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Growing Up in the Age of COVID-19: Framing Interventions with Children and Families Using Psychodynamic Theory

  • Wednesday, October 20, 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Online ZOOM

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Presenters: Randall O’Toole, MSW, LICSW & Melissa D. Grady, PhD, MSW, LICSW

3.0 Category 1 CEUs

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of people around the world, with some populations experiencing its repercussions with greater severity due to numerous factors, including demographic, economic, and/or developmental. For many children and their families these factors have had a compounded effect, resulting in stress within the family system and potentially influencing the children’s development. This training’s goal is to help practitioners understand and frame the impact of COVID on children and families through the use and application of psychodynamic concepts. Using an interactive structure, this training will address how to use theoretical concepts to frame case formulations while detailing how to translate psychodynamic theory into concrete practice strategies to support children and families impacted by COVID-19. The training will involve some small discussion group work and attendees are encouraged to bring their own case material for discussion and analysis.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Frame the potential influence of the current climate on childhood development using psychodynamic theory.
  2. Assess how developmental experiences may impact neurobiological development of children.
  3. Identify ways in which social workers can support families and communities to process the complexities of this time and cope with the uncertainties, to mitigate the impact of the crisis on children and families.

    About the Presenters:

    Randall O’Toole

    Mr. Randall O’Toole received his MSW from Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS), where he is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at NCSSS. At NCSSS, he designs and teaches advanced year clinical theory and practice classes to masters students and serves as the director of the MSW Online Clinical Program at NCSSS. In addition to his role on the faculty at NCSSS, Mr. O’Toole is actively involved in clinical training programs within the Washington DC area, including as the co-chair of the Clinical Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry (WSP) in Washington D.C., where he teaches classes on psychodynamic assessment, attachment and neurobiology, and trauma; as a faculty member of the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy program at the WSP where he teaches courses in developmental psychotherapy, transference and countertransference, and engaging parents in clinical work with children and adolescents; and as a faculty member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) in D.C., where he teaches a series of courses on neurobiology and psychodynamic treatment. In addition to his roles as a trainer and mentor to students and clinicians, he has been an active clinical practitioner for over 20 years in both the public and private sectors specializing in work with children, adolescents, and families. He has a particular interest in using an attachment framework to work with families that have experienced disruption and working with families that have participated in international adoptions. Mr. O’Toole’s scholarly works focus on issues related to clinical practice and theory.

    Melissa D. Grady

    Dr. Melissa D. Grady received her M.S.W. and Ph.D. from Smith College School of Social Work. Her research areas are in the translation of evidence-based practice and on the prevention of sexual violence. She has over 50 peer-reviewed publications written on these topics and has presented at numerous international, national, and regional refereed conferences as well as provided a number of continuing education trainings for various organizations. In addition, she serves on local and national committees, including the Area 2 Representative for the local ATSA Chapter – MARATSA, and on several editorial boards, including as Associate Editor of Sexual Abuse, and is the Editor in Chief Elect for the Clinical Social Work Journal. She has been an active practitioner for over 20 years and maintains a private practice in Washington DC. Her clinical experience includes both work in the public mental health and private sectors. She has worked with clients who have committed sexual crimes and who have experienced trauma, depression, anxiety, anger management, as well as other mental health issues. She is Associate Professor at Catholic University’s National School of Social Service where she teaches in the areas of mental health, clinical practice, clinical theory, and research methods to masters and doctoral students.


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