Monday, September 21, 2015

Professional Development: UBC Continuing Studies

UBC Continuing Studies
Professional Development Courses

CBT Theory and Essentials for Non-CBT Therapists
Sep 25, 9am-4pm, UBC Robson Square

CBT for Concurrent Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Sep 26, 9am-4pm, UBC Robson Square

Burnout Prevention – Understanding Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue
Oct 19-Nov 15, Online

Mindfulness and Neuroscience
Oct 23, 9am-4pm, UBC Robson Square

Motivational Interviewing for Helping Professionals – Introduction
Oct 30 & Nov 7, 9am-4pm, UBC Robson Square

Motivational Interviewing in Psycho-Educational Groups
Nov 13, 9am-4pm, UBC Robson Square

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Nov 21, 9am-4pm, UBC Point Grey

Renew You: Self-Care and Burnout Prevention
Dec 5, 9am-4pm, UBC Robson Square

Employment: MCFD Executive Director of Services - Kamloops

BC Public Service
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Executive Director of Services
The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) promotes and develops the capacity of families and communities to care for and protect vulnerable children and youth, and supports healthy child and family development to maximize the potential of every child in BC.

This role is for a visionary, strategic thinker with the ability to identify opportunities for improving child welfare programs and services; and the ability to lead, coach and direct a multi-disciplinary team.

Qualification for this role include: BSW or MSW; or BA in Child & Youth Care; or M.Ed. Counselling/MA Clinical Psychology, or a related degree preferably in a social sciences discipline; minimum 5 years of progressive experience in a managerial role with responsibility for direct client service delivery; and extensive leadership, change management and influence management experience. Preference will be given to Aboriginal candidates.

To learn more about this opportunity, including how to apply online by October 4, 2015, please visit:

Only applications submitted through the BC Public Service’s employment will be accepted.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Professional Development: The new science of romantic love: what you understand you can shape

An Evening Keynote and Day-Long Workshop with Dr. Sue Johnson

Date: Sept 29-30, 2015

Location: The Haven, Gabriola Island

Evening Keynote

The new science of romantic love: what you understand you can shape

Tuesday September 29, 7:00-8.30pm

Day-long workshop for counselling professionals

Couples Therapy in the 21st century – a new era

The workshop will outline the Emotionally Focused Model of Couple Therapy (EFT), and how it illustrates the new science of love and bonding. The EFT model represents the cutting edge of couple interventions and addresses the three main tasks of therapy; creating a safe haven alliance, working to regulate and transform emotions and emotional signals, and choreographing a couple’s dance to foster emotional connection and fulfill attachment needs. 

The day will include didactic presentations on love and attachment, the state of couple therapy and the conceptual and clinical base of EFT as well as experiential exercises and observation and discussion of therapy sessions.

Participants will be able to:

· Outline the laws of human bonding and how they operate in adult love relationships.
· List the stages, steps, and interventions of EFT.
· Make sense of the stuck places that perpetuate negative cycles and emotional disconnection in love relationships.
· Describe how to set up new bonding interactions that redefine connection and change working models of attachment.
· Outline how to adapt the model to different individuals, including escalated, traumatized, and depressed partners.
· Consider how the therapist’s style fits with the model or creates blocks in working with emotion and shaping new dances.
The package price for the keynote and one day workshop is $300. Accommodation and meals are extra.
To register contact the Haven’s registration office 1.800. 222 .9211 x 1 or email or register online at:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Clinical: Severe poverty affects children's brain development, study finds

Severe poverty affects children's brain development, study finds

That kids who grow up poor do less well in school is well documented, but researchers find that part of that poor performance stems from how their brains grow and work.

Professional Development: Ethics: Analytical tools for Social Work Professionals

Dr. Merlinda Weinberg: Ethics in the Helping Professions
School of Social Work, Dalhousie University. Retrieved from:

Dr. Weinberg has provided some analytical tools for professionals that expand thinking on ethics, and after giving an example, discusses their usefulness. Rather than seeing language as simply reflecting reality, Dr. Weinberg believes that it constructs what we take to be truth. The power of new concepts is to transform unarticulated senses and experiences, giving voice to them.

