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Transformation as Change

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

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Grief doesn’t vacation during the winter holiday season

It is said to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ however, we must recognize that the winter holiday season is not a season of festivities and joy for everyone, especially those grappling to live with the loss of a loved one. As social workers, this truth offers us opportunities to reflect on the pain, loneliness and sorrow some may feel and offer to hold space for those in need of hope and comfort in knowing that they are not alone.  Pausing and remembering the past weeks, months, and for some years of difficult times, we can remember the poignancy of memories, the grief, the sadness, the hurts, the pain of reflecting on our own mortality.

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Thank You - Thank You - Thank You. Expressing Gratitude

Expressing Gratitude
Task Force 5 COVID-19 Response Assignment (2020)

One of my patients recently informed me that November is the National Month of Gratitude.  This makes sense given the date of our Thanksgiving Holiday.  It reminded me of some basic mannerisms and courtesies associated with general civility but also within the context of professional social work.    Patients often express gratitude for the care they receive at my clinic.  Their topics of discussion are typically too delicate to share with family and friends.  Many feel socially isolated or disenfranchised to openly discuss such sensitive and personal matters.  Similarly, I try to remain grateful to my patients for inviting me to discuss their private thoughts and feelings.

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Life in Transition

The Corona Virus Pandemic taught us numerous life-long learning experiences.
Three years later, we continue transitioning.
Mandatory masking was finally lifted a few months a- go.
Some of us working remotely returned to the office for increased socialization.
Others found remote work was perfect and won’t look back.
Virtual modality of conducting business is a new norm.
As things return to their new “normal”, a  greater emphasis is now placed on not solely existing.
But Living and finding a good work and life-balance.
Compressed schedules have gained popularity.
Work meetings are integrating a few minutes for meditation and social interaction.
Self-care and being happy are now cultivated and encouraged.
Finding joy in life again is a new must.
So I’m working on re-shifting my life-long process of self-sacrifice for the cause of serving others..
To focus on helping myself.
And find joy again.
Have you found yours?

Juneteenth: Social Well-Being and Health Equity

Juneteenth became a National Holiday in June 2021.  For years, this observance also known as Freedom Day was celebrated across African American communities and into others.  Juneteenth is widely becoming an American observance and provides an opportunity to learn the full narrative.  Enslaved people in Galveston Bay, Texas were informed of their freedom on June 19, 1865, however, enslavement continued in some U.S. border states.  At the end of the year, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in America. As we reflect on the past and embrace how far society has come, optimism and open perspective can guide mindsets.  Social well-being and health equity are central to ongoing progress.  The underserved and under resourced people are part of a humanity, deserving of social parity and access to care.  The disparate conditions affecting them can be seen as remnants of practices such as redlining.  Similarly, maternal health disparities largely impacting Black women have some origins in implicit bias.  As clinical social workers and human service professionals, what is your call today for the cause and how can you activate it?  Does the practice setting provide space for advocating, mediating, or bridging the gap as a trusted professional?

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Certification and Membership Committee

Greetings to all from the American Board of Clinical Social Work (ABCSW) Certification and Membership Committee. I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the committee. The ABCSW Certification and Membership Committee’s charge is to review certification criteria and processes, develop certification guidelines, assist ABCSW staff with decision making, develop membership benefits, to work with other committees in coordinating efforts to benefit certification and membership, to establish an open channel of communication with all stakeholders (a function of this blog post), and to be a reference point for ABCSW support staff with certification and membership issues. 

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New Year's Resolutions

You … and some of your clients … have set goals for 2023 in the form of obligatory “New Year’s Resolutions” … many of which may be broken prior to January 30.  Have you considered setting up some mini-goals to assist in the process?  If resolutions are established annually, why not divide things up into more manageable monthly goals?

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Healing a Traumatized World

Healing a Traumatized World was is central as we move forward through resiliency and growth during these times.  The American Board of Clinical (ABCSW) Social Work inaugural conference was timely as it conducted a variety of sessions.  The work of clinicians was captured through professional workshops such suicide prevention in law enforcement personnel and implementation of PTSD treatments. 
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