Friday, January 12, 2018

Social media and gang violence: Interview with Desmond Patton, Ph.D.

[Episode 116] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about social media and gang violence. It is about 8 million tweets, cyberbanging, and using social media to get a 360-degree view of someone’s life. It is about the amazing research of Dr. Desmond Patton.

Dr. Patton's research uses qualitative and computational data collection methods to examine how and why gang violence, trauma, grief, and identity are expressed on social media and the real world impact they have on well-being for low-income youth of color.

Desmond and I spoke in January of 2017. He unpacked the complex relationship between gang banging and cyberbanging – a term he and his colleagues coined back in 2013. We also talked about how social workers can think about the relationship between social media and youth. Desmond encourages us to think of the online world as a new social environment that social workers need to understand. He questions existing agency policies that prohibit social workers from interacting with clients on social media and asks if those are empirically-sound policies. And one of the things that I love the most about Desmond’s work is that he combines the rich understanding that comes from qualitative research and the cutting edge insights that can come from analyzing big data.

  Download MP3 [29:29]

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 NASW Code of Ethics (Part 3): Interview with Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD

[Episode 115] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is the third of a three-part series on the 2018 National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. I spoke with Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD (whom you might remember from Episode 78 on social work ethics and Episode 76 about social workers in court).

In today's episode, Allan and I talked about 1.06(g) – professional affiliations and the removal of the word “disability."  Allan talks about the difference between baseline standards – don’t have sex with your clients, and aspirational standards – the ideal world in which, for example, we will always be promoting social justice. We talked about section 1.15 – disruption in electronic communications. We ended with a discussion of resources, such as the free NASW webinar on changes to the 2018 NASW Code of Ethics, and ways that you can provide feedback about things that you like or don’t like about the 2018 NASW Code of Ethics. Allan encourages people to be involved in the many online discussions of ethics. He encouraged folks to read and write articles for the Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics and other sites.


Download MP3 [24:48]


Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 NASW Code of Ethics (Part 2): Interview with Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD

[Episode 114] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is the second of a three-part series on the 2018 National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. I spoke with Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD (whom you might remember from Episode 78 on social work ethics and Episode 76 about social workers in court).

In today’s episode, Part 2, Allan and I talk about Section 1.05, cultural competence and whether online communities fall under the ethical standard of cultural competence. Allan mentions the NASW 2016 Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence.  A few minutes later I mention the 2017 NASW, ASWB, CSWE, & CSWA Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice, and feedback that the Tech Standards and the 2018 Code of Ethics painted technology as problematic. Spoiler alert: Allan disagreed. All of the NASW Practice Standards & Guidelines can be found on the NASW website.  We talk about section 1.04(e), knowing the laws in your jurisdiction and the one where your client lives and how that affects practicing across state lines with or without technology.

In Part 1, episode 113, we provided a historical overview of the NASW Code of Ethics and discusses why the NASW Code of Ethics was revised for 2018. Then, Allan and I talk about Section 1.03, Informed Consent, and specifically subsection “i” which has to do with electronic searches.

In Part 3, episode 115, we talk about 1.06(g) – professional affiliations, and the removal of the word “disability”. We talk about 1.15 – disruption in electronic communications. We end Part 3 with a discussion of resources for folks who want to learn more about the NASW Code of Ethics, and ethical issues in social work practice.


Download MP3 [23:27]


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 NASW Code of Ethics (Part 1): Interview with Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD

[Episode 113] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is the first of a three-part series on the 2018 National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. I spoke with Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD (whom you might remember from Episode 78 on social work ethics and Episode 76 about social workers in court). In Part 1 we provide a historical overview of the NASW Code of Ethics and discusses why the NASW Code of Ethics was revised for 2018. Then, Allan and I talk about Section 1.03, Informed Consent, and specifically subsection “i” which has to do with electronic searches.

In Part 2, episode 114, we talk about Section 1.04(e) knowing the laws in your jurisdiction and the one where your client lives and how that affects practicing across state lines with or without technology.  We also talk about 1.05, cultural competence.

In Part 3, episode 115, we talk about 1.06(g) – professional affiliations, and the removal of the word “disability”. We talk about 1.15 – disruption in electronic communications. We end Part 3 with a discussion of resources for folks who want to learn more about the NASW Code of Ethics, and ethical issues in social work practice.

Download MP3 [27:00]

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Social Work Superheroes: Interview with John Vassello, MSW

[Episode 112] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about the parallels between social workers and superheroes. I spoke with John Vassello. John is the Associate Director of Field Education and Admissions in the Binghamton University Department of Social Work. He also serves as the Continuing Education Coordinator.

John and I talk about an innovative approach to marketing the University of Binghamton's social work program AND the buzz he creates at conferences and recruitment events, all with squishy little superhero stress dolls.

John connects the dots between superheroes (origin stories, secret identities, costumes, code of ethics, and more) and the life and times of social workers.

