#MacroSW Chat 6/22/17: Self-Care for Sustaining Our Social Work Practice

View the chat archive.

Over several decades, social work and other helping professions have become increasingly cognizant that professional stress too frequently leads to burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. These pandemic phenomena contribute to practitioner impairment, staff turnover, compromised services, risk management concerns, and professional crises. Attention to self-care is necessary for sustaining individual practitioners and our profession and essential for professional effectiveness.

Join us on Thursday, June 22 at 9 pm EST (6 pm Pacific) for the #MacroSW chat to discuss self-care co-hosted with media partner The New Social Worker Magazine (@newsocialworker)‏ and featuring guest experts:

Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens, Ed.D., LCSW, LMFT, MSW, MRE, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC and co-author of  The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals

@DrGriseOwens

 

 

Laura Escobar-Ratliff, MSW, CSW, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC, Division Director, Centerstone of Kentucky

@LauraE_R

Focus on self-care requires acknowledging the interaction between micro, mezzo, macro, and even meta dimensions.  The emphasis on self-care as a core element of ethical and competent practice requires developing knowledge, skills, and resources. The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals is for individuals, agencies, and educational programs to guide the development of self-care as a core aspect of professional practice.

Five Questions We’ll Explore:

  1. How do you define self-care?
  2. What are your successes, struggles, and strategies with self-care?
  3. In what ways do you integrate self-care in HOW you do your work?
  4. What are some connections between macro practice and self-care?
  5. What is one self-care commitment you will make to sustain YOUR social work practice?

Self-care is a lived experience. Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens was fired from a full, tenured faculty position, and simultaneously, Laura Escobar-Ratliff (and other colleagues) resigned from the same university. This difficult path required radical self-care, especially since this development was made public through media coverage of the comprehensive and censuring investigative report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP’s) report. AAUP officially censured the university on June 17, 2017. Also, read Erlene’s recent blog post, Fired Up to Spark Self-Care.

Self-care sustains us, personally—and is essential to sustaining the profession of social work! We look forward to an engaged and important discussion with you about macro social work and #SelfCare!

Resources

  • The New Social Worker’s Self-Care Section, includes Eriene Grise-Owens’ Self-Care A-to-Z blog and other articles on self-care, The New Social Worker magazine
  • Self-Care Solutions: Facing the Challenge of Asking for Help, Liza Greville, MA, LCSW, Social Work Today
  • The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)’s Statement of Ethical Principles (approved in 2004) states: “ Social workers have a duty to take necessary steps to care for themselves professionally and personally in the workplace and society” (Article 5, Professional Conduct, #6)
  • NASW published in 2008 an Issue and Policy Statement on Professional Self-Care and Social Work The statement delineates key aspects for both individual and systemic attention. This compact and compelling statement on the crucial importance of self-care should be required reading for every social worker on a regular basis.
  • This blog post on Self-care and Organizational Wellness provides a succinct contextual understanding of the interactive nature of (micro) self-care and larger systems (e.g., teams, organizations, etc).
  • University of Buffalo’s online Self-Care Starter Kit hosted by Dr. Lisa Butler and colleagues.
  • The Wellness Group, ETC which provides evaluation, training and consultation to human service professionals and organizations.

Surviving & Thriving Over the Holidays: #MacroSW 12/8 at 9pm EST

holiday-checklist
Image source.

Chat archive available here!

For a variety of reasons, the holidays can be filled with multiple sources of stress. Let’s chat about holiday self-care and bring back some joy to the holiday season!

 

Chat Questions:

  1. How is your holiday season going?
  2. What do you wish others knew about your holiday stressors?
  3. What are you grateful for this holiday season?
  4. What are you hopeful for in the coming year?

Chat Resources:

#MacroSW Chat – Nov. 10, 2016: It’s the Post-Election Detox / What’s On Your Mind / Fall & Winter Holidays are Coming OPEN MIC!

A swirling spiral of red and blue lines with people swept along it, leading to a ballot box.
Image: Stephen Savage for the NY Times

 

Here’s the archive of this chat.

Results are in; the winner of the US Presidential Election has been announced. The #MacroSW partners want to let everyone know that we will not assume we know how our colleagues / students / chat participants voted. #MacroSW chat will remain non-partisan in our role as the facilitator of these gloriously wide-ranging, informative, and stimulating chats. We plan on this chat being- as we hope all our chats are – trauma-informed.*  We do expect people to be expressing feelings and opinions, with comments made in a safe and respectful way in line with the Code of Ethics and the history of macro social work.** Host Pat Shelly from @UBSSW will be using the @officialmacrosw handle to further align in a neutral position.

Votes will be in and counted; the political ads will disappear.  How will you recover from this election season? Or do you want to talk about ANYTHING BUT the impact of the election?

Join us for this open mic:

  • What’s on your mind?
  • Regaining a sense of sanity after the 2016 U.S. elections.
  • Oh how those Thanksgiving and December holidays loom!!

Host: Pat Shelly @UBSSW University at Buffalo School of Social Work

We hope to have some fun, and offer ideas and resources for election season recovery! And – in case you are worried that your stress level will get too low –  we might talk about how to prepare for the November/December holidays and the often fraught family time they engender. The open mic means you can introduce whatever else is on your mind.
*6 Key Principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach:

  1. Safety;
  2. Trustworthiness and Transparency;
  3. Peer support;
  4. Collaboration and mutuality;
  5. Empowerment, voice and choice;
  6. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues

** “Macro social work practice includes those activities performed in organizational, community, and policy arenas. Macro practice has a diverse history that reveals conflicting ideologies and multiple theoretical perspectives (emphasis added).Programmatic, organizational, community, and policy dimensions of macro practice underscore the social work profession’s emphasis on using a person-in-environment perspective. Thus, social workers, regardless of roles played, are expected to have sensitivity toward and engage in macro practice activities.”

Netting. F.E. (2013). Macro Social Work Practice in Encyclopedia of Social Work 20th Edition. Retrieved from http://socialwork.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.001.0001/acrefore-9780199975839-e-230


Resources:

To put things in perspective, here’s a satirical piece from the digital humor magazine The Onion:
ELECTION 2016: Nation Admits It’s Probably Going to Come Out of This Having Learned the Completely Wrong Lesson

And some bona fide research:

These elections are having an impact on the nation’s mental health:
Talking to Your Therapist About Election Anxiety : “‘I’ve been in private practice for 30 years, and I have never seen patients have such strong reactions to an election,’ said Sue Elias, a licensed clinical social worker in Manhattan.”

A report by the American Psychological Society shows that the 2016 elections were a source of  stress for 52% of Americans surveyed:
Stress in America: U.S. Presidential Election 2016