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How Do Therapists Manage Their Own Mental Health?

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Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

When we have a mental illness or strong feelings like stress, anxiety, sadness, and anger, we often reach out to therapists for help. We can learn new tools and coping mechanisms to serve us well in challenging times. It’s easy to assume that therapists who are experts in mental health don’t have their own challenges. However, they can face the same battles as everyone else. In most situations, therapists try to manage their mental health in these ways:

Refine Their Skills

Graduating with a therapy degree is not the end of most therapists’ professional journey. They often undertake additional counselling courses to learn updated techniques. Sometimes, they also specialize in particular areas of mental health.

Continuing education can be an excellent way for therapists to feel competent and confident in their field. They may even fight off feelings of imposter phenomenon when they know they have the necessary skills to help people.

Participate in Therapy

Therapists provide therapy to other people. Still, that doesn’t mean they can’t participate in it themselves. Therapy sessions are available for everyone, including other mental health professionals. In their sessions, they can craft mental health treatment plans, explore their feelings, understand their thoughts and behaviors, and process challenging or stressful experiences. Therapy for therapists can sometimes help them feel refreshed so they can be in a better mental position to help their clients.

Practice Self-Care

Therapists tell their clients to practice self-care to improve their mental health. However, they can also do the same for themselves. Self-care is crucial for all of us; therapists can exercise, enjoy hobbies, meditate, and be with their loved ones. These activities can be helpful for maintaining a healthy work-life balance when they spend a great deal of time helping other people.

Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Therapists always tell us to eat well, avoid substance abuse, and drink plenty of water. They need to do the same things for themselves. Healthy lifestyle choices can often make it easier to cope with stress and lead an overall healthy life. Therapists should prioritize sleep, nutritious food, exercise, and hydration. They may then feel happier and healthier to manage their mental health while still supporting the mental health of others.

Set Boundaries

Therapists spend much time helping people work through their trauma and mental health issues. This can often involve hearing about their clients’ experiences. It’s not uncommon for client stories to be emotional and heartbreaking.

While it’s all too easy for them to take these worries and experiences home with them, therapists learn to set boundaries. When they compartmentalize, they can separate work and home life to avoid emotional exhaustion. This can be important for being able to help more people without burning out.

Therapists have a wealth of knowledge regarding mental health. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own challenges from time to time. Most therapists aim to manage their own mental health by upskilling, setting boundaries, looking after themselves, and attending their own therapy sessions.

How Do Therapists Manage Their Own Mental Health?
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