, and one person can only do so much. And no one can say that she didnt warn us.
Republished from Libertarianism.org.
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Posted: October 13, 2016 at 5:35 am
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Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:25 pm
Alternative medicine is any form of practice that is outside the realm of conventional modern medicine. It covers a broad range of healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies. Most of these treatments and health care practices are not taught widely in medical schools. Examples are naturopathy, chiropractic, ayurveda, homeopathy and acupuncture. (A complete listing of alternative medical practices are given later.)
If alternative medicine or therapy is used alone or instead of conventional medicine, it is called “alternative” medicine. If the treatment or therapy is done along with or in addition to conventional medicine, it is referred to as “Complementary Medicine” as the two practices complements each other. For example, many Chinese hospitals use acupuncture to reduce the pain during the surgery instead of anesthetics. This is complementary medicine. Later, we refer to the use of sesame oil as a complementary treatment for cancer. Dean Ornish uses life style changes to combat heart disease. These are all examples of complementary medicine.
Many of the alternative practices pay attention to the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health, in addition to the physical body. Therapies like hypnosis and visualization claims to be able to change physical conditions through purely mental interventions. They believe that our bodies are remarkably resilient machines, capable, with some occasional prodding or intervention, of healing themselves. The name “holistic medicine” came from this unification of the mind and the body. Holistic practitioners treat the “whole person” as opposed to the individual organs of the body where symptoms occur. The importance of self care and preventing illness are stressed by holistic practitioners.
Any therapy that relies on the body’s own healing powers may be considered natural medicine. These include herbal remedies, diet and water therapies.
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Posted: September 6, 2016 at 8:26 am
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Posted: August 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm
Have you ever had a red, itchy rash that does not go away? Chances are, it may be eczema. While mild eczema is not life threatening, it may be extremely uncomfortable with an itch. Symptoms usually vary depending on the individual, and may include dry, scaly, red and itchy skin. If left untreated, constant scratching may lead to bleeding, crusting, or broken skin open to possible infection. It is usually easily diagnosed by doctors by a physical check-up, and most of the time, does not require biopsies or additional testing.
According to the National Eczema Association, the term “eczema” is a general term used to describe dermatitis and can be interchangeably used. Although it comes in many forms, eczema mostly describes a dry skin condition that may be relieved by moisturizers and emollients. This skin condition is not contagious, so you cannot pass it on to other people or catch them from someone else.
A specific cause for eczema has yet to be identified. Many believe that this skin condition is attributed to a combination of factors that include:
Many of these factors are still speculation, with further research needed to confirm a specific cause for eczema. Factors like asthma and hay fever that are often associated with eczema could pose as possible leads. However, not all people who have been diagnosed with eczema have shown these particular medical conditions.
Since eczema can refer to various types of irritated skin, the types can almost be endless. Here are some of the more common types of eczema:
The most common symptom of eczema is red, swollen and itchy skin. The symptoms may vary depending on the specific type of eczema you are dealing with. Blisters and scaly patches are also possible symptoms of eczema. These blisters might also ooze, crust and even bleed. Skin color may also change, and can even become thick and leathery. These outbreaks can appear practically anywhere on the body, and the location of the affected area can be used to classify the particular type of eczema that the person is suffering from.
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment for eczema, but there are many ways to relieve symptoms. For example, there are several easy home remedies that can help relieve itch and irritation should a breakout take place.
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Eczema, Causes, Tests, Diagnosis & Treatment
Posted: July 31, 2016 at 5:50 am
TimeMagazine’s recent cover story “The Childfree Life” has generated a good deal of controversy and commentary. The photo that graces the cover of the edition pretty much sums up the argument: a young, fit couple lounge languidly on a beach and gaze up at the camera with blissful smilesand no child anywhere in sight.
What the editors want us to accept is that this scenario is not just increasingly a fact in our country, but that it is morally acceptable as well, a lifestyle choice that some people legitimately make. Whereas in one phase of the feminist movement, “having it all” meant that a woman should be able to both pursue a career and raise a family, now it apparently means a relationship and a career without the crushing encumbrance of annoying, expensive, and demanding children.
There is no question that childlessness is on the rise in theUnited States. Our birthrate is the lowest in recorded history, surpassing even the crash in reproduction that followed the economic crash of the 1930’s. We have not yet reached the drastic levels found in Europe (inItaly, for example, one in four women never give birth), but childlessness has risen in our country across all ethnic and racial groups, even those that have traditionally put a particular premium on large families.
What is behind this phenomenon? The article’s author spoke to a variety of women who had decided not to have children and found a number of different reasons for their decision. Some said that they simply never experienced the desire for children; others said that their careers were so satisfying to them that they couldn’t imagine taking on the responsibility of raising children; still others argued that in an era when bringing up a child costs upward of $250,000, they simply couldn’t afford to have even one baby; and the comedian Margaret Cho admitted, bluntly enough, “Babies scare me more than anything.” A researcher at the London School of Economics weighed in to say that there is a tight correlation between intelligence and childlessness: the smarter you are, it appears, the less likely you are to have children!
