Margaret Fetting, PhD, attended Rosemont College and received her baccalaureate degree from George Washington University and her master’s and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
Fetting has been teaching courses and workshops on substance use disorders and addiction in southern California for over 25 years. She has been primarily affiliated with the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, led the effort to develop substance use disorders courses for its online Virtual Academic Center. She is a visiting faculty member at the America College of Greece in Athens and a regular guest lecturer at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies.
Fetting has been in clinical private practice for over 25 years in Santa Monica. She specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders and addiction for individuals, couples, and families. She is affiliated with Clearview Treatment Programs and Milestones Ranch, both nationally-respected and multileveled treatment facilities in Southern California. Fetting addresses national and international audiences, has many articles in print, and published her first text, Perspectives on Addiction, in 2012 with SAGE Publishing Inc.
When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.
Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.