SaraKay Smullens

SaraKay Smullens

SaraKay Smullens, MSW, LCSW, DCSW, CGP, CFLE, BCD, whose private and pro bono clinical social work practice is in Philadelphia, is a certified group psychotherapist and family life educator. She is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania chapter of NASW, and the 2013 NASW Media Award for Best Article. SaraKay is the author of Whoever Said Life Is Fair, Setting YourSelf Free, and Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work. Her writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals, newspapers, and blogs. SaraKay's professional life continues to be devoted to highlighting destructive societal forces through communication, advocacy and activism. Read more about her work at

Book review of Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work by SaraKay Smullens, reviewed by Karen Zellmann. more

Reviews & Commentary

Review of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” - the documentary film that tells the story of Fred Rogers, beloved host of the TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. more

Reviews & Commentary

"The Tale," premiering on HBO on May 26, 2018, tells the true story of filmmaker Jennifer Fox's coming to terms with her childhood sexual abuse. more

Reviews & Commentary

In the film Phantom Thread, the symbolism of hidden messages mirrors social workers' professional challenges. more

Reviews & Commentary 1 Comments

When the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America chose Guillermo del Toro as their top guy and “The Shape of Water” led the Oscar race with 13 nominations, it was time to see what I had missed. It turns out to be a great deal. more

Reviews & Commentary

The award-winning Amazon original series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, concentrates on universal challenges social workers know well—separation from parents, individuation, marital fulfillment, professional direction, and balancing of responsibilities. more

Reviews & Commentary 1 Comments

In past two years, I have developed a new way of working with clients who suffer from burnout. It is a short-term, highly focused interactive process based on the development of what can best be described as a trusted “emotional sense of direction. more


The reason I am so delighted to be a social worker is pride in our commitments, our extraordinary history, and all of the remarkable leaders, from our beginning through the years, who have never given up keeping the hope of our profession alive. more

Social Work Month 2015

Social worker SaraKay Smullens discusses child sexual abuse and why it is important to speak out about it. more

Practice 8 Comments

I have often wondered what drives us. By that I mean those of us who continue day after day and year after year to work in the most difficult and draining settings, persist, and keep at it. I would bet that those reading this have had many days like more

Practice 9 Comments

In your work, you may be encountering an unfortunate reality of the social work profession and of the psychological professions in general: researchers and clinicians have not usually walked hand in hand, consulting and collaborating, complimenting e more

Practice 9 Comments

The training to become a social worker is arduous, demanding, and complex. What isn't always stressed enough are the issues of burnout, compassion fatigue, and the need for self care in the profession of social work. more

Field Placement 43 Comments


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