Psychotherapists just like anyone else can experience stress. Depending on their level of stress it can have a negative impact on their work, health and personal life. This is why it is important for even psychotherapists to take steps to reduce their level of stress. To help understand what type of impact a psychotherapist who experiences stress can have on their work performance and for stress reduction tips, I have interviewed Jeff Klug, a licensed clinical professional counselor.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I’m a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Baltimore, Maryland. I maintain a private practice here and am also the Associate Director of the Student Counseling Center at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. I have been a counselor since 1991.”
What type of impact can a psychotherapist who experiences stress have on their work performance?
“Experiencing stress is unavoidable for everyone; it’s how we deal with stress that is most important. For therapists experiencing excessive or chronic stressors and who do not manage them well, the impact can have a negative effect on their clients. For example, the psychotherapist can become easily distracted and not fully present with clients in the moment; the ability to empathize can be diminished; or worse yet, the psychotherapist can project their inability to cope onto the clients, modeling the very maladaptive behavior for which a client may have sought treatment in the first place.”
What are some stress reduction tips for psychotherapist?
“Professional help for therapists having a difficult time reducing stress levels include seeking professional supervision (either formally or informally with colleagues) and/or seeking psychotherapy themselves. Psychotherapists also often get ‘recharged’ by participating in professional development activities/continuing education such as conferences, workshops, and retreats. A few years back there were even cruises offering continuing education on-board, which was also a wonderful way to also help reduce stress for many psychotherapists! I would suggest finding out what types of stress reduction opportunities are available for psychotherapists in their area.”
Thank you Jeff for doing the interview on stress reduction tips for psychotherapists. For more information on Jeff Klug or his work you can check out his website on www.jeffklugcounseling.com.
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