Attitude Adjustments Aren’t Just For Patients



E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2015

You help people change negative attitudes that are causing them problems in life, but what do you do when the negative attitude is yours? Practitioners can get surly with their patients, appear bored with their work, and even start showing up late for appointments because of dismissiveness. This is unacceptable and they need help too. Safeguard your ability to help the patients in your care with the highest standards of ethics and competence by keeping your attitude in check.

  • Take a Break

Work is work no matter how fulfilling your practice is. You’re vulnerable to stress and burnout like everyone else, and have the added risk of compassion fatigue. It’s wearying to shoulder the weight of others’ problems day in and day out, so make a point of scheduling breaks even if only for a few minutes to clear your head ― and your heart.

  • Consult a Colleague

Whether you schedule a formal consultation or meet informally with a colleague, reach out when you hear yourself becoming cynical about the profession, notice a change in your effectiveness in working with certain patients, or find yourself struggling with any clinical issues in general. Once understood, you may find that it helps to refer certain cases out, shift the focus of your practice, or modify your schedule to reduce your stress. And practice what you preach ― Get into therapy yourself to address any issues triggered by your life circumstances or personal dynamics. If your attitude does not improve, you need to step away from the practice altogether.

  • Get a Life

Given the isolating nature of clinical work, it’s easy to devote 100% of your emotional reserves to your practice. Sure, you want your business to be successful, but you need to have a life too. You’ll never have the amount of work-life balance you’d like, but make the time to enjoy your family. Get together with friends. And don’t skip or skimp on vacations because you feel you can’t afford the time and expense. You’ll pay more dearly eventually if you don’t.

Negative attitudes can creep up on clinicians too. Don’t ignore the signs that your attitude and effectiveness are declining. Great support is available around you, so get the help you need today!

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About the Author:

Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,

The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at or call 954.797.9766.

E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

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