Topic 4: Self-Care {2/13}

Based on the readings due this week consider the following discussion point: What are some of your concerns for self-care/burnout when it comes to working with clients (e.g., What might/does get you stressed? Do you have any effective ways to deal with such stress?)?  Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 2/13.  Post your two replies no later than 2/15.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole Plona
    Feb 07, 2020 @ 13:09:11

    My main concern when it comes to working with clients is if there is a lack of variety. I’m worried that if I only work with one type of population when it comes to my clients’ presenting problems/disorders I may become tired or have compassion fatigue towards their problems without proper self-care. I enjoy working with kids but at a variety of ages so I would hope I would have exposure to different disorders and populations through the different ages. Currently, my favorite type of self-care is exercising. I enjoy running 5ks and spartan races. As long as I am still able to participate in those fun activities it should hopefully help me better manage my stress at work. Another thing that causes me stress is getting behind on paperwork. I feel as though this is common for all clinicians who see a large number of clients. A way I could deal with that stress is planning out/structuring my days in a way that will block in time to finish my paperwork regularly.

    Reply

    • Dee
      Feb 09, 2020 @ 14:32:12

      Nicole,
      I hear your worries about keeping up on paperwork. I think its a great idea to block out time in your schedule to manage all your paperwork. One of my supervisors offered me this advice and it made me think about things a bit differently: “You will always be behind on paperwork, and that’s okay. Prioritize what must be done first, progress notes, treatment plans, assessments that need to be updated. But also know that certain documents can wait. If it is a document that is going to advise or inform your treatment with a client, focus on that. If its a document that is important but if it doesn’t get done today, things will be okay, then that’s a document that can wait a bit (CANS).” Paperwork is important (don’t get me wrong), but at the end of the day, our clients are the most important and take priority, so remind yourself after a full day of treatment, that even if you have a mountain of paperwork to do, you did the part that is arguably more important, you treated your clients.

      Reply

    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Feb 09, 2020 @ 15:04:20

      Nicole,

      Since you love working with kids, I think you will have a variety of disorders or problems because, with kids, you never know what will come up. Also, I think that whatever job you end up taking, you will have a broad age range because I know you are an open and flexible person and even though I know you love the kid population, if you get teens or adults you will definitely be able to handle it because you love to learn new things. I also really like how you have a favorite activity that you do to relieve some stress that you feel from work and if this helps you, then I would definitely stick to it because based on the reading, exercise definitely helps in the long run. I feel that finding an activity that helps you feel better is important to stick too because it is important to have an outlet to release some stress and frustration so it does not build up inside and cause burnout.

      Reply

  2. Amanda Russo-Folco
    Feb 09, 2020 @ 13:35:01

    Based on the readings, some of my concerns for self-care/burnout when it comes to working with clients is that depending on the caseload I receive (for example, 70 clients), I feel that I might have difficulty managing my time in terms of preparation for my clients, remembering my clients cases, and trying to give my 100% all of the time for each client. In order to address this concern, I would use a calendar to try and plan out my sessions and schedule my client’s sessions in a timely manner. Along with having a lot of clients, comes a lot of paperwork and I am concerned that I will fall behind with the progress notes, assessments, treatment plans, etc. if I do not stay on top of it. I know it is important to find a routine that works for me and stick to it. For example, after a session, I would give myself about 15 minutes between sessions to do a quick progress note, so I do not fall behind. Another concern that I have regarding burn out is that I might not be aware of the symptoms I would be experiencing since burnout appears different in each individual. However, looking over table 3.1 really helped me to recognize some burnout symptoms that fall into three different categories such as psychological, behavioral, and physical. Knowing myself, some of my symptoms would be exhaustion, frustration, anxiety, lack of focus in sessions and poor sleep quality. In terms of self-care, the readings helped me gain a better idea of how to improve my sleep and eating patterns and helped me to realize how important self-care really is. The readings were kind of a wake-up call for me to try and implement self-care in my daily routine to reduce the chance of me burning out.

    Reply

    • Dee
      Feb 09, 2020 @ 14:20:56

      Amanda, I totally agree with your statement about implementing self-care in your daily routine to reduce the chance of burning out. I too have learned that you really have to stay on top of self-care both as a preventative measure and as a reactive measure to deal with burn out. I try to plan at least one thing each day to look forward to for self-care and I feel it really helps prevent or delay burn out, because my biggest factor contributing to my own personal symptoms of burn out, is feeling like I have done nothing “fun” recently or for myself, but rather have done the work, school, sleep, cycle that burns me out. Self-care is really our best defense.

