Merrill Powers, LCSW




Private Practice. Licensed Clinical Social Worker in general private practice in Auburn, CA. Private Practice in Orange County, CA, for ten years. Child sexual abuse consultant. Trauma specialist. EMDRIA Certified EMDR practitioner. Approved EMDR consultant. Expert judicial witness.


Child Abuse Services Team (CAST). Clinical Supervisor. Director of therapy component of multi-disciplinary team providing crisis intervention for abused children/adolescents and their non-offending parents. Duties include supervision of therapists; administration; consultation to medical, district attorney, law enforcement, and social services components; trainings/presentations to professional community; program planning. Provider of short term clinical treatment using play therapy to reduce symptoms of trauma.

Orange County Health Care Agency, Children and Youth Services. Clinical Social Worker providing evaluations, assessments, and treatment for children and adolescents in individual and family modalities. Clients are referred by school district IEPs for mental health services under AB3632/Chapter 26.5. Attend IEP’s, consult school staff, provide parenting instruction and support.


Orange County Health Care Agency, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services. Clinical Social Worker providing crisis intervention, outpatient treatment, and case management for adults and adolescents with substance abuse problems in individual and group modalities. Developed and implemented five-part drug treatment program for culturally diverse population of teen-age boys incarcerated at Dept. of Probation Joplin Youth Facility, including a post-release aftercare program for community resource linkage. Collaboratively developed and facilitated Multi-family Group for parents and teens in the 8% Early Intervention Program at the South County Youth and Family Resource Center .


South Orange County Family Resource Center Group therapist for Blended/Step-parent and Single parent workshops. Program was developed in collaboration with participating agencies.


Children and Family Futures . Associate. Researched, developed, and wrote guidelines for welfare reform that address issues of clients with substance abuse problems. Consulted and collaborated with federal and state government officials, developers of policy and programs in welfare and substance abuse agencies, and national research agencies.


Children’s Bureau of Southern California , contractors with Orange County Social Services Agency. In-Home Family Services Counselor. Services included crisis intervention, in-home assessment and service planning, family and marital counseling, teaching and demonstrating parenting skills, and resource brokering for families with children ages 0-18 referred for services by Social Services Agency. Using a planned short-term family systems approach, the goal was to enhance family functioning to prevent or decrease risks and incidents of child abuse and neglect.


Orange County Health Care Agency. LPS Mental Health Services, Public Guardian. Clinical Social Worker. Provided mental health services and case management for chronic mentally ill and dual-diagnosed adults in board and care facilities and in-patient settings. Worked in individual and group therapy modalities to enhance symptom management, coping skills, and transition to the community. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, counseled and advocated with family members and community services.

Pacifica Hospital Partial Hospitalization Program . Social Worker. Provided individual and group therapy for gero-psychiatric patients on outpatient basis. Counseled with client’s families, performed assessment and treatment planning, psychosocial evaluations, case management, resource linkage.


Psychiatric Management Resources . Care Coordinator, Partial Hospitalization Program. Provided group therapy and education in symptom management, relapse prevention, coping skills and enhancement of functioning within the community for chronic mentally ill and dually diagnosed adults. Provided advocacy and counseling with client’s families and linkage with community resources.

Children’s Bureau of Southern California . Healthy Start Counselor (intern). Private non-profit agency working in arena of child abuse prevention and treatment. As school-based counselor provided on-site and in-home family counseling, and case management services. Designed and implemented “Parent Partners” a multi-modal parent education and support group for single parents of young adolescents. Collaborated with multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural community organizations and school personnel; member of Healthy Start Board and Community Coordinating Council at Project LEARN, Oak View Elementary School . Assisted in writing Healthy Start middle school implementation grant and conducted community and family needs assessments. Participated in multi-disciplinary meetings providing case support and consultation, and program planning and evaluations.


Orange County Health Care Agency . Clinical Social Worker (intern). Adult outpatient mental health facility. Provided individual, couples, family, group therapy, and case management for adult mental health clients.


