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Smith College Studies in Social Work
Lectures & Conferences

Summer Lecture Series 2014

The Smith College School for Social Work is pleased to again be offering its lively and informative summer lecture series to area professionals, students, and alumni. All lectures take place in the Weinstein Auditorium, located in Wright Hall on the Smith College Campus. Lectures start at 7:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

All events are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For disability access information or accommodations requests, please call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or email at least 10 days before the event.

Continuing Education Credits (CECs)

Lectures also provide one and one-half (1.5) Continuing Education Credits (CECs). The cost to register for CECs will be $15 per lecture. Those who wish to earn CECs should arrive 15 minutes ahead of the lecture to register; the registration fee will be collected at that time. Payment must be made by check or money order ONLY.

Handicap Accessibility

Weinstein Auditorium is located in Wright Hall on the Smith College campus and is handicapped accessible. For individual disability accommodations please contact the Office of the Dean at (413) 585-7983 or at at least three weeks in advance of the lecture.

Lecture & faculty Descriptions

Monday, June 2
What is Clinical Social Work in the 21st Century?

James W. Drisko, Ph.D., LICSW

Clinical social workers practice in a wide variety of settings, serve diverse clients, and deliver varied services using a broad range of theories and methods. Values and research evidence both shape clinical social work practice. What are the common threads that define clinical social work? This presentation will re-examine existing definitions and offer a portable vision of clinical social work for 21st century education and practice.

Dr. James Drisko's areas of professional interest include clinical practice with children and families, reactive attachment disorder and its treatment, psychotherapy evaluation and qualitative research methods. He is author of "Evidence-based Practice in Clinical Social Work" with Melissa Grady, PhD, published by Springer Verlag. Dr. Drisko is also interested in psychosocial assessment, individual psychotherapy, time-limited and intermittent psychotherapy, play psychotherapy and service planning. For the past several years, he has explored technological innovations affecting social work research and social work education. Recent publications and presentations have focused on clinical practice with children, play therapy, practice evaluation, qualitative research methods, and teaching and advising methods.

Monday, June 9
The Common Factors Model: A Scaffolding of Research and Client Data for Clinical Practice
Brown Clinical Research Institute Lecture

Elizabeth King Keenan, Ph.D., LCSW

The Common Factors Model is an ecological, empirically-supported practice model and method that guides thinking and action between social workers and clients and within their social networks. This lecture will discuss the research supporting the positive effects of common factors and then describe how the model and method serve as a scaffold for clinical practice. Case examples will be woven throughout to demonstrate key actions, including facilitation of client and organizational conditions, the routine use of client and relationship process data, and strategic thinking.

Dr. Elizabeth King Keenan holds her Ph.D. from Smith College School for Social Work and is a professor in the Department of Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University, where she teaches practice and theory courses in the BSW and MSW programs. Dr. Keenan is the co-author of The Common Factors Model for Generalist Practice with Dr. Mark Cameron. She is the co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of the Clinical Social Work Journal with Dr. Melissa Grady entitled "Beyond the Manual: Using Data and Judgment in Clinical Social Work Practice".

Monday, June 16
Healing Trauma, Restoring Community: Trauma, Race and Social Work in the Urban Context
Anti-Racism Lecture

Troy Harden, Ed.D., LCSW

This lecture will explore trauma, race, and healing, discussing Dr. Harden’s work with Black youth and adults in Chicago. This includes the Truth n’ Trauma Project, a youth-led, trauma-informed, restorative justice centered program for urban youth. His talk explores race and class and the current narrative surrounding trauma-informed practice, particularly in urban contexts, and how social workers and other practitioners can partner with communities to bring healing and social change.

Trauma-informed interventions are a part of the new discourse concerning treatment interventions for those who are exposed to violence. Although innovative programs are developing, few are culturally-specific, as well as bring in advocacy components for program participants. Most trauma-informed service delivery models are “top down”, where clients are expected to receive clinical services, and outcomes are generated based on performance management goals that often fail to take in account community impact.

Although some of these programs are effective, programs that give participants opportunities to grow, create and advocate for themselves empower those involved to seek diverse healing opportunities that move beyond traditional settings, and serve as a catalyst for community building beyond clinical services.

Dr. Troy Harden has over 25 years experience serving and consulting in social service, education and community settings. He has worked as a clinician, administrator, educator, community practitioner, and activist concerning community issues. He currently serves as the Co-Director for the Institute for Youth and Community Engagement at Chicago State University and is an Assistant Professor within CSU’s Master of Social Work Program, specializing in youth development and program planning and administration within community settings. His research interests and work include critical urban youth studies, the intersection of education and community and innovative programming, and public health. He is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago’s Master of Social Work program, and received his doctorate from DePaul University’s School of Education.

