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For clinical therapists How do you keep yourself from experiencing burnout? What practices have you used to keep work and personal feelings separate? #Spring24

I am a sophomore in college studying sport psychology and would like to be a clinical therapist for collegiate athletes. #Spring24

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Subject: Career question for you


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Madi’s Answer

Hi Riley -

Preventing burnout and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for clinical therapists. Here are some practices that can help you avoid burnout and keep work and personal feelings separate:

Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities that help you relax and recharge. This can include exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Define specific work hours and avoid bringing work-related concerns into your personal time. Disconnect from work-related communication during non-work hours, if possible.

Seek Supervision and Support: Regularly engage in supervision or consultation with experienced therapists or mentors. Discuss challenging cases, seek guidance, and process your own emotions related to your work. This can help prevent feelings of isolation and provide valuable insights.

Practice Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine. Mindfulness can help you stay present, manage stress, and prevent work-related thoughts from intruding into your personal life. Consider mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or other mindfulness practices.

Engage in Reflective Practice: Take time to reflect on your experiences as a therapist. Journaling, self-reflection, or engaging in regular supervision can help you process your emotions, identify triggers, and develop strategies to manage stress and prevent burnout.

Seek Peer Support: Connect with other therapists or professionals in your field. Join professional organizations, attend conferences, or participate in peer support groups. Sharing experiences, discussing challenges, and learning from others can provide valuable support and perspective.

Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you are doing important and challenging work. Recognize your limitations, set realistic expectations, and practice self-compassion when facing difficulties or setbacks.

Take Breaks and Vacations: Allow yourself regular breaks and vacations to rest and rejuvenate. Disconnect from work completely during these times to fully recharge and prevent burnout.

Engage in Continuing Education: Stay updated with the latest research, techniques, and developments in your field. Engaging in continuing education can help you stay motivated, enhance your skills, and prevent professional stagnation.

Seek Personal Therapy: Consider engaging in personal therapy or counseling to process your own emotions, manage stress, and gain insights into your own well-being. Personal therapy can provide a safe space to explore your own feelings and experiences as a therapist.

Remember, preventing burnout is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness, self-care, and a commitment to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By implementing these practices, you can enhance your well-being and sustain a fulfilling career as a clinical therapist. Good luck!

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