The Practitioner Prognosis for Popular Personalities

Characters

Yes, we worked hard on the alliteration of that title. Let us enjoy the little things.

Social workers work with people from all walks of life; it’s part of the beauty of our profession. No two days will ever really be the same, and the individuals we support will each have their own stories and journeys through life. Our job is to find the heart of the story. The core change needed, or the problem that needs identifying. So we thought we’d take these finely honed skills and apply them to another group of greatly varying people: famous characters from films and tv. Yes, this is just a bit of fun. Yes, we wanted to combine our office discussions about our latest binges or film obsessions with actual work. But in reality, it can sometimes be good to look at life in a new way. As Robin Williams told his students in the iconic Dead Poets’ Society, “we must constantly look at things in a different way”. (Before you all panic, don’t worry, we’re not analysing the beloved Mr Keats and his penchant for seizing the day in this article). By re-examining the world, we allow ourselves to clarify things we may not have understood before or form new connections. Therefore, by looking at characters we know and love with a practitioner’s eye, we might understand different social work situations which we encounter in a new way. Or it could just make us chuckle for five minutes at work.

Captain Jack Sparrow

Our favourite pirate has a range of questionable moral choices in his playbook, that’s for sure. He betrays easily, but at the same time, will also go to the ends of the earth to protect those he cares about. There’s an intense psychological conflict occurring internally for good old Jack, as he battles contrasting ambitions, desire for power and the need to escape responsibilities. We’re sure a social worker would have a field day trying to get a straight answer out of Captain Sparrow, but once they did, they’d be able to understand the mental health issues at play, as a result of a rocky childhood and consistent involvement in criminal activities. His delusions of grandeur and substance abuse create a deadly combination of recklessness and impulsiveness. Both of which a counsellor would be able to help him work through we’re sure!

Characters
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Harvey Specter

We’re sort of cheating here, as fans of the show will know Harvey has seen a counsellor during the course of Suits; so, there’s already a level of mental health diagnosis at play. However, a practitioner would look at him and wonder why there was no real intervention when he was a child. Harvey had a less than orthodox upbringing, which has evidently shaped him into who he is today, but where was the protection before the trauma had a chance to fester? There are many questions to be asked about what led to his ego, vanity and destructive approach to relationships.

Characters

Homer Simpson

Raging alcoholic.

Verbally and physically abusive to those around him.

A bad influence for his children and puts them in danger regularly.

We can’t be the only one who wonders how he’s still left to care for a dog and cat, let alone 3 children?!

Characters

The Main Characters of Pretty Little Liars

These characters repeatedly break the law, do horrible things to each other and those around them; and yet, rarely show lasting remorse. Everything they do seems to be the “right” choice, even if it’s against the law or will result in someone getting hurt. This shows that something has warped their sense of justice and right or wrong; a serious case of PTSD which has not been processed. Moreover, the entire premise for this show is that they are being bullied, cyber stalked, abused and worse by an anonymous figure; but they rarely confide in anyone of this horrific treatment. Why do they not share their troubles with their parents? Why is there not a more effective support system in place in this town? There are so many questions, that if they’d just been asked, could have saved these teenagers so much trauma, and also meant they’d broken a few less laws.

Characters

Kevin's Entire Family from Home Alone

It takes them several hours before they realise one of their children is missing. They manage to get on a plane before the penny drops that they’d left a young child home alone, and over Christmas! If that isn’t neglect then we don’t know what is! Sure, they have a large family, but come on. A young boy was forgotten about. Practitioners would have to take a very close look at the level of care poor Macaulay Culkin is receiving in that house. Side note, we also buy into the theory that the parents must be involved in something shady in order to afford such an extravagant house and holiday. It’s just too unbelievable to be legal.

Characters

Do you know of any famous characters who in real life social workers would be called in to help out? Or maybe one who you know a practitioner would face quite a challenge with? Let us know who you think of, and let’s see which beloved or hated characters our social work community thinks needs a visit from their friendly local practitioner!

While you're here...

One Stop Social has a range of resources available to help you develop your social work practice, no matter what your journey has been. And don’t forget, our team are always here to support our community however we can!

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