North Carolina, US

2017 Fall Conference: “Group Work and Ethics”

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9:00 – 1:15 

Location: UNC Chapel Hill, School of Social Work (325 Pittsboro St. Chapel Hill, NC). This program will consist of two workshops, (4.0 Ethics Contact hours - Certificates of attendance provided). Parking: On Saturdays, parking is available in all UNC lots near the School unless specifically posted as unavailable.

Fees: FREE for IASWG members / $45 for Non-IASWG members / $5 for Students (Cash or checks accepted at door (we cannot accept credit or debit card payments at this time). 

Registration: To register, please email by 11/29 so that we can get an accurate continental breakfast count.

Conference Schedule

Meet and Greet/Coffee and Bagels from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Workshop One from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

  • Frontlines or Sidelines? Where do Social Workers belong in Activism and Social Movement Contexts?
    • Patty Adams invites us all into an interactive exploration of some of the fundamental questions facing the Social Work profession at this time: What are the limits to our work? Where does the role of clinician end and the role of advocate begin? In what spaces and contexts are we to champion the work of social justice? How do we live into the Code of Ethics in an era of increasing hate crimes and political and socioeconomic hostility and upheaval?  As advocates of Social Justice and proponents of Dignity and Worth of all people, where must we locate ourselves in these times of aggression and attacks on vulnerable communities? How can we support service and integrity in our work and our lives when our ability to do our jobs is challenged on a daily basis by funding cuts, reactive legislation, and openly hostile political leadership? Presenter: Patty Adams, MSW, LCSWA

Break from 11:00 AM to 11:15 AM

Workshop Two from 11:15 AM to 1:15 PM 

  •  The Ethics of Invitational Language: Trauma-Informed Group Facilitation and Cultural Considerations 
    • Co​mplex trauma involves exposure to multiple traumatic events involving harm and abandonment by a partner, caregiver or other. In group facilitation, how can we offer direction and instruction in a way that is trauma sensitive? Important considerations may include the concept of non-coercion and the promotion of choice making. Jenna Horgan will offer specific examples from music therapy, therapeutic yoga, and structured psychotherapy groups. Cultural humility and awareness will also be discussed. Participants will learn about complex trauma and its effect on interpersonal relationships and group dynamics. Participants will learn at least 3 ways to use invitational language while facilitating groups. Participants will have opportunity to engage in group discussion and reflection regarding power dynamics and ethical dilemmas in group work.  Presenter:  Jenna Horgan, MSW, LCSWA

Presenter Bios:

  • Patty Adams, MSW, LCSWA, E-RYT 200 is a social worker, community-based yoga teacher, language justice advocate, and collective liberation activist. For more than 20 years, Patty has been committed to the work of social movement, global justice, and collective liberation, including around issues of economic justice and worker rights; LGBTQQIA inclusion and liberation; environmental justice; and language justice. Patty engages in the work of holistic healing and transformation within an anti-oppression and intersectional framework.  In her work with individuals, families, groups and communities as a therapist, advocate, facilitator, yoga teacher, and healing justice worker, Patty draws on her studies in eastern traditions including yoga and Ayurveda, as well as training and competency in clinical social work, popular education, and addiction recovery.
  • Jenna Horgan, MSW, LCSWA  is a bilingual mental health therapist at El Futuro in Durham, NC. She is a Music Therapist-Board Certified, Registered Yoga Teacher and Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Associate. Jenna has extensive experience facilitating groups including group songwriting, music improvisation, therapeutic yoga/mindfulness and SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress). Jenna enjoys working with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds and loves the way group work brings a sense of universality and connectedness.

Past Events

Mindfulness Practice with Groups through the Lifespan - October 11th, 2017

Chapter member, Roberta Wallace, MSW, LCSW clinical social worker at Duke University Health System in the area of Solid Organ Transplant, has invited NC Chapter members, Chris Toenes, MSW, LCSW and April Parker, MSW, LCSW to speak at a continuing education session for the Duke Health System Clinical Social Work staff on October 11, 2017. The topic will be “Mindfulness Practice with Groups through the Lifespan.”  The chapter is also working on plans for a local fall group work conference.  

UNC faculty, alumni host group work symposium (March 14, 2017)

The N.C. Chapter of the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG) held its spring 2017 symposium, titled “Mindfulness Across the Life Span” on the campus of N.C. State University on March 4.

April Parker, MSW ’11, presented a workshop on “Mindfulness Practice Implications with Child and Geriatric Groups.” Parker, the chapter’s professional development and program chair is a social worker at Central Regional Hospital. She also has a private practice and does clinical supervision. David Orovitz, LCSW, Parker’s former supervisor at Central Regional and now a full-time Tai Chi instructor joined Parker for part of the workshop to lead a demonstration on how Tai Chi and Qigong exercises can be adapted for persons with physical or cognitive limitations.

Chris Toenes, LCSW, an alum of N.C. State presented an experiential workshop on “Practicing Mindfulness for Substance Use Disorder Relapse Prevention and Long-Term Recovery.” Toenes is a therapist at TROSA and facilitates groups on recovery and grief and loss. Dr. Karen Bluth, presented the final workshop of the day on “Teaching Mindfulness and Self-Compassion with Adolescents.” Dr. Bluth holds a faculty position in the Program on Integrative Medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and runs many mindful self-compassion groups with adolescents and adults.

“This was an outstanding conference and definitely one of our best so far,” said Anne Jones, clinical professor at UNC’s School of Social Work and chapter chair. “All the presenters were outstanding.”

Jones, along with School clinical assistant professor Marilyn Ghezzi, and Willa Casstevens from N.C .State’s Department of Social Work, started the state chapter of IASWG four years ago. The chapter is open to any practitioner interested in group work. The group plans to continue growing its membership by offering online webinars in addition to two workshops per year.

By Anne Jones, clinical professor

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