Burnout and Self-Reliance




What does staff burnout have to do with building self-reliance in clients? An agency in Virginia claims to have found a connection.


An article published in Public Welfare, Summer, 1982, pp. 29-36.


As the demand for services overwhelms shrinking resources, welfare workers are increasingly threatened by burnout. Preventing burnout may seem impossible to the administrator who feels squeezed by pressures for more public services and greater accountability— and by increasing budgetary constraints. The perceptive administrator is further unsettled by growing absenteeism, greater turnover, and general worker unrest.

Burnout in public agencies is particularly insidious because most of its sources are fixed by legislative action. While legislators allow their constituents to maintain the illusion that they can have both reduced taxes and continued public services, the public agency worker is left to digest the contradiction.

Burnout may not only be inevitable but also required by "the system" to regulate a balance between service demand and delivery, as Michael Lipsky suggested in the Summer 1981 PUBLIC WELFARE.1 Although there have been many published accounts of the dynamics of burnout and recommendations for its alleviation, such as the PUBLIC WELFARE series by Martha Bramhall and Susan Ezell, administrators may feel they cannot afford to risk confronting the problem.2 When widespread, burnout can cause a system-wide breakdown; thus, administrators may be tempted to wait for the "powers that be" to initiate a remedy.

Those of us on the staff of Interact at Virginia Beach in southeastern Virginia have discovered, however, that burnout is resolvable if it is courageously faced and examined. Although we agree that it is a communicable social disease that can be objectively defined, we no longer complain about it in the hope that someone else will fix it. Instead, we see burnout as challenging us to expand our awareness as self-reliant, individual professionals; and we assume the responsibility of doing something about it.

This shift in attitude resulted from the shared insight— achieved with much pain and risk—that most burnout feelings can be traced back to the worker’s own conditioned reactions. Burnout occurs when individuals overreact to what they perceive as a threat to their own personal survival. Using the tools now so frequently suggested— relaxation, staff support, and values clarification—we have found that burnout resolves itself into a renewed respect for detached concern.

In addition, we have witnessed a rekindling of more traditional values concerning self-reliance for both worker and client. Rather than despairing in the face of burnout, we have come to believe we can make a difference in redeeming "the system."

Since 1975*, Interact has served as an around-the-clock, 365-days-a-year crisis intervention and intake information referral service with the Department of Social Services for the city of Virginia Beach. The unit is composed of six full-time social workers, four part-time substitute workers, volunteers, student interns, and one supervisor. Interact’s primary responsibility is to provide a legally mandated child abuse hotline for the city and immediate intervention in emergency situations.

Interact also serves as the after-hours branch of the entire Department of Social Services: it responds to calls for emergency food, shelter, or fuel, and provides emergency counseling for agency clients. In addition, Interact responds to calls for assistance from police, domestic court workers, hospital emergency room staff, and other public service personnel who have difficulty meeting a citizen’s needs. Because it is an information and referral service and also capable of responding to emergencies on-site, Interact functions as an all-around emergency welfare and human resource provider, troubleshooter, and advocate for both the client and the service delivery system.

Many of the situations confronting the Interact worker should be labeled, ‘Warning: repeated exposure to this type of predicament has been determined to cause neurotic breakdown in laboratory animals." Interact has high potential for burnout. We have identified three components of this professional vulnerability: fatigue, dissonance, and despair.

Fatigue is induced by work factors that require an individual to assume sole responsibility for difficult decisions made under continual stress-—in situations in which there arc severe consequences for error (the environment in which the air traffic controllers work, for example). Dissonance is the stress induced by the dissimilarity between expectations and outcomes. In burnout, the predominant dissonance is the frustration of failing with one’s tried-and-true efforts to bring about the expected results—an experience that induces disbelief and bitter disappointment (such as the Vietnam war). The road to burnout is fraught with daily dissonance: role conflicts, self-doubts, etc.

Despair is the experience of futility within "the system" that springs from the suspicion that the traditional role of the professional helper is part of the problem rather than part of the solution, that society is crumbling from problems that are beyond resolution. The irony is that we instinctively resort to power as a means of coping with threat and the unknown, whereas a solution actually may require more communication and trust.

Burnout occurs when individuals overreact to what they perceive as a threat to their own personal survival.

