Accelerated Resolution Therapy as a Pre-Habilitative Psycho-Oncology Approach with Head and Neck Cancer Patients

This scholarly Capstone Project intends to introduce the integration of a novel therapeutic framework to bridge the unmet psychological needs of the head and neck cancer population.  The Capstone Project provides trending information on the etiology of head and neck cancers including increasing diagnoses related to the Human Papillomavirus and thus why some in the medical community refer to this cancer as a “quiet epidemic”.  The primary focus will be to illustrate the disproportionately high psychological distress experienced by this population, the traditional therapeutic interventions applied and the need for a new approach. 

The project will introduce the model of Pre-Habilitative Psycho-Oncology using Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or PPA, to be implemented in the oncology clinic setting. The new model, which will be social work led, will establish consistent and thorough biopsychosocial assessments on every patient with a new head and neck cancer diagnosis, identify those experiencing psychological distress and intervene prior to the initiation of treatment, rather than during or after.

The pre-habilitative approach seeks to reduce anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation through the techniques used in Accelerated Resolution Therapy. Through the unique social work lens, PPA will help patients develop coping skills, enhance resilience, and improve quality of life.

Tools of the Trade: Educating Future Social Workers for Anti-Oppressive Practice

This presentation provides an overview of the capstone project and explores the findings from researching the question: What does the literature say about teaching cultural humility in social work education? Cultural humility is an important component of anti-oppressive practice. Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) is a component that is required in social work education by the Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE).

The CSWE allows flexibility for how accredited social work schools implement this in education. The presentation includes a brief overview of the systematic literature review that revealed inadequate empirical evidence for the methods used to teach cultural humility. Three teaching methods stood out: Intergroup dialogue, experiential learning, and reflective writing.

There will also be an overview of suggested theories that are useful, Critical Race Theory, Systems Theory, and Experiential Learning Theory. Finally, an overview of the implications and proposed solutions.

Anorexia, Neurocognition, and Practice Implications: An Outpatient Treatment Model

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a potentially lethal eating disorder, and current available treatment(s) for anorexia are inadequate at best (Bulik, 2013). The illness has an alarmingly high relapse and mortality rate (Bulik, 2013), which seems to have correlation to many factors that may be preventable. With access to a timely and accurate diagnosis, access to treatment on a variety of levels of care and newer and more improved treatment modalities, treatment for anorexia may begin to rise to the occasion. This capstone project seeks to examine some of the more specific challenges and potential solutions to these problems.

Three products make up this capstone project: a systematic literature review, a conceptual paper, and a practice application paper. The systematic literature review provides a targeted review of selected literature that serves to inform a new conceptualization of the selected social problem. The practice application paper presents a model that can be applied and work to resolve the social problem.

The systematic literature review examined literature on anorexia and the brain. Literature was chosen that appeared to have implications in studying the neurological effects of anorexia, and the way(s) an individual exhibits these effects during the illness. It was discovered that there are significant neurological changes and deficits occurring in the brain of an individual with anorexia, and that these symptoms are often directly related to poor treatment outcomes. These findings informed the conceptual paper and practice application papers. The conceptual paper explored the efficacy of the 12-Step intervention in addictive disorders, due to the neurological, cognitive and behavioral similarities between addictive disorders and anorexia. The practice application paper describes a steps model as a non-clinical intervention for anorexia.

Peer Support in a ​Recovery-Oriented Setting

Peer support is not achievable outside of a recovery-oriented system of care. This capstone project will identify the strengths and challenges of peer support in a behavioral health setting and will address the research question: How do you define, supervise, and train the peer support worker role in a behavioral health recovery setting? It defines recovery as defined by SAMSHA and will address peer support within this context.

This capstone will lead the journey on the history of mental health recovery, and historical gains in the mental health consumer movement, it will address mental health parity. It is a collection of three distinct papers that each stand alone in their own merit but collectively address peer support in a recovery-oriented setting. The unique view of this collection of papers looks at the current consensus of literature “Peer support is beneficial but proceed with caution”.

