California Society for Clinical Social Work
Professional Development | Advocacy | Connection
The Society is proud to announce its Member of the Year Award has gone to Leah Reider, Past President, whose “continuous and extensive activity” has sustained and nurtured the rebirth of our Society. Leah has truly gone above and beyond in terms of the many hours she has devoted to reviving the Board and the Society, recently ending two terms as President (with Board approval), since she was the only person with experience serving on the CSCSW board. Leah has served on the Board for the past ten years. She will continue to serve as Past President on the Board for the next two years. Her many accomplishments on behalf of the Society include:
Listing these accomplishments cannot begin to account for the many hours of phone calls, emails, and discussions that Leah has handled, all the while managing a full-time clinical practice serving children and adults.
Leah received her BA in psychology from Wellesley College in 1969 and her MSW from UC Berkeley in 1971. She has worked in the public and private sectors, providing consultation to Castilleja School, Family Service Association of the Mid-Peninsula, and The Children’s Health Council and psychotherapy for Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Prior to that, Leah worked in foster care for Contra Costa County Social Service Department. Her clients have ranged in age from children to seniors.
Leah loves all things British and is an enthusiastic and wide-ranging world traveler. She is always up for an adventure! When Leah isn’t working in her practice or for the Board, you might find her at the San Francisco Ballet. She has two daughters, Abby, an MSW working as a social-emotional learning specialist at the Nueva Middle School and Rebecca, an environmentalist and writer living in New Zealand.
Leah’s enthusiasm and tireless devotion to clinical social work, the Society and its members have earned her this recognition and our gratitude. Leah was presented with the award at a dinner held just prior to her last Board Meeting as President. The award states:
To Leah Reider
In appreciation for your extraordinary contributions as President and Board Member
CSCSW, June 2017
Thank you Leah and Congratulations.
Dr. Katherine "Katy" Kolodziejski, a founding member and past President of the California Society for Clinical Social Work, passed away on June 20, 2017 at her home in Westwood, California. Katy was born on October 18, 1922, at Hayden Hill, California, and grew up in various parts of Nevada. She attended college at the University of Nevada, Reno, earned a Master's degree in Social Work from The University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. from the California Institute for Clinical Social Work.
Katy's career spanned five decades and was dominated by her association with UCLA. She spent 35 years on the faculty of the School of Social Work and later was a volunteer in its Ombudsman office. She also ran a private practice, a drug rehabilitation facility, a sexual addiction facility, and worked in various capacities for organizations including Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. She was instrumental in the founding of the Airport Marina Counseling Services and participated with this organization until her final days. She was a frequent contributor to professional journals, and was the recipient of numerous awards.
Speaking about the founding of CSCSW, Katy said, “Licensing of Clinical Social Workers had been established in 1965 . . . we felt strongly we needed a professional organization of our own that would further advocate for the role of the Licensed Clinical Social. Worker and continue to develop a relevant body of knowledge and standards in clinical social work emphasizing the whole person in their situation.”
When asked in an interview about the role the Society should play in the development of professional social work, Katy said, “I believe we should continue to provide relevant educational forums, deal with the ethical issues and dilemmas faced by practitioners, and advocate for more involvement with agency and hospital practice. We should train students with a much wider knowledge of the social environment and the multiple needs of clients . . .”
Katy is survived by Jack and Ken Little and Shirley Hagman, her sons, Dan and Kip, their wives Arlene and Jeanne, and her grandchildren. She was married for 35 years to Richard "Dick" Kolodziejski, who died in 1968.
The Jannette Alexander Scholarships are given annually to graduating MSW students for recognition for excellence in their clinical work. In the past, the scholarship committee has chosen six winners, each of whom received a $500 scholarship. This year the CSCSW board voted to give three $1000 scholarships, in view of the fact that there has been considerable inflation since the scholarship fund was started. The scholarships were awarded to the following outstanding applicants. We received scholarship applications from many qualified applicants, making the selection process difficult. The following are their professional autobiographies.
