Welcome to Issue #231
of the Social Work E-News!
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, and other social work publications.
As we approach Valentine's Day this week, I am sending out much social work love to you, my friends, for the work you do every day. I often hear social workers say they love what they do, yet we are in a profession that is not always easy to love. We published a "Love Letter to Social Work
" by social worker Susan Mankita, LCSW. I think she expresses her feelings about this complicated relationship in a way that many social workers can relate to.
Social Work Month
will be here before you know it! The New Social Worker
will be publishing the annual Social Work Month Project series of essays on our website
throughout the month of March. Please watch the site beginning March 1 for daily inspiration!
Here’s a quick link for immediate download of the PDF edition for Winter 2020:
Highlights: responding to NASW's professional review process, self-disclosure, travel social work, preparing for job interview questions, self-care apps, and more. See listing below (after the "Featured Excerpt").
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Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER®
February marks several observances, including but not limited to:
- Black History Month
- American Heart Month
- Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
- Low Vision Awareness Month
- World Day of Social Justice (February 20)
Job Corner/Current Job Openings
Come Grow with The Bair Foundation in Ohio!
Hiring - Social Workers and Therapists for Kent – Dayton – Columbus
*$2,000 SIGN-ON BONUS + FULL BENEFITS*
Responsible to support foster/adoptive families and ensure that the best care is provided to each foster/adoptive child.
LSW and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Services or related field required.
for new grads and experienced social work practitioners at http://www.socialworkjobbank.com
, THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s online job board and career center.
If you or your agency are hiring social workers,
don’t forget to post your jobs on SocialWorkJobBank.com. Please check the SocialWorkJobBank “products/pricing” page
for job posting options and SPECIAL offers.
Job seeker services are FREE—including searching current job openings
, posting your confidential résumé/profile, and receiving email job alerts. Please let employers know that you saw their listings in the SOCIAL WORK E-NEWS and at SocialWorkJobBank.com.
|To Self-Disclose or Not To Self-Disclose: That Question Is Too Simple
Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER's Winter 2020 issue. Read the complete article at:
by Pamela Szczygiel, DSW, LICSW
There are many gray areas in social work practice, and
self-disclosure is no exception. Despite the fact that the literature
typically frames self-disclosure as a complex and controversial
use-of-self practice issue (Goldstein, 1994; Knight, 2012; Urdang,
2010), inquiring minds still want to know: “So...should I do it or not?”
This is often the case for students and newer practitioners. And who
can blame them? Social work practice is full of chaos and complexity,
and sometimes it just feels reassuring to get a solid answer. As a
teacher, I’ve said, “It depends,” more times than I’d care to admit to
excellent questions posed by students. So, last semester, when a student
proposed, “Ahhh...can you please just tell us what we should say when a
client asks us a personal question?” during a first semester practice
course, I paused, collected my thoughts, and did my best to lay out
reasons why the question of whether or not to self-disclose is tough to
answer. What follows here are some musings and basic parameters to
consider when thinking about this baffling practice issue.
First Things First: Let's Define It
If a client asks me my age, should I tell them? If not, how
should I respond? Should I tell my client where I’m going on vacation?
Is it okay to have family photos in my office? When is it appropriate,
if ever, to tell a client that I am also in recovery? Is there a
difference between telling a client that I am in recovery from substance
misuse vs. another form of mental illness? Is it okay to cry with
This is just a sampling of the range of common, highly debatable
questions related to self-disclosure. What are your answers to the above
questions? Do your answers depend on any of the following—theoretical
orientation, scope of practice, practice setting, use-of-self,
foundational social work values/theory, interpretation of the ethics
Generally speaking, self-disclosures come in two forms:
self-revealing and self-involving (Knox & Hill, 2003). Nearly all
clinicians self-disclose to clients in some way or another. If you wear a
wedding ring, for example, you are disclosing something about your
personal life to your clients. Let’s consider the example of a clinician
working with a client who endured several years of domestic abuse. In
this situation, a clinician letting the client know that she is affected
emotionally/viscerally by the clinical encounter is an example of a
self-revealing disclosure: “I feel deeply moved by your account of
leaving this relationship after years of turmoil and abuse.” If the
clinician informs the client that she, too, is a domestic abuse
survivor, she is making a self-involving disclosure. It is easy to see
why self-involving disclosures are the more controversial of the two.
