Self-care is a widely discussed topic among mental health professionals. However, professionals in the field have a tendency to take care of others and in-turn neglect their own mental health. According to a survey, the following are areas in which mental health professionals report struggling: burnout, counter-transference, vicarious traumatization, personal loss, problems collecting fees and conflicts with co-workers. According to Dattilio (2015) mental health professionals should follow guidelines to reduce stress associated with the profession. The guidelines include:
* Watch for early signs of distress and take action as soon as possible
* Be aware of and deal with any dysfunctional thought processes regarding stress and its effects
* Monitor cognitive distortions
* Create a variety of self-soothing or relaxing activities
* Avoiding taking on too many challenging clients at one time.
* Set realistic and achievable goals
* Monitor progress towards set goals
* Do not make self-esteem contingent on work performance
* Consult with colleagues regarding difficult cases or daily stressors
Remember – You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.
If you feel that you or someone you know is struggling with self-care, we are here to help. Call (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services, which include one-on-one therapy with a trained clinician.
Author: Michelle Debski, M.A.
Dattilio, F. M. (2015). The self‐care of psychologists and mental health professionals: A review and practitioner guide. Australian Psychologist, 50(6), 393-399.