I am a passionate clinical social worker who enjoys building a rapport with my clients and assisting them in identifying and realizing their goals. I practice cultural humility to learn about them and build a strong relationship with them so they can explore their experiences and identify goals during our sessions. I was born and raised in Japan. Upon coming to the United States, I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree, both in psychology, from San Francisco State University. I worked as a researcher and an evaluator in mental health and education settings before returning to school to obtain an MSW. I have served as a crisis hotline counselor in San Mateo as well as in Tokyo, Japan. Currently I serve transitional age youth and adult clients with serious mental illnesses and dual diagnoses at the Central County Clinic of San Mateo County. I am looking forward to assisting people further and learning more about clinical social work.
After I graduate I hope to work with individuals and families struggling with mental health issues. I am interested in working at a school as well as in a private practice or group practice setting.
My name is Yeny Guarin and I am a student at California State University, Long Beach, earning a master’s degree in social work. My family moved to Houston, Texas from Colombia when I was eight years old. I recall waking up at five in the morning in elementary school to make Mexican tamales to sell after school. Watching and many times helping my family work numerous odd jobs fired up in me a determination to pursue higher education. When I was 17 years old I moved to the home of my aunt, a foster mother in Los Angeles. During my time there, I had the opportunity to meet teens that had hard childhoods. As I was learning about their stories, I felt indignation and wanted to do something. I learned about social workers, who had the power to advocate. Once again I knew that the key to effectively help those around me had to be with higher education. My goal was to finish high school as quickly as possible and attend college. As a result, I did my junior and senior years at the same time. I am fortunate to attend a university that has introduced me to empowering professors, who taught me the value of mental health and how that affects a person emotionally, physically, and socially.
Upon graduation, I plan to work for an agency or organization that provides mental health services. My goal is to start working on my hours to obtain my license as a clinical social worker. I have worked in non-profits and currently I am doing my internship in one. I enjoy medical social work.
While working in Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez’s office, Yeny spoke with him about undocumented students who did not qualify for grants or financial aid. As a result of their conversations, Mr. Gomez introduced AB-2000, which allowed undocumented students to qualify for financial help. This bill is now a law.
Kelly Hansen has over 12 years of experience working with individuals and their families in community mental health. Kelly received their MSW from California State University of the East Bay and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and cultural anthropology with an emphasis in gender, sexuality, and feminist theory from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Kelly has compassionately supported a diverse spectrum of individuals from all walks of life. Their experience covers a wide range of issues, from people who are working through complex trauma histories, to substance use, HIV/AIDS diagnoses and survival histories, grief and loss, caregiver fatigue, different physical and cognitive abilities, and LGBT/queer and gender non-conforming identity growth and discovery.
Kelly identifies as a non-binary queer individual who grew up in the Bay Area. With a family history riddled with mental health and substance use challenges, Kelly had to grow up quickly and learned what it meant to be a caretaker. Life challenges have taught Kelly that it is essential to know who you are, so that you can best serve others for who they are, not what you want them to be. As providers we must meet people where they are. Kelly is willing to sit with others in their most vulnerable time and bear witness to their present moment without judgment. Their resiliency has, and will, continue to give them a great capacity for empathy because of their own experiences with hate speech and oppression that persistently targets LGBTQI communities.
As a clinician, Kelly practices from a queer, client-centered, harm reduction based philosophy. They work to serve the underserved in a compassionate way. They fight against stigma and work to be an advocate for all communities in need. By empowering others and facilitating social change, they work to create a better world for all. Social justice work is Kelly’s life practice and purpose.
As a non-binary queer individual Kelly’s pronouns are they/them/theirs. These pronouns are present in their writing.
We have received inquiries about ordering the "Clinical Social Work Journal." To order the journal, members may call 1-800-SPRINGER (777-4643) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to order a subscription. You will receive a discount if you mention that you are a CSCSW member. With the discount, the rate is $75/year for four issues or $42/year for an electronic subscription. If you want both the hard copy and the electronic version, it is $100/year.
