Social Work in the Age of Disconnection : Narrative Case Studies book cover
1st Edition

Social Work in the Age of Disconnection
Narrative Case Studies

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 6, 2022
ISBN 9781032218298
May 6, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

This edited text brings together the stories of nine clinical social workers working during COVID-19, exploring the disconnections caused by a forced use of technology as well as the disconnections apparent in a time of social injustice.

Employing narrative strategies to capture this transformative moment of our history, these chapters explore the effects of technology and social media on psychotherapy, the delivery of services for the chronically mentally ill and elderly, as well as the consequences of recent cultural shifts on our conceptions of gender, sexuality, race, the immigrant experience, and political activism. While traditional research methodologies tend to address social problems as if they were divorced from the lives and experiences of human beings, these chapters employ phenomenological description of how the existing system functions, to identify theory-to-practice gaps and to recover the experiences of the person within the various institutional structures. Divided into three parts, each chapter begins with pre-reading and close reading questions and ends with writing prompts, allowing for practitioners and students to examine their own thoughts, and put what they have learnt into practice.

Suitable for students of clinical social work and practicing mental health professionals, this book is essential for those wanting to make sense of social work practice in our constantly evolving times.

Table of Contents

1.Are you ‘Following’ Me?: Gen Z’s Emotional Intelligence in Online Activism

Kristin Biri

2.On the Online Self as an Extension of Personhood

Lauren Busfield

3."Hi, I Can Hear You:" Facilitating Telephone-Based Caregiver Support


Lauren Snedeker

4.Identity, Technology, and the Shaping of a Self

Russell Healy

5.Connection and Separation Reconsidered: Challenges and Opportunities in the

New World of Digital Communication

Wendy Winograd

6. The Disembodied Self and The Future of Psychotherapy

Michael Jarrette-Kenny

7.The Role of Technology in Community Mental Health: A Strengths-Based Approach

Zakia Clay

8. Addressing Social Injustice in Social Work Practice: The Clinical Advocacy Model

Edith Lori Slater

9. Our Illusion of Separateness: Teaching Social Justice to Social Work Students

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Michael Jarrette-Kenny DSW, LCSW is a Psychotherapist and adjunct faculty member at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center’s Psychiatric Residency Program.

Miriam Jaffe, is an Associate Teaching Professor at Rutgers University, where she teaches writing. This is her fifth edited collection of case studies in Social Work.


‘This is a sly book. It allegedly describes psychotherapy in the virtual age of COVID-19. But what these case studies really wonder is whether the human being is evolving into a new creature altogether. The narratives depict several paradoxes—male/female, disembodied/embodied, connection/disconnection, virtual/real, cases/stories—in our lives. These binaries, and the suffering endured by those trapped in them, are gradually revealed as fluid states. Gen Zs are not inalterably damaged by their extensive digital lives. Transgender identities herald categories yet unimaginably expansive. Case reports are indeed well-written stories. The gift of the paradox of social work is unveiled—the social life is seamlessly entwined with the work life, all of it relational, all of it formative of the self. A limitless horizon of possibilities appears, making room for ways of being awaiting our creative discovery.’

Rita Charon, Division of Narrative Medicine, Columbia University

‘Herein, our frontline, essential workers voice what they learned during the pandemic. These experienced scholar-practitioners teach readers how to bridge new divides in our increasingly digital and socially fragmented world. You'll find opportunities for optimism, reflection, and discussion on every page.’

Widian Nicola, LCSW, DSW, NASW-NJ President, Assistant Professor, Seton Hall University