Thursday, January 24, 2019

Movie - On The Basis Of Sex

On The Basis of Sex is a movie about Ruth Bader Ginsberg's early life and career establishing her expertise in  advocating for women's rights in the U.S. in the later half of the twentieth century.

It is a five out of five on the MBH movie scale and is highly recommended.

Editor's note:
This is not only a biographical story about RBG but a good example of how social change is made in an intentional and deliberate way.

The norms, attitudes, beliefs, practices of a society are highly influenced in a democracy by the "rule of law." The impact of the changes in women's rights in a patriarchal society made by Ruth Bader Ginsberg's and others efforts are enormous. What is taken for granted today and "just the way things are" has not always been the case, and the recipients in todays society of the changes made by those who came before us deserve recognition, acknowledgement, and support.

This movie is informative on multiple levels and inspirational. It filled me with gratitude for the work that has been done to improve the lives of people in our society by what are called in Unitarian Universalism, "Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love."

How have your handled burnout in your career?

From "Burnout and Self Care: A Process In Helping" by David Papia, LCSW in The New Social Worker, Fall 2014
"Our social work profession is noble. This is a very special career path. We get to participate in important matters in people’s lives. We learn about ourselves, about others, and about humanity. We engage in giving and receiving, and we engage in relationships that further who we are and further those to whom we attend. However, our profession comes with many significant challenges and occupational hazards that threaten to weaken our profession and the resolve of the professional social worker.  
    We know that our profession has become deeply entrenched in managed care practices, bureaucracies and governing bodies determining our daily work conditions, very high caseloads, low salaries, and a profound amount of accountability expectations.  These realities and conditions can and sometimes do weigh very heavily. It is easy to recognize the feelings and sentiment of doubt and questioning: Should I continue in this profession? Am I enjoying my job? How can I sustain? We might even wonder if someone should consider entering our profession. As a father whose daughter has recently gone off to college and has an interest in social work, I notice myself being “on the fence” about her interest in our field."

Editor's note
This past October 31, 2018 I celebrated 50 years in the field of Psychiatric Social Work. It has been a very satisfying and fulfilling career because I have never seen it merely as a job. It has been a calling and something that I believe I have been called to do.
The money is terrible. The benefits are awful. The working conditions difficult and sometimes dangerous. The thanks and appreciation for efforts and skills expended meager. So why would anyone want a career and profession like this?
Because the human dilemna is fascinating. No two days or even hours in the day are alike. There is always something to learn and the problem solving activity is extremely creative as every person is special and unique. The overall faith that somehow the world is becoming a better place one person at a time is paramount and it is this faith that dispels burnout.
Dr. Susan McDaniel, the best mentor and teacher I ever had, told me one time after watching a family interview I conducted in front of a one-way mirror (with the family's permission), "Dave, If you aren't having fun you aren't doing it right," was the best feedback I have ever received about my clinical interviewing work.
So, whenever I am feeling stressed and burned out, I remind myself to lighten up. Am I trying too hard? How can I have a little fun and enjoy my interaction with this client(s)? And I smile and silently thank Dr. McDaniel for her wise encouragement.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

New York State enacts the Reproductive Health Act on 01/22/19

Yesterday, 01/22/19, on the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling, New York State  enacted the Reproductive Health Act. 

With the Reproductive Health Act now enacted, a woman’s right to make personal decisions about her own reproductive health will be protected in New York State — no matter what the federal government or the Supreme Court do in the future.

Violent Crime down in U.S. 49% in last 24 years.

From Pew Research Center Fact Tank, 01/03/2019
Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century. The two most commonly cited sources of crime statistics in the U.S. both show a substantial decline in the violent crime rate since it peaked in the early 1990s. One is an annual report by the FBI of serious crimes reported to police in approximately 18,000 jurisdictions around the country. The other is an annual survey of more than 90,000 households conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which asks Americans ages 12 and older whether they were victims of crime, regardless of whether they reported those crimes to the police.
Using the FBI numbers, the violent crime rate fell 49% between 1993 and 2017. Using the BJS data, the rate fell 74% during that span. (For both studies, 2017 is the most recent full year of data.) The long-term decline in violent crime hasn’t been uninterrupted, though. The FBI, for instance, reported increases in the violent crime rate between 2004 and 2006 and again between 2014 and 2016.
Click on image to enlarge

For more click here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Who gets the pet when couples split?

Who gets the pet when couples divorce? Only California, Alaska, and Illinois have any statutes on the books to help judges decide when couples can't with California being the last to pass such a law which took effect on  January 1, 2019.

For more click here.

New York State bans mental health professionals from providing "conversion therapy." in 2019.

From New York Times on 01/19/19

Between 2012 and 2018, 14 states and Washington, D.C., passed laws prohibiting “conversion therapy” for minors. Deep-blue New York was not among them.
That finally changed this month when the State Legislature voted overwhelmingly to bar mental health professionals from working to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
For more click here.
Editor's note. I have practiced in the mental health field for over 50 years and have seen great changes in professional and public attitudes towards homosexuality. As a Professional Social Worker I have worked with my colleagues to diminish and eliminate the homophobia in our society. I have worked with many clients who have been harmed by homophobia and have striven to provide acceptance and unconditional positive regard for the worth and dignity of every person. It is a great joy to see this law passed in the New York State legislature at a very fittiing time in the calendar year when we also celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

In our contemporary society do we have two adulthoods?

Psychotherapy Stories

Episode 11, Two adulthoods

With our expanded life expectancy in contemporary times, people are faced with two adulthoods: the period of 20-50, and 50 - 80. The first adulthood we are biologically programmed by Mother Nature to mate and procreate and assure the continuation of our species. The second adulthood engenders all kinds of existential anxiety because Mother Nature doesn't help us at all. How have you, are you, or will you negotiate this transition from adulthood number one to adulthood #2?