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
, 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"
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").
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Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER®
Preparing Social Workers for Underrepresented Communities
Loyola’s New Online, Bilingual Master of Social Work (MSW)
The need has never been greater for social workers equipped to aid to Latinx, immigrant, and refugee communities. Loyola University Chicago announces the nation's first fully online, bilingual Master of Social Work
—taught in Spanish to prepare linguistically and culturally competent social workers.
Online Bilingual MSW Highlights:
- 100% online
- Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- No GRE required
- No application fee
- FAFSA applicants automatically considered for scholarships
- Specialization in mental health and migration studies available
Find out why Loyola’s School of Social Work is named among the Top 50 Graduate Social Work Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
- July 1 – Fall Session
- October 1 – Spring Session
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)
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;
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
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?
Read the rest of this article at:
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
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
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
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:
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.
There are 1,072 jobs
currently posted on SocialWorkJobBank.com. Check it out today.
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.
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? 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.
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
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!
HOW TO ORDER
All of our books are available through our secure online store at:
Some of our books are also available as ebooks at VitalSource
BEDTIME READING/GIFTS FOR GRADUATION/HOLIDAYS
BEGINNINGS, MIDDLES, & ENDS: SIDEWAYS STORIES ON THE ART & SOUL OF SOCIAL WORK
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).
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
The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals
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.
IN THIS ISSUE
From Our Sponsors
Job Corner/Current Job Openings
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THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER® SOCIAL WORK E-NEWS is published by:
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Linda Grobman, Editor
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