For example, the concept of “black is beautiful” is a potent device to subvert racism and potential notions of the inferiority of people of colour and can change people’s perceptions of themselves and others. Therefore, putting terms into the lexicon of social science theory helps make those ideas real and useable. We cannot think outside of discourse, so adding concepts can expand our thinking of what is ethical.

The analytical tools discussed are: 

Employment: Team Leader, Child and Youth Mental Health - Terrace

BC Public Service
Ministry of Children and Family Development

Team Leader, Child and Youth Mental Health
Under the direction of the Community Services Manager, the Team Leader administers child and youth mental health services by providing direction, leadership and supervision to professional staff on the Child and Youth Mental Health Team. The Team Leader has the authority, accountability and responsibility to plan, develop, manage, coordinate and evaluate the delivery of mental health services for children, youth and families in the Terrace area. The Team Leader has broad responsibilities to work with diverse community partners to promote the establishment and maintenance of a full range of mental health services within the community.

This is a multifaceted role and the successful applicant may have any or all of these qualifications: Master’s Degree in Social Work (Clinical Specialty or equivalent training/education), Educational Counselling, Clinical Psychology, Child and Youth Care, or equivalent; Master’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and licensed under the Registered Nursing Association of BC and/or the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC; Ph.D. in clinical/applied psychology, and registered with, or eligible for, registration with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia.

Terrace is a thriving city surrounded by amazing scenery and offers great weather and unlimited outdoor activities (see video).

For more information, including how to apply online by September 20th, 2015, please visit:

Attention: only applications submitted through the BC Public Service’s employment website (see link above) will be accepted.

Burnout: After 37 years in social work I had nothing left to give

After 37 years in social work I had nothing left to give 

Endless budget cuts and seeing my staff sink under a pressure I couldn’t alleviate became too much, so I took early retirement

When I tell people I have taken early retirement from social work they usually say “lucky you”. I just smile, because the decision to leave a permanent post in a profession to which I have given 37 years of my life was both frightening and emotionally draining. So why did I do it?

I qualified in my mid-twenties when the certificate of qualification in social work took 11 months to complete. I would never recommend this length of training, but what made up for it was the freedom to learn on the job. I didn’t have lots of admin to do, so could be out all day working with service users. I dropped notes off at the end of the day which were typed up for me to check whenever I returned. I had line managers with the time to help me plan and debrief from visits. I was never frightened about talking about my gut instinct or saying that I might have made a wrong decision, as this was seen as a learning opportunity.

I remember a stable, confident and enthusiastic workforce with lots of experienced social workers, who would accompany me on visits and were always available for advice. It would be easy to look back with rose tinted spectacles but, to be fair, it wasn’t all rosy. A child could be placed on the child protection register without a parent’s knowledge; there was no real recognition of sexual abuse or the impact of emotional abuse on children; and there was very little join-up between services. So there have been positive changes in practice over the decades.

I have always embraced this change and I have been blessed with a level of emotional resilience and a good sense of humour that has sustained me. However, over the last few years the energy I needed as a senior manager to try to maintain standards of practice while endlessly cutting budgets and being under intense scrutiny has taken its toll. On an emotional level, watching my staff sinking under a pressure I couldn’t alleviate, while trying to reassure them that it would get better when I wasn’t sure it would, brought me to a tipping point.

Outside of work I was spending a lot of time with an osteopath who told me I had chronic neck and back problems related to stress. Then came a Sunday when the family rang to say they would be arriving earlier than planned for a holiday. I cried and said that that if I couldn’t work all day I could not have the leave I had planned – even though I had already worked a 60-hour week, which had become the norm. The final straw came some weeks later when I was sent on a course for future directors. I broke down again and told the course leader I had nothing left to give.

