There’s a growing trend happening in social work.
More and more social workers are tapping into their creativity to share their unique solutions with people online, often not only extending their reach, but pursuing their passions in the process.
And while it’s true that many of these mavericks offer consulting, coaching, counseling and speaking in their repertoire of services, some also create additional opportunities for clients to engage with them through fee-for physical, digital, event, and even free products to help more people.
I’d call that a win-win-win!
I plan to update this post from time to time, so make sure you bookmark it for use as a reference for your practice.
Now without further adieu and in no particular order, here are 26 social workers who are using their creativity to help more people and (often) make more money in the process.
Using her love of food she creates recipes, mouthwatering Instagram photos, and unifying experiences for people curious about her Muslim faith. Her first installment of Dinner with your Muslim Neighbor seems to be a perfect expression of social work and creativity in action.
Think she’ll invite me over for dinner?
Another obvious expression of creativity in action by a social worker is found in Kristina Marcelli.
I LOVE HER BLOG!
Each week(ish) Kristina shares games, crafts, books and ideas at The Art of Social Work to encourage emotional wellbeing through creative expression for children and families alike.
Looking for creative ways to teach mindfulness, empathy, coping skills, compassion, assertiveness, resilience, problem solving, or apply play therapy methods? Kristina’s got you covered.
Ignacio runs a blog called Social Work Tech and he’s got creativity coming out of the ying-yang!
Ignacio doesn’t just share extremely helpful information about how social workers can incorporate technology into their practices, he illustrates, videos, colors, and mind-maps it – in English AND Spanish to boot!
Seriously, if you’re looking for new resources or unique ways to use the ones you already know about, this blog is not to be missed. I always look forward to it’s posts!
Mercedes runs a thriving business and blog called The Parenting Skill.
Over the last year I’ve watched Mercedes grow her business to incorporate more of herself and her creativity, all with the goal of helping moms and dads “discover [their] unique parenting powers”, and it’s been inspirational to see.
There’s a reason why I consider Reeta Wolfshon a social work pioneer and rock star among social workers.
First of all, not only did she develop and coin the term femonomics to reflect the disparities of women when it comes to money, but she created an entirely new transformative learning model of social work practice called Financial Social Work. Not only that but Reeta runs not only one but two websites – The Center for Financial Social Work and Financial Therapy Network – which host multiple products and services including webinars, a certification program, a support kit, support groups, and free resources to help social workers better their understanding of finance and empower their clients too!
Not sure where to start? Check out the My Money Myself Self Help Program to help you sort through what may be embarrassing painful money issues with self-care and information, respectively. Now if that’s not creativity in action, I don’t know what is.
Hilary definitely seems to be one of the more social media-savvy social work therapists today.
At HilarySilver.com she blends her social work practice skills with a straightforward approach to relationship counseling that she promises will help her clients “bring balance and harmony into [their] relationships right away.”
So what makes her approach so creative? Aside from providing the counseling services you’d expect, Hilary uses the power of Periscope EVE-RY DAY to engage with and expand her audience, and packaged audio courses to help their relationships improve. You can follow her at @AskHilarySilver for tips to make your relationship Hot, Healthy and Happily Ever After!
Even if you don’t know who Linda Grobman is you’ve probably still heard of The New Social Worker online magazine or landed on the site because you typed in www.socialworker.com. But in the social work wold, Linda is a legend among her peers.
Having founded The New Social Worker over 22 years ago (an innovation of its time), Linda has continued to use her creativity to connect social workers to one another, highlight social workers’ accomplishments, publish their ideas, stimulate discussion, and help facilitate social workers’ employment through the online magazine and various publications.
On top of that, Linda is a Certified Music Practitioner – a skill no doubt she uses to keep her creativity fluid.
Another innovator in the world of online social work platforms is Deona Hooper.
Deona is the only social worker I know that sought and received press clearance (no easy feat) for the 2015 Comic-Con event in New York and did the exact same thing when the Pope (The POPE) visited D.C..