Monday, June 23
What's App with Youth Online: Cyber Bullying & Clinical Implications
Lydia Rapoport Lecture

Faye Mishna, M.S.W, Ph.D.

The staggering pace and significance of global technological change is altering the lives of children and youth in ways we are only beginning to comprehend. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are now the dominant medium through which youth communicate. Despite the many benefits of new technologies, there are risks such as cyber bullying, as youth spend more time online than ever before and at increasingly younger ages. This presentation will include information on how ubiquitous and significant cyber interactions are for children and youth. Material will include both the benefits and risks of the cyber world for children and youth. A focus will be on understanding cyber bullying and its impact (e.g., definition, similarities and differences from traditional bullying, prevalence, effects, lack of disclosure to adults), as well as gaining further insight into the controversies of this recent phenomenon, which has gleaned national and international attention.

Faye Mishna is Dean and Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and is cross-appointed to the Department of Psychiatry. Faye holds the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child and Family. Faye worked in children’s mental health for over 20 years and prior to joining the Faculty, she was Clinical Director of a children’s mental health centre serving children and youth with learning disabilities. Faye is a graduate of the Canadian Institute for Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and maintains a small private practice in psychotherapy and consultation.

Faye has conducted research on bullying, cyber bullying, cyber counseling and the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) in face-to-face counseling and interventions with vulnerable children and youth. Her scholarly publications have focused on bullying, clinical practice and social work education and more recently on cyber technology in counseling. Faye is currently conducting a longitudinal study on cyber bullying among students in grades 4, 7 and 10 and is also conducting research on the implications of cyber technology for social work practice. Faye is the author of a book on bullying published by Oxford University Press in May 2012.

Monday, June 30
"Take it to the Streets": 30 Years of In-Home Clinical Services at the Yale Child Study Center

Jean Adnopoz, MPH; Steve Nagler, M.S.W

This lecture will offer an overview of the development of multiple models of home-based interventions for at risk children and families by Yale Child Study Center faculty and the approaches utilized by clinicians and mental health counselors in delivering these services . The specific populations treated by these programs include children and adolescents at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment, those with serious psychiatric disorders and at risk for psychiatric hospitalization, residential treatment or other out of home placements and those returning to the community from placement. Attention will be paid to issues in the child’s environment, particularly within the family system, which are likely to influence the child’s development including parental mental illness, physical disabilities, and substance use.

The presentation will focus on the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service (IICAPS), which is replicated in a network of 20 sites throughout Connecticut and currently treats over 2000 cases per year. IICAPS is the subject of a randomized trial to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing psychiatric hospitalization and emergency room visits. The presentation will conclude with a description of the data collected from the IICAPS network which reveals significant improvement on multiple dimensions and the plans for the future.

Jean A. Adnopoz is a Clinical Professor in the Yale Child Study Center, and Director of In-Home Clinical Services. Among the programs she has developed and manages with her colleagues are the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service (IICAPS), Family Based Recovery (FBR) the Intensive In-Home Reintegrative Service (IICARS), Intensive Family Preservation (IFP) and Positive Intervention for Families with HIV/AIDS (PIFA). Ms. Adnopoz's clinical interests have focused on addressing the behavioral and developmental needs of children who are at substantial risk for disruption of their primary relationships and placement outside of their communities and their families. Factors affecting these children include abuse, neglect, parental drug addiction, and chronic physical or mental illness, or their own serious psychiatric and behavioral disorders. All of which often co-exist within the context of multi-generational psychosocial adversity. Services are delivered in the family's home and are designed to maintain children safely within their homes and communities. Both IICAPS and FBR are replicated broadly throughout Connecticut. Ms. Adnopoz's research interests address the effectiveness of the interventions with which she has long been associated. Ms. Adnopoz is the author of numerous articles and chapters as well as the book IICAPS: A Home-Based Psychiatric Treatment for Children and Adolescents, co-authored with Joseph Woolston, M.D. and Steven Berkowitz and published by Yale University Press. Ms. Adnopoz is President of the Board of Connecticut Voices for Children and secretary of the National Crime Prevention Council.

Steve Nagler is the Director of Program innovation and Evaluation for the SeriousFun Children’s Network. From 2002-2012 Mr. Nagler was the Director of New Camp Development and Global Partnerships for SeriousFun. Mr. Nagler has been an Assistant Professor Yale University Child Study for more than 25 years where he has focused his work on in home clinical interventions with children and families. Currently he serves as a Clinical Consultant to IICAPS . In 1995 Mr. Nagler was appointed the Country Director of the United States Peace Corps in Samoa. From 1998 through 2002 he was the Director of the Peace Corps Pacific Initiative.

