- B.A., Sarah Lawrence College
- M.S.W., New York University
- Ph.D., Smith College
David S. Byers is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. While on leave for the 2020-2021 academic year, he will be a Postdoctoral Associate at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University.
David’s research focuses on the ethics of care in theory-to-practice gaps, in particular in settings of stigma, precarity, and political and intersectional oppression. He is presently investigating these issues through two main projects: The first is a large-scale qualitative study of clinical supervision in community-based clinics in the Palestinian West Bank, with particular focus on treatment and support related to substance use, intimate partner violence, political imprisonment, and state violence. The second is a national oral history study about LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy and social service programs in the United States from the 1960s to the 1980s. In both projects, David examines how social workers and other clinicians organize themselves ethically and improvise tactics for providing stigmatized care—what he is calling “clinical activism.” More broadly, David is interested in how critical and reflexive case conceptualization and peer consultation can support and build on relational and localized approaches to care.
David has more than a decade of direct practice experience as a clinical social worker and supervisor, with particular expertise in psychodynamic and developmental theory and psychotherapy; gender and sexuality, especially LGBTQ+ issues; trauma, bystanders, and allyship in peer groups; and bullying and cyberbullying in adolescence and emerging adulthood. David teaches classes on clinical practice in the MSS program and research methodology and developmental theory in the Ph.D. program. David is also Co-Chair of the Ethics Track for the CSWE Annual Program Meeting.
Research and Scholarly Interests: Clinical theory, ethics, practice, and research; Community-based practice; Adolescence and emerging adulthood; Social identity and intersectionality; Restorative justice; Social work education; International social work; Qualitative methodology