I attended the Alice Kassabian Conference today. If you’ve never been, this is a 3-hour educational (CE) workshop given annually in honor of Alice Kassabian, a founder and past president of GWSCSW. Our excellent conference committee always brings in a high-profile speaker for this event. This year, Barbara Berger, PhD, gave an insightful presentation of several of her cases, including transference and counter-transference in the therapeutic relationships with her clients. The clients were from ethnically diverse backgrounds: African-American, Iranian, Iraqi, Chinese and Hispanic. She examined the intersection of psychology and culture in working with each client, questioning at times whether the client was being influenced by his or her culture or by a psychological issue, and how it was hard to tell sometimes when their cultures were different from her own. She looked at “white” as a veil through which most “white” Americans see the world, a lens of privilege and being the dominant culture in our country; how this veil can unknowingly negatively affect the relationship with our clients.
Prior to the conference, there was discussion on our GWSCSW listserv about the appropriateness of a white person talking about race, and especially at the Cosmos Club. There were many points of view, and I felt it was a good discussion; people who participated expressed their thoughts and listened to each other. I appreciate the interest and involvement of those who contributed to the discussion.
I hope that we, as social workers and clinicians, continue to talk about race and ethnicity. Alice Kassabian’s granddaughter, Becca, was present at the conference; she is an early career social worker in New York. She brought up (in the discussion period) wanting to see more writing and leadership on the subject of race from people of color in our profession. I echo this sentiment and want to actively encourage more diversity in our membership and in our leadership. Please contact me if you want to help with this.
On another note, the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA) Annual Summit took place October 26. In attendance was leadership from state societies from across the nation: California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Washington State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, and ourselves; as well as the national CSWA team. CSWA is currently developing a document with NASW that validates clinical social work, and discusses the importance of acknowledging clinical social workers as a unified field. There are 11 different titles for clinical social workers throughout the country. CSWA works with Medicare to represent the interests of clinical social workers who provide services under Medicare and lobbies in the U.S. Congress for us. Concerns around the development of online clinical degrees were also discussed.
Each state chapter gave a 20-minute overview of their accomplishments and challenges. Regarding diversity, the Pennsylvania chapter (800 members), formed an anti-racism task force that has been helpful to the society. All board members were asked to attend a micro-aggressions training. They are thinking a lot about how to involve more people of color in the organization of the society. They formed a “change team” and are hosting events such as book clubs focused on diversity. The California society (500 members) mentioned co-hosting diversity events with USC presenters. We have a Diversity Committee which holds events, the most recent being a book club event on December 7 on the book “White Fragility.” I was inspired to meet CSWA’s new president, Britni Brown. They do important advocacy at the federal level and provide many valuable resources to clinicians. Check them out: https://www.clinicalsocialworkassociation.org/
Our annual membership renewal has just completed. Thank you for renewing and I hope you have a peaceful, joyful holiday season!
The ninth annual Alice Kassabian Memorial Conference, held November 9, provided members another opportunity to explore issues related to doing psychotherapy from a psychodynamic perspective in the context of social justice. This year’s speaker, Barbara Berger, PhD, focused on the challenges white therapists face when working with clients of other races, cultures and ethnicities. Through examples of her work with five clients that illustrated the intersectionality of socio-cultural and psychological issues, she considered the complexity of interracial and cross-cultural therapeutic relationships and the importance of paying particular attention to issues of transference and countertransference. Dr. Berger related the numerous ways in which she needed to examine her own conscious and unconscious assumptions and biases, and the varied manners in which she dealt with therapeutic ruptures in the therapy room.
GWSCSW member Kerry Malawista, PhD, was the discussant for the program. She offered some alternative interpretations of the case studies and varied approaches to processing the breaches that can occur in therapy. Through this discussion between the two presenters, we were able to better understand the primary importance of the therapeutic relationship as it may play out in situations where differences present challenges to understanding the other.