This collection of papers will highlight the “peer support is beneficial” but look specifically at “the proceed with caution” and addresses the findings identified in the capstone to propose and apply a solution to the identified challenges within the field by proposing the creation of a nonprofit called RESILIENCE, that will offer peer support, and consultation for organizations engaging in peer support, with program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Reproductive Healthcare Challenge: Exploring Considerations for Improvement in Social Work Education & Practice

Reproductive Healthcare Challenge: Exploring Considerations for Improvement in Social Work Education & Practice Olymphia O'Neale-White This presentation will discuss reproductive healthcare and associated challenges to expand social work practitioners’ competency for improved advocacy, practice, and education efforts. Professional terminology in reproductive literature and existing policies will be presented, creating a baseline understanding of the conducted […]

Identification and removal of barriers to VA mental health treatment for Black female veterans

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is the largest integrated healthcare system in the nation. It is seen by many as a safety net for the nation’s veterans. Research has been conducted with both male and female veterans to identify barriers they may experience while seeking mental health treatment from the VA. However, the veteran population is more than diverse than just looking at differences in gender. Females are the fastest growing group pf veterans. Currently they make up 11% with a projection of being 18% of the population by the year 2046. That being said, female veterans are not a homogeneous group. Forty-three percent of female veterans identify as a member of a racial/ethnic group. Those identifying as Black were at 12%, representing the largest single racial/ethnic group. The goal of this capstone project is to identify barriers Black female veteran encounter to accessing mental health treatment from the VA. This project also examines the current approach while presenting a new conceptual framework that acknowledges these barriers and a culturally responsive approach to removing them.

Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Social Workers in Public Education

Social workers practice in various settings outside of their discipline. These host settings may present challenges for social workers due to inadequate supervision and performance evaluation often provided by a leader without knowledge of the field’s ethics and professional standards. The public education system is one of these settings.

This capstone project explores the current supervision and evaluation frameworks for non-traditional staff within schools and proposes a best-practice solution to improve the experiences of school social workers. Barriers to effective evaluation at the individual and organizational levels are identified and the impacts on the professional growth of these staff are defined. The National Evaluation for School Social Work Practice is utilized to propose an interdisciplinary approach to performance evaluations for these staff that blends transactional and transformational leadership styles.

This approach defines professional competencies and standards assessed by building administrators, such as principals and assistant principals, and those that are more effectively assessed by a social work supervisor. Utilizing an interdisciplinary framework for supervision and performance evaluation equally emphasizes the needs of the organization and the professional to improve outcomes for students, staff, and the school community. Although specific to public education, the proposed framework can serve as a model for other host settings to improve the experiences and job satisfaction of social workers in other sectors.

Embodying Freedom: Addressing Mental Health in the Black Church Utilizing Trauma Informed Care

The presentation will explore the history of the Black church and the negative impact of generational trauma. Mental health disparities will be identified and explored to increase awareness and dispel stigma in Black church communities. This presentation focuses on Afrocentric and systems theory to analyze historical context, modern representation, and provide future implications for collaborative faith-based health resources.?

Restoreth My Soul is a new trauma-informed care program for Black churches developed by the presenter. Restoreth My Soul will be launched in September 2023. The program aims to create conversations about mental health in local/international African American church communities through webinars and virtual conferences.

Although these conversations are uncommon, Restoreth My Soul intends to provide resources to reduce the members and leaders silently suffering as result of their trauma. The intended outcome of the program is the educate, evaluate, and implement mental health policies in Black congregations. For more information about RMS sign up for the mailing list at

Healing After A Foster Child Leaves Your Home

Healing After a Foster Child Leaves Your Home will equip foster parents understand, cope with and heal from the unique pain of a foster child leaving their home. It offers strategies and ideas to help parents work through the emotions associated with this type of loss and encourage healing. This training also provides ideas of […]

Services & Support For Foster & Adoptive Families

Services & Support for Foster & Adoptive Families will inform parents about resources available to individuals with intellectual disabilities through the Michelle P. Waiver Program, which allows eligible individuals to remain in their homes with services and supports. In addition, participants will learn about SSI, finding biological parents, and the importance of planning for independent […]

Building Positive Relationships With Caseworkers & Community Partners

Building Positive Relationships with Case Workers & Community Partners provides foster parents the information and tools needed to establish a positive working relationship with their caseworker and child’s caseworker, with the goal of providing the best possible continuum of care for the child. After completing this training, participants will be able to: Work in partnership […]

Foster/Adoptive Parents Of Teens Support Group

ASK-VIP Support Group for Foster/Adoptive Parents of Teens is specifically designed for foster/adoptive parents who are caring for teenagers or those considering fostering and/or adopting teenagers. This support group offers an opportunity to share experiences, questions, resources, and concerns in a safe and compassionate environment. The support group is led by a seasoned foster/adoptive parent […]