These sources of burnout, common to all welfare workers and most other public service providers, have threatened Interact from its inception. Yet Interact workers have somehow muddled through with relatively high morale, low turnover (in fact, approximately 50 percent of those who have left have since returned), and a continued enthusiasm for innovations in service. What follows is a description of how we think we have survived the threat of burnout.

How Interact Did It: Step by Step

he staff meeting not surprisingly originated out of a need to present administrative matters to all shift workers at once. Over time, as our program became better established, we began to spend more time discussing specific cases of crisis intervention. As we became more familiar with one another and more comfortable in our jobs, we revealed some personal feelings about handling various types of cases. These disclosures showed that we shared similar anxieties about dealing with certain types of problem situations and similar ambivalences about the appropriateness of our expected helper role. It became clear that our personal feelings, acknowledged or not, affected how we intervened in crisis situations. By breaking through the barrier of "pluralistic ignorance," we began to protect ourselves against burnout.

Pluralistic ignorance is the false assumption that "no one else feels like me." It is a social psychological condition that can lead to burnout.3 When workers develop insecurities or aversions concerning work, they assume, in the absence of mutual disclosures with other workers, that no one else has similar feelings. Persons see their feelings as abnormal or unprofessional.

As a result of these misperceptions, workers deny or repress their feelings, "try harder," or develop defensive "cover your a--" strategies that induce burnout in others. On the other hand, by sharing these feelings, workers find that others feel similarly. This realization can help them shift from seeing themselves as inadequate to coming to understand something about human nature and the social psychology of their work situation. When people realize this, they become less defensive and are encouraged to collaborate in solving problems. Pursuing the significance of these shared personal feelings has become a most important tool in our training as well as research and development efforts, both to reduce burnout and to improve our service.

We decided that in order to adopt a constructive approach to self-disclosure, it would be important to pursue a program of focused group process work with someone refereeing us during that time. We chose a group facilitator and embarked on a ten-week project of "sensitivity training" during our staff meetings.

It became clear that our personal feelings, acknowledged or not, affected how we intervened in crisis situations.

With the trainer’s guidance, we contracted to share personal observations about ourselves relative to our work experience. We then shared our own reactions to the disclosures of other staff members. During this time we encountered the usual personal ambivalences among staff members and the customary discrepancies between workers’ self-images and their ego ideals. We were able to work through this material and reach a common ground of understanding and trust. The period of focused training established self-disclosure as a group ideal and gave us the skills needed to employ it to our own advantage.

Staff meetings now have a more personal flavor—a warm and supportive family atmosphere in which staff can comfortably share frustrations, discuss problems, and develop constructive resolutions. This atmosphere resembles what has been described as a necessary element in staff meetings if burnout is to be prevented. To be able to be oneself, to speak out comfortably, and to feel accepted and cared for by other staff members is what makes these gatherings our prime defense against burnout. And it has been from discussions and revelations in these meetings that all our other burnout preventives have been developed and maintained.

Participatory management. During the period of sensitivity training, we achieved two breakthroughs concerning the supervisory role. First, the group learned that the supervisor could express personal vulnerabilities, anxieties, and areas of incompetence and still function effectively as a professional model.

Second, we discovered that the supervisor’s chief worry was that the workers might block the supervisor from fulfilling administrative commitments if the supervisor related to them as equals, as the concept of mutual self-disclosure suggests. It became clear that while the supervisor was in fact dependent upon the workers to carry out the work of Interact, the supervisor, feeling insecure, used supervisory power to mask this dependency. In a complementary fashion, this mask of power was supported by the workers’ own temptation to seek security from someone ‘in charge" who would insure a reliable system of reinforcement.

Working through these realizations created a new sense of shared responsibility for the success of Interact. The subjective "ownership" of Interact was transferred from the supervisor to the group as a whole, trusting the collective survival instinct to replace supervisory governance. This transformation led to participatory management of the unit, allowing internal supervisory functions to be achieved through group process. The supervisor now shares all memoranda, minutes from supervisors’ staff meetings, and other "intelligence" so that the workers are as fully informed as possible about factors immediately or potentially affecting Interact. The workers then collaborate with the supervisor in response to current events and trends.

Burnout often reflects a sense of victimization, with a tendency to project blame—especially onto administration. When involved in the decision-making process and the operation of the unit, workers have a greater sense of control over their workspace. They also have an increased responsibility to face the inevitable challenge of doing "more with less "--—- a challenge that must be faced if Interact is to continue to survive.