In a lively discussion between attendees and the speakers, members related some of their own experiences from both sides of the couch and explored in greater depth some of the challenges, concepts and processes of cross-cultural psychotherapy. As always, the program was attended by several of Alice Kassabian’s adult children. One of them, Lynne Kassabian, a professor of literature, responded to references by Dr. Berger to the writings of James Baldwin. Her participation added an interesting dimension to the discussion as we explored our national experience and understanding of race through the voices of our writers and artists.
The annual Alice Kassabian conference, held in memory of one of our early presidents and an outspoken and proactive advocate of social justice, clinical social work and continuing education, is the one time of the year when we bring in outside speakers, each a widely recognized expert on the intersection of psychotherapy and socio-cultural experience. We are grateful to the conference committee - Audrey Walker, Golnar Simpson and Dolores Paulson – for their ongoing dedication to GWSCSW through the organization of this always enlightening conference.
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Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice
The Clinical Social Work Association just held a very successful Summit in Alexandria on the fourth weekend in October. One of the topics discussed was the Advocacy Priorities for 2019. It was very helpful to the representatives of state Societies that attended, including Judy Gallant, LCSW-C, Chrissie Wallace, LCSW-C, and Margot Aronson, LICSW, representing Greater Washington. A new list of priorities will be developed in early 2020.
The Clinical Social Work Association's mission - Identity, Integrity, and parity - guides our advocacy. This year our advocacy priorities, in order of importance, are:
New Policy from the DC Board of Social Work
As we go to press, we have not seen the Board’s revised policy on LGSWs working under supervision in an established private practice. However, it will be posted on the Board’s website by the time you read this report, in the section on Policy Guides and Statements. Background Information about the issue can be found in the September issue of News & Views.
Because the impetus for this change came from a request from practitioners, the Board followed the procedures for developing policy guidance. They welcomed input from those of us attending the Open Sessions, and consulted with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) for information about similar issues faced by other Social Work boards before making their decision - a process meant to be responsive to an identified need.
A broader, more in-depth Board review of DC social work regulations has been in progress for some time. Once that review takes shape, regulatory changes proposed by the Board will follow the more formal – and more familiar – process, which includes a 60-day period for public comment and specified vetting procedures before becoming law.
A Change in CE Requirements
Another item you’ll want to check on the Board’s website is CE requirements for the new licensure period. Again, we don’t have the details as we go to press, but are aware that the Director of the DC Health Department has ordered that all health licensees are to devote 10% of their CEs to public health issues. The list of approved public health topics is to be announced in November, so we do not yet know if our required 4 public health CEs can include the LGBTQ CEs already mandated by the DC Council.
An Appointment and a Vacancy
Finally, from the Board: Aisha Nixon has been appointed Executive Director for the DC Boards of Allied and Behavioral Health; she had been serving as Interim ED. The Board still lacks a bachelor level member – a Licensed Social Work Associate – to bring it to its full complement of five members.
One Last Note
We learned this weekend that CE is the appropriate abbreviation for continuing education. CEU, on the other hand, refers to Continuing Education Unit, a unit of credit equal to 10 hours of participation in an educational course or approved activity. CEU is regularly used, incorrectly, in place of CE, and the world has not stopped turning ... so this is just an FYI! Thought you might want to know.
Margot Aronson, LICSW, chairs the GWSCSW L&A committee for DC. A past GWSCSW president, she has also served as newsletter editor and director of Legislation & Advocacy. Margot currently advocates on mental health and LCSW practice issues for us all at the national level as the Clinical Social Work Association Deputy Director for Policy and Practice.
Attendees at our annual Legislation and Advocacy luncheon on October 27 heard from our lobbyist, Pam Metz Kasemeyer, that there will be changes in the Maryland legislature during the upcoming legislative session, with shifts in leadership and Committee Chairmanships that can make a difference.
The Maryland Speaker of the House of Delegates, Michael Busch, died in April, and has been replaced by Adrienne Jones (Democrat from Baltimore Co.). Senate President Mike Miller is battling cancer, and announced he will step down from his position in January, 2020. Senator Bill Ferguson (Democratic from Baltimore City) has been elected by fellow Senators as their next president.
