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. 

Download MP3 [24:03]


These first two stories are about beginnings. The first is a story called “Content, Process, and Boundary.” It is a reflection on the importance of beginnings, and the challenge of getting them right, especially when working in a fast-paced, high volume setting like a hospital. The second is excerpts from a story called "The Welcome Lecture." Ogden welcomes a group of social work students to the profession – and shares some tips he’s learned along the way.
Michael McEachern, "One Way Heartbeats" from the album New For Me (2014). 
Sound effects
Thunderclap by Dave Welsh Rough Ocean by Darren1979trip_jazz90a
Backround club sound / applause - (recorded by J. Singer at L'Etage)


The next two stories are about the middle phase of social work. The first story is a short reflection on the benefits of doing social work. The second story, "The Principle of Opposites," takes the universal and often daunting experience of crisis work, and breaks it down into simple language that everyone can understand. So Ogden, what are the benefits of social work?  
Threefifty. "29" from the album Collapses (2013)


The last two stories are about endings. The first, “Killing Brendon: I Go, Ego, We Go” is Ogden’s very personal reflection about his newborn son.  The final story, "Decathexis," is about saying goodbye. So much of social work is about figuring out ways to connect with clients, to engage with them, to draw them out and support them to go places they rather not go (both physical and metaphysical). There are moments, however, when the best thing we can do for our clients is to honor their need to be alone and let them go. 
Threefifty. "Home Somewhere" from the album Collapses (2013)
Laurent Assoulen. MUSC from the album MUSC (2011)
Sound effectsCrying newborn baby child by the_yura Football game (recorded by J. Singer from the TV)
Church bells Sorana, Italy by dADDoiT
You've been listening to excerpts of Ogden Roger's collection of short stories, Beginning, Middles and Ends, published by White Hat Communications. Thanks to Ogden for writing and reading his stories, and for Linda Grobman of White Hat Communications for giving us permission to produce and air these stories. Special thanks to the musicians who gave permission to use their music: Thanks to guitarists Brett Parnell and Geremy Schulick of the group Threefifty. You heard clips from tunes “Home Somewhere” and “29” from their album “Collapses.” Thanks to French pianist Laurent Assoulen, whose haunting piece MUSC from the album of the same name we heard on the final story Decathexis. And thanks to Michael McEachern, "One Way Heartbeats" from the album "New For Me.” There are links to each of these pieces of music, and Ogden’s book on the Social Work Podcast website. If you liked what you heard today, let the artists know with your wallet. Buying music and books no longer requires you to take a trip to your local record store or book store (although I really encourage you to do both if they exist in your town). These days we just need to click a couple of links, spend a couple of bucks and wait a couple of minutes and years of someone else’s hard work is ours to enjoy forever.   

I'm Jonathan Singer. You've been listening to another episode of the Social Work Podcast. If you want to connect with the global community of podcast listeners, please join us on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for all your hard work. We'll see you next time at the Social Work Podcast.  

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Singer, J. B. (Producer). (2014, July 8). #87 - Beginnings, middles, and ends: Stories about social work from Ogden Rogers, Ph.D. [Audio Podcast]. Social Work Podcast. Retrieved from http://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com/2014/07/ogden.html

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