Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Personal and Professional Perspectives on Religious Child Maltreatment: Interview with Bethany Brittain and Ann Haralambie, JD, CWLS

Today’s episode of the Social Work Podcast is on Religious Child Maltreatment. Longtime listeners of the podcast will remember that I first addressed this topic in 2012 when I interviewed Janet Heimlich about her book “Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment.” In episode 72, Janet explained that religious child maltreatment is any abuse or neglect that was done in the name of religion, or that was encouraged, condoned, or assumed as a necessary practice by a religious community. Parents are more likely to engage in religious child maltreatment when they are members of authoritarian religious communities. Janet’s book is a wonderful primer on the topic, and her interview was a treasure trove of information for social workers.

[Episode 93] In today’s episode I spoke with two people who bring very different perspectives to this issue. Bethany Brittan is on the board of the Child Friendly Faith project and is a survivor of RCM. Ann Haralambie is a certified family law specialist and a certified child welfare law specialist practicing in Tucson Arizona. I had two goals for our interview. The first was to give voice to the experience of people who have survived RCM. To that end, I present Bethany’s story as un-interrupted tape. The second was to unpack some of the differences between the personal experience of RCM and the professional challenges associated with protecting children from religious maltreatment. You’ll hear Ann and me talk about legal, educational, and bureaucratic issues associated with child maltreatment. 

And now, without further ado, on to episode 93 of the Social Work Podcast: Personal and Professional Perspectives on Religious Child Maltreatment: Interview with Bethany Brittain and Ann Haralambie, JD.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Music, positive youth development, and homelessness: Interview with Brian Kelly, Ph.D.

[Episode 92] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast looks at an innovative approach to developing strengths and resilience in youth experiencing homelessness - a music studio housed within an agency. 

In today’s interview, I speak with Brian Kelly, Ph.D., assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago. Brian briefly describes factors that put youth at risk for homelessness and the three levels of services provided to homeless youth. We end with Brian playing some clips from the audio documentary, and discussing how the music provides insight into the youths' lives.    

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shared Trauma: Interview with Carol Tosone, Ph.D.

[Episode 91] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about shared trauma, one in which the provider and client experienced the same traumatic event simultaneously. If you're not familiar with the concept of shared trauma, no worries. It is a relatively new concept, but one that has been experienced as long as there have been helpers and... helpees.

In order to better understand shared trauma, I spoke with Dr. Carol Tosone, one of a handful of scholars whose writings and research have defined shared trauma. Dr. Tosone is Associate Professor at New York University Silver School of Social Work. She is a Distinguished Scholar in Social Work in the National Academies of Practice in Washington, D.C.

In today's episode, Dr. Tosone unpacks the concept of shared trauma. She uses her personal experience of being in a therapy session on September 11, 2001, when the first plane flew over her building, and how sharing the trauma of 9/11 with her client affected her professional and personal life. During our conversation she answered many questions: How does a concurrent experience of the same traumatic event as your client affect the treatment relationship? In what ways is it beneficial to the treatment relationship? How do you know when it is detrimental? We end our conversation with recommendations for practitioners.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Adolescence, the Age of Opportunity: Interview with Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D.

[Episode 90] Today's episode is about adolescence. I spoke with Laurence Steinberg, who wrote the book Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence.He is the author of approximately 350 articles and essays on growth and development during the teenage years, and the author, co-author, or editor of 17 books. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society and its Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, as well as the National Academy of Sciences Henry and Bryna David Lectureship. In 2009, Steinberg was named the first winner of the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for Productive Youth Development. In 2013, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In today's interview Dr. Steinberg and I spoke about the growing gap between onset of puberty and the end of adolescence; challenges facing parents, providers, and policy makers to provide adolescents with experiences and skills needed to be successful; and how reconceptualizing adolescence as an age of opportunity rather than an age risk is an essential reframe to address the needs of this youth in this developmental stage. We ended our conversation with recommendations for practitioners, educators, and policy makers. 