Bill Ferguson is a liberal democrat who is committed, in particular, to increasing school funding. Delegate Kirill Reznik of Montgomery County, who has spoken to our group in the past, has been appointed to be the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Behavioral Health and Opioid Use Disorders. Delegate Ariana Kelly, another Democrat from Montgomery County, is the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families. These leadership posts can help hold up or move legislation forward, and these two committees work on many of the bills that are important to our Society.
We will be monitoring bills that go before these committees and others and can always use your help.
Please feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judy Gallant, LCSW-C, is the director of the Society’s Legislation & Advocacy program, as well as chair of the Maryland Clinical Social Work Coalition, our GWSCSW legislative committee in Maryland. She maintains a private practice in Silver Spring.
Pamela Metz Kasemeyer, JD, and her firm of Schwartz, Metz & Wise, PA, represent us in Annapolis and guide our advocacy strategy. Ms. Kasemeyer is an acknowledged authority on Maryland’s health care and environmental laws and has represented a variety of interests before the Maryland General Assembly and regulatory agencies for more than 25 years.
SOCIAL WORK LICENSING CHANGES
The changes to licensure which have recently gone into effect include establishing separate tests for LMSWs and LBSWs. In the past, both have taken the same test. As a result, LMSWs who took the old test for BSWs will now have to take the new test for LMSWs. Also, the definition of a Masters Social Worker as it is written in the Code of Virginia Chapter 37 is problematic. It states: "Master's social worker" means a person who engages in the practice of social work and provides non-clinical generalist services, including staff supervision and management." According to Joe Lynch, head of the Virginia Society for Clinical Social Work Legislation Committee, is working hard on behalf of all Virginia social workers to fix the problem, "We are stuck with that definition until there is a change in the law."
There is a level of mental health professional called the Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) which is regulated by the Board of Counseling. QMHPs are "registered", not licensed, and therefore cost less to employ than licensed MSWs. They are thus more likely to be hired by the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) than licensed social workers. This is complicated by the fact that we define masters social workers, as non-clinical. The QMHP regulations require only registration while our social work regulations require licensure. As it now stands, in order for LBSWs and LMSWs to compete with a QMHP for DMAS jobs, "they will have to acquire registration as a QMHP from the Board of Counseling in order to be paid by DMAS for providing services that are within the scope of practice of their license." (Per Joe Lynch) This process also "may have created an anti-competitive impact on social workers." The GWSCSW and VSCSW are working together to explore corrections to this potentially unfair employment situation for social workers.
STEP VIRGINIA SERVICES
The Mental Health in the 21st Century Committee of the Virginia Legislature is chaired by Senator Creigh Deeds. I was able to attend the luncheon sponsored jointly by VSCSW and GWSCSW in Charlottesville this summer to honor Senator Deeds. One of the things he wrote about was the creation of "Step Virginia" by the Committee. The services outlined in the steps are presented below, including their progress.
(Note: The services that were "launched" have not been fully implemented.)
Judy Ratliff, Chair, Virginia Legislation and Advocacy Committee
The Mentor Program is always looking for new mentors to work with newer social workers who are looking for guidance and help as they start their careers. You determine how much time you want to give; this is worked out with the mentee. For questions please contact Nancy Harris, coordinator of the Mentor Program, at (301) 385-3375, or email@example.com. Thank you for your support of this important benefit of GWSCSW membership!
Grace Lebow will be interviewing retired social workers to highlight how they are doing with their retired lives, especially showing how they are maintaining their identities as social workers. If interested in being interviewed, please contact Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kate Rossier, Director of Communications | Email: email@example.com
After months of hard work, we are excited to officially announce the launch of our website! The GWSCSW website offers site visitors a user-friendly, easy to navigate fresh new website, allowing viewers to easily find information. Our hope is to constantly update content with special announcements, news and events, and of course, that members will visit the website to see our upcoming events.