      Reply

    • Jayson
      Feb 09, 2020 @ 19:39:18

      Hey Amanda,

      I do agree with you when you stated “having difficulty managing time in terms of preparation for my clients, remembering my clients cases, and trying to give my 100% all of the time for each client”. It can be overwhelming with a big case load and there have been times when I wanted to give my client 100% of my attention, but there are times when I see clients back to back and everyone’s information just gets tangled in my brain and I simply confuse information about clients for another. Having a big case load is what scares me too since I know staff at Spectrum have about 80 clients on their caseloads.

      Reply

  3. Dee
    Feb 09, 2020 @ 14:06:50

    My main concern for burnout when it comes to working with clients, is parental attitudes towards treatment. My clients put a lot of hard work into their own thoughts and behaviors to help manage their symptoms/problems, but parents can refuse to assist in treatment, don’t consider themselves a part of the problem or solution, or can blatantly be a large piece of my client’s distress and despite my and my client’s efforts in explaining their need for involvement, refuse to change their ways or are too set in their ways to change. I’ll be completely honest, I feel I have a good handle on all the other stressors that come with working with clients (productivity, keeping up on paperwork, consistently finding client specific effective treatments, boundaries with suicidal clientele), but parents that refuse to see reason for their involvement or are an active problem in my client’s distress, really gets under my skin. Thankfully, this has only been an issue a few times, in my internship placement (and in the past in my ABA work), and I feel I have learned how to present things to parents to convince them of their involvement in treatment and/or shaping behavior to be more conducive to my client’s improvement. It is definitely a complicated formula, and there is no one size fits all, but once you learn how to speak “the parent code”, it can really make working with children less stressful.

    My effective ways of dealing with stress involves: leaving things at the office on my personal time (no internship stuff on the weekend, unless there’s an emergency), planning at least one enjoyable activity every weekend (movie night, meet up with friends, d and d every Friday), watching shows or movies that I enjoy, playing video games, reading, making meals I enjoy, finding any excuse to get out of the house (trader joe’s here I come), and fully utilizing supervision to express my concerns, seek help, and get a much needed “good job” here or there (imposter syndrome can really get to me sometimes).

    Reply

    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Feb 09, 2020 @ 14:55:22

      Dee,

      I never really thought about parental attitudes towards treatment and how this could be a major concern for burnout. That is really important for their child’s treatment and if they helped their child, this would increase the child’s chances of getting better because they have the support that they need. I feel that once I have this experience I will feel the same frustrations as you do but like you said, once you find your way around that, treatment will go much more smoothly for both you and your client. I also really like your ideas of how you deal and handle your stress and how you incorporate self-care into your daily life to help prevent you from burning out.

      Reply

    • Alyce Almeida
      Feb 09, 2020 @ 15:35:28

      Dee, your concerns with parents definitely is something I can relate to. The job alone can already be pretty stressful when dealing with kiddos – especially behavioral kiddos! Nothing is worse than a parent who is absent in treatment, or if involved totally dismissive on ways that could really improve the client and family overall. It makes it 10x worse when they are a primary stressor for the client, aren’t recognizing it, and refusing to change. Though it can definitely impact our mood negatively and make it difficult at work sometimes, your ways for self-care are great! I too also love the “leave what happens at work AT work” mentality, and enjoyment of little things to help with preventing burnout.

      Reply

    • Nicole Plona
      Feb 11, 2020 @ 14:25:00

      Dee,
      As someone who also wants to work with children, this is something I worry about often. Sometimes it can be great if parents are super involved and want to help out with the treatment process but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I often have to deal with the parent not following through with plans or suggestions on how to discipline of handle behavioral issues at home. The response if often them getting frustrated that therapy doesn’t work and their child isn’t getting better. It can become so frustrating for us as the therapist to not let the lack of appropriate involvement and follow through affect us. I think it is really important and a great idea for us as the clinician to leave this additional stress and frustrations at home so that it doesn’t flow into our personal lives ad cause burnout.