One note, even though Dr. Steinberg and I work in adjacent buildings at Temple University, I interviewed him over Skype because he was out of the state.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Healthy Sick - OutRunning Cystic Fibrosis: Interview with Elizabeth Shuman, LCSW

[Episode 89] Today’s episode of the social work podcast about Cystic Fibrosis, or CF. We’re looking at CF in two parts. In Part I we learn about this chronic, terminal illness. In Part II we learn about what social workers can do when working with people with CF.

There are about 30K people in the USA with CF, 75% of whom were diagnosed as babies, and half of whom are over the age of 18. CF is a genetic progressive chronic disease. People are born with it. The disease causes the body to produce thick and sticky mucous in the lungs and wreaks havoc on the digestive system, pancreas, bone density and other things. Because of this thick mucous in the lungs, people often describe having CF like breathing through a straw. This mucous leads to chronic lung infection, loss of lung functioning, and disability and death. In the 1980s children born with CF could expect to live until they were about 12 years old. The life expectancy for someone born with CF in 2014 is 38 years old. Treatment for CF includes daily medications, breathing treatments and chest physical therapy in the form of a mechanized vest that helps break up the mucus.  In some cases people with CF need lung transplants.

So, those are the stats. But what does it mean to live with CF, and what should social workers know about working with people with CF? I’m delighted to say that for today’s episode of the Social Work Podcast I found the ideal guest. Elizabeth Shuman is a licensed clinical social worker who works as at the Grove School in Madison, CT.  She also has CF. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Medicaid and the Future of Health Care in the USA: Interview with Matt Salo

[Episode 88] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about Medicaid. Medicaid is one of two health insurance programs signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Medicaid has long been erroneously thought of as "insurance for the poor." Medicare, the other program LBJ signed into law, is thought of as "insurance for older adults." Are you bored yet? Yeah, me too.

"An hour long episode on Medicaid? Are you serious?" I hear you. I've dealt with Medicaid audits, those mind-numbing time studies, and the pathologically rigid billing regulations. But before you hit the "skip" button and head over to one of my competitors - Podsocs, inSocialWork, or the Social World Podcast, consider this: Medicaid has been called "the most important program [in the USA] that nobody understands." (Matt Salo, November 22, 2013). Did you know that it is a 450 billion dollar health insurance program that served 72 million people a year? 72 million - that's twice the population of Canada, and more than the populations of France, Italy, Germany, and the UK.

In order to get a handle on this enormous program I spoke with someone who is in the news on nearly a daily basis answering questions about Medicaid - Matt Salo. Mr. Salo is the executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), "a bipartisan, professional, nonprofit organization of representatives of 56 state Medicaid agencies (including the District of Columbia and the territories). NAMD is committed to providing a focused, coordinated voice for the Medicaid program in national policy discussion and to effectively meet the needs of its member states now and in the future" (NAMD website).

I spoke with Mr. Salo about his role in NAMD and the function of the organization. We spoke at length about the ethical and economic dilemma that has faced Medicaid lately - the development of a cure for Hepatitis C (Sovaldi). As Mr. Salo explained in this New York Times piece from August 2, 2014, Medicaid directors estimated that covering this cure for Hepatitis C could drive up the cost of health care by 10% to 15% across the board. Mr. Salo and I talked about how social workers can advocate for clients within a system that is constrained by economics. In the second half of our conversation, Mr. Salo described a future for health care that addressed many of the criticisms of the way managed care was conceptualized. He talked about the role of social workers in this new world of integrative behavioral health.

I'm VERY interested in your thoughts about Mr. Salo's thoughts on medicaid. Please join me in an on-going online discussion. If you're on Twitter, use the hastag #medicaid. If you're on Facebook, please go to the Social Work Podcast Facebook page and leave your comments. And if you listened to the very end of the episode and know the answer to the question "how does Jonathan know Matt Salo" please give the answer on the poll at the top of the page. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends: Stories about Social Work from Ogden Rogers, Ph.D.

