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News Items – November 23, 2016

476518059Meagan Geurts is a member:
Clients seeking professional help for election depression (WI)
Meagan Geurts, a licensed clinical social worker whose office is on University Avenue, said many of her clients are feeling anxious about the president-elect’s plans based upon his campaign rhetoric. “They’re a little more anxious and nervous about what this is going to mean for some of them personally and then for our country long-term over the next four years and beyond,” she said. Geurts uses the words deflated and defeated. Many of her clients feel distraught and have been pushing aside their own personal problems to talk about their election blues. “The sentiment that my clients have had is that it feels trivial to talk about their own issues with everything that’s going on in our country since Donald Trump has become the president-elect,” Geurts said.

Pam Finger is a member:
Rochester Event Aims to Heal Post-Election Conflict
The election is over, but the emotionally charged political climate has left a lasting mark on some people’s personal relationships. “A lot of things have gotten stirred up, and people have strong feelings about things that are close to them,” said Pam Finger, LCSW.  She and four other local therapists who help clients deal with conflict every day want to apply those skills to help people heal their relationships after a bitter and divisive election.

Andrew Pari is a member:
LGBTQ community in Los Angeles voices concern in wake of Trump victory
Whittier Daily News (CA)
Friday’s gathering drew an estimated 600 professionals, mostly from Southern California, who provide social services and other support to the LGBTQ community. One of those professionals, clinical social worker Andrew Pari, maintained that there has been an increase in hostile behavior toward LGBTQ children since the election. “I’m hearing stories of parents in red states who are saying, ‘Now we have the authority to force you to get conversion therapy,’” Pari noted. “This is to their teenage children, lesbian girls, gay boys, transgender, what have you, and we’re already seeing these stories come out in the news.”

Patty Faber is a member:
Kids, parents face tough post-election talks
Stevens Point Journal (WI)
While respect is a good skill for children to learn from parents and other adults, parents also can help children cope by making time to talk and listen, said Patty Faber, a clinical social worker who counsels children and adults at Wise Mind Mental Health Clinic, LLC in Marshfield. “This election certainly has created a lot of emotional reactions,” Faber said. “There have been strong feelings on either side with a lot of raw expression of anger and judgmental perspective.”

Susan Thorne-Devin is a member:
Tips To Keep the Election Results From Spoiling Your Family’s Thanksgiving
When guests walk in the door, hosts can ask them to write at least one thing they’re thankful for on a poster board, or even on paper leaves hung on a decorative branch. People feeling grateful for blessings aren’t combative, commented Susan Thorne-Devin, LCSW, assistant professor in National Louis University’s counseling program.

Wendy Behary is a member:
How Barack Obama Can (Maybe) Psychologically Manipulate Donald Trump
New York Magazine
For some insights into how Obama could succeed in his goal — a goal which could significantly impact how damaging Trump’s presidency is for the country — I reached out to the therapist and licensed clinical social worker Wendy Behary. She’s the author of Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving With the Self-Absorbed and the founder and director of the Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy. As the title of her book suggests, her main area of clinical focus is narcissism. Behary cautioned that without Trump undergoing a psychological examination, he can’t be “diagnosed” with anything. But she agreed that he exhibits many signs of narcissism, and she said that as a result, Obama’s attempts to influence him would be a bit complicated.

Lauren Kerstein is a member:
Anxious times
Highlands Ranch Herald (CO)
But what is certain, mental health counselors, parents and students say, is that the barrage of social media and technology is making teens more anxious. “Our world is very anxiety-provoking,” said Lauren Kerstein, a licensed clinical social worker in Greenwood Village. “And high schoolers are being exposed to it in a much different way because of social media and being able to access information 24/7.” That, combined with common factors such as schoolwork, friends and sports, can create a challenging environment for many teens.

Julie Patton is a member:
Workshop addresses cooling racial tension
Pensacola News Journal
Julie Patton, one of the group’s founders and a licensed clinical social worker employed at the University of West Florida, began trying to create more dialog between races in August 2015 after several instances of black men being killed during confrontations with law enforcement officers across the country made national news. “It was the first time I had been aware of the brutality, that this was a relatively normal event in minority communities and there is an ongoing of fear in these communities,” Patton said.

Brianna Scott is a member:
Culture clashes: frustrations of military behavioral health providers
The Dallas Morning News
The command structure and the concept of military readiness produces two inherent conflicts of interest for mental health providers: confidentiality versus need. Because service members primary job is to be ready to engage in combat at any time, in many instances and in several units across the military, providers are required to inform commanders of the mental health status of service members, potentially undermining provider-client relationships and trust. “Confidentiality is not confidentiality in the military,” said Brianna Scott, a former Social Services Assistant at Fort Sill’s Department of Behavioral Health. Scott, who is now a licensed social worker, was in the military system for two years and had significant concerns over the dual obligations of providers. “In most settings, no one has to know about a person’s mental health condition. It is a huge conflict of interest. In the civilian world, our only obligation is to our client.”

Nikki Lively is a member:
The Surprising Way To Deal With Jealousy
The Huffington Post
In an attempt to understand more clearly what’s at the root of jealousy, I exchanged emails recently with Nikki Lively, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in women’s mental health at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. “In our culture, jealousy is viewed as a character flaw,” she wrote. “We judge jealousy as a bad thing versus understanding it as a transient, universal emotional experience. In fact, jealousy is an emotional signal: It’s information that we could use to better understand what we’re afraid of and where our insecurities lie.”

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