      Reply

  4. Alyce Almeida
    Feb 09, 2020 @ 15:27:45

    Self-care is something I have struggled with even though it’s stressed to us constantly how important it is to squeeze it in. I of course think self-care is crucial especially with us still in school, interning, and for many working on top of it all. And it’s going to continue to be crucial even after we graduate and start our careers. My main issue with self-care is feeling like I don’t have enough time with all of the responsibilities I have to actually focus on self-care. I’m honestly looking forward to having more time to focus on that since I won’t be in class anymore, and actually getting paid to work! But the reality is that time won’t be too much of the problem but more so the job itself. My primary concerns with self-care are focused about processing whatever happens at the job, with a client, situation etc. We have so much supervision and chances to process with both our faculty and class mates at school and then other interns and our supervisors at our sites. Having that support has been extremely helpful for me personally, so I fear that a 1-hour supervision won’t be enough to really handle the possibilities our field brings. I’m not really worried about the job expectations itself like paperwork or sessions, but more so just my work with my patients, or families involved. With clients specifically, I find myself becoming stressed about whether or not treatment is benefiting them and of course tend to doubt myself and put blame on myself for it if there isn’t improvements being made. I’ve been told numerous times “stop doing more work than the client,” so just me ways as a therapist alone obviously puts more stress on me. So I guess another concern around burn-out is me accepting that I may be struggling and actually prioritize self-care, and express something when I’m not feeling the best.

    I enjoy being active when I can, specifically yoga. And with the chance of more time opening up after graduating I can put more focus on that and be an instructor which has been a goal of mine. Not only can I get a killer work-out, I can teach and even get paid to do something else that I enjoy so that would be amazing self-care. Being with friends and adventuring is also a great form of self-care for me since I can be with people who I consider supports and try new things. I do want to focus more on my health, and sleep for self-care overall to help avoid burnout.

    Reply

    • Jayson
      Feb 09, 2020 @ 19:49:51

      Hi Alyce,

      I do agree with your statement, “Having that support has been extremely helpful for me personally, so I fear that a 1-hour supervision won’t be enough to really handle the possibilities our field brings”. Usually during supervision, when the one hour is up, I still have so many more concerns I would like to talk about with my supervisor, but I am relaxed because I know we still have our classmates and the intern supervision class I can talk to. However, graduation is coming and oh man, I do fear that 1 hour of supervision just won’t be enough too. Also, supervision is going to be different, we won’t be interns anymore and thus how supervision works is going to be different and more focused on clients and less on our questions about “Am I doing this right?”.

      Reply

    • Mikala Korbey
      Feb 14, 2020 @ 13:06:29

      Alyce,
      I totally feel the same way that self-care is really hard to do when I feel like I have a million things to do and other responsibilities that need to come first. I also 100% agree that supervision and talking with co-workers is so helpful for me as well to process things. Without that support, I feel like it would extremely difficult because talking with people who understand the field and all that comes along with it.
      I also related to what you were saying about accepting you are struggling and expressing how you feel when you do not feel the best. I struggle with this so much, and I have a really hard time admitting I’m not “okay” and need to take some time for myself. I feel this weird sense of guilt, like I should be able to handle xyz going on. I “should” myself all the time, and it is something I am really struggling to get better at.

      Reply

    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Feb 15, 2020 @ 10:37:31

      Hi Alyce, I really agree with what you said about supervision not being enough. Sometimes in internship I’ve found it challenging when I have supervision, see a client after, and then have to wait a week to have that individualized one on one time with my supervisor again. If that’s how it is with a smaller caseload as an intern, I imagine it will be much more complex with a higher caseload. I think that this concern further highlights my desire to be at an agency where there is substantial support from co-workers, that way we don’t feel as reliant on that one hour of time each week. I also wanted to comment on how great it is that you are still looking to pursue yoga beyond your career as a counselor. I think it’s so important for mental health counselors to continue to pursue interests that go beyond the scope of their jobs and agencies.

      Reply

  5. Jayson
    Feb 09, 2020 @ 19:17:26

    Regarding to working with clients, what gets me stress sometimes is when I schedule my clients back to back with no breathing room for me to prepare for the next client. There have been a few times when I would see about 6-7 scheduled clients along with a group on one day, one after the other with sometimes no cancellations! If I can go a day with just only completing their individual counseling notes of our session, that would be paradise, however most of time, I need to complete additional work for my clients that often results in me being confused about how to complete such work. The work just tends to pile on more if I don’t allow myself time to work on it. I know I need to learn to simply just scheduled my clients at least 30 minutes from each other, but there are times when my clients would say to me that they can only meet a certain time which results in me having clients back to back. I simply can’t say, “Oh wait, actually do you mind meeting with me at 9:30am instead of 9:00am so I can take a breather since I just saw 2 clients before you?”. Please if anyone has any input of how I can schedule my clients more efficiently, please let me know!

