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5 Ways To Avoid Burnout as a Therapist

Often times when I start consulting with a practice owner. One thing I notice sometimes right away is the signs of burnout. Running a practice is hard! While everyone tends to have different methods to help avoid burnout, below are the top 5 areas I tell therapists to focus on with the intent to avoid being and feeling the wrath of burnout.

Be realistic with your schedule- Take a look at your schedule as it is now and ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Does your schedule seem overwhelming? Do you often find that you never have time to get everything done that you need to because your schedule doesn't align? Do you feel like you have too many people on your schedule? Does your work schedule push over into your personal schedule causing you to put your personal life on the back burner? If you answered yes to all or most of these questions then it may be a good idea to reevaluate your current schedule and make the appropriate changes.

  2. Is your schedule controlled by the amount you need to make to live? Meaning do you see 40 clients a week because that is the amount that you need to make to pay for the lifestyle you desire? Often times therapists have been given the advice to price according to what you need to survive. This style of management will only lead to burnout. You should always take your time into consideration first so that you know what you need to price each client and according to how many clients you would like to see each week. Do not be afraid to make rate changes to take control over your life and practice.

Supplement what you offer- Not every dollar earned needs to be from one on one sessions. There are many ways you can offer more to your clients that will shift the amount of time you are spending on your practice. For example, if you do not offer group therapy this may be the time to think about if it is a better option for your practice or not. Look at the list below and see if any supplemental offers would work well for you.

- Workshop

- Virtual Retreat

- Workbook

- Webinar

- Mental Health related training programs

- E-book

- Podcast

Hire the right staff- If you had an assistant that you were constantly checking in on to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to that may defeat the purpose of an assistant. If you have therapists that are a part of your group practice that did not follow the process and procedures of the practice it may be stressful interacting with that team member. If you decided to run your practice without the guidance of a consultant you may come to the conclusion that everything is adding up and is way too hard to manage. That is why it is so important to make sure you are putting together a team that will meet your expectations. If you are running around doing everyone's job for them or fixing issues as they come in it would be very easy for you to reach the burnout stage. Once you master what makes the perfect team member. Write it down in a form of a checklist so that you can replicate the process as many times as necessary. Having the dream team by your side will help you stay away from burnout.

P.S. Don't beat yourself up if the list doesn't work every now and then. Sometimes people just don't work out.

Take time for yourself - Yes, I said it. Taking time for yourself is just as important as everything else this blog goes over. I find that if I do not take time for myself on a daily basis the negativity starts to set in. To maintain my positivity I have a daily morning routine that is all dedicated to yours truly-ME. It does not take that long at all and it is something I look forward to every morning. Taking time for yourself doesn't have to be a morning routine. That is just what works best for me. You could be as simple as having an actual lunch break. Stopping at your favorite restaurant once a week. Treating yourself to a technology-free day. Something small simple yet exciting got you to look forward to will do the trick.

Learn how to manage your practice- One of the main reasons the therapists I consult with go down the path of burnout is because they consume so much time just managing their practice. It really doesn't have to be that hard. Once you have procedures in place your practice should run on autopilot. I know it sounds impossible but it is completely possible. Identify what tasks need to be done to run your practice, create a procedure around the task, complete the task yourself ensuring the process works well, and then pass the task over to a virtual assistant to manage. You will then check in once a week quickly to make sure the tasks are being done according to the procedure. This will not only take the burden of the tasks off of you it will also help you to understand and identify if any issues come up at all. You will be in control of your practice without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

If you are currently facing burnout as a therapist or practice owner feel free to try these tips out. If you feel like you need more guidance please reach out to me about consulting services that I offer to mental health professionals. I hope you will be on the path to a burnout-free practice.

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