Film: Gun Hill Road (2011)

Clinical Title: A Relational Discussion on Gender Identity, Ambiguous Loss, Minority Stress Theory & Resilience
Presenter: Noel B. Ramirez, MPH, LCSW
Date: Friday, January 27, 2017
Time: 6 pm – 10 pm (including the viewing of the film) | 2 CEs
(Please arrive around 5;30 pm for food, refreshments & registration)
Location: Philadelphia, PA (19104)

Description & Reason for Film Choice:

Set in a neighborhood in the Bronx, Enique Rodriguez has recently been released from prison and has returned home to reunite with his family. During his time inside, Enrique’s wife, Angela, has been having an affair and his youngest child, Michael, is a young trans woman who is exploring her identity and the world. Throughout the film, Enrique struggles with these changes and is left with challenging decisions that accompany the impact of ambiguous loss and the intersection of various socio-cultural identities.

This film confronts the realities of many families who have experienced ambiguous loss: complexities, uncertainties, vulnerability and resilience within the family unit. The film provides a rich context to discuss minority stress theory, ambiguous loss and forces audience members, particularly those with a clinical sensibility, to lean into the dissonance depicted in the film and experience both the disruptions and repairs of this family in the Bronx with regards to identity, sexuality and gender identity. These relational disruptions are both devastating and yet are coupled with reparation that depicts the resilience of family systems.

Theoretical Orientations: Minority Stress Theory, Ambiguous Loss, Post-Modernism, Inter-subjectivity

Key Concepts: Gender identity, cross-cultural competency in clinical social work, risk and resilience, deconstructing gender identity, homophobia and sexism, exploring the intersection of race, sexuality and socio-economic status.


  1. Identify core components of cross-cultural competencies in clinical social work in relation to Rodriguez family and with their own clients.
  2. Deepen knowledge of ambiguous loss theory in families that are impacted by mass incarceration, particularly among people of color.
  3. Increase knowledge of local resources that provide resources and support for LGBTQ youth and their families.

About the Presenter:

Noel Ramirez, MPH, LCSW received his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, his Master’s in Public Health from Drexel University in 2012 and his Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications and Women/Gender Studies from The College of New Jersey. He has completed foundational course work at the Institute for Relational Psycho-Analysis of Philadelphia and has been teaching graduate social work in the Philadelphia area since 2014. Mr. Ramirez’s professional background and history has been grounded in communities that he is both personal and professionally committed to serving: urban youth communities, gay/bisexual men, people of color, HIV/AIDS. During the past 9 years, Mr. Ramirez has had varied experiences in social work practice, ranging from medical social work, program management and administration, substance abuse/recovery oriented psycho-therapy, grant writing/program evaluation and clinical supervision. Currently, he is a behavioral health consultant for the Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia, maintains a private practice focusing on gay/bisexual men and providing clinical supervision for social workers seeking to obtain their LCSW in Philadelphia and teaches graduate social work practice at West Chester University College of Education/Social Work and Columbia University’s School of Social Work. Outside of teaching and clinical social work practice, Mr. Ramirez teaches kickboxing classes, bike rides through the city of brotherly love and enjoys spending time with his partner, friends, gardening and discussing post-colonialism.

PSCSW Members: 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.

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).

  • January 27, 2017
    6:00 pm - 10:00 pm