    Lately, I have been struggling with self-care, but I know I need to fix that. I used to exercise like 3 times a week, but due to having so many things going on, my time is limited, and I have not been exercising as much, but I hope I can start again. Currently my self-care is simply identifying new kinds of music to listen to, learning new recipes to cook, and sometimes I would simply walk around Worcester to explore it even more since I still don’t know too much about Worcester.

    Reply

    • Rachel DiLima
      Feb 12, 2020 @ 11:20:40

      Hey Jayson,

      Paperwork hell is a terrible place to find yourself. What really struck me about your comment was when you said, “I simply can’t say, “Oh wait, actually do you mind meeting with me at 9:30am instead of 9:00am so I can take a breather since I just saw 2 clients before you?” You ABSOLUTELY should convey to your clients your preferred availability. Taking charge of your hours and how you present your availability to your clients is so very important to preventing burnout. That being said, I wouldn’t go into details about WHY you want to see them a half an hour later, but I’ll tell you what I’d say: “I want to know if you’re comfortable meeting at 9:30 from now on?” And that’s it. You don’t need to explain yourself to your client. In the future, providing times that work for you, and then collaborating on a time that works for both of you, is important. You can’t be expected to provide a high level of care if you are scrambling from client to client. You may even find that you don’t need a half an hour between clients, but that you can make due with 15, or even 10. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.

      Good Luck!

      Reply

    • Becca Green
      Feb 13, 2020 @ 08:32:47

      Hi Jayson! It sounds like you answered your own question but aren’t confident in it. Even if you have your schedule right in front of the client, telling them when you can meet doesn’t have to reflect all “open” times you have. Having gaps and breaks within your day is important for you to be able to eat, go to the bathroom, finish notes, get consultation, decompress after a client and orient yourself to the next client. You just need to be confident and stick to the boundaries that you set. You got this!!!!!

      Reply

  6. Rachel DiLima
    Feb 10, 2020 @ 15:15:24

    When looking at the tables provided in the readings, I recognized that some counselor-induced contributing factors to burnout that I possess include high-achieving, a need for approval (I wouldn’t say its high, but its there), and financial concerns (the struggle is real, ya’ll). I have found, through my work at internship, that I begin to get burned out when I feel as though I put in more work than my clients do. I’ve even tracked some thoughts surrounding my burnout, and sometimes I surprise myself with the accusatory thoughts of “Why am I even trying if they’re not?”, “This is pointless”, “Why are they even coming in?”, and “I’m obviously not good at this.” That is to say, my compassion begins to wan and I stop becoming curious about a client and instead become fatigued by them. When I start thinking/feeling this way, I begin to become overwhelmed by the amount of work that is before me, even if it is within the normal limits of my abilities. I sleep worse, and my anxiety climbs. In the past when I have noticed this decline in mood and function, I have normally turned to my tried-and-true self-care rituals, which include getting into nature with my dog, running, cooking new meals and tidying up my apartment (sometimes all in the same day, usually ending with a hot shower, fuzzy socks, a giant mug of tea and a phone call to mom). Distressingly, these self-care rituals have fallen short while at internship. What has helped me enormously is supervision and peer support. Being able to talk over my frustrations and subsequent questioning of my abilities with my supervisor has been enormously helpful. She was able to normalize the experience for me, and even more helpfully, offer different ideas and interventions that may work better with certain clients which brings back my compassion and curiosity. It makes me realize how important a supportive agency that holds the same values and goals as me truly is for my career. Indeed, even LOOKING at the Agency-Induced Contributing Factors to Burnout table made me stressed out! I think strong boundaries, self-monitoring, and knowing one’s own limits are the keys to preventing long-term burnout.

    Reply

    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Feb 13, 2020 @ 18:15:14

      Rachel, I so totally relate to you about how you feel some burnout when you are putting in more effort than your clients. I recently met with a client who literally gave me one-word answers to all of my questions, no elaboration; however, what I did was really try to empathize with where she was at. I think what you mean, though, is when you’re consistently putting in more effort than your clients. Anyways, I am like you as well, in that getting out in nature is a big calming factor for me. Winters are hard for me and that is a one of the many reasons for moving back to CA (however, my granddaughter is the main reason). When I lived on the UCSC campus, I was literally 3 miles from the beach and my partner and I could go there to walk pretty much year-round. I also agree that having good supervision is important. My issue is that I tend to not open up enough about what is going on for me. But I am working on that.