Monday, July 14
The Powers of Smith (and Beyond): Smith Alumni Speak
Panel Presentation

Moderator: Kenta Asakura, M.S.W.; Panelists: Tomás Alvarez, M.S.W.; Enroue Halfkenny, M.S.W.; Keshia Williams, M.S.W.

This panel will convey the power of Smith School for Social Work's anti-racism mission and the continued support of students of color. In light of the new dean's tenure, The Council for Students of Color wants to acknowledge the importance of this commitment for students (as future professional social workers), teachers, and the social work field. This focus is crucial in increasing future social workers’ awareness of oppression and encouraging positive changes in the field. Panelists will highlight the importance of centering race and racism work in our social work education and help continue the tradition of centering students of color and anti-racism at Smith College’s School for Social Work.

Kenta Asakura is a 2004 graduate of Smith College School for Social Work. As an immigrant gay man of color, he brings his own lived experience and social locations into his clinical practice, teaching and research. As a doctoral candidate in Social Work at the University of Toronto, Kenta has published and/or presented on the following three substantive areas: (1) health and well-being among LGBTQ youth and adults, (2) relevance of contemporary psychodynamic theory in social work practice and education, and (3) advancing anti-racist and anti-oppressive commitment in social work education. Kenta currently holds adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Toronto and Smith College School for Social Work. He also works as a faculty field advisor and maintains part-time agency and private practice in Toronto, working primarily with LGBTQ clients of color. 

Tomás Alvarez III - In 2004 while a graduate student at Smith College School for Social Work, Tomás pioneered one of the country's first ‘Hip Hop Therapy’ programs that used the process of creating rap music as a tool for promoting mental health and healing among urban youth uninterested in traditional talk therapy. Today, Tomás' Hip Hop Therapy program has become a benchmark and serves youth throughout the Bay Area. In 2011 Tomás founded Beats Rhymes and Life, Inc. (BRL), a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California, dedicated to improving mental health and social outcomes among marginalized youth.

In addition to his current role as CEO of BRL, Tomás serves as the Co-Chair for the Advisory Committee for the Center for Multicultural Development, a cultural competency advocacy project based out of the California Institute for Mental Health. In 2012 named Tomás one of the country’s Top 20 Innovators, whose work is changing their fields. The top honor placed him in the company of other innovators such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Dolores Huerta. More recently, Tomás was elected to serve as a lifetime Fellow by the Ashoka Foundation, an international organization that supports social entrepreneurs whose bold ideas have the power to transform patterns in society. 

Enroue Halfkenny is a licensed clinical social worker, a graduate of Smith College School for Social Work, an artist, a social justice activist and a priest within the traditional Yoruba culture and religion. He works part time at a child and family community mental health clinic addressing issues of complex trauma, problematic sexual behaviors and with issues impacting military families. Enroue also has a private practice, Healing and Liberation Counseling, where he works with individuals, couples, families, organizations and communities.

Keshia Williams is a Clinical Social Worker and Adjunct Faculty member at NYU Silver School of Social Work and Smith College School for Social Work. She focuses on issues of diversity, racism, oppression and privilege as they manifest in family and community violence and school based practice. She works collaboratively to co-create meaningful relationships that are inclusive of the wholistic human experience. Keshia Williams graduated from Smith College School for Social Work where she developed her interest in psychodynamic frameworks as well as postmodern modalities such as narrative therapy, the use of reflecting teams and Open Dialogue. She is currently working to make her practice more dialogic and is supported by the Institute for Dialogic Practice at the Mill River Brassworks. Keshia Williams’ work has led her across the globe and granted her the opportunities to work with diverse ethnic, racial and religious communities around the world and within the United States and Canada. She strives to provide services that are attentive, collaborative and driven by forward movement towards all forms of liberation.

Friday, July 18
Open Dialogue: A New Approach to Post-Systemic Practice
Annual Conference and E. Diane Davis Memorial Lecture

Mary Olson, Ph.D., LICSW

Open Dialogue is a language-based, network approach to severe psychiatric crises and conditions developed in Tornio, Finland. This psychosocial innovation has garnered international attention for its impressive outcomes for first-episode psychosis. At the five-year follow-up, eighty percent of patients were studying, working, or looking for a job with less recidivism and reliance on medication than treatment as usual. This lecture will describe the principles and practices of Open Dialogue. Included will be clinical vignettes that illustrate Open Dialogue and point to its differences with the dominant psychiatric perspective of "biological reductionism." The significance of Open Dialogue for the U.S. will be addressed, along with the current initiative at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to adapt this way of working to a U.S. emergency room setting.