Although in both examples the clinician makes a choice not to be a
“blank slate” in the therapy room and inserts her humanity,
self-involving disclosures carry a greater risk (more on this later).
Self-Disclosure and Use-of-Self
Although I’ve always tended toward minimal use of self-involving
disclosures with clients, I can vividly recall an instance when a
self-involving disclosure seemed to have a positive impact on treatment.
I was working with a young adult client struggling to sift through a
flood of mixed emotions prior to her wedding day, most stemming from
complicated family dynamics. With the intention of validating just how
stressful rites of passage can be (despite social messages that such
events should be perfect), I briefly shared the story of my own wedding
day, which began with a phone call early in the morning alerting my
soon-to-be husband that his father had just died. My disclosure did seem
validating to the client. It offered her a model for accepting the
confusing and messy aspects of her experience—the anger and sadness
regarding her family situation and the excitement and joy surrounding
Now, it’s possible that the same disclosure in another clinical
scenario would have backfired, which brings me to the next point:
context is everything. We need to evaluate the situation at hand, the
probable impact on the clinical relationship, and the likelihood that
the disclosure will be helpful (or not) for the particular client
Read the rest of this article at:
Selected articles from the Winter 2020 issue:
You receive a notice that someone has
issued a request for professional review, claiming you have breached
the NASW Code of Ethics. What are your next steps? This is Part 2 of a
The social work literature typically
frames self-disclosure as a complex and controversial use-of-self
practice. Inquiring minds still want to know: "Should I do it or not?"
That question is too simple.
Travel social workers work at
short-term assignments in a variety of locations. Travel allows much
time for self-reflection and growth.
Be ready for various interview
formats and behavioral interviewing. Your Social Work Career Coach
Jennifer Luna provides sample interview questions to help you prepare
for your social work job interview.
Stephen asked social workers on Twitter what self-care apps they use. Most common were meditation and fitness apps.
Military spouses in social work face
challenges such as needing to learn new local resources every few years,
licensure mobility, and frequent termination with clients.
The New Social Worker's book review of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think and Do
The New Social Worker's book review of How To Be an Antiracist.
The New Social Worker's book review of People and Climate Change: Vulnerability, Adaptation, and Social Justice
The New Social Worker's book review
of Old and High: A Guide to Understanding the Neuroscience and
Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Baby Boom Adults’ Substance Use, Abuse,
The New Social Worker's book review of The Hospice Team: Who We Are and How We Care
Art is a powerful means of
expression. These three art pieces by social work educator Wendy Turner
address issues of racism, homophobia, and sexism.
This article was published in our Winter 2020 issue. We subsequently received feedback that led to its retraction and removal five days later on Monday, January 13. Click on above link for full retraction statement.
For the full Table of Contents and full text of all articles in this issue, please download the PDF.
Recent Web-Exclusive Articles
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) Toolkit
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, or TDVAM. According to Loveisrespect.org:
...one in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or
emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they
become adults. And nearly half (43%) of college women report
experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
The 2020 TDVAM campaign theme is “#1Thing.” The goal is for each person to learn one thing about teen dating violence and share it with a friend.
- Teen Action Guide
- Helpers Action Guide
- Respect Week Action Guide
Each guide is downloadable in PDF format.
Write for THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER
I am seeking a limited number of articles for THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER website and magazine. Is there an issue that you are passionate about that corresponds with an upcoming “awareness” month, week, or day; holiday; or time of year/season? Or an issue you have experienced as a social worker or social work student that you would like to share with peers? These are good places to start to identify a topic for a timely article for our website.
