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Welcome back to Therapy Chat! This week host Laura Reagan, LCSW-C revisits a previous interview from 2018 with Dr. Loretta Pyles. In this discussion you’ll hear Loretta and Laura speaking about the process of social work education.

To the listener – please keep in mind that this episode originally aired 4 years ago, many aspects of the educational process for social workers are critiqued in this conversation and there are many ways that change is being demanded and slowly implemented now. Loretta’s approach is still not the norm in social work education. Loretta came to mind-body healing practices in 1999, after leaving a difficult long-term relationship and becoming burnt out from her social services and social change work. She found herself anxious, grief-ridden, and disconnected from her body, mind and spirit. Over the years, she has committed herself to a journey toward wholeness, presence, and compassion. The realizations that she later found in meditation and yoga deepened her ability to understand the ways in which oppression and undigested experiences rest in the mind-body continuum.  To learn more about these parts of herself and to experience life more fully, she practices a range of modalities including mindfulness, lovingkindness, breath work, physical poses, devotional mantra, group support, and self-inquiry.

Loretta’s sensibility about transformative social change was formed during her time working in a women’s collective at a community-based domestic violence program in Lawrence, Kansas.  She continues to be inspired by the insights of collective and consensus building that come from feminist and other social movements, as well as conscious communication practices. She works with public and non-profit organizations to promote healing justice and offers workshops which support social workers and activists to embody mindful practice and self-care through trauma-informed and anti-oppression lenses.

Loretta received her B.A. in philosophy and sociology from Baker University, an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Kansas. Formerly on the faculty at Tulane University School of Social Work in New Orleans, Loretta is Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the State University of New York at Albany.  She was Director of UAlbany’s Community and Public Service Program from 2008-2012. The National Science Foundation has funded her research on human capabilities, community participation, and disaster recovery.  Loretta’s social change and healing justice work has taken her across the globe including to Haiti, Mongolia, and Indonesia.

Resources for this episode:

Dr. Loretta Pyles’s website: http://lorettapyles.com

Learn about the Land Back Movement and make a donation: https://landback.org/donate/

Learn about land acknowledgement here: https://nativegov.org/news/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/

The website where I found the info I shared about the Land Back movement and the land acknowledgement I shared in this episode, Sicangu CDC:


The Native American Rights Fund: https://narf.org/support-us/

Thank you to our sponsors

Thank you to TherapyNotes for sponsoring this week’s episode! TherapyNotes makes billing, scheduling, notetaking, and telehealth incredibly easy. And now, for all you prescribers out there, TherapyNotes is proudly introducing E-prescribe! Find out what more than 100,000 mental health professionals already know, and try TherapyNotes for 2 months, absolutely free. Try it today with no strings attached, and see why everyone is switching to TherapyNotes. Now featuring E-prescribe. Use promo code “chat” at www.therapynotes.com to receive 2 FREE months of TherapyNotes!

This episode is also sponsored by Trauma Therapist Network. Learn about trauma, connect with resources and find a trauma therapist near you at www.traumatherapistnetwork.com. We believe that trauma is real, healing is possible and help is available. Therapists, registration is now open for Trauma Therapist Network membership. Join a compassionate and skilled group of trauma therapists for weekly calls focused on Self Care, Case Consultation, Q&A and Training. Members of the waiting list get a 20% discount on their first month of TTN Membership! Get on the waiting list now to and we will send you a registration link and coupon code! Sign up here https://go.traumatherapistnetwork.com/join 

Find Laura’s most recommended books for healing trauma here (new resources are being added continuously) https://traumatherapistnetwork.com/resources/book-recommendations/ 

Podcast produced by Pete Bailey – https://petebailey.net/audio 

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Original Date

November 25, 2022

About the Host

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C is an integrative trauma therapist and owner of a group practice, the Baltimore Annapolis Center for Integrative Healing. She is also the host of Therapy Chat and Trauma Chat podcasts and the founder of the Trauma Therapist Network, a website for learning information about trauma and finding resources and help for trauma.

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