Mary Olson is Adjunct Professor at the Smith Collage School for Social Work and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA ("UMMS"). A clinical practitioner, researcher, and teacher, Dr. Olson was Senior Fulbright Scholar to Finland in the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Jyvaskyla. (2001-2002). Inspired by the humanistic and democratic innovation in Finnish psychiatry called "Open Dialogue," she has initiated the first US research study of Open Dialogue at UMMS, which she now co-leads with her colleagues Douglas Ziedonis, MD (PI) and Jaakko Seikkula, PhD (Co-I). As part of this project, she is the lead author of the new Open Dialogue psychotherapy fidelity guide, "The 12 Elements of Dialogic Practice in Open Dialogue" (in press). In 2011, she founded a training facility, the Institute for Dialogic Practice, in Haydenville, MA and has specialized in developing new training methods for dialogic-reflecting practices.

Dr. Olson has published key articles in Family Process and other international journals on Open Dialogue, dialogical transformation in therapy, research on larger system, and communication-based approaches to psychiatric disorders. She has published several book chapters [e.g., Community=Based Clinical Practice (2006): Oxford University Press] and edited a book on gender, Feminism, Community, and Communication (Haworth, 2001).

A member of the American Academy of Family Therapists, she maintains a private practice and treats and consults with individuals, couples, and families on a variety of clinical issues. She does presentations and workshops at national and international conferences and trainings for human service organization and community mental health centers
From 1990-1995, she was Director of the Clinical Externship in Systemic Family Therapy at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, MA. An honors’ graduate of Wellesley and Columbia in English and comparative literature, she has an MSW from Smith and a PhD in communication from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Monday, July 28
Caring for Muslim Clients: Culturally-Sensitive and Evidence-Based Approaches

Ibrahim J. Long, M.A., G.C., Advanced Standing - C.A.S.C

It is often cited that the Muslim population in the United States and Canada is a fast-growing demographic. Yet, research on this population and its counseling needs is not growing at the same pace. Within the professional literature, documentation of effective strategies and approaches to the counseling of Muslim clients remains in its infancy. Moreover, misunderstanding of Islam and Muslims, along with anti-Muslim sentiment, is on the rise. To aid social work, spiritual care, and counseling professionals serving Muslim clients, this lecture will present an overview of Muslim experiences in America, along with a number of approaches for the care of Muslim clients recommended by counseling professionals.

Ibrahim J. Long is a professionally-trained chaplain with experience serving in healthcare, educational, and correctional institutions. Presently, he serves as a spiritual care resident at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, where provides spiritual care services to patients, family members and staff in both medical and psychiatric units. He is a graduate of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary where he completed both a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy and M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. Additionally, Ibrahim has received over 2,000 hours of professional training in clinical pastoral education (CPE) and pastoral counseling and is a member in advanced standing of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care. He has a chapter on "Caring for the Muslim Soul: Recommendations for the Spiritual Care of Muslim Patients" in the recently published book Psychotherapy: Cure of the Soul.

Monday, August 4
Pathways for Recovery from War-Related Psychological Injuries: Trauma, Loss, and Moral Injury

William P. Nash, M.D. Captain, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy (Retired)

The long-term biological, psychological, social, and spiritual consequences of exposure to the stress of war, either on the battlefield or at home, may differ depending on whether the most stressful experiences were threats to life and safety, losses of cherished people or things, or perceived betrayals of core values and beliefs. Pathways for healing and recovery from each of these forms of injury to the self may also differ significantly. In this lecture, the evolution of conceptions of psychological trauma will be traced, from Janet and Freud to the current ascendency of the fear-conditioning model reflected in DSM-5. Data and arguments will be reviewed that challenge the long-held ideas that psychological trauma involves merely figurative rather than literal injuries, and that fear conditioning is the central mechanism in the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder. Early results from the Marine Resiliency Study, a prospective, longitudinal study of risk and protective factors for combat-related PTSD in infantry Marines deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, will be included. The likely symptomatology, trajectories, and effects on neurobiology, identity, and relationships of three overlapping yet distinct clinical conditions - fear conditioning, loss, and moral injury - will be compared. Implications for differential treatment will also be discussed, covering its spectrum from preclinical care in families and communities to mental health treatment in clinical settings.

William Nash is a psychiatric researcher, educator, and consultant in posttraumatic stress disorder prevention and treatment for DoD and the VA, and he currently serves as the Medical Director of the Semper Fi Odyssey wounded warrior program. While on active duty in the Navy, CAPT Nash provided far-forward psychological health services to the 1st Marine Division during the Battle of Fallujah, for which he was later awarded a Bronze Star, and he led the development of the current Navy and Marine Corps Combat and Operational Stress Control doctrine. Dr. Nash has written numerous journal articles and book chapters, and co-edited the recent book, Combat Stress Injury: Theory, Research, and Management. He holds academic appointments at Boston University, University of California, San Diego, and Virginia Commonwealth University, and he serves as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee for Assessment of the Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment in DoD and the VA.