Wednesday, March 02, 2022 9:10 PM | Anonymous

Are you a later-career social worker beginning to think about scaling back?  Have you set a date for your retirement and could benefit from a supportive group with others also actively planning retirement?     Are you already retired and  want to remain more connected?

Consider joining a Clinical Society Senior Seminar

Our Clinical Society has active seminar groups in Virginia, Maryland and D.C that meet monthly, nowadays by zoom.  If you are interested in participating, you are welcome to phone me, Grace Lebow (240-858-4738),  for further detailed information and for any questions.

Group leaders were asked to provide a yearly review of their groups, to give you a sense of the  various ways the groups function.

N.W. D.C. Seminar: Estelle Berley and Carolyn DeVilbuss

Our Clinical Senior Seminar has continued to meet by zoom throughout the past year, usually on a monthly basis.Our group was the first, started by Grace Lebow in 2006.  Estelle Berley assumed leadership and we met at her home until the COVID pandemic required us to meet virtually.  Several of our members have moved away during this time.  Zoom access has enabled one member to join us frequently from her home in Boston.  Currently, eight members remain active with the group.  Most are fully-retired, though we offer CEU’s for members who still maintain their license.  Our discussions are led by rotating leadership, and alternate between non-fiction and fiction books that focus on current social and political issues, as well as more personal topics relevant to our circumstances in retirement.

N.W. D.C NOVA Seminar:  Susan Miller 

My group is starting its sixth year together.  We continue to be a group of nine.  We continue to meet online.  Attendance is excellent.  Satisfaction is high.  Since the beginning of the group six years ago, two members have fully retired.  Four members have cutback.  Three members continue to work full throttle.  

Virginia Seminar: Paula Donovan (in behalf of Rebecca Harrison)

Our group of nine members is now in its fifth year!  When we began, we had a mix of already-retired clinicians, others scaling down, and others still working full time.  In the intervening years we have shared our professional and personal transitions drawing on many of those same capacities that we brought to our social work practice.  Those who were still working full time when they joined the group are now either fully retired or have scaled back significantly.
Our group is precious to each of us.  We moved on-line due to Covid, and these connections continue to help us all a great deal. W
e would like to thank you, Grace, for this wonderful initiative, which encourages retiring and retired social workers to convene as professional and personal support groups for each other.

NOVA Seminar: Patti Gibberman and Hannah Craven

We have eight members in our Senior Seminar which is facilitated by Hannah Craven and Patti Gibberman. Our first meeting was in April 2021, and the group has coalesced quickly.  We meet monthly virtually, and interest and attendance have been excellent. We are reading the book Forced Endings in Psychotherapy by Anne Power, and discussing both the book and our feelings about retirement. So far only one member of our group is actually retired. The rest are either contemplating retirement or moving towards retirement.  Everyone is grateful that the Clinical Society has sponsored this type of gathering for the membership.

N.W. D C. Seminar: Marcie Solomon

Our group has been meeting for just under four years.  We began with nine members and have been at six for the past two years, although one of those six is currently on a "leave of absence" due to a major move to a new residence.  At the onset of the pandemic, we chose to double up on the frequency of our meetings, going from monthly to bi-weekly and the group has indeed become increasingly meaningful and intimate.  Until recently we were meeting exclusively via zoom, but we have had a few in-person meetings recently. Zoom does continue to be an attractive option if one of our members is medically unable to attend in-person but would otherwise like to attend.  It is a support group that we all value.

Bethesda Area Seminar: Karen Goldberg

Our group has now been meeting monthly for three years, initially at the Connie Morella Library, now on zoom  We currently have 11 members, eight women and three men.   Since we started, two members have completely retired, three were retired when the group began, three work part-time, one sees a single client, and two are actively transitioning into retirement.  All of the retired or nearly retired members continue to be engaged in service oriented activities, participation in GWSCSW, and/or offering supervision. With the pandemic, we started meeting virtually.  The members have many times commented on how much support the group has been in coping and adjusting to uncertain and constantly unfolding circumstances. More recently, with everyone vaccinated, we have held discussions about meeting in-person, but since two members have compromised immune systems, we are continuing to meet virtually for the time being.  The scope of the group continues to focus on the transition to retirement and moving forward, as well as on life transitions in general, including aging.  We draw on the experiences and wisdom of the members, as well as on other's resources, i.e. books, articles, podcasts, etc. that members suggest.  The group also serves to bring a range of life-building resources to the members' attention.

Grace, I am honored to facilitate a group of such wise and caring members and appreciate your having created the Senior Seminar program.  If you ever are in need of assistance with growing it further, please feel free to reach out.

Silver Spring Seminar:  Judy Gallant and Nancy Harris

We began with two good meetings in the summer, one at each of our houses.  Due to health and other interruptions, we have not yet had a third meeting. Our group hopes to start up again in the spring and will welcome new people to join us.  For more information please contact me, Nancy Harris at
PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA  22463 | 202-478-7638 |

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