Dr. Helle Thorning has served as clinical professor, program chair of field education and assistant dean of field learning and community partnership at the Silver School of Social Work at New York Unicversity since 2006. She directs the field learning cirriculum for social work bachelor's and master's students.
Dr Thorning completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Copenhagen, her MS at Columbia University School of Social Work, and her PhD at New York University. Prior to coming to NYU, she was the director of social work at New York State Psyciatric Institute (NYSPI) and assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has extensive clinical experience and expertise working with patients and families of people with servere and persistent mental illness.
Dr. Thorning's main research area is in the development and application of educational and psychoeducational interventions designed to improve quality of life and outcomes for adults, and families faced with trauma, mental illness, or other significant life challenges. She is currently involved in a study that examines the needs of older parents of adult children with severe and persistent chronic mental illness and an intervention study of hospitalized psychiatric patients.
Since coming to NYU she has become interested in researching the process in which social work educators from both academia and the practice world collaborate on educating students to shape the mind for social work practice. She is currently engaged in a study of the consequences of field learning disruptions and it impact on students, agencies, and universities.
With Associate Professor Tazuko Shibusawa, she designed, implemented, and evaluated a Kazakh government-funded train-the-trainer program in social work practice for primary health care workers in Kazakhstan and Vietnam.