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Background

Maureen Clark, MSW, LICSW, is an Assistant Professor in the Social Work department at Westfield State University.  She is a 2006 graduate of Springfield College School of Social Work, and a current doctoral candidate at the UConn School of Social Work. Maureen has extensive experience working with children, adolescents and adults dealing with a range of clinical disorders, in both outpatient and inpatient settings.  Most of Maureen’s experience comes from working for over a decade for Behavioral Health Network Crisis Services.  There she began as a child and adult trained crisis clinician before becoming a shift supervisor, and then ultimately moving into the role of staff development supervisor, where she provided training and clinical supervision for a team of over 120 employees. Among her many duties, she had oversight and direct supervision of a large, competitive internship program working with both Bachelor and Master level students from programs throughout the Northeast.  Maureen has been a passionate advocate and proponent for continued learning for delivery of best practices. She is invested in research that focuses on implicit and explicit experiences of coercion among individuals with psychiatric illnesses and gaps within the mental health service delivery system that contribute to these experiences. Maureen’s current research is a critical phenomenological study on the lived experience of involuntary civil commitment in Massachusetts.  The objective of the study is to explore how individuals in early adulthood narrate and embody their experience of involuntary civil commitment, focusing the connection to identity formation, and how societal values and ideologies related to mental illness impact the policy and practice of involuntary civil commitment. Maureen’s passion for education goes beyond her own learning. In addition to her full time position she has taught as adjunct faculty at Bay Path University, Elms College, UConn, and Sacred Heart University.