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Currently, I am a member of the Continuing Education Advisory Committee with Best Practice Trainers, Inc. BPTI is a not-for-profit organization, with a research and training mission. It’s trying to promote the idea of Evidence-based Practice, making online courses available for clinicians and social workers. I’ve assisted the organization in several ways.
I’ve been involved with BPTI since I assisted with the Youth at Risk course in 2010. I’ve continued to be involved because. . . .I like to think about very basic assumptions or concepts that social workers and other clinicians use. I like thinking about terms that they use, like Mental Health. What IS Mental Health? What ISN’T Mental Health? How does Mental Health differ from non Mental Health. What does it mean to promote mental health? When is one person mentally healthier than another person? I think those questions are really interesting. Once we have answers to those questions, it can inform a lot of the other practices that we do. Once we know what it means for one person to be mentally healthier than another – once we have operationalized that variable – we can set up experiments and test for what makes one person mentally healthier than another.
At the very foundation of social work, there are these concepts that people don’t necessarily have a very good grasp  or definition of. They can point to examples but they don’t have the core of what these concepts mean. I find it interesting to think about those questions.
My interest in ethics began when I was an undergraduate.  I took a couple of ethics classes  and I found they were really interesting. I just liked thinking about ethical puzzles.  I liked being forced toward positions that were counter-intuitive by way of making my beliefs consistent or coherent. I liked arriving at my conclusions through argumentation – having reasons for my beliefs – questioning dogmas.  I just enjoy that sort of activity.  So, that’s how I got my start and what moved me into this field.
Obstacles? One thing that I had to do as part of my career and education is that I had to live overseas for a while, in Sweden, doing a post-doc. That was not an easy thing. I had to learn to put up with some things in order to further my career and continue to do the work I really love. I think if someone can be in that situation and can get through all the difficulties that come with being overseas and apart from family, then they can deal with anything.