Please send any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Post, Director of Education | email@example.com
The fall season is chock full of continuing education opportunities, primary among these the annual Alice Kassabian conference, always a huge hit with our members. (See separate article.) We’ve sponsored programs on intimacy, emergency coverage of your practice, intuition, addiction, transgender clients, borderline disorder, anxiety, and life space drawing, all offered by your fellow GWSCSW members. Typically we wind down a bit during the months of winter, due to holidays and the possibility of snow on any given workshop day. But we’ll be gearing up for spring, so stay tuned to those event announcements that come through the listserv.
Your continuing education committees are making a concerted effort to offer more workshops that qualify for Category 1 credits, as opposed to Category 2. To that end, what used to be called our“Brown Bag” program is being folded into the larger CE committee. We will continue to offer some shorter CEs, of 90 minutes to 2 hours, but they will largely now qualify for Category 1 credits since the states no longer require these be a minimum of 3 hours. And we’ll still welcome novice presenters who want to get their feet wet teaching: we are always happy and available to provide some mentoring.
The schedule for spring is still evolving, so if you have an area of great interest to you and would like to make a presentation, please go to the website and complete the application: https://www.gwscsw.org/proposal-request. We will help you with logistics and scheduling, as always.
Our continuing education programming is a mainstay of the clinical society and we hope to make it as relevant to our members as possible. Even if you don’t want to be a presenter, if you have suggestions or thoughts about something you’d like to see more of or learn more about, please feel free to contact any one of us.
Wishing everyone a healthy and safe winter,
Susan Post, Director of Education
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Continuing Education Committee
Shauna Alonge| Leila Jelvani
The Continuing Education Committee is accepting proposals for spring 2020. Do you have a topic that you know others are interested in learning about? Would you like to share your expertise? This is a great opportunity to highlight your experience while promoting your practice.
Click here to submit a proposal. Once submitted, the proposal will be reviewed by the Education Chair and the Continuing Education Committee.
Legislation & Advocacy Committee
Our annual Legislation and Advocacy Luncheon took place at Maggiano’s in Tysons Corner on October 27, 2019. It was exciting to see that many Virginian members of our Society were able to attend the event this year. We will be rotating the location of this event on a yearly basis.
We heard from our lobbyists, Pam Metz Kasemeyer (Maryland) and Sue Rowland (Virginia), as well as from Margot Aronson and Adele Natter, co-chairs of our DC L&A Committee. See our Committee reports for some further details.
During the last hour of the event, Judy Gallant gave a brief history of how advocating for licensure in this area helped early members coalesce the idea of the Clinical Society. Golnar Simpson contributed information about how advocating for our right to provide our own education (rather than that of psychologists and psychiatrists) became another early rallying cry. An open discussion about members' thoughts about our priorities for the future followed. We discussed the many social issues that contribute to our patients’ anxieties and that come up in our offices and how some members have become active in these issues and have taken it upon themselves to inform members about events and ways to get involved in our area. (Thanks to Joyce Smith for informing us about gun control advocacy and combatting gun violence; and to Cheryl Aguilar for updating us regularly about immigration issues. If I have forgotten other issues that members inform us about regularly, my apologies, and please remind me so I can draw it to our members' attention in a future newsletter issue.) The general consensus of our members, reinforced by our lobbyists, was that legislators would likely not give us as much attention if we expanded our committees’ work to focus on broader issues. We are continuing our focus on issues impacting the profession of clinical social work, such as licensing and reimbursement issues, as well as advocating around laws and regulations that impact mental health care, such as parity within insurance plans, or advocating for more mental health services in places like schools and prisons.
Expand your impact, knowledge and friendships!
I would like to invite everyone to consider the exciting opportunities to influence legislators in each of our jurisdictions by joining your Legislation and Advocacy Committee! Now is a perfect time to do so, prior to the upcoming legislative sessions that begin in January in Maryland and Virginia. DC does not have the same legislative structure as do the two states, so anytime is a perfect time to join the DC committee!
