Clinicians and Students

Master Clinician Continuing Education Collaborative Groups

There is an ongoing dialectic between simplicity and complexity, and in clinical work we have to keep an eye on working toward the simplicity that comes with deep understanding while at the same time holding on to nuance and complexity. In these CE-granting groups, we work together to expand our understanding through monthly study sessions. They are collaborative, in that all participants are also expected to present at some point.  We will look for areas of clinical work where we might want to extend our understanding, while also making sure to bring expertise relevant to the matter at hand.

These CE-granting groups are open for anyone to join, but they do require a 2-year commitment (timed with the LCSW renewal cycle). We cover all of the required CEs for licensure. It is meant for experienced, licensed therapists, but all are welcome.


Many people who are seeking therapy are also struggling with addictions. While there are many options to receive support, one online option I recommend is the Life Process Program. Developed by Dr. Stanton Peele, an internationally renowned addictions expert, it...

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MCLS: Harry Potter and the Therapist’s Couch

GLC~NS held this seminar on on June 29th. Our focus was split between considering language and metaphor generally in the therapeutic process, and considering the Harry Potter series as a specific source of metaphor. Some key ideas we discussed included the power of...

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Learning Feelings

Sometimes we have experiences that impact us, but we have difficulty putting words on it. In fact, some conceptualizations of trauma essentially speak to the lack of verablization as being a driving component of trauma's tendency to haunt us. In fact, there is a real...

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Misleading data reports

As someone who values the work and knowledge building of research, I find it is important to be able to recognize some of the ways in which research gets misused or misunderstood. Ideally statistics are a way to take a mass of data and present it in a clearer way,...

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MCLS: Vicarious Trauma

Time for another round of the Master Clinician Lecture Series! As you may know by now, the goal of this series is to support therapists in maintaining ongoing growth as clinicians. The complexity of human beings is such that there is always more to consider, and while...

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Read more recent posts at my blog.

Resources for Students

There are many websites online to assist in various aspects of research.

Software for Qualitative Analysis: The University of Surrey maintains a helpful website about the various software packages for assisting in qualitative data analysis, providing guidance for determining which is the appopriate software for your research needs.

Statistics: If you look around online, you can find many tutorials and online statistical calculators for those with various levels of statistical know-how. To start with, UCLA has a table to help you determine which statistical tool might be appropriate for your research; the university also has several statistical seminars available in using statistical software as well as performing more advanced statistical analyses.

Publicly available data: There are many data sets that are publicly available, allowing you to ask complex questions of fairly large data sets, many of which have decades of data. To do complicated statistics, you will need a statistical software package such as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) or STATA. You can find a working list of data sets here.


Loyola’s Institutional Review Board has many helpful resources, including a site to determine whether you need IRB approval as well as information about consent and sample consent forms.

University of Chicago SSA Institutional Review Board also has sample consent forms.

Class Handouts:

ResearchFlowChart This flow chart outlines some of the choices made in designing empirical research studies; the material draws from Rubin and Babbie as well as Tyson’s research textbooks, in addition to other sources.

Other resources:

Loyola University Chicago maintains an online guide for scholarship in social work; it is a valuable starting place for research and writing.

There are often public radio and other media stories relevant to research. This American Life aired an episode with a segment about research into community practices around talking about HIV and AIDS, which is a good example of how different approaches to gathering data can result in different data. The segment begins at about 19:00 into this episode on gossip, and is about 15 minutes long.

Radiolab, which often has segments related to research, recently aired a short episode about a problem with replicating results in research, based on one researcher’s experience that effect sizes shrink over time. The entire episode, called Cosmic Habituation, is worth listening to. More recently, Radiolab had an episode on why people do bad things, and the first segment is about Stanley Milgram‘s famous experiment on electric shocks and a deconstruction of the common interpretation about following orders, and is worth listening to. In the context of research, this experiment often comes up in a discussion of maintaining ethical research practice.

Cognitive Integrative Perspective was developed by Sharon Berlin as a way to move cognitive theory forward to include the fundamental worldview of social work (i.e. a recognition of the importance of, and willingness to intervene in, a person’s environment) as well as what we now know about neurobiology.

This approach to clinical work shares theoretical ground with the following theories, each of which you might want to read more about if you find CI compelling:

Internal Family Systems (Richard Schwartz)
Self-Schema Therapy (Jeffrey Young)
In IFS and self-schema therapy you should recognize the idea of multiple selves and possible selves.
Spiritual Self-Schema Therapy (S. Kelly Avants and Arthur Margolin) 3-S therapy also has the concept of multiple selves, though it places it in the context of Buddhist philosophy, which makes it similar in some ways to DBT and mindsight.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (Marsha Linehan)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Steven Hayes, Kirk Strosahl, and Kelly Wilson)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, John Teasdale)
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (Sarah Bowen, Neha Chawla, and Joel Grow)
DBT, ACT, MBCT, and MBRP integrate mindfulness into traditional cognitive therapy
Mindsight (Dan Siegel) integrates mindfulness and neurobiology; although he doesn’t have a website dedicated to clinical theory, Allan Schore’s work on developmental neuroscience and psychoanalysis is also related.

The National Association of Social Workers has a publication regarding its guidelines for cultural competence. The Office of MInority Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addresses issues of health disparities across minority groups and gives this definition of cultural competence.

However, cultural competence is not a straightforward construct; inherent within it are conceptualizations of race, ethnicity and culture that may not be univerally applicable. This is the topic in the chapter I wrote for Stanley Witkin’s book, Narrating Social Work Through Autoethnography.

Understanding human development is necessarily based in some theoretical understanding of what it means to be human and what it means to develop. In addition to books that give a strong foundational understanding of some key Western theorists of human development (e.g. Joan Berzoff and Joseph Palombo both describe multiple theories of development and mind), George Mason University has a website for developmental psychology that lists links to sites related to development. As a rough draft study guide, Development Chart is a table that includes several theoretical lines of development to compare.