Thursday, May 16, 2013

Diversity and Social Work Training Program 2013 Clinical Presentations

This year’s Diversity and Social Work students described their clinical cases in an enlightening series of multimedia presentations on May 1, 2013, to an audience of Ackerman faculty, students, and alumni. This annual presentation from students is not an only an opportunity for them to summarize the family therapy work done at Ackerman, but also a celebration of the completion of their year-long internship. 

(Left to right): Tiyanna McFarlene, Ashley Larkin, Faculty
Laurie Kaplan, Luis Ramirez, Faculty Sippio Small,
Amber Belle, Rebekah Adens
The goal of the Diversity and Social Work program is to increase the number of professionals of color in the family therapy profession who will be able to provide culturally relevant services to the increasingly diverse communities of New York. Despite the growing number of minority families in the United States, only 4% of family therapists are from minority backgrounds.

The interns in the program are second year graduate students from the social work schools at Hunter College, Columbia University, and New York University. During their one-year at Ackerman, students take part in live supervision and family treatment, foundation classes in family therapy, and community outreach, where they integrate their training into an outside organization. 

The five students in this year’s class included: Rebekah Adens, Amber Belle, Ashley Larken, Tiyanna McFarlane, and Luis Ramirez. Rebekah talked about her experience counseling dynamic African-American sisters, and Amber spoke about working with an alienated mother and her adolescent daughter. Amber described her time at Ackerman saying, “My experience at the DSW program this year has been one of academic, professional, and personal growth.”

Tiyanna talked about male role models with a mother and her sons, Luis described his experience of working with several families and determining what to share with each of them about himself, and Ashley discussed her therapy experience with an aggressive couple. At the end of her presentation, Ashley talked about her journey, saying, “I’m finding my voice, in hopes to help others find theirs.”

The Diversity and Social Work Program is made possible by private support from individuals and family foundations.

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