Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: Reenvisioned to Mitigate Stigma and Enhance Treatment Effectiveness

When the clinician or treating therapist shifts their perspective from pathology to person, stigmatizing beliefs and generalizations can cause a decrease in compassion, understanding, and effectiveness of treatment. This presentation seeks
to educate its viewers on ways to mitigate stigma within the clinical setting and enhance treatment effectiveness through the use of a proposed shift in treatment modality, training, and assessment. The writer additionally introduced a new
course of therapeutic treatment and introduces the relational model of social work practice to BPD in addition to the use of mentalization-based therapy (MBT).

A revamped assessment tool will aid in accurately diagnosing and treating the pathology of borderline personality disorder through measurable data over treatment, specifically in the PHP, IOP. and OP settings. Finally, clinician training has been introduced to ensure all clinicians are adequately informed on the use of relational-engagement therapy and its benefits for those diagnosed with or displaying borderline traits.

In totality, this presentation ultimately seeks to debunk much of the stigma in the clinical setting towards a very much misunderstood and misdiagnosed population.

Improving Access to Quality Mental Health Services for Georgia’s Youth Through Enhancements in Social Work Education

Disparities in access to mental healthcare among marginalized K-12 youth in Georgia are severe. Georgia ranks 49th in the nation in access to mental health services but first in the prevalence of mental health issues (Reinert et al., 2022). In addition, despite substantial research and evidence highlighting the importance of early intervention treatment for mental health issues, complex and compounding treatment barriers persist.

Research demonstrates that children with access to in-school mental health services are significantly more likely to receive treatment. Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT), a culturally sensitive, evidence-based therapeutic intervention, is poised to be able to address these disparities in access to care. In addition, school-based social workers—already serving in K-12 Georgia schools—are perfectly positioned to provide critically-needed school-based mental health treatment services.

Product one is a systematic review focused on primary research that assessed the outcomes of the effectiveness of CCPT in addressing unmet mental health needs in K-12 public schools. The purpose of conducting a systematic literature review was to establish a foundation of quality research assessing play therapy outcomes in school settings and to explore previous attempts to address inequities in access to care. Next, product two is a conceptual paper exploring grounding CCPT theoretically in the systems perspective of social work and an anti-oppressive practice approach. Finally, product three outlines a holistic approach to operationalizing child-centered play therapy (CCPT) training in K-12 school systems across Georgia—through targeted enhancements to social work continuing education training.

Through innovative social work education initiatives—such as widespread Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) training during school social worker continuing education—social work educators could increase clinical education opportunities for K-12 school staff while increasing access to quality mental health care for our most at-risk youth—and potentially transforming Georgia’s mental health in the process.

Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations: Best Practices for Volunteer Retention

Social work and volunteerism have been closely connected throughout history as each is rooted in service to others and their creation shares an intertwined beginning. While research is lacking around leadership in nonprofit, charity, and volunteer organizations, the connection between leadership behaviors and volunteer commitment significantly impacts volunteer service on both the domestic and international stages. As volunteerism rates are at historic lows, many aspects and populations in society rely on volunteers to provide necessary support and resources in order to survive.

This presentation examines how leadership behaviors impact volunteer commitment and how leaders of nonprofits can utilize a best practice framework to positively impact the volunteer experience to increase motivation and engagement. By closing this gap in research and providing context around leadership, nonprofit organizations can enhance effective leadership, improve culture and climate, and increase volunteer engagement and retention. Analyzing volunteer motivation to engage and commit to an organization as related and impacted by leadership behaviors provides insight into future direction for research and program implementation.

“I Like My Baby Heir, With Baby Hairs and Afros”: Use of Story Theory in Addressing Maternal Health Outcomes for African American Veterans and Service Members

Maternal morbidity and mortality among African American women has been a systemic and pervasive issue in the United States for decades. In 2020, Congress began to address the issues around the deaths of African American women in the Mombius 2020 Act. In 2021 congress expanded those efforts by passing the “Protect Moms Who Serve Act 2020”.

This act began to address the lack of maternal health services to veterans and services members throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs, with a focus on African American and Native women. This presentation will outline the current issues around maternal outcomes in African American women veterans and service members. This presentation will address how using Story Theory, medical professionals can begin to listen to the narratives African American Service Members.

The Story and Narrative Theory centered B.O.O.T. Maternal Assessment and Interview is being proposed to address communication issues between providers and patients. The B.O.O.T.S. assessment can be used by military, veteran, and civilian providers alike.

Rebranding the Battle Against Clinician Burnout 

This presentation will take a close look into the issue of burnout among marginalized healthcare providers (women and LGBTQ+). This showcase will dissect key points in history that target wellness and define terms that are relevant to understanding the effects of burnout on a person’s work-life balance. It will be divided into several sections, including an overview of the problem and contributing factors, a thorough review of relevant literature, a conceptual idea that will explore both the problem at hand and theories that can help with its effects, and finally a practice application that will serve as the recommendation for a change in policy to act as preventative care and education for working social workers in the field.

Each section will walk us through existing research, theory, and practice of Kentucky state-licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs). The end goal of this paper will be the acknowledgment of the professional failings for social workers in the field, as well as an actionable plan that will create change for a healthier practice for the future of the social work profession.