What social worker does that?!
She also designed the latest trend in must-have social work fashion with (hashtag) social work shirts.
Still all that is secondary to the creative outlet she’s developped for social workers to discuss hard-hitting topics like #BlackLivesMatter, LGBTQ awareness, and possible reasons why social work is (could it be?) failing.
I’m convinced Anneke is the sweetest social worker alive. Just look at this face!
In The Netherlands, Anneke is kind of a social work superstar. Having launched a book, This Is What I Stand For (translation), and pioneering a program by the same name, she trains social workers to be more entrepreneurial in their jobs and has done so for more than 3,000 so far.
So how is she using her creativity today? She’s partnering with social worker Hans Versteegh to host the Global Social Media Challenge for Social Workers (
#GSOMEC) which aims to get 6,000 social workers to broaden their use of social media in twelve days. She’s even announced the challenge in Dutch!
I can’t wait!
When Hollywood needs a social worker they call Sherry Gaba.
Known as The Celebrity Therapist, Sherry has used her social work degree to break out of the office and into stardom as the go-to expert for several Hollywood television shows, a CBS Sky Radio show, and even writes for Deepak Chopra’s INTENT Blog.
Sherry’s one of the few social workers I know who has successfully managed to package her unique brand of social work – psychotherapy-meets-metaphysics – into a barrage of creative products and services including jewelry, aromatherapy, and a Wake Up Recovery certification program.
Want to know what else she’s created? Just check out her online store!
Out of a gazillion social workers, how many do you know that have a podcast?
Now, I’m not saying that The Social Work Podcast is the only podcast for social workers out there, but it’s definitely one of the most well known, and we’ve all got Mr. Singer to thank for that!
A self-proclaimed author of many “firsts”, I’m sure we can count on Jonathan to continue to use his creativity to keep providing unique and educational guests on the show.
I suppose we can thank her upbringing around the entertainment industry for that.
Dr. Hanks uses her creativity in many ways and, most notably for therapists, through her six week Ecourse called Rock the Media School.
How cool is that?!
Dr. Joy has pioneered groundbreaking and insightful research on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome which she’s creatively packaged into a book, a study guide, a CD, a DVD, and her own “Dr. Joy Experience” (I mean, who does that?! #Epic.).
I guess it’s all paid off because Dr. Joy was asked to be a consultant with the big “O” herself on a 7 part series called “Belief“. Check it out!
How many social workers do you know that have produced and directed a bonafide movie and gotten CNN coverage of it? Not many, I’m sure, but that’s exactly what Geri Lynn Matthews did when she made Justice Denied after she discovered her husband’s former sexual abuse in the military.
In making the film Geri Lynn was able to creatively combine her training in mass media and social work to bring the issue into greater visibility.
Haven’t seen it yet? Click here to watch the trailer.
Whoever said social work wasn’t sexy hasn’t met Jasmine.
I had the privilege of meeting Jasmine at the 2014 National Association of Social Workers Conference in D.C. and even snagged a fun interview with her where we talked about how she combined her passion for social work, fitness, and fantasy into the income-generating businesses of Body Altitudes and Jet Setting Jasmine.
How is that creative? I’ll let you decide.
Though fairly new on the scene, Nichola has a message about self care from a spiritual perspective. That’s why she not only wrote Sabbath Season, but she’s created corresponding workshops and retreats to go help readers action the learning.
Great idea, Nichola!
Laurie Marsden offers women a unique opportunity to become their most authentic selves.
Through a process of education, self reflection, and connection with other women in her course 8 Steps to Becoming You, Laurie has created an online therapy program to help women reclaim their sense of self and love their lives again, and at their own pace.
Work with women as a therapist or counselor? Laurie even has recommendations of how clinicians can use it to enhance your practice!
Designed to help parents, educators, and clinicians deal with tough issues for children like divorce, grief and loss, and anger, her blog and store have got tons of colorful and creative resources for all ages.
Check out the free printable for parents!
