Saturday, August 22, 2020

Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Interview with Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D.

[Episode 128] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is a conversation with Dr. Holly Oxhandler ( 

I speak with Holly about the definitions of religion and spirituality,  similarities and differences in religious and spiritual affiliation between social work professionals and their clients, how to address religion and spirituality in practice, and her experience as the co-host of the CXMH podcast (  

Download MP3 [45:05]

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Both/And or Either/Or: Social Work and Policing

[Episode 127]. Today’s episode is the audio recording of a Facebook Live discussion that happened on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 called Both/And or Either/Or: Social Work and Policing. Following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and countless other Black people by police over the past 200 plus years, two perspectives have emerged about social work's role with law enforcement. To be sure, these perspectives have been articulated for years. But in the midst of the largest and most sustained period of protests against systemic racism and support for Black Lives, these two perspectives gained particular traction after social work leaders published opinion pieces on The either/or perspective, articulated by UCLA social work chair Laura Abrams and University of Houston social work Dean Alan Dettlaff in a June 18, 2020 open letter to NASW and Allied Organizations, argued that "social work can either continue to invest in and collaborate with police OR affirm that #BlackLivesMatter." This letter was signed by over 1,400 social workers (full transparency, I was one of the signatories) and delivered to NASW. The Both/And perspective was articulated in a post on June 30, 2020 by Darlyne Bailey, Charles E. Lewis, Steve Burghardt, and Terry Mizrahi. They argued that "we need to break from binary slogans of 'defunding' and replace them with a transformative platform tied to  reinvesting in social services, training guardians not warriors, and ending all forms of racial injustice in law enforcement, sentencing, incarceration, parole and probation.

Download MP3 [1:00:49]

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Shared Trauma in the COVID19 Pandemic: Interview with Carol Tosone, Ph.D.

[Episode 126] In today's episode of the Social Work Podcast I speak with Carol Tosone, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work and Director, DSW Program in Clinical Social Work at NYU's Silver School of Social Work.

Carol and I spoke on April 1, 2020 about her insights into the COVID-19 pandemic, psychotherapy, technology and shared trauma. Because of everything that was happening in the world, it took me nearly 5 weeks to publish the episode. Although five weeks is a quick turnaround for me, it was an eternity in an environment where life was changing daily.

I was excited to speak with Carol. On September 11, 2014, I published an episode with her about the concept of "shared trauma." This episode, along with the first interview I did with her in December 2009 on psychoanalytic social work, are some of the most widely assigned episodes in schools of social work.

In today's episode we talked about how the concept of shared trauma can help us to understand what's going on in a global pandemic, how we can think about the role of technology-mediated services, and what social workers can do to care for themselves while caring for others.

Download MP3 [22:22]

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

From Suicidal to Inspired: Interview with Kevin Hines, Greg Van Borssum, and Matt Runnells

[Episode 125] In today's social work podcast, I speak with three men on a mission to prevent suicide. Matt Runnells, Kevin Hines, and Greg Van Borssum shared their stories of managing suicidal thoughts, self-care, caring for others, and building a global network of support for suicide prevention.

I spoke with Matt, Kevin and Greg at the American Association of Suicidology annual conference in April 2018. Kevin's movie, Suicide: The Ripple Effect premiered the evening of our interview. These three guys were so pumped up about suicide prevention, so full of inspirational quotes and stories, that by the end of the interview I found myself speaking with the cadence and phrasing of a motivational speaker. Published on World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 as part of National Suicide Prevention Week 2019 and Suicide Prevention Month 2019.
#WSPD19 #NSPW19 #SPM19

Download MP3 [27:03]

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Therapists as Writers: Interview with Lori Gottlieb

[Episode 124] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is an interview with Lori Gottlieb - NY Times best-selling author, advice columnist for The Atlantic, and therapist. We talked about how her experience as a writer influences her work as a therapist, and how her therapy informs her writing. We talked about how she takes a client’s story out of the therapy room and turns it into something that therapists can appreciate, and non-therapists can get excited about. Lori reads from her 2019 New York Times bestseller and Amazon Best Book of April 2019Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. We ended our conversation talking about how difficult and necessary it is for therapists to be the client.

