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Preventing Burnout

May 06, 2024

Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you. You know, I try to never cover a topic that I’ve covered in the last year or two. But I want to address a topic we covered not too long ago, and that is self-help. Doing a good job for yourself so that you don’t get burned out.

We talked about burnout a few months ago, and you’d be surprised how many comments with people saying, “Yes that’s me! I’m in burnout.”

So let’s talk about what to do to prevent burnout. The first thing you have to do is decide to work early or late, but not both. Now, therapists tend to start early in the morning and they go late at night. That will burn you out quickly. You have to make sure that you’re either going in late or you’re quitting early so that you day is a little shorter and there is more time for YOU.

The second thing you have to do is you have to cluster book, which means you have to put all your patients in one cluster. Maybe cluster it around the middle of the day and then work out from there. That way you have time at the beginning and the end of the day to get things done.

The third thing you need to do is take an extra day off. If you’re working five days, go down to four. It’s not going to affect you near as much as you think. If you’re working four days, consider going down to three.

The fourth thing you have to do is to have planned vacations. They say you get just as much rest from planning a vacation as going on the vacation itself. Just the thought of free time will free your up your mind.

Lastly, and this is an important one, you have to dismiss any patients that are you trouble. The ones who are consistently difficult to work with and requires mental energy well beyond the normal amount it requires for a patient. I had one therapist say the happiest day in his practice was when he realized he could dismiss the troublesome patients and it wouldn’t affect his practice. You know, there is an old principle that 80% of your patients cause you 20% of your problems, and 20% percent of your patients cause you 80% of your problems. If you can let go of those giving you the majority of your problems, I think you’ll have a much happier practice.

So think about it. Have a self-care plan. Don’t work early and late, plan some vacations, and just make sure that you take care of yourself. Because once you get burned out, it’s a lot easier to get burned out again. Give yourself some self-care, you’ll be glad you did!

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