Participatory management also reduces supervisory burnout as the usual stress on the middle manager is relieved. This system also encourages the workers to insure that the supervisor is feeling good. Nothing is as frustrating and demoralizing to a worker as a burned out supervisor hiding behind a sinecure. The workers further benefit by freeing the supervisor from internal management functions to spend more time on staff development and the promotion of Interact. The supervisor can also give significantly more attention to collaborating with the administration, gaining expertise in understanding its perspective, developing its trust and confidence in Interact’s unconventional approach, and insuring that Interact is responding to broader administrative goals. Instead of being stuck between a rock and a hard place, supervision becomes a more free-roving, creative experience in statesmanship.

Rotation of duty. As participatory managers, Interact workers are in charge of their own work schedule rather than being placed on regular, fixed shifts. Given that service must be maintained around the clock every day of the year, we adopted a kind of "fireman’s schedule" which clusters work periods and allows staff to take intermittent days off. The work schedule is designed on a six-week cycle, involving work periods of from two to twelve consecutive days (and nights) with rest periods of from two to seven days. Weekend duty is placed adjacent to the longer rest periods so that a worker has the frequent option of creating a substantial vacation by taking leave during the weekend duty shift.

We have found that our self-designed work schedule is very helpful in preventing fatigue. It also allows us to cultivate meaningful pursuits not related to work and thereby eliminate the burnout vulnerability that results from a personal identity too closely and exclusively attached to one’s job. The schedule has become a quite attractive alternative to the standard workweek.

The unit feels collectively responsible for all cases that come to Interact: individual workers do not own individual cases.

We have also created periods of ‘time outs" during each work shift by having workers alternate responsibility about every two hours for answering the telephone. The ringing of the hot-line telephone is itself a noxious stimulus, and having to wait for that phone to ring becomes a subtly stressful preoccupation. Previously, both on-duty workers sat at their desks, properly at attention and professionally alert—waiting for the phone to ring. Now, when not responsible for answering the telephone, one worker can rest, complete paper work, or engage in other activities while waiting to respond as a back-up. Besides fighting fatigue, this more relaxed and casual approach has helped us begin to develop more creative and effective use of our crisis intervention resources.

Teamwork. In the early stages of interact, workers took incoming cases in a manner consistent with the practice followed in other units—as in baseball: whose turn is it at bat? Whoever answered the telephone was responsible for single-handedly resolving the problem. It was that worker’s case, even if it meant working overtime. Participatory management led to the adoption of a team approach-—basketball style: it s our ball.

The two on-duty workers now share responsibility for responding to the crises that come in during that shift However, the unit feels collectively responsible for all cases that came to interact; individual workers do not own individual cases. When it is time for a changing of the guard, the incoming workers pick up the cases still in progress. When off duty, workers are often called upon by their on-duty colleagues to get over-the-phone information or advice about a difficult case. During staff meetings we discuss troublesome cases that nave not yet been laid to rest or incorporated into one of the ongoing service programs.

The two on-duty workers respond as a team to non-routine phone calls and to almost all tasks that require their presence at the site of the crisis. By having workers respond as a pair rather than singly, much of the stress of responsibility is reduced. One worker assumes the more active "responder" role, while the other assumes the role of consultant." That way, clients ran take comfort in having someone’s attention riveted to their problems. Meanwhile, the process itself benefits from having someone who is less directly involved and free to examine the subtleties of the situation. The consultant provides a source of reflection for the more active counselor and serves as a reminder of our service philosophy.

Peer supervision. Teamwork provides ongoing support to staff, of which peer supervision and the staff meeting are important elements. As a natural outgrowth of participatory management, supervision shifted from the usual one-on-one conference between supervisor and worker to case discussions and self-examination at staff meetings. The supervisor presents the administrative constraints concerning performance standards, and the staff brainstorm their developing service philosophy within those constraints.

The consensus required for peer supervision is possible only because the staff value certain attitudes that create an Interact "family." For one, mutual acceptance is based on the notion that we are stuck with one another—good, bad, and questionable—-like it or not. For another, although we have a practical need for united commitment to Interact’s goals, we recognize the value of individual differences and encourage the open acknowledgment that we are each "looking out for number one." Finally, we try to temper our confrontations with discussions of how our criticisms of each other arise out of our projections of our own shortcomings. That is, we try to remember that "it takes one to know one."

