Deborah Sturtevant

Antioch College


Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:00 - Introduction / Early Life as a Social Worker

Play segment

Partial Transcript: This is Hannah Kenny in the Sociology and Social Work Department. Today is July 19 and I am working on the project "Self-Care: The Social Worker's Story."

Segment Synopsis: Sturtevant reflects on her early years in the field, beginning with her time as a teacher in elementary schools and Native American boarding schools. She speaks about her focus on the social and emotional well-being of the children she worked with, which influenced her to get her graduate degree. For many years, she worked as a school social worker and was essentially a community social worker as well. She conducted home visits and forged relationships with other professionals to develop programs for the community to address larger issues.

Keywords: Native American; academic; addiction; boarding school; cases; child abuse; classroom; community; community social worker; divorce; dynamics; elementary; emotional; home visit; needs; office; professor; school; social; substance abuse; teacher; teen pregnancy; trauma; trauma-informed care

Subjects: early years; social work

00:08:00 - Implications of Social Work on Home Life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you experience any secondary trauma or compassion fatigue as you were doing all that work?

Segment Synopsis: Sturtevant shares that in her early years as a social worker, the conversation about self-care did not exist. When she reflects back on those times, she spoke to the importance of the relationships she had with other professionals to process and problem solve together. She also speaks to the emotionally exhausting cases that she had and how that impacted her life at home.

Keywords: abuse; breaks; care taking; children; confidentiality; court; emotional energy; experience; home; professionals; reflecting; secondary trauma; self-care; share; stress; tension

Subjects: secondary trauma; self-care

00:11:44 - The Shifting Conversation Around Self-Care

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Sometimes, self-care, it wasn't talked about in positive way. It was talked about in a negative way.

Segment Synopsis: Sturtevant says that the conversation around secondary trauma and self-care has shifted. It used to be viewed in a way that was indulgent. With more understanding about secondary trauma, the formal recognition of the self-care has changed. She uses journaling, taking a bath, and taking short vacations as self-care. Sturtevant also talks about how valuable it is that social workers now can recognize, understand, and name their self-care needs. She believes that this shift can be attributed to more women in the workplace, which has created a different style of working.

Keywords: bath; change; collaboration; compassion; flow; functional response; indulgent; journaling; name; needs; personal; professional; recognize; respond; secondary trauma; self-care; shift; time; vacation; women; workplace

Subjects: change; shift

00:18:56 - Methods of Self-Care

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So, what are some of the self-care decisions and choices that you make now in your career to prevent burnout?

Segment Synopsis: Sturtevant discloses a story about a time during which she felt very burnt out in her career. She says that now she has more autonomy over her schedule and that managing it has helped her give herself permission to take care of herself. As a professor, she also recognizes the ebb and flow of stress throughout the semester and knows when it is time to restore.

Keywords: autonomy; boundaries; burnout; full time; intentional; joy; permission; reacting; restore; rhythm; schedule; time

Subjects: burnout; self-care

00:23:04 - Boundary Setting

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I'm curious how you set a boundary between showing empathy for your clients, whether it be your clients when you were in the field or your students.

Segment Synopsis: Sturtevant says that embracing emotions authentically and being fully mindful in the moment is a way that she shows others that she cares. Mindfulness is the means through which Sturtevant feels the emotion at hand but then lets go of it once the moment has passed so that she can create a healthy boundary.

Keywords: anxiety; attentive; authentically; caring; embrace; emotions; feel; mindful; mindfulness; model; moment; people; relationships; responsibility; stop; time; value

Subjects: embrace; mindfulness

00:26:31 - Advice to Emerging Social Workers

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So, when you're reflecting on your own social work story and the experiences that you've had, what kind of advice would you want to your students or emerging social workers to hear for self-care?

Segment Synopsis: Sturtevant speaks to the distinction between self-care and selfish care. She also talks about the importance of saying no, as it allows for our other commitments to have more depth. She appreciates this generation's emphasis on relationship building and collaboration.

Keywords: choices; conscious; cooperate; depth; environment; focus; friendships; groups; health; healthy; life; productive; relationships; responsibility; saying no; self-care; social work; students; successful; support; team

Subjects: advice; relationships