Download MP3 [41:04]

Monday, February 18, 2019

Under Pressure (Part 2): Interview with Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

[Episode 123] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is the second of a two part-series about Dr. Lisa Damour’s 2019 text Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. In today’s episode we talk about rape culture; the problem with the word "consent"; and how society's criticisms of the way girls speak is really just another way of criticizing girls. In Part 1, Lisa and I talk about the difference between stress, anxiety and trauma; what “good” and “bad” pressure look like; and how schools, parents, and providers can think about pressure.

Download MP3 [27:46]

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Under Pressure (Part 1): Interview with Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

[Episode 122] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is the first of a two part-series about Dr. Lisa Damour’s 2019 text Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. In today’s episode we talk about the difference between stress, anxiety and trauma; what “good” and “bad” pressure look like; and how schools, parents, and providers can think about pressure. In part two we move the conversation into issues of rape culture and how society criticizes the way girls speak as a cover for criticizing girls.

Dr. Damour and I first spoke in February 2016 about her book, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood. I thought Untangled was a fantastic combination of empirical insights and practice wisdom and I loved our interview.

Download MP3 [34:06]

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Special Commission on Macro Practice: Interview with Dr. Darlyne Bailey and Dr. Terry Mizrahi

[Episode 121] In today's episode of the Social Work Podcast, I speak with Dr. Darlyne Bailey and Dr. Terry Mizrahi about the Special Commission on Macro Practice.  We talk about how their social work experiences led them to co-chairing the Special Commission, the relationship between case and cause, moment and movement, and process and product. We talked about the false dichotomy between micro and macro practice, and that there is nothing wrong with focusing your energies on one or the other. We ended the episode with a call for the social work profession to focus energies on increasing the percentage of macro-concentration social work students to 20% by 2020.

Download MP3 [50:18]

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Using simulation to teach holistic competence: Interview with Marion Bogo and Toula Kourgiantakis

[120] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is an interview with Marion Bogo and Toula Kourgiantakis from the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. We talk about using simulation in social work education. In Episode 94, I spoke with Marion and Mary Rawlings about simulation as part of standardized clinical examinations (OSCE).

Today's interview focuses on how simulation can be used to teach holistic competence. They talked about how in the late 2000s, they recognized that there were several problems with the existing model of teaching students practice skills. Their solution was to simulate real-world problems so that students could practice specific skills, get feedback, and improve their practice. In today's episode,  Marion and Toula detail the steps necessary for creating simulations, how they involved field supervisors in the development of client simulations, the iterative nature of improving the simulations over time, and an innovative approach to help students learn knowledge and skills through practice and feedback they call "Practice Friday".

Download MP3 [29:24]

Monday, April 16, 2018

Helping the Suicidal Person: Interview with Stacey Freedenthal, Ph.D., LCSW

[Episode 119] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast is an interview with Stacey Freedenthal, Ph.D., LCSW about her book, Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals

I was excited to talk with Dr. Freedenthal because she's come up with 89 tips and techniques that you can start using right away with suicidal clients.

In today’s episode, we talk about five of them:

Tip #10 – Embrace a Narrative Approach: “Suicidal Storytelling”
Tip #35 – Know When and Why to (and not to) Pursue Hospitalization
Tip #36 – Know Why not to Pursue Hospitalization
Tip #64 – Incorporate a Hope Kit
Tip #88 – Propose a Letter to the Suicidal Self

Dr. Freedenthal has been a faculty member at the University of Denver School of Social Work since 2005 and maintains a private practice. She’s the creator of the massively popular blog,, and her writings have appeared in academic journals and media outlets like the New York Times. You can find her on Twitter @SFreedenthal

Download MP3 [32:24]