“I am lucky to have leadership here that recognizes the value of social workers in the health-care field.” - Dr. Carol Joy Adelman
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Psychotherapist, Clinical Social Worker, Schneider’s Children’s HospitalFavorite Professors: “Dr. Ellen Rosenberg, my mentor and thesis advisor, and Dr. Cecil Henry, who gave me the resiliency I needed to forge ahead.”
Doctoral Thesis: An exploratory study of 25 mothers of premature twins, examining the relationship between the mother’s level of self-esteem and its relation to the maternal perception of each individual twin (splitting).
Advice for Students: “Understand that a career does not get thrown at your feet once you have a degree. You have been given the tool box, but now you have to work hard and slowly excel.”
Caring for Families
Many people keep inspirational quotes in their offices. For Carol Joy Adelman, a clinical social worker in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit of Schneider’s Children’s Hospital, those words are a daily reminder of her role: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you are the world.”
Dr. Adelman counsels parents and families while the NICU cares for their premature babies, some of whom weigh as little as one pound. While the infants grow and strengthen, she becomes the families’ therapist, advocate, translator, advisor, and sometimes bereavement counselor.
“When a family has a premature birth, they are thrown into an orbit of medical madness,” she says. “I try to help them understand their situation, make difficult decisions easier, and reduce the isolation they often feel.”
Dr. Adelman came to Schneider’s NICU as an intern while completing her MSW and never left. While some hospitals are scaling back their resources, Schneider’s, a regional leader in children’s health care, is expanding its neo-natal department from 45 beds to 65.
“I am lucky to have leadership here that recognizes the value of social workers in the health-care field,” she says. “We are able to provide individual counseling, parent and nursing support groups, as well as post-discharge follow-up.”
In addition to her work at the hospital, Dr. Adelman has also maintained a private practice since 1989. She sees both children and adult patients, and specializes in mother/infant and mother/child counseling.
“Parents are older today, divorce is more common,” she notes. “I see a lot of depression and anxiety, and behavioral issues in children, but it can’t be all about the child. The hallmark of my work is a team environment, where the parents and children work together to find solutions.”
Dr. Adelman came to Adelphi after an early career in her family’s antique store and a shorter tenure as a shoe designer.
“To this day, when I drive up to the Garden City campus, I look out over the manicured lawns and beautiful old and new buildings and I am so grateful that in my thirties, I pursued my dreams and hooked my wagon to that star. I worked tirelessly to a doctorate in a field that I adore.”
Now an adjunct professor at Adelphi, Dr. Adelman works to pass that passion along to her students. A native of Brooklyn, she and her life partner of 32 years today live in Floral Park, New York.
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