I was blown away when I found out that Satya Scainetti, creator of Satya Jewelry, had a background in social work. In fact, it’s what motivated her to create Satya Foundation which has donated more than $1 million dollars to global children’s organizations to date.
Through Satya Jewelry Satya has combined her appreciation for sacred beauty, global consciousness, and overall wellness with her desire to live abundantly and, like any good social worker, save the world.
I think that’s pretty creative, don’t you?
Rebecca Kousky represents all the things your social work teacher said you could aspire be but maybe haven’t done yet.
Through Build A Nest she’s created a non-profit that’s impactful, sustainable, and global all at the same time.
So how did she do it? By adopting a flexible business model around her passions and beliefs, conversations and relationships, and allowing it to be circular (rather than linear) she was able to create a vehicle for women around the world to “build lives of peace and prosperity through their crafts.”
I’d say that’s creativity in action if I ever did see.
If anyone should accuse Melanie Wrynn of being on her high horse, she’d take it as a compliment.
Combining her social work skills with her love of horses, Melanie started Ardeo Sport Horses which produces and sells horses for riding and sport.
But if you thought she had abandoned her social work roots, you’d be wrong.
Melanie also uses her social work skills creatively to help riders unlock their personal barriers and improve their levels of functioning.
Sarah Damsky may be one of the most balanced social workers you’ll meet.
During the week she uses the healing power of yoga and meditation as a treatment modality at an outpatient chemical dependency program and is working to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into a psychotherapy practice all her own.
In the meantime she creates affordable yoga classes and retreats for people of all ages. Her Meetup page for yogis has over 4,000 members, 1,400 past meetups, and 21 upcoming events in the New York area this year!
Meredith Resnick creates . . . connections; I know because it says so right on her site!
Having worked for more than 20 years as a clinician, Meredith uses her love of writing to provide creative and technical writing support to healthcare and pharma groups and writers, and has developed books for surviving narcissism.
My only regret is not knowing about Meredith when I was writing How NOT to Practice Social Work.
If you’re thinking of starting a private practice, you’ll want to follow Allison’s lead.
Combining her desire for greater independence as a therapist with her desire to help struggling practitioners create private practices for themselves, Allison has created Abundance Practice Building – a website and movement that combines self care practice, business building, and solid social work to help practitioners build abundant private practices!
If you like anything on EvaForde.com you’ll love Allison’s stuff too. She comes from the same abundance-based mindset we encourage on the site and is just as sweet as you’d expect her to be.
What a fun, useful and user-friendly sight Ms. Michaeli has created in Social Work Career!
Besides being jam packed with useful resources for the social worker’s career, Dorlee highlights things like free webinars, weekly Best In Mental Health roundups, and even an entire section dedicated to personal growth, all while ensuring that each and every post not only has great information, but looks vibrant, colorful and creative as well.
But one of my favorite things about Dorlee’s approach is her insistence on showcasing fellow social workers doing great things in the field.
This one’s for you, Dorlee!
Last but certainly not least is Mrs. Chelsea Avery herself – self-proclaimed happy wife and creator of The New Wife Style.
Just one look on her website and you can tell Chelsea practices what she preaches.
While traveling the world with her super cool husband, Chelsea inspires women (and men) to create deeper experiences in their lives and stronger connections in their relationships all while earning income from affiliate partnerships where she receives a commission.
Chelsea also uses her blog to help raise awareness for charities and collects sponsors for blog posts (what other social worker does this, I don’t know). Besides that she’s written a book to help couples improve their relationships.
Now it’s YOUR turn!
If you’ve been inspired by any of the creative ways these featured social workers have used their skills and passions to create greater impact and income in the world, sign up to join the free (for now) course for social workers called
CREATE!: 5 Lessons to Help You Tap Into Your Creativity and Design Profitable Solutions for the Issues You Care About
In the mean time, feel free to subscribe to any of the really cool social workers that were mentioned above. They’ll be glad you did!
See you on the inside of CREATE! (click to enroll now for free!)