The Thriving Therapist

How Do Your Clients Inspire You to Thrive?

As therapists who truly desire to thrive, we must look within ourselves and our surroundings for the inspiration that sparks our evolution and growth. We actually don’t need to look too far though. Inspiration for thriving is often all around us. In fact, sometimes it’s right across the room from us. This post focuses on how clients inspire therapists’ growth. Simply by looking for clients’ areas of growth, you can ignite your own self-evolution.   [read more]

Want Your New Year’s Resolutions to Stick This Year? Mindfully Focus on These 5 Tricks

Happy New Year! Whatever the last year threw at you, you’re right here right now. Despite the pandemic or perhaps because of it, it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at how you want to live your life in the coming months. But before we dive in, let’s consider how many of those admirable resolutions have you actually kept in past years. [read more]

Mindfully Choosing Your Private Practice Caseload Can Lower Burnout Risk (1 of 2)

One of the most important elements of a thriving practice is mindfully choosing your caseload. Done with self-awareness and intentionality, this can be a highly meaningful prevention strategy for burnout and compassion fatigue. How? This posts highlights 3 key elements – values, strengths, and stress hardiness – that when thoughtfully considered can help build a caseload that serves you and your clients quite well. [read more]

Are You Thriving or Just Surviving as a Therapist?

In their highly practical book How to Survive and Thrive as a Therapist, Pope and Vasquez provide us numerous actionable ideas and steps for how to establish ourselves successfully in private practice. When we follow this “blueprint,’ we can put ourselves more in the driver’s seat, more in the thriving mode. We have structure and guidance. We no longer have to “just get by” and feel like we’re merely grasping and hoping. But I wanted to introduce a slightly different way of thinking about the concept of thriving and pondering the question: are you thriving or just surviving as a therapist? [read more]

Acceptance and Gratitude Together Reduce Burnout, Promote Resilience

The qualities we bring to the occupational hazards of our clinical work have profound implications for our emotional, mental, physical, relational, and spiritual health. This post is all about how acceptance and gratitude together reduce burnout and promote resilience. These companion practices can give us the confidence to handle so much of what comes our way. [read more]

How To Practice Gratitude for Being a Psychotherapist

It is quite rare (or at least I assume so) that a client calls or emails you well after they’ve discontinued treatment to tell you how well they are doing or to thank you for the work you did together. I recently received one of those emails from a former client. Ah, it felt so good. The gratitude for being a psychotherapist flowed easily. This post centers on the relatively uncommon “thank-you notes” from former clients and how to practice gratitude for being a psychotherapist in the here and now. [read more]

What Are We Really Doing in Therapy?

As practitioners, we constantly find ourselves in highly challenging positions. We try our very best to assist those in need of our services while attempting to stay as mindfully present as possible with deep and (often unnecessary) suffering. From this universally humanistic challenge, I began reflecting on what we actually do in our therapeutic work, and my realizations actually startled me a bit. I asked a question I’ve never asked before: “What are we really doing in therapy?” [read more]

How to Repair and Refresh the Therapeutic Relationship

Have you ever really messed up in therapy? Did you say something that you regretted? Did you come off as way too strong or heavy handed? Or perhaps you didn’t bring “enough” compassion to some very hurt feelings your client was experiencing. We have all been there. Right? Yes. It’s OK. Really it is. This post is all about the internal therapist dynamics of what happens when we mis-step. Once we’ve taking responsibility for what has happened, we can then contemplate how to repair and refresh the therapeutic relationship. We can even use this rift and repair to revitalize the work we [read more]

Gratitude Counteracts Therapist Burnout & Fatigue

You bring everything you have to your client sessions.  But the fact of the matter is that some clients simply will not make the progress you so desire or even get worse. This post is all about how the practice of gratitude counteracts therapist burnout and fatigue. The morale-dampening effects of experiencing clients’ deep suffering and lack of progress are realities we must all face. We can explore how gratitude may be a salve to this humanistic injury. [read more]

Clarifying Client Values Using the “True North” ACT-Based Exercise

We can get lost in life. We could all use a bit of direction. When it comes to helping our clients identify and clarify what really matters to them and live life in accordance with those values, we can sometimes become directionally challenged. This post attempts to address the core question: “how do we engage our clients in meaningful discussion (and, of course, action) around what matters most to them in their lives?” We will explore this through clarifying client values using the “True North” ACT-based exercise. [read more]

How to Mindfully Settle and Reset During Your Work Day: The 3-Minute Breathing Space

You’ve just finished a difficult session – your client was processing some very deep emotions around a traumatic incident from her childhood. When we, as therapists, turn toward brief practices like the 3-minute breathing space, we can help ourselves to mindfully let go, settle, and reset for the next client. This post is designed to help mental health professionals take stock of and “reset” their thoughts, feelings, and intentions in between emotionally taxing appointments or throughout the normative challenges of our busy days. [read more]

The Therapeutic Relationship Begins Before You Think

The therapeutic relationship can be considered the most important vehicle to helping your clients toward mental health improvements, healing, and growth. I propose in this post that the therapeutic relationship begins before you think. It likely begins well before we have even confirmed our intake call or initial session. Why? Let’s explore the nuanced (and often hidden) process involved in how prospective clients come to be our actual clients. There’s much more going on than meets the eye. [read more]

3 Key Principles to Help Integrate Self-Care Between Therapy Sessions

“We have about five minutes left for today,” you manage to squeeze in as your client abruptly switches to another topic. Upon reaching the final wrap-up moment and saying your goodbyes until next week, what do you typically do? Are you poised to write your progress note, use the bathroom, eat a quick snack, or make a phone call to insurance or a collaborating clinician? Or perhaps you manage to do all of these at once, unbeknownst to the scouts at the Guinness Book of World Records. (I actually do know a therapist who does 3 out of 4 of [read more]

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