Pinedale therapist earns ‘barrier breaking’ social work award

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LARAMIE — The Wyoming Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers presented Pinedale’s Jan Schaad with the 2023 “barrier breaking” award for Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice. Schaad is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, a psychotherapy treatment designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.
Schaad became certified as an EMDR trainer under Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., the originator and developer of EMDR.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Wyoming presented the award to Schaad to mark the end of Social Work Month for her “professional and volunteer contributions to the field of social work, to social work practice and as an outstanding example of a social work professional.”

This year’s theme is “Social Work Breaks Barriers” and highlights the innovative ways in which social workers have, for more than a century, enriched society by empowering people and communities to overcome challenges so they can live and function to their fullest potential.

NASW Wyoming Board President Billie J. Chapman, of Laramie, said of the award winners, “These individuals and the agencies they represent exemplify the efforts to break barriers and empower people in tough situations.”

With a background in community mental health and addictions, Schaad started a private clinical practice in Pinedale that grew into a group practice, which provides a “retreat style approach to therapy.” Her focus is on the effects of unresolved adversity in individuals and families. She also teaches courses in bioenergetic healing, using the latest neuroscience research paired with movement, breath work, touch and dialogue to help clients release physical tension that may be contribution to emotional and mental distress. Schaad is also a mentor, training and supervising future certified practitioners of EMDR and EMDR consultants.

Schaad said she is “honored to be acknowledged” for her service to social work and added, “I am dedicated to helping people, communities and agencies build capacity for interpersonal relationships grounded in integrity and success. I have learned so much from the people I serve and have so much appreciation for the support of my spouse, Dave Schaad.”

The NASW Wyoming chapter consists of 290 members and is part of the NASW in Washington, D.C. The organization seeks to enhance the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities through its work and advocacy.

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