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News about the School for Social Work

Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016

SSW Announces DBT Training Collaboration

Smith College School for Social Work is pleased to cosponsor a new Dialectical Behavior Therapy training collaboration with Cutchins Programs for Children and Families, a leading Massachusetts provider of children and family services!

About DBT

DBT is an empirically supported intervention shown to be effective for individuals with serious self-harming behavior. Drawing on cognitive behavioral principles, research indicates that DBT offers an important way to intervene with individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), difficulties with emotional regulation, substance dependence, depression, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Courses

Doing DBT: An Advanced Intensive Training
Presented by Charles Swenson, M.D., and Kelly Koerner, Ph.D.
May 3-6, 2016  Add to my calendar
Smith College Conference Center

This four-day training is geared to clinicians who have received prior training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and are looking to deepen their skills. The course will be taught at an advanced level and is designed to take the DBT clinician’s current work in therapy to the next level. Instructors will tackle typical problems in the practice of DBT, demonstrating how to address them with a fine-tuned level of detail, similar to having supervision in a group.

To register or for more information, please go to

Registration will close when all spaces are filled or by April 15—so don't delay!

Ten-Day Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Comprehensive Training
Presented by Charles Swenson, M.D.

Part 1: October 17-21, 2016 Add to my calendar
Part 2: April 24-28, 2017 Add to my calendar
Smith College Conference Center

Dr. Charles Swenson will direct and teach this rigorous, engaging ten-day training to cover DBT’s extensive knowledge base, to improve the DBT practice of every therapist and every team, and to offer what is needed to prepare for certification as a DBT therapist.

Promotional image for James Drisko training on assessment for NASW MA

Professor James Drisko offers training on assessment for NASW-MA

On March 24, SSW Professor James Drisko will offer a training on "Assessment: Professionals Shouldn't Intervene Without It" for the National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts chapter. The training will cover the definitions and purposes of assessment and case formulation, an examination of several assessment models, and a review of how social work education prepares students to complete effective and thorough social work assessments and case formulations.

The training provides 1.5 CEUs. It will be held at Smith College in the Dewey Common Room at 7:30pm on Thursday, March 24. Add to my calendar

Those interested can RSVP on the NASW-MA website, Registration will begin at 7:15pm, just before the start of the event.

Promotional image for Joshua Miller keynote at the 2016 DPS Conference in Vancouver

Professor Joshua Miller to keynote at International Disaster Psychosocial (DPS) Conferences

Joshua Miller, M.S.W., Ph.D., will give a keynote presentation at the 2016 International Disaster Psychosocial (DPS) Conference in Vancouver, CA, on March 23, 2016 at 8:30am.

Miller is an SSW resident faculty member who teaches courses on psychosocial capacity building, anti-racism and cultivating client resistance. He has responded to and served as a consultant for many disasters, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Aurora shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Asian Tsunami, the Haitian earthquake, armed conflict in Northern Uganda and the Sichuan province earthquake in China. In 2008, Dr. Miller was appointed as an Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University where he co-teaches every year. He serves as the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of State-funded Professional Fellows Program: Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Uganda and Rwanda.

Miller has authored Psychosocial Capacity Building in Response to Disasters, a comprehensive book that integrates Western mental health approaches and international models of psychosocial capacity building within a social ecology framework, providing practitioners and volunteers with a blueprint for individual, family, group, and community interventions. He has also co-authored Racism in the United States: Implications for the Helping Professions with Ann Marie Garran, and co-edited School Violence and Children in Crisis.

The 2016 International Disaster Psychosocial Conference is a unique program that brings together topics of importance to the disaster psychosocial community.

In 2014 the Disaster Psychosocial (DPS) Program, a service of the Provincial Health Authority (PHSA) of BC and its DPS Council decided to create a conference opportunity for disaster psychosocial stakeholders. The DPS Council has representatives from professional and para-professional mental health associations.

Conference themes include:

  • Psychosocial support for:
    First responder groups
    Impacted populations
  • Building a resilient workforce and providing organizational support
  • Disaster Psychosocial Management

Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016

Celebrating Social Work Month 2016

SSW is delighted to recognize Social Work Month this March. The National Association of Social Workers chose "Forging Solutions Out of Challenges" as this year's theme—and we believe it is one that speaks to the heart of clinical social work.

To honor the month, we are turning the spotlight on the wisdom of our students, alumni and faculty, with a series of quotations. The first, below left, was released on March 14 and quotes from a Dispatches blog post by student Katie Green, M.S.W. class of 2016. The second, below center, was released on March 21 and quotes Joanne Corbin about her work in Uganda. The third, below right, was released on March 28 and quotes SSW alumnus Edward Eismann about what he has learned through a lifetime in social work. (Click on the images to view them in a larger size.)

Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016 with header text Smith College School for Social Work Celebrates Social Work Month 2016 body text quote from Katie Green M.S.W. class of 2016 quote Even in moments of unhappy realization that life is not fair for many of the people we serve, and evidence of opppresion lurks under every file folder and case management note, the guiding refrain of quote social justice, dignity, and worth of the person end quote is enough for me to keep at it end quote Followed by SSW and NASW's Social Work Month 2016 logoPromotional image for Social Work Month 2016 with header text Smith College School for Social Work Celebrates Social Work Month 2016 body text quote from Dr. Joanne Corbin quote  Working in Northern Uganda that has lived through armed conflict and internal displacement teaches us many lessons about collaborating with communities to develop programs to strengthen family relationships and improve economic well-being. We need the full range of our social work skills. Real solutions in such contexts require social workers to work at all system levels to create mechanisms to support families to live self-directed lives in peace and with dignity. end quote Followed by SSW and NASW's Social Work Month 2016 logo Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016 with header text Smith College School for Social Work Celebrates Social Work Month 2016 body text quote from SSW alumnus Edward Eismann, Ph.D. '67, M.S.W. quote After 50 years as a clinical social worker and as an elder, my task is to take all I have learned, experienced, lived out in my convictions and expand these accomplishments into broader horizons in the world--sharing this wisdom, realizing unhatched talents and appreciating each breath of life as never before in prayer or mindful awareness of the aliveness in each moment. end quote Followed by SSW and NASW's Social Work Month 2016 logo

Promotional image including event title and speaker's headshot

Jim Drisko to present "Assessing Social Work Competencies" in Washington, DC (1/13/16)

SSW professor James Drisko will present "Assessing Social Work Competencies-Demonstrating and Documenting What Students Can Do." on January 13, 2016, at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. Drisko was awarded a 2015 "Best Conceptual Article" award by the Journal of Social Work Education for his contribution on this topic.

A reception will follow the talk.
One CEU (Continuing Education credit) will be offered to attendees.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Add to my calendar

Busboys and Poets
1025 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
See location on map