Although John is not the first to talk about the social worker as a superhero (see Dean Anna Scheyett's excellent 2015 TED Talk on Social Workers as Superheroes), he is the first to create an action figure that brings to life so many aspects of social work.

You can purchase a complete set of the Social Justice League superheroes, all proceeds funding Binghamton social work student scholarships, here: bit.ly/SocialJusticeLeague.


Download MP3 [27:12]

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Engaging People At Risk for Suicide: Interview with Dana Alonzo, Ph.D.

[Episode 111] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about engaging people who are suicidal into professional mental health services. I spoke with Dr. Dana Alonzo from Fordham University. We talked about some of the reasons why people might not want to seek professional mental health services when they are suicidal, and some of the things that mental health professionals do to make it hard for folks to want to stay in treatment. Dana sees this as a problem of engagement. She described the process of how she developed her intervention and what it entails. She ends with some tips on how to improve engagement in treatment for anyone, regardless of suicide risk.



Download MP3 [36:33]





If you’re feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860; or the Trevor Project at 866-488- 7386. Text “START” to Crisis Text Line at 741-741. If you don’t like the phone, consider using the Lifeline Crisis Chat at www.crisischat.org.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Arc of Therapy: Beginnings (Part 1)

Sven Scheuermeier
[Episode 110] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is the first of a three-part series on the arc of therapy – the beginning, middle and end.  In today’s episode I’m going to talk about the beginning phase of therapy. I'll talk about some conceptual issues like what do people want when they come to treatment, and how should you be with clients? I’m also going to review some of the more concrete aspects of the beginning of treatment like biopsychosocial and DSM assessment, talking about confidentiality and billing. I want this episode to be interesting whether you’re a first year social work student or a 35 year veteran of the field.

I’d like to thank TheraNest for sponsoring this three episode series. TheraNest is simple and affordable practice management software. To start your free 21-day trial and save 20% on your first 3 months, sign up at theranest.com/socialworkpodcast.


Download MP3 [46:28]



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Death and Grief in the Digital Age: Interview with Carla Sofka, Ph.D.

[Episode 109] Today’s episode of the Social Work Podcast is about Death and Grief in the Digital Age. I spoke with Dr. Carla Sofka, professor of Social Work at Siena College. Dr. Sofka has been studying and writing about the intersection of technology and death and grief since the earliest days of the world wide web. Her edited 2012 text, Dying, Death and Grief in an Online Universe, looks at how changes in communication technology have revolutionized the field of thanatology.

In today’s episode we talk about the role of social media in how, why, where and when, who we grieve. She shares stories of people whose loved ones have died, only to find out that because of social media they are the last to know. Carla provides some digital literacy around death and grief in the digital age. She talks about social media posts as death notifications, about establishing digital advance directives and thinking about our digital dust.

She talks about STUG reactions which are Sudden Temporary Upsurges of Grief. I had never heard of a STUG reaction, but I actually had one during our conversation. You’ll hear me talk about college friend of mine who died several years ago and during the interview start to tear up as I recalled getting a Facebook notification that it was her birthday.  We then talked about internet ghosts, memorial pages, memorial trolls, how and when people should respond to death notices online and what that means for the loved ones. She suggests that just as we provide sex education to kids, we should be providing death education.  She also recommends including technology assessment in the standard biopsychosocialspiritual assessment. We ended our conversation talking about resources for mental health professionals who want to learn more.

Download MP3 [34:14]



Saturday, December 31, 2016

[Rebroadcast] So you want to work abroad? An interview with David Dininio

[Episode 58.1] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is a rebroadcast of a 2010 interview with international social work recruiter David Dininio. I'm rebroadcasting Episode 58 because Kai Searle with Amicus Recruit has a fantastic opportunity for licensed social workers from the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Australia to do child protection work in the UK starting in January / February 2017. If you’re a licensed social worker with experience in child protective services and want to do social work in South East England, email kai@amicusrecruit.com.

In today's Social Work Podcast I speak with David Dininio, Recruitment Manager for HCL Social Care International, about how social workers in the United States can work as social workers in other countries. Let’s be honest. You didn’t become a social worker because you wanted to travel the world. Even if you’re someone who has the travel bug – You’re a social worker. You’re not making a whole lot of money? How are you going to finance it? Today’s Social Work Podcast is about how social workers can work abroad.
Download MP3 [46:54]

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Self Psychology for Social Workers: Interview with Tom Young, Ph.D.

[Episode 107] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about self-psychology. Tom is a retired professor of social work from Widener University and the author of several publications on social work and self psychology. In today's episode Tom talks about the role of empathy in self psychology, the function of mirroring, idealizing, and twinship experiences in the development of the self, how self psychology can be applied in individual, couple, and family contexts. Tom talks us through a case involving an adolescent male and shares resources for those interested in learning more.