      Reply

    • Shannon O'Brien
      Feb 15, 2020 @ 02:19:15

      Rachel – I really appreciate you being so honest and willing to share your feelings about needing approval and being a high achiever. I have spent most of my life struggling with this, so I feel you. The fear of failure or making mistakes is so real. I know it is something that drives me to work hard, but it can get exhausting being so anxious about it! I like think I am just being conscientious, but sometimes it can get to be a little much haha. Supervision has also helped me with this and I am glad you have had good experiences with it as well! I agree that our feelings being normalized is a great start and maybe sometimes all we need to begin to process. You are doing great! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

  7. Shannon O'Brien
    Feb 11, 2020 @ 02:17:13

    Overall, I am a worrier and an really anxious individual, especially when it comes to making sure my responsibilities are taken care of. I have gone through stages of worry with my current clients while at my placement. When first starting there, I felt like I worried about everything. I definitely took things home with me and found myself going in for a few hours on days I was not supposed to be there or staying much later/coming in earlier to be absolutely certain that everything was prepared and taken care of. With the support of my supervisors, I have worked on this and become more efficient when preparing things for my clients while I am away and for when I come back. I do worry that if I were to start somewhere new that I will again struggle to detach myself from work as this is always something I have struggled with. I also struggle with setting boundaries with the amount of work I take on. I am definitely a “people pleaser” and have a hard time saying no when something is asked of me. I like to be busy, but I do think I have a tenancy to stretch myself a little thin. I think that this could really contribute to burnout for me, especially with the combination of taking work home with me. Supervision has worked wonders for me so far, so I look forward to continuing to learn new skills that will help me manage my anxieties and decrease chances of burnout.
    With being so busy (as we all are) I feel like self-care has been more of a chore for me. It’s something I know I need to take part in and take more seriously, but I do find myself feeling like it is just another responsibility instead of something that naturally flows into myself and makes me feel better. I don’t know if that makes sense or resonates with anybody, but that is the best way I can describe it. I work overnights at my job, so I know that my irregular sleep pattern is a frequent barrier as I get tired more easily than I used to and sleep when most other people are awake. I am hoping I will be more successful when implementing self-care once my schedule calms down after graduation. I look forward to the idea of working out and being more active again, participating in old hobbies again and picking up new ones, and seeing friends and family more.

    Reply

  8. Mikala Korbey
    Feb 11, 2020 @ 09:37:55

    As a general rule, self-care is something that I am not great at, and am working on getting better at. However, once I am only working one job, and not going to school, doing an internship and working a part time job, I think I will be better at doing self-care and taking overall better care of myself. It is something that I think is important, however sometimes I feel like it is hard to fit it in and feel like it is a priority when I have many other equally important things I need to get done. As with many other things, it is often easier to encourage other people to partake in self-care rather than do it myself. One thing that especially stood out to me was giving yourself at least 30 minutes for lunch. Reading that honestly made me chuckle a little because in my internship now I am lucky if I get an uninterrupted 20 minutes to eat. Most days I try to hide away and eat in peace however in a school setting it is often very difficult. Especially because I am in a special ed program, it runs a little differently than a general ed counselor would experience. I have learned how to hide out from people for a few minutes to take a breather on stressful days. Advocating for myself with my supervisor is something I am trying to do now (as much as I can because I am only an intern), if I am struggling and need help or need to take a mental health day. Taking one mental health day a month is a goal she set for me a few months into the school year after she realized I am not great at doing that for myself. Overall, self care is something important to me, and is definitely a work in progress for me.

    Reply

    • Nicole Plona
      Feb 11, 2020 @ 14:43:24

      Mikala,
      I really connected with when you said “once I am only working one job, and not going to school, doing an internship and working a part time job, I think I will be better at doing self-care and taking overall better care of myself”. For the past two years we have been focusing and trying to get so many different jobs, assignments, clients, and personal life tasks jammed into very short 24 hours days. Self-care is hard when you are trying to prioritize everything else in your life that has due dates and deadlines. I am hoping that once I finish with school completely and only have the one job to focus on there won’t be as many things to prioritize and my self-care will be brought up on that list.

