Recent Submissions

  • From a Distance: Establishing, Developing, and Deepening the Therapeutic Alliance

    Dozier Jr., Cutler C.; Fletcher, Kari L. (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    We describe challenges when developing a therapeutic alliance—the dynamic and collaborative relational bond developed between therapist and client in a virtual environment during COVID-19. We offer adaptive strategies that can be used when establishing, developing, and deepening the therapeutic alliance when working virtually. Using a case study, individual vignettes illustrate the importance of establishing, developing, and deepening a therapeutic alliance. We introduce reflection and consultation adaptive strategies that may be effective when working virtually with clients. We also offer additional recommendations for strengthening clinical experiences while working with clients in a virtual environment.
  • How a Pandemic-Inspired Video-Based Assignment Made Me a Better Teacher

    Rossmassler, Sarah C. (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    I wrote this reflection in response to the whirlwind of stress and emotion I felt as I started a new teaching job and simultaneously rode the waves of clinical and academic turmoil at the beginning stages of the pandemic. Writing the initial reflection was a way for me to process what I was experiencing; bringing my insights to the literature base allowed me to see a more universal version of my ideas. Finally, consolidating my experiences into the more aspirational notion that what was happening within the health care system was ultimately a crucible for change was transformative for me as an educator and a person.
  • Interdisciplinary Field Placements and Applied Learning During COVID-19: Community-Based Action Research on Face Mask Usage and Policies

    Weber, Bret A.; Barkdull, Carenlee; Walch, Tanis J.; Karikari, Isaac; Evenson, Ashley N.; Kuntz, Mikale; Gabel, Delton; Possis, Emily; Scallon, Stephanie; Wavra, Gabrielle; et al. (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    This article describes the formation and work of an interdisciplinary team of social work and public health faculty and students. The team developed internships amid the challenges of the pandemic, with a focus on slowing the community spread of COVID-19. The project joined local government, the private sector, and the university in a research study to better understand and influence face mask wearing attitudes and behaviors and in an explicit effort to change related policies. We developed and implemented an action research project that included direct observations of facemask wearing behaviors, surveys regarding beliefs and attitudes about face masks, and interviews with community stakeholders. The project provided empirical data regarding face-covering usage that helped to change local—and then state—policy regarding mask wearing. This article provides a chronological narrative of the experience largely told through the participants’ voices, especially those of the students.
  • Building a Creative Community: Lessons Learned from Efforts to Expand a Youth Social Justice Writing Internship in a Pandemic

    Sloane, Heather Murphy; Goins, Duvonna; Rowe, Amy; Meuser, Nick; Banks, Dai’ja; Lux, Lori; Black, Tulani (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    This is a firsthand account of efforts made to expand a social justice writing mentoring internship during the COVID-19 changes to universities and public schools that began March 2020. The Fearless Writers project was put in place to disrupt neighborhood segregation experienced in the United States by partnering university students with inner-city public high school students. This account incorporates creative writing produced during this time within the internship, with the permission of the writers. These small written pieces serve as evidence of thoughts and feelings shared by members of this unique creative community during a time of health and racial crisis. Reflections are shared about the challenges of continuing a social work internship, including the risk of not knowing what would happen to the project that was constantly shifting while local and state governments were scrambling to plan for community safety.
  • Student Reflections on Field Education During COVID-19: One Year Later

    Henton, Jesse; Collins, Tara; Wickman, Jayden; Huang, Lavender Xin; Alemi, Mohammed Idris (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected social work education, particularly field education. This article reflects upon field education of student research assistants doing their practica during COVID-19, comparing those perspectives to those of students surveyed one year ago. The research assistants worked on a national online survey conducted in July 2020 by the Transforming the Field Education Landscape (TFEL) partnership. The survey obtained responses from 367 BSW and MSW students. The article outlines five major student themes: social isolation, mental health, quality of learning, financial concerns, and a sense of fear and uncertainty. It juxtaposes these concerns with reflections by the TFEL student research assistants—each research assistant reflecting on one concern that resonated with them—to demonstrate their continued relevance to student practica one year later.
  • Souvenirs from the Journey: Building Compassion Satisfaction through Confidence, Competence, Connectedness, and a Climate of Compassion

