Kia Bentley Headshot 

Dr. Kia J. Bentley, Ph. D, Professor of Social Work at Virgina Commonwealth University

Dr. Bentley is a tenured professor at Virgina Commonwealth University, where she has taught since 1989. She has also served the School in the past as Director of the PhD program (for 13 years) and as Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives. She is the author of the 2014 book, now in its fourth edition, The social worker & psychotropic medication: Toward effective collaboration with clients, families and providers (with Joseph Walsh, Cengage-Brooks/Cole). The text is the primary source for the MSW elective course in the School called “Social Work Practice and Psychopharmacology” which she developed and has taught for more fifteen years, including in an online format. She has also edited two other books: Psychiatric medication issues for social workers, counselors and psychologists (Haworth Press), and Social work practice in mental health: Contemporary roles, tasks, and techniques (Brooks/Cole). She has published fifty other journal articles and book chapters on topics related to mental health and psychiatric medication including works on the meaning of medication, family psychoeducation, peer leadership training, the right to decline medication, and social work’s role in medication management. Recent research projects included a study on the medication-related experiences of incarcerated women, and another about the professional identity of psychiatrists and their approach to communication with clients about medication. These follow-up other research around decision-making about psychiatric medication among pregnant and post-partum women, and psychiatric medication, meaning and identity management. Dr. Bentley is the current chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s national Commission on Research, and past Chair the national professional organization, Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work. Last year two of her articles were respectively recognized as “Best Conceptual” article and “Best Quantitative” article for the Journal of Social Work Education. She is a consulting editor for that journal and also serves as guest reviewer for several others, including Psychiatric Services, Best Practices in Mental Health, Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, and Social Work in Mental Health