Book: Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle, S.J.

Clinical Title: Developing a Therapeutic Alliance with an Alienated and Unsafe Population

Presenter: Margaret (Meg) Pope, LCSW

Date:  Saturday, October 6, 2018 | 3 CEs
Time:  10:00 am - 1:00 pm
(Please arrive at 9:30 for a potluck breakfast and socializing.)
Place:  Lansdowne, PA
(Exact location will be emailed to you upon registration.) 

Book Description:
In Tattoos on the Heart, Father Greg invites the reader to take a look into the faces and hearts of individuals most would rather not see. With humor and grace, he describes genuine, caring attachments with a population that is often feared and demonized. He describes attachments that are just as strong and honest with the perpetrators of violence as with the victims.

As pastor of Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights, the Los Angeles neighborhood with the highest concentration of gang activity, Jesuit priest Greg Boyle developed an affinity for local youth caught up in gang life. His commitment to them grew into the world’s largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program, “Homeboy Industries”. Homeboy describes their approach as creating a “trauma-informed, therapeutic community setting that also allows them to work on attachment repair and building healthy relationships with co-workers who may formerly have been members of rival gangs.” Services include counseling, education, workforce development, job placement, case management, and tattoo removal.

Questions for Consideration:
In our clinical discussion, we will consider the following questions: How can we model attachment with a client whose behaviors can be frightening and alienating? How do we offer acceptance of the individual while maintaining accountability?  How does our own faith and/or sociocultural perspective influence our work?  Where do we locate the root of the pathology – internally (who our client is) or externally (what has happened to our client)  - and do our diagnostic decisions reinforce our clients’ experience of shame and marginalization?

Clinical Objectives:

  1. Describe the roots and manifestations of shame in individuals who have been traumatized and excluded.
  2. Discuss differential diagnoses and the impact of diagnostic choices on clients in the light of clinician subjectivity.
  3. Examine the influence of the clinician’s spiritual and philosophical beliefs on clinical work with difficult clients.
  4. Explore the balance between the ideal of “unconditional positive regard” and the realistic need for boundaries and accountability.

About the Presenter:
In her first job after receiving her MSS from Bryn Mawr College, Margaret (Meg) Pope, LCSW, was a clinical counselor for delinquent and dependent youth at New Life Day Treatment Center in West Chester. At New Life, she observed that the legal and educational systems too often tended to understand the teens mainly through their behaviors and diagnoses, while missing their strengths, trauma histories, and charm. Currently, Meg is the Counseling Director at Family Service of Chester County, a PSCSW board member and the Chair of the Governance Committee. Meg is also a past vice-president of the PSCSW.

This is a PSCSW Members-Only Event.
Participants who attend this program must be present for its entirety in order to get the continuing education credits.

Cost: No charge for PSCSW Members to attend. There is a $10 fee for anyone wishing a CE certificate.
Cancellation Policy:
There is a $5 non-refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program. No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours notice is given for this program.

Continuing Education Credits:
FOR PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).
FOR NEW JERSEY SOCIAL WORKERS: This program is approved for clinical credits. Programs or courses approved by boards that license social work practice in other states are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)10).

PSCSW Members - Before you begin any registration, you must log in to the website to pay the member rate. If you register without logging in, you will pay at the nonmember rate. If you need assistance logging in, please contact the PSCSW office at:

Event Wait List

  • Event: Book: Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle, S.J.
  • October 6, 2018
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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