Experiences of social workers who witness mistreatment as captured in drawing and narrative

Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Ella Barhon, Yariv Itzkovich, Chana Eliraz, Dar Shimony, Hadar Goldenberg, Noa Dori-Egozy, Tal Orly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary: The current study attempted to find out how the Bystander’s role and response are reflected in the drawings and narratives of social workers. The sample consisted of 32 social workers aged 25 to 55 who were asked to draw two drawings: “draw a work mistreatment you witnessed at work” and “draw your reaction to that event” narrative to each drawing was given following the drawing activity. In addition, a self-report questionnaire that included demographics was administered. The drawings and the narratives were analyzed according to a phenomenological method. Findings: Two main themes emerged from the drawings and narratives: Loneliness and aloneness and the bystander role. Whereas most drawings were figurative, the bystander response and role were already exhibited within the first drawing. Applications: Most participants emotionally responded to the situation passively and in private. This study seems to raise awareness of this issue within social workers’ services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social Work
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • best practice
  • ethical decision making
  • ethics and values
  • Social work
  • work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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