Therapist Burnout: Is Private Practice the Solution or the Problem?
As a community and a profession, you have stepped up and shown up for the world. You’ve stepped up at home, at work, and with your friends. You’ve likely made multiple major changes in your life, multiple times as you’ve simultaneously been helping your clients navigate these changes. If you’re suffering with, recovering from, or feeling on the edge of burnout you are not alone.
The question is: Is private practice a part of the solution or the problem? The answer is yes.
As a therapist in private practice, you’re a business owner and entrepreneur. You create the foundation, systems, processes, plans, and dynamics in your business. You’re the boss. You’re in control. You’re responsible. And under all that pressure, let’s be honest, sometimes you aren’t very kind to yourself.
Odds are as a therapist, you’ve experienced a boss or a system that was unrealistic, unkind, and unsustainable at some point in your career. That experience may have even been your motivator for opening up your own private practice. But, where do we even learn about how to run a practice or business?
We often learn from our previous experiences and what’s been modeled for us on how to run a business. Good or bad, our practices can consciously or unconsciously be replications of systems that have never really worked. And these systems that never worked could be ESPECIALLY problematic when trying to navigate a global pandemic.
Therapists: You are needed right now. You’re the key to healing for so many individuals, couples, and families. You can be the turning point for an entire family tree to heal intergenerational trauma and create a new normal.
It’s important to recognize, you are also in need. You need a practice that is sustainable for your current situation. That means sustainable energetically, financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc. If what you were doing in private practice wasn’t truly working for you pre-pandemic (or even if it was) you need to reassess what works for you, your business, and your clients.
Your clients aren’t going to get the best therapy or good outcomes from a shelled-out husk of a therapist who isn’t being taken care of. You deserve to show yourself the care that you give your clients. It’s okay (and necessary!) to pause, reassess, reflect, and make changes.
What kind of changes might you need right now?
Let’s take away the judgment around time, energy, and money and just see them as resources. If that insurance contract isn’t working for you- drop it, if you need a raise from one of your contracts- ask for it, if your fee needs to go up so that you can live comfortably- raise it. If you need more community- let’s find or create it.
Your clients truly need you at your highest and best. And, if you’d never treat your employee the way you are treating yourself- maybe it is time to ask your boss for some real change.
Stuck on where to start? Here are some free resources: Free 4-day Masterclass, Burnout Handbook, How to Set Fees Training, and Marketing 101. Or, join us for our Private Practice Reset Retreat on September 10th.
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