Dealing with the "problem employee" takes on new meaning in our ‘family" system, requiring honest self-appraisal from everyone. Rather than focus criticism on the targeted worker, we must at least disclose how our own needs are being frustrated by the problem and attempt to learn how the problem serves or expresses some need of the targeted worker. Then we have the basis for a negotiated settlement.

One fascinating and recurring problem typically is discovered at staff meeting when we realize that a particular client keeps calling back asking for more assistance. Upon analysis, we sometimes discover that one of our staff members has been unknowingly suffering from a common professional tendency — the desire to have one’s own clients. Although Interact's service philosophy is not oriented to serving ongoing clients, we recognize the inevitability .f wanting to have one’s own case. Once we bring this motive into the open, we can deal with it. Sometimes simply recognizing the source of the motivation redirects the worker's attention to personal concerns. Otherwise we can usually accommodate the worker by referring a desired case to that worker, who in turn presents the case for ongoing monitoring at our staff meetings. In this way we can all benefit from the experience.

Detached concern. In analyzing cases, we occasionally find that the Interact worker attempted the impossible and either got stuck, escalated the crisis, or accepted an expedient but unfortunate solution. We have looked at these cases to find out what tempted the worker to get "hooked" into the problem. By analyzing the worker’s countertransference to the problem situation, we discover how the client’s problem aroused some internal conflict in the worker. Sometimes the feelings relate to problems in the worker’s own past history. At other times, there is self-doubt about not being "professional" or not "caring." Often there is a concern about "accountability," especially when performing in front of an audience of other professionals, such as police or mental health counselors. Whatever the reason, these feelings signal a personal threat to the worker, who then becomes more concerned about achieving a resolution to the situation than about the process of resolution, thus losing detached concern.

Detached concern is a traditional, if vague, concept describing the idealized frame of mind of a person in a professional helper role. It refers to a rather paradoxical attitude best expressed in our concept of good sportsmanship: "It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that counts." In our culture, the ethic of good sportsmanship has been replaced by the bottom-line concept of immediate, manifest results: "winning is everything." It is not surprising, then, that the ideal of detached concern is easily overlooked or quickly abandoned.

We try to build and maintain among ourselves a tolerance for feelings of vulnerability and ambiguity.

In an analysis of how people in the helping profession lose their stance of detached concern, the psychoanalyst Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig describes many sources of temptation for the professional person who strives for power in the helping situation. He maintains that the root vulnerability to such temptations is the natural dread of encountering one’s own feelings of helplessness.4

In looking at our own experience, we reached conclusions similar to Guggenbühl-Craig’s. Exploring the subjective source of threat that led a worker to abandon detached concern, we found that it was a dissonance between an idealized self-image, or professional self-expectations, and some contrary, but actual, personal experience.

At work, when cases begin backing up, workers’ self-expectations that a professional can keep up with the work are at odds with their situation. And if one cannot keep up, what then? Treating each case properly in spite of being behind an attitude of detached concern suggests the possibility, however, of increased delays and additional problems. It also raises the specter of never being able to catch up. The worker is threatened by vulnerability. And imagine, then, what valued investment would be lost if such a disaster were to occur. Seeking the threat behind the threat, we uncover the feeling of helplessness and, finally, the primal fear of ultimate vulnerability: helplessness and loss of control that await us in death.

The process of personality formation and socialization have covered this unavoidable, universal challenge with a mixture of denial mechanisms, idealistic thinking, and learned skills that help each of us develop a sense of personal power and control over our lives. Experiences of dissonance disrupt this illusion of perfect control, and the echoes of threat prompt remedial action in an attempt to restore tranquility. When under pressure to assume responsibility for a crisis, maintaining an attitude of detached concern requires the ability to endure dissonance. Training people to withstand or become desensitized to dissonance becomes a necessity.

We have found meditation, or the "relaxation response," to be a fundamental tool for desensitization. Meditation is a simple yet profound analogue of detached concern that desensitizes persons to dissonance because, as any regular meditator will confess and psychological studies will confirm, the meditator becomes relaxed while otherwise worrisome thoughts drift by ignored. Meditation serves also as a tonic for stress and fatigue, and increases the capacity for empathic listening.5

For a variety of reasons, most Interact workers practice meditation in their private lives. At work, we allow the phone to ring three times before answering it while meditating momentarily in preparation for the call. We also start our staff meetings with a period of meditation because it puts the staff in a receptive frame of mind.

