Volume 79, Issue 1 (2018), pp. 95–114
The article presents the results of continuing research performed at Vytautas Magnus University and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences which justifies the importance of collboration between social workers and other professionals working in the field of helping professions, creating a person’s supportive social environment, which the article perceives as a unity environment. There are analyzed theoretical and empirical aspects of cooperation between social workers, health professionals and educators, emphasizing the conceptual attitude of personal empowerment and its significance in an aging, transforming society. The interpretation of the research results revealed, the interdisciplinary cooperation in practice is discussed, the changes of professional training and continuing education are highlighted, emphasizing readiness to work in an interdisciplinary team. In the first part of the article there are discussed social tensions, their expression in social work and healthcare practice, revealing the challenges for a person – a professional and a client. The second part of the article highlights the interdisciplinary communication, leading to the creation of enabling environment of unity, and the importance of social tensions in the context of supportive cooperation discussed resolution it’s practice. In the third part there are analyzed cases for the conditions and possibilities of educational interdisciplinary cooperation: the results of the analysis of medical and social work study programs are reflected; introduced changes in the organization of study programs, discussed the expression of innovations in study programs and practice. There is emphasized counseling as a key factor in educational change in the implementation of a “learner center”, a lifelong learning strategy in the process of continuing education. In formal professional training, this can ensure the position of the tutor, empowering systematic studying; in practice, supervisor encouraging reflection on professional experience, thus developing competence.