Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work


Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work

A Guidebook for Students and Those in Mental Health and Related Professions

This resourceful guide offers clarification, direction, and opportunity for reflection to help students and professionals in social work, related fields, and beyond find balance in their personal and professional lives as well as ease work-related stress to better serve clients—and, in this way, achieve professional equilibrium, success, and personal fulfillment.

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SaraKay has presented her findings and spoken regularly at many conferences and conducted many workshops through the years. She has also been invited to book clubs and private gatherings. Additionally, she has appeared on television and radio shows.

Selected Presentations Include:
  • The Athenaeum
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Service
  • Goucher College Book Fair
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Service Viewing of THE TALE: with Jennifer Fox
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association Presentation: with Jennifer Fox
  • Rhode Island Hospital Association, With Stanton Smullens
  • American Council of Graduate Medical Education, With Stanton Smullens
  • Pennsylvania Patient Authority, With Stanton Smullens
  • Jefferson Medical School Students, With Stanton Smullens
  • Jefferson Hospital Departmental Quality Improvement Directors, With Stanton Smullens
  • SP2 Celebrates Inaugural Inductees at Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony
  • NASW 2018 Conference: Intensive: From Compassion Fatigue to Compassion Satisfaction: The Road to An Emotional Sense of Direction
  • Panel Discussion With Jennifer Fox, writer and director of THE TALE
  • "The Meaning of Friendship" at Penn’s Village
  • An Introduction to the LiveWell Program: A Peer-Led, Guided Self-Care Wellness Program for Depression
  • The National Meeting of the National Association of Social Workers
  • The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work (now the School of Social Policy and Practice)
  • The American Group Psychotherapy Association
  • Care Gathering at the Philadelphia County Medical Society (which highlighted the suicides of physicians and medical students)
  • The William J. Neff, Sr. Symposium: Prevention of Crimes Against Older Adults
  • Pennsylvania Chapter Of The National Association Of Social Workers 
  • Various Book Clubs, Organizations, and Living Rooms discussions
  • Child Hub for South East Europe, The journey from compassion fatigue to compassion satisfaction: addr essing burnout with an emphasis on the self in self-care
  • The American Group Psychotherapy Association Annual Meeting
  • Mayo Clinic, Full-day Symposium on Burn Out and Self-Care
  • AmeriCorps Alums: Philadelphia Chapter
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital System, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Magee Hospital
  • Dr. Guy Freed Educational Seminar: Tuttleman Family Foundation, Magee Hospital
  • Discussion Group: The Positive Agers: for those over age 50
  • Various book clubs and friendship groups
A photo of Sarakay Smullens

SaraKay Smullens

Social Worker, Life Activist, Educator, Psychotherapist

SaraKay Smullens, MSW, LCSW, CGP, CFLE, BCD is a certified group psychotherapist and family life educator. She is devoted to highlighting destructive societal forces through communication, advocacy and activism. In her work she illuminates the impact of abuse, not only on individuals, but on the attitudes and behaviors that destroy marriages, families, friendships, work settings, communities and societies. She is known in the U.S. and abroad for her work in recognizing, addressing and healing what she has called "the invisible and lethal epidemic of emotional abuse."

SaraKay is a best-selling author and award-winning writer. Her writing can be found in peer reviewed journals and other professional publications. She also blogs regularly for The Huffington Post, Broad Street Review, and Your Tango.

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Awards and Honors

  • SP2’s 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania chapter of NASW
  • NASW Media Award
    Best Magazine Article
  • Woman Leader of Distinction Award The Eastern Region Women's Ministry Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention
  • Honored Author, Diamond Jubilee Borrowers Ball
    The Free Library of Phildelphia
  • Louise Waterman Wise Award
    American Jewish Congress,
    Pennsylvania Region
  • Peace Medal, Women’s International
    League for Peace and Freedom
    Maryland Chapter
  • NASW Media Award
    "What I Wish I Had Known: Burnout and Self-Care In our Social Work Profession."
    The New Social Worker
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Professional Credentials and Memberships

  • Academy of Certified Social Workers
  • Authors Guild
  • Fellow, Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Pennsylvania Chapter, NASW
  • National Council on Family Relations (Certified Family Life Educator)
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), Certified Group Psychotherapist
  • Pennsylvania Chapter, (AGPA)