In accord with the tenor of our time, those who have opted out of the children game paint themselves, of course, as victims. They are persecuted, they say, by a culture that remains relentlessly baby-obsessed and, in the words of one of the interviewees, “oppressively family-centric.” Patricia O’Laughlin, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, specializes in helping women cope with the crushing expectations of a society that expects them to reproduce. As an act of resistance, many childless couples have banded together for mutual support. One such group in Nashville comes together for activities such as “zip-lining, canoeing, and a monthly dinner the foodie couple in the group organizes.” One of their members, Andrea Reynolds, was quoted as saying, “We can do anything we want, so why wouldn’t we?”
What particularly struck me in this article was that none of the people interviewed ever moved outside of the ambit of his or her private desire. Some people, it seems, are into children, and others aren’t, just as some people like baseball and others prefer football. No childless couple would insist that every couple remain childless, and they would expect the same tolerance to be accorded to them from the other side. But never, in these discussions, was reference made to values that present themselves in their sheer objectivity to the subject, values that make a demand on freedom. Rather, the individual will was consistently construed as sovereign and self-disposing.
And this represents a sea change in cultural orientation. Up until very recent times, the decision whether or not to have children would never have been simply “up to the individual.” Rather, the individual choice would have been situated in the context of a whole series of values that properly condition and shape the will: family, neighborhood, society, culture, the human race, nature, and ultimately, God. We can see this so clearly in the initiation rituals of primal peoples and in the formation of young people in practically every culture on the planet until the modern period. Having children was about carrying on the family name and tradition; it was about contributing to the strength and integrity of one’s society; it was about perpetuating the great adventure of the human race; it was a participation in the dynamisms of nature itself. And finally, it was about cooperating with God’s desire that life flourish: “And you, be fruitful and multiply, teem on the earth and multiply in it” (Gen. 9:7).
None of this is meant to be crushing to the will, but liberating. When these great values present themselves to our freedom, we are drawn out beyond ourselves and integrated into great realities that expand us and make us more alive.
It is finally with relief and a burst of joy that we realize that our lives are not about us. Traditionally, having children was one of the primary means by which this shift in consciousness took place. That increasingly this liberation is forestalled and that people are finding themselves locked in the cold space of what they sovereignly choose, I find rather sad. Originally posted at Real Clear Religion. Used with author’s permission. (Image credit: TIME Magazine)
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Posted: July 29, 2016 at 3:18 am
I have to classify this as one of the more enjoyable movies I have watched. But thats just me.
And I love a good interesting 80’s thriller.
My opinion stems from my experience of the film being immersed in a plot that is simmering and yet not too hot, just relaxed enough to make the pace of the movie good to watch on one of those days where you can’t be bothered what the hell your watching! And also another interest of mine is that of the main subject; art (esp ‘modern’ art). These factors made it quite enjoyable overall for me and I would recommend it for viewing if you feel you may be similarly inclined.
The movie starts off in the thick of one of Louise’s action/suspense- packed gallery-raids (for a modern painting that her husband Terry, played by Craig Berko – who is also in on, and perhaps the most part of, the malevolent force behind the raids – calls ‘talentless’).
From this outset, you kind of begin to touch on the shadow of a doubt that here is a very judgemental and angry man.
Louise, played brilliantly by Debra Sandlund, although engaged in despicable acts of robbery, comes across as lithe and intelligent and caring.
As the movie progresses we begin to understand that the pressure that Louise’s husband puts on her to steal more, and do more, is undue and the audience receives that verification often into the film.
Peter Hawley made everything about this movie awesome for me; the music, the plot, the acting and the biting use of swearing (“We don’t have to do a f**king thing Terry!”)
As a character, I saw Louise progress from a naivete into a woman who is mature enough to seem actually repentant for her mistakes, then take responsibility for having become involved with a disturbed man who shows the ultimate disrespect and contempt for other people’s art.
Louise undertakes a gradual transformation, and eventual emancipation from Terry’s sway which I found a very important aspect of what made this movie so watchable.
In the end, she basically just walks out on him; and he deserves it. And as an audience, I indulged that gratification! Although, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him; he is so obviously feeling afraid.
Everything about this movie just soars for me. The effort of the individual players, invested into their acting just transcribes dramatically into the feature.
In the beginning I was afraid that it seemed to be turning into something tacky but how wrong I was! Regardless of me being a late 80’s child, it is the production value mixed with the story that makes this movie a rare gem from a lesser known period.
I have only watched it a few times but every time it just gives me so much enjoyment.
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