SaraKay Smullens (BCD,MSW)
SaraKay Smullens (www.sarakaysmullens.com) is a licensed diplomate in clinical social work and and a trained family therapist and educator. She has been certified as a group psychotherapist by American Group Psychotherapy Association and as a certified family life educator by the National Council onFamily Relations.
A recipient of a lifetime achievement award by the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association of Social Work, SaraKay is a best-selling author of Whoever Said Life is Fair? and Setting YourSelf Free: Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Abuse in Family, Friendship, Love and Work.
Her paper, "Achieving An Emotional Sense of Direction," can be found on her website. This model is described in greater detail in a paper entitled "The Codification and Treatment of Emotional Abuse in Structured Group Therapy, published in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60 (1) 2010.
SaraKay's papers, which document an ongoing professional commitment to devoted clinical work, as well as advocacy and activism on behalf of her clients, are shared by the archives of Goucher College and the University of Pennsylvania.
The Reason I Became A Helping Professional
As a child, I was well aware of the suffering of my mother who endured a very painful marital relationship and, I believe, because of this stress, died well before her time. Though I could not change her circumstances, I learned how to ease her pain. I grew up in Baltimore, and as a child also became aware of the horrors of segregation and limited opportunity for education and employment. I also realized that women who were denied full educations had limited options for growth and independence. I picked the field of social work because it is devoted to addressing the needs of the individual, the married couple, the family, and society as a whole, in order to offer hope and opportunity. During a difficult divorce process, and during years as a single parent, I learned even more about how one faces adversity, cares for one's children, and refuses to give up. I have been very happily remarried for many years. I well understand the natural differences between men and women, and how these differences can blend in exciting and thrilling ways, enhancing and preserving love. I have learned and continue to learn so much from my children and stepchildren. Life has been a marvelous teacher, and I am grateful that I picked a profession where I could combine art and science to do all I can to make a difference.