      Reply

    • Rachel DiLima
      Feb 12, 2020 @ 11:10:20

      Hi Mikala,

      I remember hearing from you during supervision how lunches are primarily spent with certain students, and that it was even described as a kind of “punishment” for them. It made me wonder how that description must feel for you? For that one portion of your day to be “punishment” for someone else, and to feel as though you must fulfill that “punishing” role. It wouldn’t make my lunch enjoyable. It might even make me dread lunch a bit. I agree that trying to find time in the day to take care of yourself is difficult, only made more so due to being a student. I find myself feeling guilty sometimes if I have a free night to myself, mostly with the feeling that “I should be doing something productive.” I’m hoping that the incessant guilt over “not DOING something” will ease once grad school is complete, for all of us.

      Reply

    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Feb 15, 2020 @ 10:43:23

      Hi Mikala, I completely agree with what you said about feeling that self-care is important, but also feeling that other things that are going on also need to get done. I think it can be a hard thing to navigate because self-care involves focusing on and taking care of yourself, but then conversely it could create stress to not get those other things done. Either way, I think it takes a lot of practice to be able to prioritize our own needs and disconnect from the work we have to do. I also relate to the comment you made about not finding time for yourself even to eat lunch. Sometimes things are so hectic in the environment that it’s even hard to spend two minutes at the microwave!

      Reply

  9. Liisa Biltcliffe
    Feb 12, 2020 @ 21:21:36

    Self-care for me is interesting because sometimes I am really good at it and other times I am not so good at it. It all depends on how I am doing mood-wise. When my depression rears its ugly head, I tend to forget how to exercise proper self-care. I know this is par for the course for most folks who suffer from depression, though. I know that advice I was given by friends in the mental health field included diversifying so that I would not burn out. In other words, do not just do counseling, but teach or do volunteer work or whatnot in order to avoid burnout. In addition, I have a somewhat unique way of practicing self-care. I have about 20 pen pals to whom I write on a regular basis. This, for me, is similar to journaling because to many of my pen friends I can write most anything–they are truly friends (most whom I’ve never met). I, like Rachel said in her comment to Mikala, also feel guilty though, when I take time for myself. When I take time to write a letter or to play a video game (video games very rarely happen during school semesters simply because I feel they are too frivolous), I feel like I should be doing something else, more “important.” When I have “free” time, such as when I am not in school, I tend to do better at self-care. I have many hobbies I like to do and when I really need to get away, my partner and I go tent camping. I think that being a perfectionist tends to get in the way of my being too relaxed at just about anything I do. And that, I know, is a problem.

    Reply

    • Becca Green
      Feb 13, 2020 @ 08:30:15

      Liisa, I think that you having that many pen-pals is really cool and definitely a unique way to journal or express the stressors in your life. I feel very similar, if I start to take too much time to myself I feel guilty about the things I could be doing for work or school. I think as graduate students we generally need to remember that we are humans who deserve happiness and ways to destress, even if sometimes it means we put ourselves and our needs above others’.

      Reply

    • Mikala Korbey
      Feb 14, 2020 @ 13:17:31

      Liisa,
      I think it is really awesome that you have pen pals! Journaling is something I always think would help me, but struggle to get myself to do. I have to be in the “right mood” to journal, and when I have in the past it does really help. However, it is something I struggle to do on a regular basis. Do you write to people all over? How did you get involved in this? This is something I find so cool!!
      I too feel guilty when I do things for myself, even something as simple as watching an episode of a show, I feel like, is this something I really should be doing rather than any number of more productive things. It is something I need to better train myself to feel less bad about doing.

      Reply

  10. Becca Green
    Feb 13, 2020 @ 08:23:18

    One of the things I’ve noticed about myself is that I tend to manage stress better if I have adequate and consistent supervision. At my internship I have both individual and group supervision each week and I find that I am able to talk about my stressors in that setting and therefore don’t take the stress home with me. With my full time job I do not get consistent supervision and I tend to take the stress from work home with me. Even though I’m turning off my work phone as soon as my shift ends I still think about and talk about my stress about work when I’m home. That is something that I need to work on, as I can’t control my boss and his availability to have consistent supervision with me.

    Currently I try to do my best to take at least a small bit of time to myself during the week. I only have one day off a week so I tend to spend most of that doing homework, laundry, cleaning, etc. and don’t have a lot of time to do things I actually enjoy. I started to take one evening each week to do anything that isn’t work or school related and isn’t cleaning. I also recently decided to run my agency’s 5k, which I haven’t run more than a mile since I had to in 8th grade. I’ve been running about 3 days a week and it actually has helped with my overall stress levels on those days.

