Marcy VanderMeer

Antioch College


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00:00:00 - Introduction / Early Life as a Social Worker

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Partial Transcript: This is Hannah Kenny here in Holland, Michigan on July 16, 2019 working on an interview about the self-care social work story.

Segment Synopsis: VanderMeer begins her interview with a recount of her time working as a direct care provider in an adult foster care home. It was in that experience that she was introduced to the field of social work and began case management work. She shares that her time working with this population was very formative for her. She went on to become a therapist at a residential facility for recovering addicts.

Keywords: adult foster care; agent of change; case management; challenging; coping; direct care provider; early years; recalibrate; residential therapist; safety; satisfaction; sober; social work; therapy; trauma

Subjects: early years; social work

00:03:21 - Current Role as a Social Worker

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, tell me a little bit more about the job that you do now.

Segment Synopsis: VanderMeer discloses the details of her role as a residential therapist, specifically regarding crisis management and stabilization work. The therapy sessions focus on safety and copping skills to assist clients in the recovery process. VanderMeer talks about expectation management as a therapist, noting that she processes her feelings with a supervisor. She shares that she has had to reframe the way she measures success so that she can feel more job satisfaction. VanderMeer says that she was anticipating the trauma she would be exposed as a therapist and uses verbal processing to cope.

Keywords: anticipating; coping; crisis; emotion; expectations; experience; exposed; home; house; humanity; job satisfaction; process; safety; satisfaction; share; shock; supervision; therapy; trauma

Subjects: supervision; therapy

00:10:14 - Implications of Social Work on Home Life / Self-Awareness

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Partial Transcript: How do you create a boundary between what happens here and what happens in your life outside of work?

Segment Synopsis: VanderMeer talks about how she creates healthy boundaries. She does this through self-awareness, which she has honed through therapy. She spoke to her process of having a constant inventory of her own emotions while in session. VanderMeer says that having meaningful relationships and things to look forward to are important self-care tools.

Keywords: emotions; home; inventory; life; meaningful; plans; relationships; self-awareness; therapy

Subjects: self-awareness; therapy

00:13:00 - The Need for Self-Care / Methods of Self-Care

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Partial Transcript: I'm hearing some self-care tools emerge from what you're talking about, like you mentioned supervision, therapy, boundaries, meaningful relationships.

Segment Synopsis: VanderMeer elaborates on how she utilizes self-care as she experiences secondary trauma and emotional turmoil in the workplace. She reflects that she pays attention to what she needs in each moment, whether that be time alone or time with friends. She reiterates the importance of her own personal therapy, exercising, and eating healthy. She also notes that through experience she has learned what her needs are and how to prioritize them.

Keywords: alone; balance; boundaries; difficult; drained; eating healthy; emotion; emotional; exercise; friends; incorporate; needs; people; permission; physical; plan; practice; prioritize; sleep; stigma; therapy; trauma; water

Subjects: process; self-care

00:17:33 - Boundary Setting

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Partial Transcript: How do you practice setting boundaries with your clients in a way that you can show them that you care but also be respectful to your own needs?

Segment Synopsis: VanderMeer shares that she has learned a lot about assertive communication by teaching it in her role as a therapist, which has helped her establish healthy boundaries with clients. She spoke to her desire to empower clients rather than enable them. In this respect, VanderMeer consults with supervision and has a good understanding of what her scope of service so that she knows what role she fills as it relates to addressing her clients needs.

Keywords: answer; assertive communication; backtrack; boundaries; conscious choice; emotion; fix; intentional; role; supervision; therapeutic; time; trial and error; understanding; yes

Subjects: assertive communication; boundaries

00:25:06 - Expectation Management as a Social Worker

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Partial Transcript: So, I noticed one other thing that was coming out when you were talking about kind of a "fix it" personality.

Segment Synopsis: VanderMeer talks about her growth as a social worker through working with her supervisor. Her supervisor helps VanderMeer recalibrate her expectations and know her role. By reframing her expectations, VanderMeer is able to have more goal attainment with clients.

Keywords: expectation management; intentional; job; realistic; residential; role; solution; solve; supervision; supervisor; trigger

Subjects: expectation management; realistic

00:28:41 - Advice to Emerging Social Workers

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Partial Transcript: So, just as we're wrapping up, I'm curious, in this reflection back on your social work story or journey and thinking about just the experiences you've had, what kind of advice would you want to give to emerging social workers?

Segment Synopsis: VanderMeer advises emerging social workers to know themselves, whether that be through therapy, spirituality, journaling, or whatever works best for each individual. She says that it is important to be able to separate yourself from your client so that the work is truly about the clients needs. She also shares that emerging social workers should not be afraid to try new things, to grow, and to change.

Keywords: advice; client; emerging; integral; intentional; journaling; knowledge; needs; self; social workers; spirituality; therapy

Subjects: advice; emerging