This might all sound dramatic, but it led to an honest discussion with my line manager. I was lucky to have worked for the same local authority for 17 years so my concerns about being burnt out were taken seriously. Luck was on my side, as the service had decided to fund a post for 18 months to concentrate solely on the workforce. They offered me this job and then asked if I would like to be considered for early retirement. After more crying and discussion with family and friends I said yes. Interestingly, no one told me to say no.

During that last 18 months I regained my energy and passion. I was in a role where I could be creative and make mistakes without being pilloried. I was working directly with frontline staff, service users and stakeholders to redesign the workforce and I was energised again through working with so many creative and passionate people. I also realised that, like me, their commitment was being worn down by the burden of unrealistic expectations. Selfish as it may seem, I didn’t have any doubts about my decision to leave.

Having retired with energy restored I knew I couldn’t just give up. I retained my social work registration, and have been doing a mixture of different roles in the sector. I can now say yes or no to work I am offered, and I get a real sense of job satisfaction as I can actually complete pieces of work. I count myself lucky to have had an employer who valued me enough to listen and give me an option to use my skills in a different way. It is my way of giving back to the profession at a time when so many experienced social workers are leaving.

Employment: Research Coordinator for "Reaching Out with Yoga" Project

BC Society of Transition Houses is seeking a Research Coordinator for Reaching Out with Yoga project. The Research Coordinator will develop the ethics application, research protocols, materials and tools; train research site staff to carry out research activities; coordinate multi-site data collection methods, conduct data analysis, develop and maintain records of research activities; conduct literature reviews; prepare reports, presentations and peer-reviewed manuscripts; liaise with the Project Coordinator to ensure project timelines and budget requirements are met.

This position is for a full-time, 35 hours per week, five year contract position and is based in Vancouver and requires some travel.

Click here for full description of the position.

Please submit your résumé and a cover letter indicating how you meet the selection criteria to<> no later than 9am, Monday September 14, 2015. First round interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place on Thursday 17 September, 2015.

BC Society of Transition Houses
Suite 325, 119 W. Pender St. Vancouver BC V6B 1S5
T: 604.669.6943 ext: 221 | F: 604.682.6962 | TF: 1.800.661.1040

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Professional Development: Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Training - Cranbrook and Surrey

Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Training Program Level 1 available in a weekend or extended weekend format starting September 2015

Cranbrook, BC - September 11, 12, 13, October 2, 3, 4, November 19, 20, 21, 22, 2015

(held at Axis Family Resources Ltd. Room 102, 125-10th Avenue South, Cranbrook, BC)

with SIP Trainer Linda Lucas, MA, LCPC Clinical Professional Counsellor

Surrey, BC - September 26, 27, October 24, 25, November 28, 29, 2015, January 9, 10, February 13, 14, 2016

(held at Phoenix Center, Boardroom, 13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC)

with SIP Director of Training,
Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC, Individual, Couple and Family Counsellor
Assisted by Klaus Klein, MA, RCC

Satir Institute of the Pacific
13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC V3V 1N1
Charity Reg. #858851082
Society #S-38709

Satir 2016 Conference

Check us out on Facebook

Clinical practice: Discharge Planning in Medical Social Work

The Significance of Discharge Planning in Medical Social Work

Cudjoe, E. and Gyedu, D. (2015). Social Work Helper. Retrieved from:

Assisting patients with timely arrangements for their post hospital care continues to be a, if not the, central function of social workers in most hospitals (Cowles, 1999: 163). In 1986, federal legislation in the form of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act mandated that every hospital have a process for planning patient discharges. According to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, a discharge plan must be included in the patient’s medical record and discussed with the patient or patient representative.

The underlying purpose of this law was to facilitate speedy discharge of patients (Sharpe, 1991). As a result, the role of the discharge planner is now firmly established and integrated into the structure of the contemporary hospital (Iglehart, 1990). It is necessary to emphasis here that the role of the hospital social worker in planning patients for discharge is indispensable.

