Chapter Update

Tuesday, November 26

December 2013 - Jane Addams District Update

Karen Haggard, MSW, LCSW, Jane Addams District Chair

As Jane Addams District Chair, it is my goal to increase professional interactions and collegiality between fellow Jane Addams District members. I hope to help develop a vibrant local professional community of social workers who can share ideas and increase our collective knowledge of local resources.

I would like to introduce to our members, Sharon Ockerlander, who is an LCSW and has been in private practice in Rockford, IL, since 1992. Before starting her private practice, Ms. Ockerlander worked for Janet Wattles and Sinnissippi Centers, but she reports that she prefers to be in private practice as this allows her freedom to attend any workshops she chooses and to screen clients that she feels she can work most successfully with. Ms. Ockerlander relates, however, that she misses the regular interactions with other clinicians that she enjoyed while working for an agency.

In her own words, Ms. Ockerlander relates the following:

“As I recall all my years with clients, the thing that stands out is my being on the cutting edge of introducing energy work into my clinical practice. Prior to that time, I used clinical hypnosis. But in 1992, I was free to pursue many energy classes."

“My biggest challenges have been from the time when I worked with clients diagnosed with DID. I was blessed to be able to work monthly with a PhD who was internationally known for her DID work. I learned a tremendous amount from her and from those clients. What I learned continues to help me with all of my clients”.

“If financially you can be in private practice, definitely do so. I love going into work and can see myself working past age 65. Thankfully, sitting at a desk isn't hard on the body! But most of us in private practice don't like doing marketing or the financial records. Also your monthly income is erratic." 

“My most important advice to new social workers would be to always be aware of your own need for psychological/spiritual growth. Your limitations also limit your client's growth." 

If you would like to tell others about yourself, your work, your challenges, and your professional practice, please send me an e-mail.

Upcoming CEU Event

A free showing of the documentary, Free the Mind: Can You Rewire the Brain Just by Taking a Breath, was presented at Veterans Memorial Hall in Rockford, on November 13, 2013, and another showing will be presented on December 2, 2013, at Veterans Memorial Hall in Rockford, IL. The documentary focuses on a group of OEF/OIF Veterans who participated in a research project at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, to determine if mindfulness meditation, specifically the use of an intensive Power Breath Workshop training, could change the brain and reduce PTSD symptoms. Community members, behavioral health professionals and Veterans and their family members attended. CEUs are offered to professionals. The documentary will be followed by an informational discussion by Power Breath Instructor Pam Brockman. 

Also, I am seeking information about the training interests of the members of the Jane Addams District. What types of trainings would you like to see offered in our district? What days and times would be best for you? Is there interest in a social meeting, in order for members to get to know one another and network?

Happy Holidays to all!

Posted on 11/26/13 at 10:50 AM

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