Complicating Burnout: Recognizing and Healing the “Soul Wound” of Moral Injury in Social Work



Complicating Burnout: Recognizing and Healing the “Soul Wound” of Moral Injury in Social Work

Wednesday, August 7th, 2024

9:00am to 12:00pm ET


Presenter: Cecily Mitchell-Harper, LMSW, SIFI


NASW Other Chapter Member (Including NYC): $75

Non-Members: $90

NASW-NYS Student and Transitional Members: FREE

This workshop is approved for 3.0 continuing education credit hours for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists and licensed psychologists

Please ensure that you register and/or join on Zoom with the name you would like to appear on your certificate.

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Workshop Description
In social work, much attention is given to burnout and the impact of burnout on social worker wellbeing, and the subsequent impact this has on the wellbeing of clients (Holmes et al., 2021; Kimes, 2016). Burnout is so prevalent and pervasive that it has become part of the narrative of social work. While burnout has been and continues to be a significant issue plaguing the profession, a closer examination of the challenges social workers face reveals a more complex and nuanced picture that the burnout narrative obscures. Burnout locates the core problem as residing within individual social workers without sufficient attention paid to the systemic factors that contribute to burnout (Haight et al., 2017). More importantly, within the narrative of burnout, there is limited room for critical examination of the tensions that exist within the profession that serve to create dissonance for social workers and impact how they understand and navigate their role (Jeffrey, 2005). Creating space to fully explore these tensions within the profession is critical to social workers’ ability to effectively advance justice and engage in anti-racism practice as they are called to do (NASW, 2020; 2022 CSWE EPAS).
To this end, geared towards emerging and mid-career social workers practicing within a variety of institutional spaces, this session will complicate burnout and present Moral Injury (Dean et al., 2019; Haight et al., 2017) as a useful lens through which to better capture the complexities and nuances of the challenges social workers face. Grounded in Paolo Freire’s pedagogy of Praxis, this session will incorporate a variety of instructional modalities including reflection, dialogue and experiential activities. Participants will be invited to engage in critical inquiry, examining the tensions that exist within social work between its espoused values and practiced values across several areas of practice that contribute to Moral Injury. As relationships are the foundation of social work practice, this session will have a particular focus on the ways in which these tensions show up within the social worker-client relationship, utilizing Relational Authenticity as the lens to explore and resolve these tensions. Following this, participants will be introduced to Transformative Self-Care practices to foster healing from Moral Injury. Participants will walk away from this session with mindsets and strategies that enable them to address Moral Injury and engage in social work practice that fully embodies the core values of the profession. 


Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

1.    Define Moral Injury and explain the impact of Moral Injury on social workers’ sense of self and how they understand their role
2.    Identify the tensions that exist within their practice between espoused social work values and practiced social work values as a significant contributing factor to Moral Injury, with a particular focus on how this tension shows up in their relationships with clients
3.    Describe strategies and practices to resolve the tensions between espoused and practiced values in their relationships with clients through the lens of Relational Authenticity
4.    Describe ways to apply Transformative Self-Care approaches and practices to heal from Moral Injury  

This workshop is approved for 3.0 continuing education credit hours.

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), licensed marriage and family therapists (Provider ID #MFT-0037) and licensed psychologists (Provider ID #PSY-0088).

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Cecily Mitchell-Harper, LMSW, SIFI. Cecily is a NYS Licensed Social Worker with a passion and specialty for integrating research into practice, with a particular focus on developing transformative practices and processes to support programs that serve racially marginalized youth and families. She practices with an anti-oppressive, anti-racist and decolonial lens.  

Cecily received her BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University, and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice. As a seasoned Licensed Social Worker, Cecily has extensive experience practicing in various settings, including schools, human service organizations and research centers. Cecily has clinical experience providing trauma-informed therapeutic services to  children and families including those involved in the child-welfare system. Additionally, Cecily has  several years of experience providing technical assistance and evaluation expertise to strengthen 
program capacity and inform programmatic decision making in youth-serving non-profit organizations,  utilizing an anti-oppressive, racial equity lens.  

Cecily most recently served as the Director of Knowledge and Learning at Student Success Network where she continues to provide consultancy services. She also provides professional development training, coaching and consultancy services to youth serving non-profit organizations. Her areas of  expertise include creating healing centered organizational practices and cultures to support holistic wellbeing, supporting direct service staff in their own healing from secondary/vicarious trauma and utilizing a continuous improvement framework to support institutional change. Additionally, Cecily is an active member of National Association of Social Workers (NASW), where she served on the NASW, NYS 
Revolutionize Leadership Team and currently provides continuing education professional development for Social Workers across the country. Furthermore, Cecily is a featured guest speaker and presenter at various professional conferences and events, is a Certified Field Instructor for graduate Social Work 
students and has received invitations to teach within schools of Social Work including Adelphi University School of Social Work and Mercy University.  


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August 7th, 2024 from  9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
NASW-NYS Member $0.00
NASW Other Chapter Member (Including NYC) $75.00
Non-Member $90.00
NASW-NYS Student and Transitional Member $0.00
Information for Certificates
Presenter(s) Cecily Mitchell-Harper, LMSW, SIFI
Instruction Method Live Webinar
Total Contact Hours/CEUs Awarded 3.0