    Welleford, E. Ayn (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    I didn’t realize mine was a story of building resiliency and compassion satisfaction until the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and I began to hear students, colleagues, friends, and family echo similar narratives from their journeys. Nurturing our compassion satisfaction is our first duty as helping professionals. Sometimes the best tools for resiliency in times of crisis come from the souvenirs from our own stories, hard won remembrances, personal lessons in narrative care. This article shares lessons learned for building compassion satisfaction: confidence in our big why, competence in our tools, connection with our village, and creating a climate of compassion for self and others so we may thrive in times of struggle.
  • The Density of Hollow Bones: A Narrative Reflection on the Pandemic

    LaBarre, Heather A. (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    This reflection explores my personal experience as a field director managing the upheaval of students removed from field placement in the wake of the pandemic. Personal responses to the demands of work, motherhood, and self-care are narrated through the process of acknowledging loss and grief for students and me. Identification of hope and resilience in times of chaos provides a mechanism to support others as they traverse unexpected shifts in work, practice, and daily life.
  • We Are in This Together: Reflections on How One Education Professor Reimagined Supervised Field Hours for Pre-Service Teachers

    Morgan, Patrice R. (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    Educating future teachers is a fulfilling and great opportunity to share the dedication needed to succeed in this profession through field experiences. Experience has shown me that the role of an educator is to model being a collaborator, nurturer, professional, and facilitator. Through reflective practice on research-based strategies, goal setting, flexibility, and transparency, I present my reflections on shifting field experiences to a virtual environment.
  • The New Normal That Never Happened: Faculty and Students Navigating Through Collective and Shared Trauma

    Galan-Cisneros, Patricia A.; Hildebrandt, Erika J.; Vasquez, Jennifer; Gomez, Rebecca J. (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    This article explores our experiences as four social work professionals in higher education during COVID-19. Utilizing the lens of collective, cultural, and shared trauma, we reflect on our experiences as academic educators, field educators, and academic administrators across three institutions. Our perspectives and responses from a large public institution, small private religious institutions, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and a Primarily White Institution are shared. We highlight the role of trauma-informed teaching in supporting students, staff, and faculty to explore approaches to promote professional post-traumatic growth outcomes.
  • A Professor’s Reflection: What the Pandemic is Teaching Us About the Importance of Deconstructing Professionalism

    Dove, Lakindra Mitchell (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    This narrative is an account of my experiences as a professor, teaching remotely during a pandemic. It addresses the impacts that COVID-19 has had on students, shifting how we prepare students to enter the helping professions. I incorporate my personal experiences of how I modified my teaching practices to support students, and in doing so, realized that the ways in which we have historically prepared students to enter the helping professions may no longer be applicable. This narrative examines professionalism and its usefulness for the social work profession, and how the pandemic has challenged us to consider the role of professionalism and how it may contribute to the inhibition of authentic engagement. This is a critical turning point for helping professions to examine outdated practices and explore incorporating inclusive practices that promote authenticity. This narrative discusses the need to deconstruct professionalism and promote the importance of authentic engagement.
  • Reflections from the Guest Editorial Team: The Impact of COVID-19 on Preparing Future Helping Professionals and on Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups and Communities (Issue 2)

    Selber, Katherin; Levy, Lynn (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    In this Guest Editorial, we introduce the second of two special issues of Reflections focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on professional education and practice. In this issue, authors in the professions of social work, nursing, gerontology, public health, and education offer endless insights into the impact of COVID-19 on students, educators, and field practice experience as well as on their personal and professional lives. Reflecting on their lived experiences, authors share the strategies they used to adapt to an ever-changing world during the COVID-19 pandemic. The important topics of shared or collective trauma and resiliency are explored from a variety of perspectives.
  • Vol. 29 No. 1 (2023): Impact of COVID-19 on Preparing Future Helping Professionals

    School of Social Work (School of Social Work, 2023-07-21)
    Full version of Vol. 29, Issue 1. Special Edition: The Impact of COVID-19 on Preparing Future Helping Professionals and on Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, and Communities (Issue 2)