The role of the hospital social worker in planning for discharge is important to ensure that patients are able to adequately adapt to their former environment. This case is an important concern to practitioners working with patients recovering from or managing acute health conditions such as cancer or a disability. The American Hospital Association (1984) defines discharge planning as an interdisciplinary process guided by the following essential elements:
  1. Early identification of patients likely to need complex post hospital
  2. Indication of patient preferences for post hospital care
  3. Patient and family education
  4. Patient and family assessment and counseling
  5. Planning, development, and coordination of community resources
    needed to ensure continuity of care after discharge
  6. Post discharge follow-up to ensure services and plan outcome
In most hospitals, these activities fall within the realm of the social work department although nursing departments are also involved. From the viewpoint of social work, discharge planning is an aspect of professional activity that helps patients cope with their illness and its effects, move through the hospital system, and eventually return to their home with all the necessary supports to sustain their health (Beder, 2006). This service encompasses assessment of individual needs, formulation of an adequate and safe discharge plan, and implementation of the plan that ensures the safety and well-being of the patient in a timely manner (Davidson, 1990).

Discharge planning is viewed as the main method for ensuring patients’ needs post discharge will be met to enable optimal functioning once they return home (American Hospital Association 1984). It is important to note that after-hospital care is exhaustively linked to discharge planning.

The Phases of Discharge Planning

In an article written by Oktay et al. (1992) on the “Impact of Hospital Discharge Planning on Meeting Patient Needs after Returning Home,” discharge planning was conceptualised as having four phases (1) patient assessment; (2) development of a discharge plan; (3) provision of services, including patient/family education and service referrals; and (4) follow-up/evaluation. Although hospitals employ different types of discharge planning strategies in each of these phases, it is generally agreed that two factors in particular are important for meeting patient needs.

First, discharge planning is expected to be more effective if there is interdisciplinary input in planning the patient’s home care (Hartigan and Brown 1985). The advantage of involving multiple disciplines in a team effort is that the expertise of each discipline is brought to bear on identifying and meeting the patient’s home care needs. Through such professional interaction, the patient’s needs can be identified more readily, and appropriate referrals for services can be coordinated and executed in a timely manner.

Second, the usefulness of a designated professional like the case manager, who assumes primary responsibility for coordinating the discharge plan with other providers, has also been emphasized as essential (Hartigan and Brown, 1985). It is viewed that case managers with established community linkages to various services and specific knowledge of the complicated reimbursement requirements can act more efficiently to implement aftercare services (Oktay et al., 1992).

The phases of discharge planning introduced by Oktay et al. (1992) shares a platform with the discharge planning process of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) per the information we received from the hospital social work department. KATH’s discharge planning process includes an evaluation of the outcome of the patient’s treatment, a discussion between the social worker and the patient or a representative of the patient (a relative, friend or any other significant others) about the outcomes of the evaluation, planning, determination (how to execute the plan) and a referral (for when the patient is to be transferred to another facility).

The Significance of Discharge Planning in a Hospital Setting

The significance of quality discharge planning to cost savings is indicated by study findings to support early hospital social worker intervention with a patient correlates with shorter patient’s stays. “Implementing discharge planning activities, and their coordination, are central functions of the hospital-based social worker. Today’s social workers monitor comprehensive discharge planning services in a case management context” (Blumenfield, Bennett, & Rehr, 1998, p. 83). Beder (2006) contends that discharge planning must be done to enable the purpose and survival of the hospital as a financially stable institution.

Discharge planning enables the patient to have a smooth transmission from hospital to home and to ensure the patient will function to the optimal level. In this, the hospital social worker helps in the patient recovery process from the time the patient prepares to leave the hospital. The worker informs the patient and any other relatives or significant others about the effects of the patient’s condition with regards to his relationship with the community. For example, one effect of a paralysed patient on family members would be the need for constant attention on the patient. Family members would need to understand the condition of their family member and how they could successfully relate to him or her.

