Consulting

In the parallel process between the personal and professional realms of the helping professional, the level of self-care of the helping professional translates directly to work with the client.  Walking into the therapy office or the examination room with our own hair on fire, having not taken care of our own emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health needs is- in my opinion- unethical.  How can we model healthy communication, lifestyle choices, and boundaries with our clients if we are not taking care of ourselves?

Add to this ethical imperative the facts that 1) our work environments are often high-paced and under-supported and 2) many people who are drawn to the helping professions have co-dependent tendencies, and you see the dilemma that too many clinical teams face.  There is little reward- internally or externally- for the helping professional to care for him or herself.  The outcome?  Managers that are too exhausted to truly support their staff and staff that are frayed from overwork and secondary trauma or compassion fatigue,leading to physical and emotional symptoms that not only affect the clinician, but also the agency: decreased productivity, increased sick day usage, and staff retention problems.

self-care-cup

After my own experience as a young clinician working in public mental health, having never even heard the term “secondary trauma,” I learned the hard way what I needed to do in order to bring my best self to my clients and all my work in our agency.  Healthy living and self-care come naturally to me, but I was still unprepared for the level of care I needed to give myself in order to hold the stories of my clients and navigate the daily bureaucratic and political twists and turns of my agency.  I was burning out- and fast.  I approached the problem of my own burnout as a scientist- adding the self-care pieces I already knew were most effective for me- one piece at a time- until my burnout symptoms subsided.  Unfortunately, many clinicians in the same conditions that I found myself simply leave the field.        

It is now my passion to help others in the helping professions identify the ways they need to and can care for themselves and to then incorporate those practices into their daily lives.  To that end, I am available to present staff trainings about self-care for helping professionals.  I am currently only available to do these trainings in California.  They include two parts:

A management team session, including the topics:

— What is self-care?

— Rate yourself- how is your self-care practice?

— Identifying ways to improve your self-care practice

— Committing to change

— Why do we want our staff to be self-care superstars?

— Management techniques for encouraging self-care in staff

— Committing to supporting staff

A clinical staff session, including the topics:

— What is self-care?

— Rate yourself- how is your self-care practice?

— Identifying ways to improve your self-care practice

— Committing to change

— Why do we want our clients to be self-care superstars?

— Clinical techniques for encouraging self-care in clients

If you are interested in one of these trainings, please contact Andrea through the form below: