Book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Clinical Title: Versions of Reality: How We Treat Difference in Therapy and in Life

Presenter: Deborah Wiley, MSS, LCSW
Date: ‪Sunday, March 5, 2017‬
Time: ‪10:00 am - 1:00 pm | 3 CEs
Location: Far NE Philadelphia

A 2017 "One Book One Philadelphia" selection, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is described as a mystery novel. The mysteries it uncovers, however, illuminate aspects of the shared human experience. Written in the voice of a 15-year-old British boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, who thinks and feels in ways that are different from those around him (and whose hero is Sherlock Holmes), the book explores profound and topical themes in the narrator's quest to solve a neighborhood mystery. Through reading Christopher's journal-like entries, we are offered a rare perspective on his own heroic journey and search for truth. We follow his often unknowingly insightful and witty observations on loss, love, empathy, attachment, trust, and the quest of each of the main characters to find and understand their place in the world.

Author Mark Haddon does not use the words autism or Asperger's anywhere in the book, and has the narrator describe himself as "a mathematician with some behavioral differences." He says that "If anything, it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. It’s as much a novel about us as it is about Christopher." Further, "Labels say nothing about a person. They say only how the rest of us categorize that person... A diagnosis may lead to practical help. But genuinely understanding another human being involves talking and listening to them and finding out what makes them an individual, not what makes them part of a group."


  1. Explore our professional perspectives on the impact of diagnostic "labels", both in terms of their benefit and risk in the therapeutic relationship.
  2. Discuss the difference between empathy and compassion, and the effects of their presence/absence on the part of the therapist.
  3. Identify the challenges and rewards of parenting a child who is not neurotypical, and how to work most effectively with these families.

About the Presenter:
Deborah Wiley MSS, LCSW graduated Bryn Mawr GSSWSR in 1975. She has been in private practice full time for over 35 years, providing psychotherapy and counseling to adults, adolescents, and couples. She has also provided training, consultation and clinical supervision, and has served as Coordinator of the Bucks County Coffee and Conversation program for PSCSW. Past professional positions have included working as a Clinical Social Worker at Family Service of Philadelphia; Director of the Women's Program at CO-MHAR; and Counselor at The Crefeld School.
She is a Board Certified Diplomate, member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, and holds a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work.

PSCSW Members Only Event

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No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours notice is given for this program.

This program is presented and hosted by PSCSW members. Both the presenter and host put a lot of time and preparation to make sure that attendees are receiving a wonderful program and feel welcome at the program. Just as in your professional life when someone cancels last minute, it has an impact on you. Please be cognizant of this when you register 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 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).

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  • June 17, 2017
    10:00 am - 1:55 pm