Dr. Mary McCluskey, LCSW, Owner of The Empowerment Opportunity Publishes a Children’s Book to use as a New Therapeutic Tool in Her Child Therapy Practice

NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Mary C. McCluskey, LCSW is the owner of a group practice in New York City called The Empowerment Opportunity LCSW PLLC and an educational company named enCOURAGEment INK. LLC. Dr. McCluskey recently published a book called The Leader of the Parade: An Adlerian Educational Tool for Caregivers and Teachers: An Illustrated Children’s Book and Activity Guide.

The book is endorsed by Mariel Hemingway on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPb65Neog2s and is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Dr. McCluskey who teaches social work at New York University says the book was born out of the pandemic and The Black Lives Matter Movement. She specializes in treating trauma survivors and is aware of the inequality and racism that exists in our society and wanted to develop new therapeutic ways of addressing these inequities utilizing the work of Dr. Alfred Adler.

Adler led an educational movement in the early 1900s and created 28 child guidance centers in Europe which were tragically closed by the Nazi regime. Dr. McCluskey proposes revitalizing Adler’s work in an article published in the Clinical Social Work Journal called Revitalizing Alfred Adler: An Echo for Equality. In the article she speaks about how the first African American president of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Kenneth Clark used Adler’s psychological principles to influence arguments made before the Supreme Court against the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson (McCluskey, 2020). Dr. Clark said, “To the extent that Adlerian thinking influenced my own thinking and research, and… that my thoughts and writings have influenced in any way the civil rights movement, determines, at least in part, the extent to which the ideas of Alfred Adler have contributed to the accelerated quest for racial justice in America” (as cited in McCluskey, 2020). At the end of the article, she says, “social workers familiar with Adler’s work might consider revitalizing some kind of modern-day child guidance centers.”

Dr. McCluskey feels that Adler’s work needs to be made accessible to teachers, counselors and children. She thought to herself, imagine if psychology was taught in elementary school….? The Leader of the Parade is a children’s psychology book that speaks to older age elementary children about coping with complex feelings including jealousy, guilt, loss and even death. It is meant to be an interactive book that inspires kids to build community, appreciate the planet and each other for all their similarities and differences, as well as inspire discussion between children and adults. She is hoping to use the book and its activities as a therapeutic tool in her child therapy practice (http://marymccluskeydsw.com) and plans on offering a free online book club to children that have read the book but are not necessarily in need of therapy. Too often she hears the old adage, “children should be seen and not heard.” She disagrees. Children have wonderful ideas and their voices should be heard. She is inviting parents and teachers whose children have read the book to submit their child’s ideas for potential publication and or research. Dr. McCluskey hopes to write an anthology of the children’s responses to Adler’s ideas.

Media Contact:
Mary McCluskey