The staff meeting itself can produce a kind of inoculation against the pressure to abandon detached concern. In an atmosphere of trust and acceptance, workers are able to disclose feelings that ordinarily would be regarded as shameful or threatening. As a result, they can remain self-accepting and aware of how crisis situations can play upon them. This effect is then reinforced by our teamwork support system: out on a case, one worker plays "concerned," while the other plays "detached."

We try to build and maintain among ourselves a tolerance for feelings of vulnerability and ambiguity. If we can accept our natural security needs, we can reaffirm our common humanity. We have no choice but to develop humility and humor especially humor. With both sensitive support and pointed teasing we try to help each other grow in self-confidence by learning to risk the exploration of threats to self esteem and, at the same time, deepen our feelings of unconditional self-acceptance.

The Welfare of Self-Reliance

Throughout the struggles of our staff meetings and the salve of meditations, we have learned the importance of what Ralph Waldo Emerson termed self-reliance—a selfconfidence not placed in the immediate facts of security but in the ability to embrace change as a natural process— and to place our security in that confidence. Like the stages of coping with death—denial, plea bargaining, anger, and acceptance—facing up to burnout requires self-acceptance and reconciling oneself to the inevitabilities and limitations of human existence: life provides no guarantees other than the certainty that we will not get out alive.

Rather than solving the client’s problem, we allow the problem to generate its own solutions.



The burnout of the American Dream may be occurring because people are unwilling to take the risks that self-reliance would require of them.




And so, as the worker grows in self reliance and is less threatened by the arousal of feelings of helplessness, it is easier for that person to maintain an empathic, consultive role with the client who is threatened by helplessness. The worker can consistently convey to the client, by an attitude of calm and concern, a confidence that the client, too, can gain self- reliance.

We have come to realize that our desire to help others is partly motivated by our own desire to help ourselves grow in self reliance in the face of difficulties. This realization frees us and encourages us to see the similarities between ourselves and our clients. But rather than being threatened by these similarities, we can engage the client in a truly human encounter thereby affirming the client’s dignity as we reaffirm our own. Such encounters are more satisfying to both worker and client, and the worker is able to avoid the burnout brought on by sterile bureaucratic interactions.

Thus, the primary principle of our evolving philosophy of crisis intervention has become to establish human con tact and then to "let the energy of the crisis resolve the situation." Workers should not use their own energy. That is, rather than solving the client’s problem, we allow the problem to generate its own solutions.6 If a client dumps a crisis in our lap, that client not only rests easy while we are "on the hook" to solve what might be an unsolvable problem; but the client also becomes dependent upon our solution and even perhaps dependent upon our continuing involvement to maintain that solution. And that is no solution.

By strategically leaving the problem with the client for as long as it is reasonably safe to do so, we keep the client motivated to solve the problem.7 We not only prevent worker burnout but also attempt to encourage client self reliance. In spite of the pressure we sometimes feel to "do something," we believe we have a legitimate role to play in reeducating the client. Beyond this, our purpose is to build self reliance in the larger community as a way of transforming the welfare system. For example, rather than taking protective custody of a child during a family crisis, we encourage the family to seek out its own supportive network of relatives, friends, and neighbors. This lightens the load of the social service agency and it is cheaper for potential clients to help one another than to send their tax dollar to Washington to pay for a social worker to talk to them individually.

An additional benefit is that clients are not left disgruntled by government interference and paranoid about which neighbor "turned them in."

Such reformulations of a service philosophy can save caseworkers from delivering solution services, with all the potential for burnout and increased welfare budgets. Instead workers can spend more time as consultants to the community as it attempts to develop self-reliance.


Risking Trust


hroughout this description of Interact’s attempt to cope with burnout, we have made repeated references to trust. Indeed, many of the questions asked of us concerning our anti-burnout strategy revolve around issues of risk taking and trust. The relative frequency of such concerns reflects just how much our society citizens and public workers alike has become conditioned to feeling entitled to a risk free, guaranteed life of prosperity. The burnout of the American Dream may be occurring, not because there are fewer opportunities to make our dreams come true, but because people are unwilling to take the risks that self-reliance would require of them. Today it seems, external safeguards are more trusted than internal guidance.