See individual jurisdiction articles for the latest updates. Be sure to contact one of us with any questions or suggestions you might have, or to join one of the committees: in DC, Margot Aronson, email@example.com, or Adele Natter, firstname.lastname@example.org; in Maryland, Judy Gallant, email@example.com; and in Virginia, Judy Ratliff, firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Cindy Crane, Nancy Harris, Catherine Lowry
The membership committee hosted the fall new member brunch on October 20. New members were delighted to meet with each other, make new friends and learn about the society.
The Mentor Program is always looking for new mentors to guide newer social workers who are looking for guidance and help as they start their careers. You determine how much time you want to give; this is worked out with the mentee. For questions please contact Nancy Harris, coordinator of the Mentor Program at (301) 385-3375, or email@example.com. Thank you for your support of this important benefit of GWSCSW membership!
Your newsletter welcomes ideas and articles about clinical social work and practice. We are also very interested in hearing from members who have specialized knowledge or adjunct therapy practices they want to share. As above (not sure what this refers to), letters to the editor are OK too.
Please consider your own life experiences and how they may have affected how you practice. One of the things I love about our profession is how we are always learning. Why not share your expertise and life lessons with fellow members? Send an email with your story/article ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We now have four "proofers" (which Windows is always telling me is not a word, but whatever): Adele Natter, Shoba Nayar (both of whom have been doing this for several years), Judith Asner and Steve Szopa. our former president. Thank you for your willingness to check out my work!
Social Media Committee
The Committee is excited to continue the work of sharing interesting content related to social work and mental health, and updating the GWSCSW Facebook page with articles. Please visit the page and like or comment on the posts. Let us know if you have ideas about how to make the page more relevant to YOU. We are working on getting more traffic to the Facebook page. Feel free to email us at email@example.com if there is something you would like us to post about. We are also available to field any personal questions you may have about your own social media pages and accounts. Contact Chana Lockerman firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or suggestions for future Tech Tips columns.
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Adolescent/Young Adult Therapy: CBT, DBT, Medical Illness Counseling, Unified Protocol, Group Therapy. Powerful interventions for depression, anxiety, anger, perfectionism, fear, shame, rumination, social anxiety, ASD and more. Rathbone & Associates. Rely on Experts. 301-229-9490 www.rathbone.info.
Professional CEUs: Rathbone & Associates Professional Training Program. See our current schedule at www.rathbone.info, click on “Professional Trainings”. Current topics, quality speakers, practical skills.
Ellicott City - Sound proofed, furnished and unfurnished offices available in established, multi-disciplinary mental health suite. Some offices are attractively furnished and are available on a Daily / Part-Time basis. Other offices are unfurnished (Fresh paint and New Carpeting) and are available on a Full-Time basis. We have expansive and welcoming waiting rooms that are warmly decorated and include pleasant music throughout. There is ample parking and handicap access available on site. We have private patient and staff bathrooms, as well as a full sized Therapists kitchen with: Refrigerator, Microwave, Dishwasher, Keurig Coffee and a variety of teas and snacks. Our Therapist Workroom has a Mailbox System, Xerox Copier and Fax Machine. Opportunities for networking and referrals are facilitated through periodic, informal wine and cheese gatherings with staff. This multi-disciplinary community is a culture of congenial professionals. Suites are conveniently located close to Route #40, #29, #70 and I-695. To inquire, please contact Dr. Michael Boyle at (410)-465-2500.
