Real World Clinical Blog: The Anxious Social Work Mind (Part 1)

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Depression and Anxiety

I really enjoyed reading your article because it gives me insight to how I have been feeling lately. I am on my last year of graduate school and I am taking a week off because I have been having so much anxiety and panic attacks that I feel depression creeping in. I am an individual who takes medication to cope, but like some clients, I am non-compliant and stopped taking them and now I am feeling the repercussions of it. I want to do well in my field placement, but I also got constructive feedback from my field supervisor that I was not too happy about. "I am not trying hard enough." This is anxiety provoking because it makes me question why I am in the field that I am if I am not doing too well. It is only my first quarter of my second year. I hope I can get through this with flying colors and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you again for your article. It was a pleasure reading it because it lets me know I am not alone in this.

Riab more than 5 years ago

Anxiety Driven

This article is very inspiring and insightful. As a new clinician it is very easy to get stuck in negative thinking regarding our professional selves and not being "clinical" enough. i am grateful for articles like these that reassures us workers/ clinicians that our work is impactful, meaningful, complex and rewarding all in the same breath.

Kanisha more than 6 years ago


Thank you for this article addressing a common experience among most helping professionals - that anxiety that arises when you aren't sure that anything you're doing is making any difference at all - and that somehow, that must mean you should do more! Your ideas give context to that experience and encouragement to people who work in a field that is often very hard to describe and define as so much of it is really intangible and experiential.

Elizabeth more than 7 years ago


I work in a level 5 prison and my main population is antisocial/borderline. All males. It is a very difficult place for a female to work, as prisoners are inappropriate sexually quite often. Anxiety is all the time, the fear of verbal/physical assaults and seeing assaults. Thank you for the article.

Ann more than 7 years ago

The Anxious Social Work Mind

Danna, Thank you soooo much for articulating my experience, and for providing wonderful resource to be passed on to others. Nearly 30 years of social working and I flip in and out of anxiety such as this regularly. It takes continued self talk to counter the belief that I'm not doing anything and therefore not good enough. And at this stage in my career as I support other workers I hear the same stories. I deliver worker self care workshops in Australia which aim to keep hope and optimism and wellbeing alive in social workers and others in helping and caring roles. Check out my website if you're interested It is great to have affirming articles like your to pass on. Sincere thanks.

Martine Langoulant more than 7 years ago

About Real World CSW

Dr. Danna Bodenheimer is the author of Real World Clinical Social Work: Find Your Voice and Find Your Way and On Clinical Social Work: Meditations and Truths From the Field. She shares practice wisdom with new clinicians.