The very existence of burnout reflects an imbalance in human resources. Resources are not equitably distributed among our people, whether among taxpayers and welfare recipients or among clients and caseworkers. In his analysis of options for resolving such problems, social psychologist Julian Edney concludes that such problems elude a strictly rational solution: in every rational scheme there is a loophole that would be economically or socially self-defeating to close. The only way to solve the problem, Edney proposes, is to introduce a nonrational factor which is trust.8 Trust is the confidence in the reliability of a process, in the absence of power to guarantee performance.

We have faced this issue of trust at Interact, finding meditation helpful in developing trust in oneself and mutual disclosure helpful in developing trust in each other. Working together in our microcosm of democracy, we have adopted a discipline of professional awareness and personal growth that has bolstered our spirit. Our despair has changed to a workable hopefulness, as we see that working on burnout in our own lives speaks to larger social issues. We trust that in other localities there are similar groups of people developing their own welfare of self-reliance.

A Resource of Uncommon Value

Interact manages to provide a number of advantages over the alternative placing regular staff on call after hours.

After-hours calls come mostly from the police dispatcher (child abuse, spouse abuse, persons stranded without food or shelter, etc.) and mostly between 4 p.m. and midnight. Interact workers specialize in taking referrals from the police and have developed a consistent, dependable response. Before Interact was established, workers viewed after-hours calls as a secondary priority, which resulted in inconsistent, often inadequate responses. Interact has produced consistently effective assistance and a positive working relationship with the police.

Productivity and morale among daytime workers (the majority of staff) have been enhanced. Due to lack of funds, no additional staff have been added for several years. The workload has grown and, because of the worsening economic situation, the number of crises referred to the department will increase in the future. Without Interact, the already hard pressed staff would have the additional responsibility of after hours coverage of emergency calls. Interact, therefore, will become increasingly important in the months and years ahead.

Finally, Interact workers must face, with minimal support, the most debilitating problems that confront street level bureaucrats in the 1980s. These problems include the threat of physical violence, lack of resources, periods of intense work overload, and role ambiguity of the type described by Michael Lipsky in "The Welfare State as Workplace" (PUBLIC WELFARE, Summer 1981). Interact workers have learned to respond to these challenges without suffering the debilitating effects of burnout. By implementing a philosophy of self-reliance, Interact workers have redirected themselves and their clients toward goals of self-development. The workers take a positive approach to preventing client dependency, and they take responsibility for insuring their own job satisfaction. This means that they not only fulfill their responsibilities in crisis intervention, but they also have become a major resource within the department in staff development and training. As a result, they now are helping staff throughout the entire department to cope with stress by using the innovative and constructive approaches they have developed at Interact.

So Interact provides more than crisis intervention, relieving daytime staff of that responsibility; it has enhanced the productivity and morale of the daytime staff. Moreover, it is an important resource for staff development. The service provided by Interact clearly makes it a resource of uncommon value to the department and to the citizens of Virginia Beach.

Walter B. Credle, Assistant Director, Department of Social Services, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Notes & References

1. Michael Lipsky, "The Welfare State as Workplace," Public Welfare 39, no. 3 (Summer

1981): 22-26.

2. Martha Bramhall and Susan Ezell, "How Burned Out Are You?" Public Welfare 39, no. 1 (Winter 1981): 23-27; "Working Your Way Out of Burnout," Public Welfare 39, no. 2 (Spring 1981): 32-39; "How Agencies Can Prevent Burnout," Public Welfare 39, no. 3 (Summer 1981): 33-37. See also Herbert J. Freudenberger, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement (Garden City N.Y.: Doubleday, 1980).

3. Ayala M. Pines, Elliot Aronson, and Ditsa Kafry, Burnout: From Tedium to Personal Growth (New York: The Free Press, 1981), pp. 35-36.

4. Adolf Güggenbuhl-Craig, Power in the Helping Professions (Dallas, Tex.: Spring Publications, 1978).

5. Herbert Benson The Relaxation Response (New York: William and Morrow, 1976).

6. Donald T. Saposnek, "Aikido: A Model for Brief Strategic Therapy," Family Process (September 1980): 227-38.

7. Kenneth W. Watson A Bold New Model for Foster Family Care, Public Welfare 40 no. 2 (Spring 1982) 14 21

8. Julian J. Edney, "The Commons Problem: Alternative Perspectives," American Psychologist (February 1980): 131-50.

Public Welfare is published by the American Public Welfare Association, 1125 Fifteenth St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005-(202) 239-7550.

* Note: A few years after this article was published, the Interact unit was disbanded due to lack of funding.