Wurzweiler Students Turn Focus Inward at Self-Care Day

On December 12, students at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work learned a few techniques to treat some of their most important clients: themselves.

20131212_ wurzweiler_self_care_037“Because of the kind of work social workers do every day, it is very important that they put aside time to take care of themselves,” said Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “Vicarious traumatization can occur when a social worker takes in the clients’ experiences and it begins to affect their lives. Finding ways to relax, socialize, exercise, and have fun is essential to a healthy mind, body and spirit. Today was Wurzweiler’s way of helping students and faculty take care of themselves.”

At “Self-Care Day,” an event organized by the joint efforts of the Wurzweiler Student Government Association and Wurzweiler faculty, students had the opportunity to hear from a meditation expert about how to recognize and respond to mental and physical signs of stress, as well as participate in therapeutic workshops that included relaxing activities like yoga, art therapy, meditation and improv.

“Self-care is a challenge for social workers in general and our students are in the field in addition to pursuing an education in social work,” said Dr. Lynn Levy, an instructor at Wurzweiler who helped organize the event. “It’s easy to absorb clients’ stress and the stress of finals or schoolwork only adds to that. This is an opportunity for our students to develop mind, body and spirit activities that can be used at work or at home to de-stress, which is very in keeping with social work’s holistic approach to an individual’s well-being.”

“We have to remind ourselves of these self-care tools, because if we can’t take care of ourselves, we can’t care for our clients,” said Sharon Bilsky, a second-year student at Wurzweiler.