You’ve got a tough job.
You take care of a lot of people. You hear lot a of problems. You hold them for your clients, support them, challenge them, then go home and try not to let them weigh on you.
It’s not easy.
You want to be a good therapist, to be there for your clients, but you also need to make sure you’ve got it together yourself. Who takes care of the caregivers?
You need some support for yourself too.
Therapists are Human Beings Too
As a therapist, you’re faced with all kinds of occupational hazards. Burnout, vicarious trauma, impostor syndrome. We totally get it. We’re therapists too. And we’re not ashamed to admit that sometimes we need help with our own stuff. Who doesn’t?
We put so much of ourselves into our work. Sometimes it’s pretty thankless (mandated clients, anyone?). Sometimes it’s so painful (childhood trauma survivors?). Sometimes it just gets to be too much. You feel like you can’t go on.
Maybe you wonder whether you’re making a difference to anyone anyway. Maybe you wonder if everyone’s figured out you’re a fraud! (You probably aren’t, but it’s so normal to go through that!)
Being a therapist doesn’t mean being a superhero. It doesn’t mean going it alone or never needing your own help and support. (You are probably aware that some schools of therapy even require practitioners to be or have been in their own therapy.)
If therapy is good for your clients, it’s good for you too.
You Have a Lot to Offer
Maybe you became a therapist because you’ve been through tough times yourself. Trauma survivors make great therapists for trauma survivors (though triggering your own sensitivities can be a hazard to grapple with). Folks in addiction recovery have a lot to offer people who are struggling with addiction themselves.
But you have to keep your own house in order. There’s no shame in keeping up your own work at the same time as you help others. Just the opposite – as you have probably told your own clients, seeking help is a sign of strength and courage.
Then again, maybe you need help with something entirely different than your own specialty. You can be an expert in EMDR and also need some help in your adoption journey. You can be a killer family therapist who’s struggling with an anger problem. As human beings, we are also afflicted by depression, anxiety, and any number of other mental health issues.
And we also have personal relationships! You may know your stuff when it comes to play therapy, but does that mean you don’t have marital struggles? You may treat OCD really well yet still struggle with your impossible in-laws! (Therapists often make great clients in couples counseling and family therapy because they know growth takes work!)
Take Your Mental Health Seriously
If you’re struggling to be the best you can be in your work, in your relationships, in your life – please take care of yourself. Reach out today and get yourself your own therapist who can help you be the best you can be – for yourself, for your clients, and for everyone else who wants and needs you to be healthy and happy too.
Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Ra
By Chanan Siris
Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot
Raffi made me enjoy going to therapy. I have learned to talk through issues that seemed impossible and I feel so much better about the communication in my relation
By Tyson V.
My boyfriend and I see Raffi and it was the best decision we ever made. It is hard to gather the right words to describe him and how much he has helped us and our
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Caitlin is so special. She is an excellent listener and offers valuable and practical advice for improving life circumstances. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to grow and improve their