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A note to younger therapists…

I’ve been blessed to be at this holy work for almost 35 years. That shocks me a little. At this point in my career, I see a lot of therapists. One of the big pains we all share is wanting to help our clients change and not being able to make that happen as quickly and reliably as we would like. The cherry on top is when we get to SEE that change.

It’s not uncommon for me to begin working with a therapist and run into this territory. When I dig a little deeper, it’s frankly not very surprising.

If after grad school, your continuing education is simply grabbing those 15 or so CEU hours WITHOUT the deliberate intention to drill down your understanding with skills that forward your KNOWLEDGE and your clients’ CHANGE, I think it’s a bit of a waste and will contribute to burnout and sloppy work.

Not that y’all are doing sloppy work. This is really an invitation for you to challenge yourself about where you are investing in your professional development. ARE you investing in professional development?

BECAUSE, not being able to help hurts. It hurts our sense of efficacy and integrity. It hurts us in that bottom of the heart place that holds the “why” of our getting into this game in the first place.

The best advice I got as a younger therapist was to find masters and study with them. I did that. Investing countless dollars and hours. Now, I am fairly confident that I can help my clients effect change, consistently. It’s the reward of diligent study, practice and clients who trust me.

Your turn, where do you stand on investing in yourself as a professional? What gets in the way of prioritizing yourself as a professional? I know, I know. Money and Time. Um, look past that.

Every time. Every. Single. Time I went out on a limb, I came out stronger and ahead of the game, with skills and knowledge that improved my clients’ lives.