Patricia McBride

     Articles                         Ghost Writing

          Fiction                          Courseware

The Assertive Social Worker - Review

Arena, ISBN 1 85742 421 2

This training, practice, and personal guide to the development and use of assertiveness by individual social workers is both readable - in that it is clearly laid out and well written - and authoritative.

The author draws from the work of others who are well known, such as Anne Dickson, with respect to this skill area, in addition to using her own training and social work experiences.

The book emphasises that the ability to be assertive is critical to forming  and sustaining successful relationships. The athor carefully explains, using both case examples and exercises - all of which I found helpful throughout the ook - precisely what is meant by assertiveness and where and to whom it can be applied when working with both colleagues and service users.

McBride details and illustrates, for example, the distinctions between being assertive, passive, aggressive and indirectly aggressive. The book's overall style is such that the ideas promoted are regularly reinforced and so the reader is able to understand and hold on to them more easily.

The book is useful both as an introductory guide to assertiveness and as a tool for refreshing the skills of the more experienced worker.

The tone throughout is positive and the author conveys successfully the impression that achieving the goal to be assertive is attainable and desirable, thereby enouraging readers to try out her ideas.

Charlie Beaumont is senior practitioner, East Ken Young Offender Team, Kent Social Services Department.  Reviewed in Community Care Magazine.

Excel at Interviews

(Letter to publisher from a Consultant Physician & Gastroenterologist)

'I recently had occasion to go through this wonderful easy-to-read book and wanted to let Ms McBride know how very impressed I was by her super advice given with outstanding clarity. Many congratulations to her. My second though was how very helpful the book must be to all readers - the first being: I wish I could write that well.

Congratulations, Ms McBride, and thank you for new insights.'

The Emotional Intelligence Activities Pack: A PSHE Citizenship and Careers Education resource for students at Key Stages 3 & 4

ISBN 1 902876 83 0

Publisher: Lifetime Careers

This publication is aimed at PHSCE (Personal Health Social and Citizenship Education) lessons but is highly appropriate for alternative education groups who want to develop social awareness in young people and for personal advisers working with young people. Emotional Intelligence covers: confidence; self-esteem; social awareness; relationships; moral dilemmas; responsibilties and knowing yourself.

The pack is photocopiable and is made up to 60 activities covering a wide range of topics. The activities are designed for interactive teaching and include quizzes, ICT skills, role play and discussion. The worksheets include using music and some very useful, lively and informative websites. Each session is clearly set out with an estimated time and ways to review each session.

At the front of the pack is a useful grid showing which sessions are aimed at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. However, the activities can be integrated into information discussions.

Having used some of the sessions, I found that, because of their range and the use of modern themes to support their message, young people responded well and joined in the activities. This is the best resource I have seen for a long time because it is well thought out and covers issues of controlling your own behaviour, work commitment, assertiveness, change and sociaibilitty, in ways that young people can relate to.

Bev Allport

Curriciulum Development Worker