After finishing counselling training, several people on my course immediately signed up to the next level advanced training. I decided to take a year out to get some experience before getting more qualifications. For me, counselling (or at least my version of it) was about 2 people sitting in a room together talking, and I wanted to get some experience doing that.
So I started before I was ready, and opened my private practice before I'd worked it all out.
You’ve passed your exams, done your placement and had your personal therapy and now you’re a fully qualified therapist - YAY!
Congratulations! You should be very proud. Time to start in private practice - exciting times!
But wait! You’re not starting in practice yet?
‘No, I think I’m going to get a more qualified qualification so I can help people in a more qualified way. And it’ll attract more clients as they’ll see how super qualified I am.'
Okay, no. We need to talk…
In part one of this series on therapist self care, we looked at how self care is an ethical consideration, and how our profession makes us more suseptical to burnout, depression and suicide than other comparable professions.
Thats serious stuff. So this should be taken seriously.
So what can you do to avoid this?
Lots and lots of things!
So here are 22 practical ways to increase your self care.
No, it's vital for both you and your clients and I'll tell you why.
I love being a therapist.
I've been a counsellor since January 2005 and it's been amazing. When the world leaves people feeling broken and confused, therapy helps to make sense of it all again.
Job satisfaction - off the scale!
But did you know being a therapist has a detrimental impact on you physically and emotionally, and change relationships in a way you may not have considered?
This is why robust self care is vital for counsellor - it's an ethical consideration.
Take a look and see what I mean.
It’s easy to buy into the idea that the market for therapists is saturated. After all, a quick search on Google for your area will show dozens of counsellors, possibly hundreds.
Maybe you're worried, especially if you’re new, an introvert or struggle with imposter syndrome because the very idea of ‘getting out there’ or 'selling yourself' will likely bring you out in hives. (Note - you don’t have to sell yourself, no one likes being sold to.)
So let’s take a closer look at the saturated market myth.