For the magazine, we are seeking articles on social work career development, field placement issues, and fields of practice.
Our style is conversational and educational, and web articles typically run 500-750 words. Feature articles typically run 1,250-1,500 words. We want positive articles that social workers can use to help them advance in their careers.
I also welcome submissions of poetry, photographs, illustrations, artwork, videos, audio, and other creative work depicting social work and related topics.
Submit articles to Linda Grobman with a subject line that says “Submission—(insert title or topic of submission).” Attach your submission as a Word file. Please include in this file: title of submission, your name as you want it to appear with your article, body of your submission, a brief bio about yourself. I will then review your submission and let you know if I need anything else and/or whether it is accepted for publication.
Please email Linda Grobman
with ideas for longer (1,250-1,500 words) "feature articles" for THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER
FOR YOU OR A SOCIAL WORK FRIEND/COLLEAGUE
Days in the Lives of Social Workers: 62 Professionals Tell "Real-Life" Stories From Social Work Practice (5th Edition)
LOVE TO READ ABOUT WHAT SOCIAL WORKERS ARE DOING?
Spend a day with social workers in 62 different settings, and learn about the many career paths available to you. Did you ever wish you could tag along with a professional in your chosen field, just for a day? DAYS IN THE LIVES OF SOCIAL WORKERS allows you to take a firsthand, close-up look at the real-life days of 62 professional social workers as they share their stories. Join them on their journeys, and learn about the rewards and challenges they face.
the broadness of social work is what brings many people into the
profession, at times it can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, we have Linda
May Grobman to help social workers navigate their careers through the
eyes of those with real life experience.
The 5th edition of Days in
Lives of Social Workers includes traditional and non-traditional
paths that offer a practical and realistic snapshot of the
fields of social work.
An added bonus is the updated list of
professional organizations, web resources, and social media, blogs and
This is a must have for social workers at any stage in their
Jennifer Luna, MSSW
Director, Dinitto Career Center
The University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work
The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals
STAY ON TRACK WITH A SELF-CARE PLAN!
A-to-Z format in this book provides 26 practical strategies for your
personal self-care plan. Learn how to make a SMART plan and keep
yourself accountable. Easy to read and essential for any social worker
or helping professional.
BEGINNINGS, MIDDLES, & ENDS: SIDEWAYS STORIES ON THE ART & SOUL OF SOCIAL WORK
A DELIGHTFUL GIFT FOR SOCIAL WORKERS AT ANY STAGE IN THEIR CAREERS
With just the right blend of humor and candor, each of these stories contains nuggets of wisdom that you will not find in a traditional textbook. They capture the essence and the art and soul of social work.
Available in Paperback and Hardcover: ON CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK: MEDITATIONS AND TRUTHS FROM THE FIELD is Dr. Danna Bodenheimer's NEWEST book.
A MEANINGFUL AND BEAUTIFUL GIFT
The beautiful, full-color book - now in paperback and hardcover - makes a meaningful gift for you, a student, or a colleague.
Jonathan Singer of the Social Work Podcast wrote the foreword to this book, and he said, "Danna pays attention to life’s details with a psychotherapist’s insight and writes about them with the passion of a slam poet. She speaks to the soul of social work and inspires us to think about more than just social work."
Jonathan B. Singer, Ph.D., LCSW, Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago, Founder and host, Social Work Podcast
White Hat Communications, publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine and the Social Work E-News, has published several books about social work
. These books make great gifts (for graduation, holidays, or other occasions) for yourself, or for your friends, students, and colleagues in social work!
Find more information on our secure online store/catalog at:
Most of our publications are available at Amazon.com
and other bookstores. (Some are available in Kindle format, as well as print.)
Many of our books are also available as ebooks at VitalSource
IN THIS ISSUE
Job Corner/Current Job Openings
News & Resources
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Linda Grobman, Editor
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