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Social work professional returns as guest lecturer

April 10, 2015

Lori Rodriquez Lori Rodriquez

CHADRON – A Chadron State College alumna spoke to students in the Social Work 251 Human Behavior in the Social Environment class, April 2. Lori Rodriquez, a 2008 graduate of the social work program at CSC, presented “Working with Young Children, Youth and Families: Using Creative Techniques to Move Through Trauma.”

The presentation examined techniques Rodriquez uses in her practice, including child-patient psychotherapy, play and art therapy, sand therapy and talk therapy. These therapy types focus on the use of metaphors because 85-90 percent of her work deals with children. Rodriquez said each of the toys and items used have meaning and that during the sessions, she concentrates on the patterns of play.

Rodriquez said there are times she receives cases of childhood trauma that lack information. Without facts, she implements different techniques to help her determine how to help the children and families that come to her office.

“You’re a detective, it’s a puzzle. You have to put the information together,” Rodriquez said.

During her presentation, Rodriquez discussed a book titled “Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence” by Robin Karr-Morse and Meredith S. Wiley.

The authors emphasize the importance of experiences during the fetal state and the first two years of infancy in brain development. They used research studies to show actions of expecting mothers, such as drinking or drug use, affected fetal development, while neglect and physical abuse after birth possibly combined to further impair the brain and lead the child toward violent behavior.

Rodriquez also shared real-life examples of social work outside the classroom, her current practice and her travels while handling cases. Additionally, she discussed the benefits of private practice, working with insurance and the justice system.

Rodriquez is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She is both a Certified Master Social Worker (MSW) and a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner. Rodriquez initially began her career in nursing, but in 2008 she received a Bachelor of Arts with a Comprehensive Major in Social Work and a Minor in Psychology.

In 2010, she graduated from Florida State University with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. She has a post-graduate certificate in Child-Parent Psychotherapy from the Child Trauma Training Institute of San Francisco and is an approved Child-Parent Psychotherapy provider.

—Tiffany Valandra, College Relations Student Liaison

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