Hospital social workers planning for discharge help inform patients when they will be going home and what they have to go through on the day of discharge. Kadushin and Kulys (1993) state that the provision of concrete services after discharge was the most basic, essential component and primary focus of discharge planning. These service arrangements may include home health care, medical equipment, transportation, or delivery of medical supplies and medication.

Discharge planning also enables patients to acquire resources to assist with functioning. In helping the patient get access to resource,s the social worker does an assessment of financial, social, and psychological resources available for the patient and family. Social works can coordination with other medical staff to facilitate the discharge plan, produce a written record of what has been and needs to be done for the patient, and link services for patients and families after discharge (Kadushin & Kulys, 1993). For instance, using Tracy’s (1990) Social Support the social worker will be able to provide information, encouragement and tangible assistance that is perceived by the patient as being beneficial to his or her functioning.

Finally, it is important to note that the central goal of discharge planning is for the social worker to fully address the highly individualised needs of each patient and provide safeguards at home for his or her care. In general, it requires the social worker to apply a biopsychosocial approach to care that addresses a wide range of patient and family needs while incorporating the skills and orientation of medical and other health care professionals. The social worker must also have knowledge of community-based services and an understanding of how these services can best be accessed in order to serve the patient upon discharge (Blumenfield et al., 1998).

The Challenge of Discharge Planning

Many patients ready for discharge are accordingly referred to hospital social workers and other discharge planners. The challenges faced by hospital social workers at KATH is summed up in Cowles’ (1999) presentation of the constraints workers face in discharge planning. One or more of the following conditions exist as barriers to discharge planning (the list is not exhaustive):
  • The patient may be insufficiently recovered from the acute health condition to take care of himself or herself.
  • The patient may be mentally confused, emotionally depressed, or otherwise mentally impaired permanently or temporarily.
  • The patient may have a new baby with special problems but has never cared for an infant before.
  • The patient has been advised not to climb stairs and he or she is disabled from waist down and he stays in an upstairs building
  •  The patient has to be reporting to the hospital regularly for treatment, and he or she has no personal transportation and the financially incapable (Cowles, 1999: 167).
  • Other challenges noted by the hospital social work department of KATH was the problem working with the elderly (65+), the developmental disabled, the unemployed, persons without health insurance and patients who attempt suicide
In conclusion, Beder (2006) notes the primary role of the social worker is to facilitate discharge and engage the patient and family. However, beyond this mandate, social workers have numerous opportunities to interact with and influence the patient and family to enhance fulfillment during the healing process.


American Hospital Association. (1984). Discharge planning guidelines.Chicago: Author.
Beder, J. (2006). Hospital Social Work: The   Interface of Medicine and Caring.New York: Routledge, Taylor and   Francis.
Blumenfield, S., Bennett, C., & Rehr,   H. (1 998). Discharge planning: A key function. In H. Rehr, G. Rosenberg,   & S. Blumenfield (Eds.), Creative social work in health care (pp.   83–91). New York: Springer.
Cowles, L. A. (1999). Social Work in thr Health Field: A   Care Perspective.New York: Haworth Press, Inc.
Davidson, K. (1990). Evolving Social Work roles in Health   Care: The case of Discharge Planning. Social Work in Health Care,   181-194.
Hartigan, E. G. (1985). Discharge Planning for   Continuity of Care. New York: National League for Nursing.
Iglehart, A. (1990). Discharge Planning: Professional   Perspectives Versus Organisational Effects. Health and Social Work, 15(4),   301-309.
Kadushin, G. and Kulys, R. (1993). Discharge Planning   Revisited: What do Social Workers Actually do? Social Work, 38(6),   713-726.
Oktay et. al, (1992). Impact of Hospital Discharge   Planning on Meeting Patient Needs after Returning Home. Health Services Research, 156-170
Sharpe, L. (1991). Discharge Planning: Before the fact. Discharge   Planning Update. 11(4), 3-5.