Beginnings, Middles, & Ends: Sideways Stories on the Art & Soul of Social Work
[Episode 87] In today's social work podcast, we're looking at the beginning, middle, and end of social work. No, this is not an apocalyptic tale of burning towers of progress notes and zombie utilization managers... although that does sound kind of interesting. No. Today’s episode is much more innocent than that. Ask any social worker, first year undergrad or emeritus professor, “what are the most basic phases of social work?” They will tell you: beginning, middle, and end. In today's Social Work Podcast we hear excerpts from a collection of poems and short stories called Beginnings, Middles & Ends: Sideways Stories on the Art & Soul of Social Work, written by Ogden W. Rogers, Ph.D., LCSW, ACSW, Professor and Chair of the Department of Social Work at The University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and published in 2013 by White Hat Communications. Ogden has written a beautiful little collection of stories from his 30 years of social work experience. Of the 99 stories in his collection, we’ll hear six, two each from Beginnings, Middles, and Ends. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Addressing suicide risk in schools: Interview with James Mazza, Ph.D. and David Miller, Ph.D.

[Episode 86] Hey there podcast listeners. Today's social work podcast is about addressing suicide risk in schools. When we think about suicidal youth, we tend to think about hospitals and emergency rooms, or outpatient therapy. When we think about schools we think about standardized testing, or unfortunately the increasingly common mass shooting. But schools are an ideal place to address suicide risk in schools. That's why I was so excited to talk with two of the leading experts on youth suicide in schools. Jim Mazza, Ph.D. and Dave Miller, Ph.D. Jim is at the University of Washington and director of their school psychology program. Jim is the past-president of the American Association of Suicidology. Dave Miller, is at SUNY Albany in the educational and counseling psychology program. He is the president-elect of the American Association of Suicidology and author the highly regarded text, Children and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior: School Based Prevention and Intervention published in 2011 by Guilford Press

I spoke with Jim and Dave in April 2014 at the American Association of Suicidology conference. We talked about what is known and not known about what works to address suicide risk in schools, some of the barriers to implementing effective suicide prevention programs, and the value in framing school-based suicide prevention and intervention in a broader context, both as a way of selling the idea to school administrators and parents, as well as to think beyond just addressing students in a suicidal crisis. As an example, Jim talked about a curriculum he has been developing that uses concepts from Dialectical Behavior Therapy that is intended to improve emotion regulation and other issues in all students.  

A couple of notes about the interview. I recorded it in my conference hotel room and you might hear some street noises in the background.  Right before we recorded the interview we had been in the hotel lobby talking with Marsha Linehan, developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This is important, not because I like to name drop, but because you'll hear Dave and Jim reference Marsha and the conversation they were just having with Marsha downstairs. It all made great sense in the moment, but could understandably be a bit confusing if you weren't with us. Downstairs. With Marsha Linehan. At one point Jim mentions research that he is doing with his wife, but doesn't mention her name. She is Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza, licensed psychologist and expert in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. 

And now, without further ado, on to episode 86 of the Social Work Podcast, Addressing suicide risk in schools: Interview with James Mazza, Ph.D. and David Miller, Ph.D.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Similarities and Differences between Social Work in the United States and the United Kingdom: Interview with David Niven

[Episode 85] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast explores the similarities and differences between social work in the United States and the United Kingdom. I spoke with British social worker and podcaster, David Niven. David is the former National Chair of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). He has over 30 years national and international experience in the field of social welfare and is recognized as an independent expert on matters of child protection and parenting. He is the founder and host of the Social World Podcast (www.socialworldpodcast.com).

There are many similarities between social work in the USA and the UK, but there are a couple of important differences. One of the biggest differences is that in the UK child and family social workers serve as child protection workers, whereas in the USA child protection and social work are separate professions.

Note: David interviewed me in November 2013 about cyberbullying and youth suicide for his podcast series. You can hear that episode here: http://socialworldpodcast.com/jonathan-singer-interview/

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Motivational Interviewing, 3rd Edition: Interview with Mary Velasquez, Ph.D.

[Episode 84] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is about Motivational Interviewing, Third Edition. In today's episode I speak with Mary Velasquez, Ph.D., Centennial Professor in Leadership for Community, Professional and Corporate Excellence and Director of the Health Behavior Research and Training Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Velasquez is a trainer for the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and has been involved in research that informed the changes to Motivational Interviewing, Third Edition. In today's interview Mary talks about how she became involved with Motivational Interviewing, what has changed and stayed the same in the revised version of Motivational Interviewing, DARN CATS, the four change processes, and how people can experience Motivational Interviewing in less than 15 minutes.