• Glynnis Dykes University of the Western Cape



adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), counter-transference, narcissism phronesis, reflection, self-awareness


This article examines the relevance of (Aristotelian) phronesis (Breier, 2007), denoting practical wisdom, in an attempt to respond to the question: How can phronesis assist in understanding and teaching social work students with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)?

This article foregrounds family-of-origin experiences of a cohort of social work first year students published previously (Dykes, 2011) exploring identity formation in an assignment entitled: Who am I?†In Dykes (2011) students had been required to reflect family and social issues that had shaped their lives. Approximately 33 (34%) students had volunteered their assignments. The overall outcome had been to explore themes from the initial data emanating from students’ childhood experiences. The first objective explored the implications of ACEs for the professional requirements of social work practice (Dykes, 2011).

In this article the researcher broadened the discussion to focus on a second objective which is to explore the ACEs of social work students and the significance of the concept of phronesis in the ACEs of students being trained as social workers.


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How to Cite

Dykes, Glynnis. 2014. “PHRONESIS AND ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES OF SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 26 (3):331-48.



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