Positioning Critical Race Theory with Anti-Diversity, Equity, Inclusion within Social Work Education

Within predominantly white social work programs, students of color, particularly African American faculty and students, are resigning or withdrawing, citing targeted microaggressions, lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as a lack of cultural humility from peers, faculty, and practicum supervisors (Gooding, A., & Mehrotra, G. R.). The Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards manual (EPAS) outlines the knowledge, values, and skills that formulate competencies central to social work education. The literature suggests that cultural competency identified in past editions of the EPAS does not effectively address discrimination, systematic oppression, and marginalization faced by persons of color.

A shift to cultural humility requires individuals to perform self-reflection, personal critiquing, and addressing biases. Merging critical race theory with cultural humility provides an internal and external epistemological review of how these barriers have continued without interruption. Social work education should be purposeful in creating authentic, measurable, and deliberate outcomes to address the multilevel loss of students and faculty of color by purposefully charting a path forward that is anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive in scholarship, education, and practice.

The capstone project will look at this path forward through a systematic literature review, and a conceptual and practice framework.

Sexual Reproductive Healthcare: Reproductive Autonomy, Access Inequity, And The Call For Service Expansion

Sexual Reproductive Healthcare (SRH) and the right to control over one’s own body in sexual and reproductive matters, are fundamental core component of an individual’s being. The SRH landscape changes on a daily basis with changes to policy and legislation, majority of which further restrict access. Advocacy and education will be key in advancing SRH access moving forward however in order to move forward we must examine and acknowledge past practices.

Disparities In Mental Health Technology Among African-Americans: Breaking Cultural Inclusion Barriers

Mental health Technology is an innovative service delivery method used to minimize healthcare access challenges. African-Americans have increased their engagement in mental health technology in various aspects as professionals and patients while companies scale in capacity and funding to expand their technological reach globally. The need to explore the intentionality of cultural inclusion, research analysis, evidence-based practices, program design, organizational structures, and policy implementation is essential to ensure the sustainability of mental health technology as a reliable model in the future of healthcare.

This presentation will examine the capstone project as a collection of three papers, the Systematic Literature review, Concept paper, and Practical application paper, analyzing cultural inclusion concerns from the African-American patient and professional perspective. There was an examination of patient issues related to program design, evidence-based interventions, therapist matching, marketing, and research, with professionals experiencing inequities in hiring practices, career ladders, diversity training, strategic planning, STEM careers, and organizational ownership.

This presentation will take a deeper dive into the systematic literature review which explored the current literature, common themes, research barriers, and future research implication for practice. It will further explain the concept paper which described the interconnection between anti-oppressive theory, systems theory, the historical constructs of structural racism, and the structural discrepancies that reinforce obstructive ideologies in the cultural inclusion reform process. Lastly, it will discuss the practice application paper which investigated the root cause of cultural equity challenges, examined behavioral leadership theory doctrines, and provided problem-solving strategies using a three-tiered method of practical reform interventions. This is a call to action for mental health technology cultural inclusion reform.

Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment And The Effect On Overall Treatment

In clinical social work practice a clinician often assesses risk, level of care, and the overall mental capacity and capability of the clients they serve. In some instances when a client is deemed at a high level of risk, the client may be subject to being admitted to involuntary psychiatric treatment. Involuntary psychiatric treatment is when a client is admitted and/or mandated to a form of treatment intervention against their will.

This often results in clients being uprooted from their everyday lives and can cause a major disruption within contexts of their employment, social relationships, family, and societal responsibilities. While this form of treatment is necessary in some instances of clinical practice in order to ensure that a client and others around them are safe, this capstone seeks to define involuntary clients, determine appropriate interventions, increase treatment outcomes, and bridge the gap between levels of care and the treatment options that are provided to those who are deemed at different levels of risk.

Exploring and Tackling Poor Engagement in Mental Health Services for U.S. Military Veterans with Serious Mental Illness: Collection of Papers

This capstone project focuses on the treatment engagement challenges for military veterans with serious mental illness (SMI). Poor engagement in care is correlated with negative outcomes for this population. By exploring the scope and conceptualization of this issue, a solution is proposed to tackle poor engagement with SMI veterans.

To begin, a systematic literature review examines the effectiveness of intensive case management with a therapeutic alliance for this population. Due to the lack of literature available on this issue, the conceptual paper proposes a self-determination theoretical approach to improve treatment engagement with SMI veterans. Broadening the conceptualization, the final piece of this capstone project proposes a practice application for clinicians to enhance their skills to engage SMI veterans in mental health services.

Rise Up: Dismantling Institutionalized Racism Embedded in Healthcare to Improve Health Outcomes for Black Women

Black women in America are paying the cost for systematic failures in the healthcare system. This presentation will focus on the prevalence of institutionalized racism in healthcare dating back to slavery. The presenter will discuss the role of social determinants of health in addressing health disparities, and the reasons these health disparities continue to exist today, despite healthcare advancements as well as numerous, and often costly, public awareness programs and public health initiatives.

In addition, the discussion will address disproportionate outcomes in healthcare for Black women compared to their white counterparts. An overview of the theoretical framework of Black feminism, weathering, critical race, and Sojourner Syndrome will be highlighted, as these factors bring significant relevance to understanding health disparities.  The presenter will provide an overview of the discrimination survey and explain why this survey is a necessary component across the healthcare spectrum. 

Finally, the presentation will address gaps in research that inevitably lead to poor health outcomes and unsatisfactory quality in care for Black women. Highlighting the solutions to long-term systematic change, the discussion will explore the ultimate implications for social work practice, the role and the impact social work leaders play in addressing health disparities.

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.