NASW Press Book on Inner-City Young Women Seeks to Educate Professionals and Policy Makers

Author Graham Danzer Tells a Compelling Story of Resiliency and Togetherness

My Girls: A Story of Survival and Togetherness in the Inner CityWASHINGTON, DC—Young women in the inner city face misunderstanding, low self-esteem, abuse and worse. Overwhelmed by life experiences, these girls often find it difficult to open up and share their problems. They may feel as if their circumstances are so overwhelming and their pain is so deep that talking about them will not make a difference.

My Girls: A Story of Survival and Togetherness in the Inner City explores the real, emotional, and raw experience of working with at-risk African American teenage girls. The book is based on Graham Danzer’s clinical study of counseling six teenage girls in a group setting at an inner-city public school. It explains what the author learned from the girls’ struggles and how he was able to penetrate through cultural, gender and racial barriers. It tells a tale of reciprocal enrichment and enlightenment.

“I wrote My Girls because my experiences with young women from the inner city felt at odds with the usual stereotypes about African-American teenagers,” says Danzer. “These young women have real feelings, real problems, and yet share a sense of togetherness and a vitality that produced amazing stories of survival. I could see many similarities among their experiences, and believed that by writing about them I could raise awareness of and compassion for people who would otherwise be judged harshly by society.”

My Girls is targeted toward professionals, including teachers, therapists, policy makers, graduate students, and people interested in cultural non-fiction. My Girls:

  • Provides students in clinical programs, as well as practicing clinicians, policy makers, and lay people with a deeper understanding of how teenage girls relate to men and the challenges that clinicians face in working with such clients
  • Helps clinicians in talking with teenage girls about their feelings
  • Offers a template for how to use one’s self to build a relationship
  • Provides information for clinicians in the field of cross-cultural clinical practice and awareness

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with nearly 145,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.
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