Hi, Brandon, Depending upon the setting the therapist works in (hospital inpatient, outpatient clinic, non-profit agency, private practice, etc.), the typical day will vary. However, some commonalities may include conducting intake assessments, individual/couple/group/family therapy, recording case notes, researching resources for clients, coordinating complementary services for clients, consulting with colleagues about shared patients, completing required paperwork for insurance company billing, receiving supervision yourself to grow as a therapist, etc. In my 12 years as a therapist, it was nice to have a blend of duties, as constancy around any one area can be draining, stressful, and/or unfulfilling. This is definitely a career where being able to leave work at work is important to your wellbeing and longevity. Good luck!
Nija Jackson, LCSW
Great question that you are asking. Actually, it depends on the role of a therapist/counselor in a particular work setting. There are a variety of work settings where you see therapists and counselors. For example, therapists and counselors can work in a school, clinic, private therapy practice, hospital, and community organization. Counselors and therapists are there to help individuals and families deal with presenting issues that are affecting their daily functioning. People often experience trauma related issues; adjustment issues; complicated grief; dealing with mental health concerns; social relationships; marital issues; environmental issues and self-esteem issues in which people seek out help from a counselor/therapist. Counselor/therapist's role is to help persons overcome the barriers, bring awareness to the person's situation; help them work through difficult emotions; trauma and mental health concerns. They both provide coaching to help clients manage their stress, redirect disturbing emotions; and work in partnership with clients to help set goals for themselves. A typical day can be seeing a number of clients providing either individual, family or group therapy; conducting initial assessments; helping clients develop a healthy treatment plan/goal setting; obtaining resouces; listening to the presenting issues; writing progress notes; coordinating a range of services for the clients; and collaborating with other professionals. It's important to set healthy boundaries with clients to avoid burnt out; being too emotionally involved and triangulated in clients' issues. You must keep a record of the sessions with clients in order to remember the clients and keep track of their progress. After a complete day of work, find a desired activity to address selfcare. Some therapists/counselors seek their own therapy because they need someone to be their sounding board. This field can be rewarding but it can be very exhausting at the same time because you are dealing with people of different walks of life, different personalities and a multitude of presenting issues. It takes a therapist/counselor to be patient; a good listener; non-judgmental; genuine; empathic; compassionate; not biased; allowing clients to self reflect; establish rapport; and help clients come up with their own narrative. You must be able to acknowledge and learn from your mistakes in this field. I hope this helps you.
A counselor helps people struggling with various issues, i.e. problems at home with family members, personal issues like drug or alcohol addiction, setting healthy goals and Boundaries. The counselor will assist the client or patient set realistic and attainable goals and monitor the progress along the way. Hope this helps.