    In general I think as long as I get adequate and consistent supervision at my job post-grad then I will be able to manage the stress. I won’t have as many things on my plate and I will be able to do the things I enjoy doing more frequently.

    Reply

    • Alyce Almeida
      Feb 13, 2020 @ 15:36:51

      Becca,

      I feel so strongly about your statement with supervision. I too get both individual and group supervision and am quite nervous on that no longer being a possibility. I like to say I don’t take my work home with me but I definitely find myself struggling after a tough day and it impacting me. Also great for you for choosing to run the 5k – thats awesome! It’s seems like you were able to make some changes to help increase your self-care … 1 step at a time right!

      Reply

  11. marissa stephania
    Feb 13, 2020 @ 10:46:21

    I guess my biggest concern is that I have a habit of not making or taking enough time for myself. I tend to overwork myself, which is never good. I think a lot of that comes from my want for perfection and professionalism. I often feel like when I do take time for self-care, my mind is thinking of all the other things that I could or should be doing whether it’s school related or even just in my personal life and responsibilities. This can be an extremely overwhelming field and self-care is so important and something that I have learned is a priority. A concern I have for self-care/burnout when it comes to working with clients, is my ability to balance my caseload and manage these clients and the caseload as well as balance my personal life. I want to be the best therapist I can be for my clients, and I want to help my clients in the best way possible. However, I worry that I may struggle to leave work at work, and I worry that I may carry this home with me. I tend to be very caring and I always want to help people, and although this is a good thing, I worry I may struggle to leave these things at work.

    I have always struggled with self-care and making time for myself. However, I recently started a blog and have found this to be really helpful for me as a form of self-care. I try to consistently make time each week, to just write about what’s on my mind or the things that I enjoy such as shopping or lifestyle things. I find that this really takes my mind off of other things that may be going on in my life and gives me time just to think and do something I love.

    Reply

    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Feb 13, 2020 @ 17:52:59

      Marissa, I understand what you are saying about taking work home with you and being a very caring individual. I agree that when one cares about others as much as most of us in our profession do, it can be difficult not to think about our clients outside of our practice. However, I think that you having a blog is a great outlet and like my pen pal writing, it’s like journaling about what’s going on in your life, which can be quite healing. I find writing to be so soothing and really enjoy it. This may sound funny since I am going to be an LMHC, but I find writing easier than speaking. I can just get my point across better that way.

      Reply

  12. Sarah Mombourquette
    Feb 13, 2020 @ 18:37:15

    One concern that I have related to burnout is that I often find that I will go so far in trying to accommodate for session times with clients that it becomes problematic for my own schedule. I have found that this can lead to burnout for me because I end up being pulled in many different directions that are sometimes difficult to manage in the field. I believe I will need to set firm boundaries moving forward in terms of how often I am going out of my routine and schedule. I also find that in doing this I end up becoming very stressed out due to paperwork backing up. Another concern that I have is that I often find it challenging to not be consistently thinking about what is happening for my clients once I am no longer in session. Particularly because I work with children, it’s hard not to reflect on whether or not the environment they are in at home is allowing for them to implement what we have learned in session. Currently my largest feature of stress relief and self-care is maintaining a stable and consistent morning and night routine. I believe the most beneficial factor in my self-care is going for a run outside before the sun comes up in the morning. I find that, even in the cold, connecting with nature allows me to relieve any anxiety or stress that I am still experiencing from the day before. Because no one is typically out at that time, it is a good opportunity for me to gather my thoughts. I also find that going on this morning run sets everything else in motion and allows me to maintain the rest of my morning schedule, allowing me to be ready on time which significantly decreases my stress during the day.

    Reply

    • Shannon O'Brien
      Feb 15, 2020 @ 02:07:12

      Sarah – I totally understand your struggle with over accommodating appointment times with clients. I was the same way when I started my internship and sometimes still feel the urge to bend my schedule for clients in need. Fortunately, my supervisor has really helped me with this and has emphasized that sticking to my schedule IS a from of self-care!! Changing my perspective on this has helped me set professional boundaries as well as help me leave internship stuff at internship. My supervisor once said to me, “Of course you are important, but you are not THAT important as to where your clients can’t function at all without you just because you can’t meet them at 7am.” Definitely something I needed to hear to put myself back in check!

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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