Creative Powers. Principal of freelance writing and video production company, corporate communications. Required project and budget management; grant development for documentaries on social issues. Winner of international and regional awards for scriptwriting. Required managerial skills to hire, supervise, schedule, budget, and arrange logistics for crew, equipment, and locations.


Unisys Corporation . Communications Specialist and Video Producer. Developed and facilitated communication and training programs. Supervised staff to produce videos, newsletters, and special events with ethnically and sociologically diverse employees. Public and community relations.


Department of Defense, Vicenza , Italy . Instructor of community college English, business writing, speech, and job search courses. Taught English as a Second Language to military personnel and family members. Vocational guidance counselor, Project Transition, providing pre-discharge counseling and linkage.




University of Southern California . Master of Social Work, Child/Family Concentration; Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society. Degree awarded May 1995.

University of California , Berkeley . Bachelor of Arts, English. Degree awarded June 1969.





EMDRIA (EMDR International Association)

The Soldiers Project, Sacramento area: co-coordinator, Outreach Committee

National Association of Social Workers: Past Chair, Region F Legislative Committee

Association of Play Therapists, National and California Chapters

Stop Child Sexual Abuse (S.C.O.C.): Organization to prevent child sexual abuse through public education (founding member and past vice-chairperson)

Children and Youth Sub-Committee of Orange County Mental Health Advisory Board (founding member)

Prevent Child Abuse — Orange County (formerly Child Abuse Prevention Council)


PUBLICATIONS (relevant to Social Services)


  • Implementing Welfare Reform: Solutions to the Substance Abuse Problem, with Children and Family Futures, for Drug Strategies; 1997.
  • Articles for Orange County Register , “Our Children, Ourselves” Parenting Column, 1998
    • “Authoritative, but not controlling, parenting can ease teen years”
    • “Spanking sends kids the wrong messages”
    • “Parents play key role in how kids gain self-esteem”
  • Employing the Handicapped: Affirmative Action, A How-To-Do-It Seminar for Employers, The San Francisco Mayor’s Committee for Employment of the Handicapped and The United Cerebral Palsy Association, Employment Project for the Physically Handicapped, 1977.



  • “Implementing Welfare Reform: Addressing the Substance Abuse Problem”, NASW Legislative Days, Los Angeles , CA., March 1997.
  • “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with Adolescents”, Introduction to Social Work Practice class, University of Southern California , Orange County Campus, 1999.
  • “How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs”, presentation for parents, OC HCA/CYS, April 2000.
  • “Crisis Intervention Therapy with Abused Children”, for pediatric and family practice residents; school nurses and other staff; and CASA volunteers in training at CAST, 10/2000 – 7/2001.
  • “Focusing on Strength: Therapy with Survivors of Abuse”, Community Service Programs (CSP) volunteer training, October 2002.
  • “Forgiving”, Survivors of Sexual Assault Support Group, CSP, August 2003.
  • “Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault”, University of California , Irvine , Sociology Department, 2003-2004.
  • “Healing the Trauma of Sexual Abuse – Play/Art Therapy and EMDR”, CSP, March 2006.
  • “Healing the Trauma of Incest”, Turning Point, March 2006.



  • Brief Therapy to Reduce Trauma in Sexually Abused Children, Using Play and Art, 2000.
  • Substance Abuse Group Treatment Program for Incarcerated Teens, 1999.
  • Parenting for Single Parents, 1998.
  • Parenting for Blended and Step Families, 1998.
  • Parenting for Single Parents of Pre-Teenagers, 1995.


VIDEOS (relevant to Social Services)

  • O.N.E.: Organization for the Needs of the Elderly. Silver Angel Award winner, ITVA (International Television Association), 1993.
  • Thank God for Day Care; I Have A Neighbor Who��; No One Is An Island; Dear Dorothy, four part series for Long Beach Senior Center , 1991.