Work Life Balance of a Therapist?
What is the overall work life balance of a clinical mental health therapist? Is the job stressful, do you have a hard time disassociating at the end of the day?
The beauty of working as a mental health therapist is there are many options to control your schedule. You can work for an agency that controls your schedule & how many clients you see per week (i.e. 40 hours/week or a minimum amount of clients seen per week); however, you can also choose to work independently and control your own schedule & how many clients you see. The amount of clients you see & hours you work tends to impact work/life balance.
Disassociating at the end of the day is important. I find it's helpful to understand I am responsible *to* my clients but not *for* them. I can listen attentively each session & care about them, but I cannot control what they choose to do or how they choose to live. Many times, therapists become disillusioned because they don't feel like they are making a difference or their agency requires they see too many clients, and the therapist does not feel like he/she can devote enough time/attention to each one.
The job is stressful. Having all walks of life put before you to lay down their problems, for you to fix is not easy. But having the satisfaction of resolving an issue for another person is the best feeling. Going home is easier when you know your doing your best.