The CSCSW board recently decided to revive two awards which had been given every two years. One of the awards is an honorary recognition for contributions to the field of clinical social work. This award is to be given to an individual for “exceptional work which enhances the image of clinical social work.” The awards committee has chosen a long-time member, Charlotte Siegel, as the recipient of this award.
Charlotte’s illustrious career spans seventy years! Charlotte has always brought both enthusiasm and a keen understanding of people to whatever job she undertook. She threw 100% of herself into her work and her relationships with people, and she thrived from both.
Charlotte began studies for her MSW at the University of Chicago and finished at UC Berkeley after moving to Stanford University with her husband, who was a renowned professor of anthropology. During the years between Chicago and Stanford, Charlotte had a number of medical social work jobs, but it was during a six month stint at a VA hospital that Charlotte realized that psychiatric work was what interested her. Her husband encouraged her to return to school after having two children, though this was unusual at the time.
After completing her MSW, Charlotte went to work at Family Service Association in Palo Alto, where she worked for eight years. She then worked briefly at Stanford Medical School and went on to work for twenty years at Counseling and Psychological Services at Stanford. Because Charlotte had had many cross cultural work experiences while her husband did his anthropological field work, she became a liaison staff person to Bechtel International Center at Stanford, where she helped numerous foreign students with their adjustment to life at Stanford.
After her twenty years at Stanford, Charlotte felt ready to open a private practice. This was a big transition for Charlotte, who was used to working for social agencies. Charlotte grew to love her long term work with clients, some of whom she had seen years before at Stanford. She also became an active member of the program planning committee for the Mid-peninsula district of the Society for Clinical Social Work and was instrumental in bringing many excellent speakers to speak at district meetings.
When Charlotte moved into a senior residence, she set up and led a transitions group for about five years, from age 85-90. When she had an injury and was confined to the skilled nursing facility, she led the group from her bed. She saw her last individual client at the age of 93.
The continuing theme in Charlotte’s life has been about networking and connecting people with other people and with causes. In her eighties, Charlotte wrote a paper about her life as a social worker. Charlotte concluded her paper with the following statement: “My social work self, my clinical self, my total being self, they are all wrapped up together. There isn’t a separate clinician and separate Charlotte Siegel. It’s all a part of the definition and a part of what I am able to give to clients who come see me – a sense of life moving for me and for them.”
The plaque which we presented to Charlotte states: “With thanks for being a role model for generations of social workers and for your service to CSCSW and to the profession. Presented with gratitude and affection.”
Regardless of our individual political affiliations, we have all had strong reactions to the recent election, which has revealed deep divisions in our country. The election results and aftermath have also exposed the continued oppression and marginalization of people based on race, religion, gender, sexuality, nationality, ability, class, and more.
The goals of clinical social work and social justice work have always been and continue to be of utmost urgency and import. This is the time to come together to uphold the values in which we believe and to model these values for our clients, our communities, and our country. Social workers have always believed in supporting those who have suffered because they identify as part of historically oppressed populations. Now, more than ever, we must stand up for those of us who identify as Black, Latino/a/x, Muslim, Jewish, LGBTQ, female, immigrant, disabled, or as a member of any other oppressed group. We must celebrate our diversity because that is what makes our country great. Bigotry is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue that we cannot tolerate.
I am sincerely grateful to you for committing to being the extraordinary social workers I am proud to call members of this organization. Together, we must fight for justice for all. The Board and District Coordinators are considering ways to support you, and we encourage you to send us your ideas for programs that promote social justice in its myriad forms. In light of some new challenges and some long recognized, we want to help you mobilize yourselves and CSCSW to take effective, compassionate action that will benefit our clients, each other, our communities, our country, and our world.
May we move forward together in peace, healing, and action.
Leah Reider, LCSW