Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work: A Guidebook for Students and Those in Mental Health and Related Professions

 
9780871014627: Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work: A Guidebook for Students and Those in Mental Health and Related Professions
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Are you exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed? Or do you feel that these reactions are very close, waiting in the wings? If so, Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work is the book for you. Burnout, one of the primary reasons why committed social workers leave the profession, is a grave and pervasive problem with glaring impact. Those entering social work and all related fields, as well as those already deeply involved, must be educated about its toll and prepared to address and prevent the depletion it causes. This book provides valuable insights for all who carry complex and divergent responsibilities. SaraKay Smullens addresses both burnout and self-care from a professional, personal, social, and physical perspective. She integrates research, case studies, questionnaire responses, and her seasoned experience to identify three major root causes of burnout--compassion fatigue, countertransference, and vicarious trauma--and defines creative strategies for individual self-care opportunities. 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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About the Author:

SaraKay Smullens, LCSW, ACSW, BCD, CGP, CFLE, 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 NASW-PA, which recognized her long-standing community organization, advocacy, and activism, as well as the codification of patterns of emotional abuse and the development of a therapeutic model to address it. SaraKay is the founder of the Philadelphia initiative The Sabbath of Domestic Peace, which identified clergy as a "missing link" in addressing domestic violence, devoting itself to clergy involvement and education that prayer alone would not save lives and that couples in distress, due to abuse and violence, could not be seen together. SaraKay has published in peer-reviewed journals, is the best-selling author of Whoever Said Life Is Fair?: A Guide to Growing Through Life's Injustices and Setting YourSelf Free: Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Abuse in Family, Friendships, Work, and Love, and blogs for The Huffington Post. Her professional papers and memorabilia are divided between the Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, Goucher College, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. SaraKay's professional life continues to be devoted to highlighting destructive societal forces through education, advocacy, and activism.

Review:

Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work is a vitally important and timely book by an extraordinary individual who has been on the frontlines of this issue for decades and writes with deep insight, clarity, and unparalleled empathy for all concerned. I was pleased to be president of Scribner when SaraKay published her first book.

--Franklyn Rodgers, BS, University of Pennsylvania

Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work is an engrossing and comprehensive treatment of a most critical and complex topic in social work today. Service providers will undoubtedly benefit from SaraKay Smullens's insights into recognizing and overcoming burnout and equipping oneself with the tools to build self-care into the heart of one's practice. This fundamental self-actualization is the cornerstone of any truly successful individual within the social work profession and beyond.

--John L. Jackson, Jr., PhD, Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice, Richard Perry University Professor, University of Pennsylvania

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