Your Social Work E-News for November is here!
Social Work E-News 
Issue #216, November 15, 2018
Social Work E-News
Editor's Eye
Hello --
Welcome to Issue #216 of the Social Work E-News! Thank you for subscribing to receive this email newsletter, which is brought to you by the publisher of The New Social Worker magazine,,, and other social work publications.
I am excited to tell you that we are busy at work on new editions of some of our books. Also, Social Work Month will be here before you know it! I know it's only November, and Social Work Month is in March - however, we are already planning for this special month and will soon announce our call for submissions. Watch upcoming emails for announcements about these items.
The New Social Worker website is a great place to find a variety of new and archived articles on job search, social work careers, practice, ethics, and more issues for new grads.  
Happy Thanksgiving! I appreciate you so much. I am looking for a few short (up to 500 words) articles for our website for the upcoming holiday season (Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year, or others). Do you have something to share about helping clients during this season or through a particular holiday? Or a holiday story from your social work practice? Please send your manuscript to Linda Grobman. (See "Write for The New Social Worker" below.)
REMINDER... Our Fall issue is out! Read articles from the Fall issue at
Here’s a quick link for immediate download of the PDF edition for Fall 2018:
Most articles from the fall issue can be read on our website, as well. See listing below (after the "Featured Excerpt").

In September, The New Social Worker collaborated with the American Association of Suicidology on a series of suicide prevention articles written by experts in the field. The series includes entries on dispelling myths about suicide, essential suicide prevention resources, working with suicide loss survivors, autism and suicide, crisis centers, and more.

Have you subscribed to our mailing lists? You can go to and subscribe (free) to receive an email reminder and table of contents of each issue of The New Social Worker magazine when it is available. If you are a subscriber to the E-News (which you are reading now), this does NOT mean that you are automatically subscribed to The New Social Worker magazine. They are two different publications.
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Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW
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This Month

November marks several observances, including but not limited to:
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
  • National Adoption Awareness Month
  • National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
  • National Family Caregivers Month
  • Veterans Day (November 11, observed November 12)
  • Great American Smokeout (November 15)
  • International Survivors of Suicide Day (November 17)
Featured Excerpt

The Profound Act of Sitting With Difficult Emotions and the Value of Process in Social Work Practice
Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from the Fall 2018 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER.
Read the complete article at:

by Pamela Szczygiel, DSW, LCSW

     Social workers are in the business of supporting and advocating for vulnerable individuals and communities, many of whom have endured unspeakable trauma and oppression. Given this tall order, it makes sense that, as a profession, we’d want to focus on successful outcomes. Which treatment interventions have the highest empirical evidence? What works? At the same time, some argue that our focus on outcomes has diminished the role of process in social work practice (Applegate, 2004; Urdang, 2010).
    In considering the value of process, important professional questions emerge: How does the focus on process facilitate self-other awareness, reflection, and our capacity for feeling and understanding emotion? How does the practitioner’s increased capacity for awareness, reflection, and empathy influence the treatment relationship and, therefore, the client?
    As a social work educator and practitioner who is sympathetic to both a relational perspective of social work practice and the experiential philosophies of yoga and Buddhism, I’ve had ample opportunities to explore the above questions with other practitioners, students, and clients. Specifically, I’ve considered the value of sitting with, being fully present with, difficult experiences and encounters in the context of clinical practice (Szczygiel, 2016). This article will use a composite case example to explore the value of staying fully present with difficult emotions, as well as the clinical consequences of avoiding them.   
Sitting With Sara: A Case Example
    Sara experienced chronic pain resulting from a car accident that had occurred years prior. She endured physical abuse and neglect throughout her childhood and had a long history of difficult, combative relationships with loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances, and, as it would turn out, with me. Sometimes Sara would enter therapy in a good mood. A good mood for Sara meant that she would laugh and crack jokes, usually at my expense. But most of the time, Sara presented as irritable, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Her physical pain manifested as generalized body aches, headaches, and/or stomach cramps. Sara’s body was screaming. She pleaded for me to “do something” to help her, “to fix” her pain. She constantly questioned why she needed to be in therapy. When I would attempt to have honest conversations with her about this issue and how she felt about my inability to fix her, she would cling to me, pleading that she wasn’t ready to leave treatment. Following a session like this, Sara often needed to call me before the next session or schedule an extra session. These “in between” sessions typically consisted of Sara crying, yelling, and further pleading for me to fix her.
    Even though we continued to explore the importance of Sara acknowledging her emotional pain and suffering, her pleading for me to “do something” or “to fix” her, coupled with her occasional verbal attacks toward me, intermingled with every ounce of insecurity I had, leaving me feeling worthless and ineffective as a therapist. My response, then, was to scramble and push for answers. I found myself making feeble attempts to offer her more suggestions and advice—referring her to other treatment professionals and various alternative therapies, trying desperately to help her. These were all desperate attempts to “stop the bleeding” and, in all honesty, an attempt to provide myself with respite from Sara. Despite my tendency to value sitting with difficult emotional experiences, as well as using the client-clinician relationship as a main source of intervention, I became fixated on stopping Sara’s emotionality, as it became too difficult for me to endure. We were working very hard and getting nowhere.
Sitting With: Resisting the Urge To Fix Everything
    As you already see from the case description, this is not an example of my exceptional abilities as a relational and Buddhist-informed therapist. Rather, it’s an acknowledgment of just how chock-full each therapeutic encounter is with emotional exchanges, many of which are missed, because it is so challenging, for clients and clinicians alike, to stay present with emotional pain. My high responsibility reflex often kept me from being able to sit with Sara’s discomfort. Rather than being deeply attentive to the emotional needs beneath Sara’s cries for help, I often bit the hook on the surface and engaged with her in a never-ending charade of “trying this or that technique.” And, Sara tried a lot.
    Despite her limited financial means, Sara attended nutritional counseling, experimented with yoga and acupuncture, and tried various other adjunctive treatments. One of her strengths was her openness to trying new things. But as soon as she realized that the new technique was not a cure all, she would panic. “Why can’t you come up with anything else,” she’d ask me.
    I’m certainly not devaluing the importance of the various therapies and tools that Sara tried. I’m a fan of yoga and various other holistic therapies. Rather, I’m saying that the focus on tools, techniques, and interventions can come at the expense of being able to fully acknowledge our emotional experiences. This is a phenomenon that Zen teacher and psychoanalyst Barry Magid (2013) refers to as emotional bypass. In other words, in our efforts to feel happier or more effective, we may suppress the emotional experiences that can offer us insight into our functioning and relationships.
    Like Sara, I would also panic when a new strategy or technique didn’t work. I fantasized about fixing Sara, in part, because I resisted my developing feelings of responsibility for her. These feelings were very scary to me, and I desperately tried to avoid them. In my attempts to stop Sara’s emotional and physical pain, I was sidestepping some very significant questions: Why was I working so hard to end Sara’s emotionality? Why was I equating Sara’s emotionality with my own lack of effectiveness as a therapist? Why was Sara so afraid of her emotions? Why did she feel so incompetent and angry with herself for having emotions? Why did she both ridicule me and then cling to me? What was the meaning of this “dance” between us?
Here are articles from the Fall 2018 issue:

Student Role Model - Gabriela Solis (in PDF format only)
Social workers often focus on successful outcomes. But has this emphasis diminished the role of process in social work practice? Can we resist the urge to "fix" and instead "sit with"?
What? Another group project? Social workers and social work students often work in groups. Learn to embrace the process.
Social workers use varying terms related to culture and social diversity - cultural competence, cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, cultural humility, and cultural responsiveness. What do they mean? What’s the difference?
Your professors said you would be working at three levels of social work - micro, mezzo, and macro. But your job seems to be all micro. Are you doing something wrong?
You made it through the job interview for the social work job you want. Now what? Do not neglect to follow up. Write a thank-you letter, connect on LinkedIn, and prepare for the next interview. The search isn't over until you start your new job.
You are excited about your new position as a social work manager and have many ideas about what can be done differently. You can’t wait to start, but it may be beneficial to take some time to consider several important issues
Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) provide a supportive environment within the college campus culture for students in recovery. The person-in-environment approach is one that is in sync with social work.
A series of #MacroSW Twitter chats has focused on social action in social work, including: vision, community assessment, action planning, and community organizing.
Is automation a threat to social work practice in the field? Or is it a tool?
AmeriCorps is similar to the Peace Corps, but volunteers stay in the U.S. Volunteering for the program can offer benefits to aspiring social workers.
The New Social Worker is an endorser of the National Social Worker Voter Mobilization Campaign. Terry Mizrahi and Mimi Abramovitz write about the campaign's background and ways social workers can get involved in getting out the vote in 2018.
As a social worker, what can you do to prevent youth suicide? The good news is that there are several psychotherapies that have been shown to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors in youth. Expert Jonathan Singer provides 5 tips for social workers.
Book review of The Hidden Among the Hidden: African-American Elder Male Caregivers
Book review of Explorations in Diversity, Examining the Complexities of Privilege, Discrimination, and Oppression
Book Review: After the Cradle Falls: What Child Abuse Is, How We Respond To It, And What You Can Do About It
Book review of Narratives on Positive Aging: Recipes for Success.
...and more! For the full Table of Contents and full text of all articles in this issue, please download the PDF.

BONUS! Read recent web exclusive articles:
Job Corner
Find jobs for new grads and experienced social work practitioners at, 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 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
There are 1,072 jobs currently posted on Check it out today.
News & Resources
Call for Proposals: Social Work Distance Education Conference
The Social Work Education Conference will be held April 10-12, 2019, in San Antonio, TX. Proposals are due November 30, 2018.
The Social Work Distance Education (SWDE) Committee invites proposals for presentation at the 5th annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, on April 10-12, 2019. The conference theme, "Best Pedagogical Approaches to Advance Social Justice," calls for educators and practitioners to share their best practices in pedagogical approaches to advancing social justice in social work distance education. The conference will concentrate on best pedagogical practices at all levels of the social work curriculums including micro, macro, research, policy, and global social work. The theme also calls for best pedagogical approaches that include interdisciplinary and collaborative frameworks.
See the SWDE Call for Proposals for full details:


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? This is a good way to identify a topic for a timely article.
Other topics of interest include: social work field placement issues, licensing, and career development.
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.
Please contact Linda Grobman, editor/publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, at:
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 magazine.
Please read our complete Writers' Guidelines.
Thank you!
In Print
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!
We also publish books on nonprofit management. Want to start your own agency? We have a book for that.
All of our books are available through our secure online store at:
Most are also available at
Some of our books are also available as ebooks at VitalSource.
You can also view and download our catalog in PDF format.

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.

Now in Paperback and Hardcover: ON CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK: MEDITATIONS AND TRUTHS FROM THE FIELD is Dr. Danna Bodenheimer's NEWEST book.

The beautiful, full-color book - now in paperback and hardcover - makes a meaningful gift for you, a student, or a colleague. It is available  now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble (and other bookstores, too).

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

We also have a supply available from our online store.


The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals

The 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.
ISBN: 978-1-929109-53-1

Quick Link: Fall 2018

Editor's Eye
From Our Sponsors
This Month
Featured Excerpt
Job Corner/Current Job Openings
News & Resources
In Print
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