Two psychotherapy offices available in Faraday Professional Center | 1810 MICHAEL FARADAY DR, SUITE 204, RESTON, VA. 20190
Two psychotherapy offices available in Faraday Professional Center, ideally located only two blocks from both the METRO SILVER LINE and DULLES TOLL RD EXIT. Suitable for all mental health professionals. Each office is fully sound proofed, one large enough to accommodate groups, with shared waiting room, kitchen, copier, and clinicians' separate bathroom. Parking is plentiful. Reasonable rent, furnished or unfurnished, full or part time, with option to sublease. Contact: Michael J. Arons, MD 301-502-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org -- James B. Blitch, MD 703-860-2311 or email@example.com
Therapy and group space is available now at A Center for Relationships, a busy psychotherapy office in beautiful Old Town Alexandria, just three blocks from the King Street metro. An upstairs room (9x22) with two bright windows, a skylight and cosy feeling is available full time. Available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays is a downstairs room with three windows and fireplace looking out over a garden and brick pathway. Housed in a yellow townhouse with red shutters, the rental includes a waiting room, kitchen and two bathrooms for three therapy rooms and two group rooms. Asking fees are $1100 full time, $275 per day, $25 per hour. There is also an additional option to rent group space at the rate of $50 per hour. The large (20'x20') group room with 26 chairs, large white board, speaker system, and back jacks for floor seating is available most evenings, Fridays and Saturdays. There is a small sunny group room (9x16) attached, making the area ideal for wellness seminars, workshops, or large meetings. We are a group of independent practitioners with a mind-body-energy-spirit approach. We are seeking an experienced therapist for our comfortable, home-like setting. Clinical supervision can be provided by the Center’s Director, Dr. Lynn Turner. Training is available in group counseling, the Enneagram, and the PAIRs program. The Center web is www.ac4r.com and the Center Office Manager, Caitlin Apo, can be contacted at 703-835-4060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Move to, or start your practice at, this tastefully appointed office in prime Dupont Circle/Downtown location, located in the heart of law, consulting, and major business offices, and just up the street from the World Bank, IMF, IFC, McKinsey, and so on. Metro accessible (1 block from Dupont Circle station, DC Circulator bus stop across street), ADA compliant, security guard entry weekday evenings till 10pm and Saturdays until 2pm. Space is one in a three office suite, with comfortable waiting room, kitchenette, and private bathroom for tenants. Client facilities available by key across hallway. Internet, utilities and fresh water service included. Office is available full-time week days and weekends. Take over lease which extends to October 2024; lock in rate for duration. Shorter term lease also available but for no less than 6 months. Sublease for fewer hours/days option also available. Available furnished or unfurnished. I am open to a rent back option as well. Please contact Sylvia Stevens, PhD, APRN, BC (202) 296-9541 or SylviaRStevens@gmail.com.
Fully furnished office for rent in Rockville available December 1st. The office has excellent sound proofing and there is free parking in the front and back of the building. There are many restaurants and coffee shops across the street. Please contact me if you are interested and would like pictures at 240-780-2380 or Cristy@RockvilleIntegrativeAssociates.com.
Psychotherapy office for rent in Centreville, VA for $515 monthly. Great location near routes 66 and 28. Share suite with seven kind, supportive, mindfulness-oriented practice colleagues. Contact Erika at ErikaKL@aol.com or 703-864-2807.
Attractive office in central Bethesda. Six hundred square feet with 1-1/2 bathrooms, waiting room and parking. For further information please contact Dr. Michael Knable at email@example.com.
OFFICE SUITE FOR SALE -- 707 BELLE VIEW BLVD. B-2 | ALEXANDRIA, VA. 22307
It is zoned for commercial use, has three therapy rooms, a bathroom, a waiting room and many closets. All rooms have windows which look out on well-established lawns, trees and shrubs. Th e largest room has a balcony. It is on the second floor at the back end of a garden apartment building in a quiet area with ample parking. It is located just south of Old Town Alexandria in the Belleview Condominium community, an attractive and well-run place to live and work. The selling price is very reasonable at $209,500. Rental income from one to three of the rooms makes it a very attractive investment. To discuss and see it,please contact Pete Bloom, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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News & Views is published four times a year: March, June, September and December.
Articles expressing the personal views of members on issues affecting the social work profession are welcome and will be reviewed and published at the discretion of the editor. Signed articles reflect the views of the authors; Society endorsement is not intended. Articles are subject to editing for space and clarity.
Articles – Focus on your area of expertise and practice, ethical dilemmas, responses to events in the media or other topics relevant to clinical social work. Articles should be 500–700 words.
Out & About – Share news about you: an article you’ve written, if you’ve been in the news, taught a class, earned a new certification or are a singer, artist or writer. Submissions should be 50 words or less. Send all submissions to email@example.com
Next submission deadline: January 30, 2020
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