Reflections of a Therapist

Introducing my Blog – What you can expect to read about!

Dr. Azubike Aliche, LCSW

In any typical work day, a therapist juggles many different activities, some billable, others not. In her core clinical work, a therapist sees sometimes up to eight clients per day and each of these comes with his or her own problems for resolution. If the client is new, the therapist is working on building a therapeutic relationship with the client while attempting to get a good insight into the problems laid before her. Accurate diagnosis relies on detailed assessment and information gathering. Then, there are other issues such as goal setting and treatment planning. If this is a client that has been in therapy for some time, the therapist worries about whether the client is making progress with recovery.

In the course of a work day, the therapist spends a considerable amount of time listening to others share their problems. Sometimes, as in couple or family therapy, the issues are contentious and the therapist is forced to act as moderator, facilitator or even mediator. Group therapy presents similar challenges. All of these take some toll on the therapist’s emotional health; burnout it is often called. Indeed research has shown this to constitute some form of vicarious trauma for the therapist. For many therapists, though, there lies the joy of the vocation. Therapists do what they do mainly because they are in it to help people to deal effectively with things that bother them, be they relationship or mental health difficulties. So, cultivating a good listening and perceptive skills is key to success in the business.

There are other things that engage the attention of a therapist in private practice that are not billable but important, too. These include marketing, documentation, billing and accounting. Marketing will encompass all efforts to attract clients to the business, such as building and updating the website; setting appointments and calling clients to remind them of appointments; attending networking and social events to pass the word and business card about your business, etc. Spending time on the phone with health insurance customer service reps and or clients to collect payments due has become a big part of our job.

The point about all of the above is that there is a lot that a therapist can reflect upon and share at the end of the day’s job. That is what this blog will do – an opportunity for me to look back at the issues for the day and highlight what the reading public needs to know. It’s not going to be an expert blog on any of the issues that I specialize in my work. It’s also not going to be an alternative to a therapy room. Rather, I will discuss some of the issues that my clients present in therapy and highlight and comment on aspects of these that the public might be interested in. Every attempt will be made to remove anything that can be traced to any client or threaten the confidentiality that my clients are entitled. The goal will be to give the reading public insight into what happens in the therapy room – the issues and attempts to wrestle with them! Many would like this form of education about our work as therapists!

Dr. Aliche can be reached at 856-906-6167856-906-6167 or using zubie@powercounselingts.com.

Feedback will be appreciated.

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