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Is it stressful to be a therapist?

I always thought of being a therapist as a very good job to help people but I figured repeating stress was apart of the process. I don't know how true this is and just wondered how it was for a counselor or a therapist. #therapist #counselor #therapy #psychology #stress


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Michele’s Answer

I agree with Sarah re: the benefits of self-awareness (when you're trained in it, you get quite good at paying attention to it in yourself!) and of having a collegial network. There's also an art you develop to putting things on a shelf - you have to put your own issues, interests, and values on a shelf each time you sit with a client. Similarly, you learn to leave client sessions on your office shelf so you can go home, have a personal life, and rejuvenate for another day of important service to others. The volume and intensity of the work makes a difference in stress level, for sure, so look for jobs (or create a practice) where you can balance the number of clients and the severity of issues to keep yourself healthy.

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Sarah’s Answer

Yes, it can be stressful and there is often burnout. The good news is most therapists are very aware of this challenge and have strategies in place to help them with the burnout. Burnout and stress was often discussed in my master's counseling program. A great way to help is to have supportive colleagues or a consultation group where you can unpack some of your work stress and concerns. Also, most good therapists see a therapist themselves. :)

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