In over sixty years of involvement in social work—as practitioner, supervisor, teacher, consultant, and author—Helen Harris Perlman has become all but a legend. She has served on national policy committees, lectured around the world, and participated in pioneering social work programs and research. Her wide-ranging experiences enrich her vision of the social work profession: typically she is able to see the forest and the trees. Grounded in psychodynamic and social theory, lucid, forthright, and compassionate, her writings serve to inspire and guide experienced practitioners, teachers, and present-day students.
Looking Back to See Ahead offers pieces chosen for their centrality to Perlman's thinking on some of the major problems of social work practice and education. To each essay she has added her current, informal comments. Refreshingly original is the section "After Hours," in which she captures, in sketches and verse, the humor and heartache that are inevitable in any profession that deals with hurt and troubled people.