Incorporate Life-Long Learning Into Daily Life With Social Work Podcasts
For busy social workers on the go, social work podcasts are a great resource for keeping up with innovations and trends in the field.
Social work podcasts are a great source of information for any social worker looking to meet the ethical mandate of staying up to date in the field, expand practice knowledge, or consider current event topics from a social work lens.
The audio-only format creates greater opportunity to easily incorporate this life-long learning into daily life, allowing for listening during one’s morning commute, on the treadmill, or while cooking dinner.
With many podcasts touching on mental health topics and other issues relevant to the field, and some focused on social work specifically, the number of podcasts available can be overwhelming when making a listening choice. The following are 5 essential social work podcasts recommended for social workers and therapists embarking on podcast-listening for social work practice.
Love social work related entertainment? Check out 10 Documentaries on Netflix for Social Workers.
Top Five Recommended Social Work Podcasts
The Social Work Podcast
Perhaps the most renowned social work podcast, The Social Work Podcast hosted by Jonathan Singer “provides information on all things social work, including direct practice (both clinical and community organizing), research, policy, education…and everything in between1.” The Social Work Podcast is a well-established resource for social workers to sharpen knowledge and skills, stay up to date in the field, and critically reflect on social work issues. Since it is hyper-focused on social work specifically, it often includes specialized topics of interest for practitioners such as critiques of the DSM-5 and social work in private practice, alongside themes of broader interest such as trauma, health, cultural issues, all through a specifically social work lens.
- Episode Length: 20 minutes to an hour
- Number of Episodes: More than 100
- Publishing Frequency: every month to every other month
InSocial Work Podcast
InSocial Work is another podcast for social work practitioner listeners, produced by the University of Buffalo School of Social Work. With more of a disciplinary and academic bent, “the purpose of this series is to engage practitioners and researchers in lifelong learning and to promote research to practice and practice to research.” The podcast brings listeners interviews with leading researchers and prominent professionals in the field, perspectives on social work trends and social and political events impacting the field, and relevant research findings for evidence-based practice recommendations. It is a wonderful resource for staying up to date in the field and familiarizing oneself with social work leaders.
- Episode Length: 30-40 minutes
- Number of Episodes: nearly 200
- Publishing Frequency: Every two weeks
- Website: http://www.insocialwork.org/
Produced by the School of Human Services and Social Work at Griffith University in Australia, Podsocs is “the podcast for social workers on the run” bringing listeners “up-to-the-minute research, diverse and sometimes controversial perspectives on social phenomena and focuses on knowledge and skills needed in the human services.” Designed specifically for social workers seeking to broaden their perspectives or deepen their knowledge on discipline-related topics, Podsocs spans social work topics from micro to macro, including many human rights topics and international issues. Podsocs often includes expert interviews with cutting-edge information from leaders in the field.
- Episode Length: about 30 minutes
- Number of Episodes: 81
- Publishing Frequency: Every 2 months or so
- Website: http://www.podsocs.com/
Mental Illness Happy Hour
Hosted by comedian Paul Gilmartin, Mental Illness Happy hour is “a weekly online podcast that interviews comedians, artists, friends, and the occasional doctor.” While Gilmartin is not a social worker or therapist, he uses the podcast as a platform to create conversations about a variety of mental health issues and experiences, including his own. Gilmartin describes Mental Illness Happy Hour as “a place for honesty about all of the battles in our heads,” exploring topics such as “mental illness, trauma, addiction and negative thinking.” Each episode features a conversation between Gilmartin and a guest, delving into the guest’s unique battles and the developmental experiences that have shaped them along the way. Mental Illness Happy Hour also includes contributions from listeners who share their experiences via anonymous online surveys to facilitate further discussion and reflection.
- Episode Length: 2-3 hours
- Number of Episodes: nearly 300
- Publishing Frequency: Weekly
- Website: mentalpod.com
League of Awkward Unicorns
The League of Awkward Unicorns is a light-hearted take on mental health issues “covering the hilarious communal grounds we share in all being a little crazy.” Hosts Alice Bradley and Deanna Zandt discuss their own experiences with therapy, diagnoses, medications, and coping mechanisms, and also allow listeners to call in or leave voicemails to share their experiences. The podcast discusses current events and the ways in which mental illness is perceived in modern life, how various life events and situations impact mental health, and sometimes includes interviews with individuals who have experienced mental health issues.
- Episode Length: about 30 minutes
- Number of Episodes: 17
- Publishing Frequency: every 2 weeks, usually
- Website: leagueofawkwardunicorns.com
- Singer, J. Social work podcast [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2016 Aug 6]. Available from: http://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com
- School of Social Work. Insocial work podcast [Internet]. Buffalo (NY): State University of New York; 2016 [cited 2016 Aug 6]. Available from: http://www.insocialwork.org/
- Griffith University. Podsocs [Internet]. Brisbane (AU): Griffith University; 2016 [cited 2016 Aug 6]. Available from http://www.podsocs.com/
- Gilmartin, P. Mental illness happy hour [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2016 Aug 6]. Available from: http://mentalpod.com/
- League of Awkward Unicorns. League of awkward unicorns [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2016 Aug 6]. Available from: http://leagueofawkwardunicorns.com/