The practice of psychotherapy is unique, creative, and multifaceted. Although therapists are trained to care for others, we often do a poor job of care for ourselves. Self-Care is defined as the integration of a therapistâ€™s emotional, social, physical, and spiritual health. In essence therapist self-care encompasses understanding and attending to the needs of oneâ€™s self; balance in oneâ€™s life; the quality of oneâ€™s life; serves as protection against burnout; influences client care; and is related to connecting to social support systems.
Creating a daily/weekly self-care plan would be a great way to start giving attention to and managing your self-care. Take some time to ask yourself what you need on a daily basis to refuel and reset in order to operate at your apex in your clinical work. However before you do that, please take a few moments to explore your current thoughts and practices about self-care.
Therapist Self-care Self-Assessment
1. How important is self-care to you?
2. What do you need to refuel and refocus daily?
3. What shifts do you need to make to meet your self-care needs?
4. How would your clinical work be influenced if you were attending to your self-care?
5. How would your personal life be influenced if you were managing your self-care?
The practice of self-care is an intentional, ongoing, and advantageous practice. Although the above-mentioned statement may seem obvious, it is easy to fall into a routine of daily life which may deny the energy needed to attend to caring for the self. Caring for ourselves deserves to be looked upon from the perspective of resource management. Likewise, therapists must continually develop and cultivate their most precious resource which is ultimately themselves.