Untangling the Thread: Book Club Edition

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“What social work books are you reading?” That’s a recent (and regular) question asked on the MyNASW online member forums. Social workers are always adding to their libraries, seeking titles that will help them keep up with trends in their field and ultimately do their jobs more effectively while caring for themselves. Below are a few titles NASW members are talking about in MyNASW. Want to see what else social workers recommend? The MyNASW discussion forum is just one of the many ways NASW members connect and share helpful insights to keep current in their field. Become an NASW member to join the discussions and see what your community is talking about.

Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work, 2nd Edition: A Guidebook for Students and Those in Mental Health and Related Professions

By SaraKay Smullens, MSW

“There is no shortage of causes of burnout: overwhelming caseloads, limited budgets, complex and divergent responsibilities, and secondary trauma, all against a background of political unrest, systemic racism, dysfunctional leadership, and a global pandemic. It is no wonder that many question whether they can survive in the profession. In the second edition of this groundbreaking book, SaraKay Smullens defines creative strategies for self-care and personal growth and offers opportunities for reflection, redirection, and hope.” [Readers of this title are eligible for 5.0 CEUs in the NASW Online CE Institute.NASW Press. 

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

By Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP

“Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology. It is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not only about the head but also about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide. It paves the way for a new body-centered understanding of white supremacy: how it is literally in our blood and our nervous system and offers a step-by-step healing process based on the latest neuroscience and somatic healing methods, in addition to incisive social commentary.” Central Recovery Press.

Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Guide for Social Workers and All Frontline Staff

By Gregory L. Nooney, LICSW, ACSW

“Using case studies, diagnostic tools, and clinician self-care, Gregory Nooney demonstrates how to confirm a dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis and establish a therapeutic relationship; assist the client in developing internal communication, cooperation, and co-consciousness; mitigate the risk of breaking dissociative barriers too quickly; manage the risk of rapid switching and decompensation, including suicidal risk; and lead the client from emotional rigidity and chaos to integration. Though the challenges of diagnosing and treating DID are vast, the rewards of helping this misunderstood and underserved population are enormous.” [Readers of this title are eligible for 7.5 CEUs in the NASW Online CE Institute.NASW Press.

ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction – from Childhood Through Adulthood

By Edward M. Hallowell, MDand John J. Ratey, MD

“Drs. Hallowell and Ratey, both of whom have this “variable attention trait,” draw on the latest science to provide both parents and adults with ADHD a plan for minimizing the downside and maximizing the benefits of ADHD at any age. They offer an arsenal of new strategies and lifestyle hacks for thriving with ADHD.” Penguin Random House.

Treating the Eating Disorder Self: A Comprehensive Model for the Social Work Therapist

By Mary Anne Cohen, LCSW

“In this engaging and compassionate book, Mary Anne Cohen teaches therapists how to fearlessly reach out to the heart and humanity of each client, illustrating how the therapist–client relationship—with its sharing of tears and laughter—makes treatment a deeply healing experience. The goal for the social work therapist is to create an individualized and comprehensive treatment approach in collaboration with clients that will help them break the chains of emotional eating and body image distress.” [Readers of this title are eligible for 8.0 CEUs in the NASW Online CE Institute.] NASW Press. 

Anti-Racist Psychotherapy: Confronting Systemic Racism and Healing Racial Trauma

By David Archer, MSW, MFT

“This book will help you learn a new perspective for conceptualizing racism and recovering from its effects on the nervous system. Using the approaches described in this book will reveal how we can reprocess the pain of our past, inspire hope for the future and gain a higher level of awareness when discussing the mental health effects of systemic racism.” Each One Teach One Publications. 

Social Work Documentation, 2nd Edition: A Guide to Strengthening Your Case Recording

By Nancy L. Sidell, PhD, MSW

“A how-to guide for social work students and practitioners interested in good record keeping and improving their documentation skills, this text will help practitioners build writing skills in a variety of settings and circumstances, including in current practices areas such as electronic case recording and trauma-informed documentation. In this second edition, author Nancy Sidell uses exercises to teach effective documentation and provides tips for assessing and documenting client cultural differences of relevance.” [Readers of this title are eligible for 7.0 CEUs in the NASW Online CE Institute.NASW Press. 

GUYnecology: The Missing Science of Men's Reproductive Health

By Rene Almeling

“Only recently have researchers begun to ask basic questions about how men’s health matters for reproductive outcomes, from miscarriage to childhood illness. From a failed nineteenth-century effort to launch a medical specialty called andrology to the contemporary science of paternal effects, there has been a lack of attention to the importance of men’s age, health and exposures. GUYnecology demonstrates how this non-knowledge shapes reproductive politics today.” University of California Press. 

Managing Suicidal Risk, 2nd Edition: A Collaborative Approach

By David A. Jobes, with a foreword by Marsha M. Linehan

“The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) approach has garnered a strong evidence base and has been implemented by therapists from a range of orientations in diverse clinical settings. This extensively revised manual provides a proven therapeutic framework for evaluating suicidal risk and developing and implementing a suicide-specific treatment plan that is respectful, empathic and empowering. In addition to their clinical utility, the procedures used for assessment, treatment and progress monitoring within CAMS can help reduce the risk of malpractice liability.” The Guilford Press. 

Attachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma

By Laurel Parnell, PHD

“Laurel Parnell, leader and innovator in the field of eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), offers us a way to embrace two often separate worlds of knowing: the science of early attachment relationships and the practice of healing within an EMDR framework. This book combines attachment theory with EMDR to teach therapists a new way of healing clients with relational trauma and attachment deficits.” W. W. Norton & Company. 

From Prison Cells to PhD: It is Never Too Late to Do Good

by Stanley Andrisse, MBA, PhD

“Growing up in Ferguson, MO, Andrisse began making poor decisions at a very young age. By his early twenties, he found himself facing 10 years in a maximum-security prison. While challenged with a strong desire for self-renewal, he faced an environment that was not conducive for transformative change. From poor institutional structure and policies to individual institutionalized thinking and behaviors, he battled on a daily basis to retain and maintain his humanity. Upon release Stanley was accepted into a PhD program. He completed his PhD/MBA simultaneously and became an endocrinologist and impactful leader at Johns Hopkins Medicine, specializing in diabetes research.” Post Hill Press. 

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

By Laura van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk

“A longtime trauma worker, Lipsky offers a deep and empathetic survey of the often-unrecognized toll taken on those working to make the world a better place. We may feel tired, cynical, numb or like we can never do enough. Lipsky offers simple and profound practices, drawn from modern psychology and a range of spiritual traditions, that enable us to look carefully at our reactions and motivations and discover new sources of energy and renewal.” Berrett-Koehler Publishers.


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