2 answers

Is it hard balancing your social life and work like if you're a psychologist?

Updated Lynn, Massachusetts

Were you really - extremely busy when you got the job? Did you lose friends or significant others because of your profession? #psychology #balance #social-life #work-life-balance #psychologist

2 answers

Mike’s Answer

Updated Portland, Oregon

That really depends upon the kind of job, not so much the profession itself. I worked as a psychologist in a government position for several years and it was 40 hours per week with a yearly vacation of two weeks or so. Later, in my own private practice , I needed to establish my own schedule so that clients had a firm idea as to when I was available. That means that, when you are not working, you are attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle for yourself that includes adequate sleep, physical exercise and socialization.


I believe that, as a psychotherapist, one needs to be mindful of dual relationships with those whom you are trying to help and the problems that these dual relationships can create. In some circumstances, like in smaller communities, dual relationships are unavoidable. Generally, one should avoid or minimize them, if possible, and keep your psychotherapy relationships as a safe, separate place.


It is also important to maintain the emotionally supportive relationships in your life that are separate from work as a psychotherapist. That means that you can be more emotionally vulnerable and free to express yourself with friends. I would also put some emphasis upon doing different things together with friends, versus sitting and talking.


If you are finding it difficult to maintain a balanced life, you can usually find people in the profession who are known to be helpful in this area. You should typically seek help with issues of balance when your efforts to do this have not been very effective.

Mia’s Answer

Updated Detroit, Michigan

Discipline and time management are key to maintaining any profession. Determine what tasks must be done, set realistic time allocations at the office and on your personal time. Make trade offs vs. sacrifices.

Mia recommends the following next steps:

  • Plan the hours of your day personally and professionally and stick to it. Sleep 8 hours of every 24. Insufficient sleep over decades raises risk to developing Alzheimer’s.