New Jersey Woman Uses Cable Show to Shape Public View of Social Work
But New Jersey social worker Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Klein did more than kvetch. Ginny, PhD, LCSW, ACSW, launched her own local cable access program to promote our profession.
“Through the Looking Glass” airs on Comcast Cable’s Channel 280 in Somerset, N.J., on Fridays at 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. Ginny uses her program to enact sessions with “clients.”
The clients are portrayed by other social workers. There are no scripts and scenes are totally improvised, she said.
“Through the Looking Glass” first aired in 1990 and recently taped its 407th episode. It covers many problems social workers help their clients overcome, including marital issues, anxiety, and conflicts with friends and family.
“I’ve got just about everything that will cause dysfunction in a person’s life,” she said of the show’s topics.
Ginny got started in the television business back in the late 1980s. She was at relaxing at home with her son Earl when he said, “People just look at television and are not listening to their teenagers.”
That comment got Klein thinking and prompted her to launch her first local cable access program that addressed teen issues such as alcohol, drugs, dating and divorce. That program was nominated for a 1988 CableACE Award. Klein taped 76 episodes of the teen program before the cable company cancelled it.
Besides her television program Klein sees clients in real life and trains social workers in the United States and Switzerland.
She says “Through the Looking Glass” serves dual roles. It educates the public about the life-improving services social workers provide. And social workers who watch the show gain tips on how to do their jobs better.
“I think the show is wide reaching,” she said. “I’m very pleased.”
By Greg Wright, NASWLeave A Comment