The Metro DC Chapter is one of 55 chapters of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the largest association of professional social workers in the United States. Our 1,100-plus members serve all populations, including children, adolescents, families, older adults, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, and others. They also serve clients in every DC ward and work setting, as well as in the DC metropolitan area such as Northern Virginia and nearby Maryland.

This In the News section features the latest articles and news from the Metro DC Chapter, including press releases, policy or issue statements, professional and licensing updates, training announcements, and other content relevant to the work of Metro DC social workers.

If you are a member of the media seeking an interview, comment, or answer to questions, please contact Executive Director Debra Riggs, CAE, at     

New Training Added! “Working with Clients with Religious and Spiritual Abuse” June 16 (3 CEs)

Spiritual abuse, a form of coercion and control within a spiritual context, inflicts deep emotional wounds on victims. This just-added, live-virtual workshop June 16 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET delves into the manifestations of spiritual abuse, including manipulation, enforced accountability, censorship, secrecy, and pressure to conform. 

Among the topics covered in “Working with Clients with Religious and Spiritual Abuse” are how abusers misuse scripture and religious authority (often coupled with claims of divine mandate) to dominate victims, different types of spiritual violence and abuse, symptoms of this type of abuse, prevention tactics, and religious trauma syndrome and related PTSD. It also covers ways that victims are often isolated and how clinicians can help promote healing and prevent further harm. 

In addition, instructor Ed Geraty, LCSW-C, will review a Religious Harm and Abuse screening tool and successful tactics for clinically working with abuse survivors. 

Cost of the 3-CE workshop is $60, NASW members; $78, nonmembers. Registration deadline is June 13.