You’re the expert, so you know the importance of managing the stress of a busy schedule of sessions when you’re in private practice. Day after day of spending long hours alleviating people’s problems and traumas can take its toll on you. Limit this cost by controlling your time and activity tightly.
Maintain The Frame
As the day wears on and you begin to tire, it’s easy to become lax in keeping your appointments on schedule. Some practitioners start late, then run over to make up the missed time. Others start on time, but lose focus as the session proceeds, so they throw in a few extra minutes to compensate for their tardiness. In either instance, patients who follow must suffer the delay of the start of their appointments and have to stay in the office longer than planned, making it that much later before the last one leaves and you get to the end of your day. Keep yourself on schedule unless there’s a true emergency. And seek collegial consultation if you can’t get a grip on this.
Take Your Breaks
The 45 or 50 minute session isn’t just a convention ― it’s designed to give you time to chart, prepare for upcoming patients, check messages, and to enjoy a few minutes to clear your head. As needed, you even can squeeze in a quick trip to the bathroom. When you get off track, you have to push these tasks later in the day, resulting in no breaks sometimes. This means you have to skip lunch or light dinner because you’re running so far behind. Don’t fall into this trap. Keep up with the work of the day and use the few minutes you have each hour to recharge.
There’s always something else to do in practice, but try your best to put these chores on a timetable too. This will keep you from randomly tacking extra hours onto the end of days that are long enough already. Stay on top of your calendar and set time for both patients as well as office responsibilities each week. Then you’ll be able to leave the office with some regularity to enjoy well-deserved rest and rejuvenation at home.
The business of helping people is stressful and requires practitioners to take care of themselves if you’re to remain healthy, happy, and good at what you do. Many of the structures of practice can help you manage session stress, so apply the discipline necessary to stick to them!
Enjoy These Other Success Articles
Reprint Policy: You are welcome to reprint this article for your personal use and to share with friends and associates.
Contact Dr. Webster to obtain permission for any commercial purposes.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
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
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Your Success Psychologist!
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317