3. Identify your preferences, do your best to maximize what you like and minimize what you don’t like. If you don’t like paperwork, get computer programs or secretarial help. If you don’t like working with depression, either don’t see those clients, or get more training so you’ll know how to handle it. If you like working with women, children, couples, etc. focus on that in your practice building.
4. Have a support team of colleagues with whom you can share your therapy experiences as peers.
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5. Learn to set solid boundaries. Learn how to say no to intrusive clients, how to keep them in appropriate parts of your life, and not let them take over your free time.
6. Limit your hours to what works for you. Design your own style of working, and make sure your place of work is comfortable to you.
7. Trust that you will get the right clients for your style. Be clear what your own style is, and don’t worry if it doesn’t work for some clients – refer them to someone else. Different clients need different therapy styles.
8.Learn from therapists you respect and admire, with whom you feel comfortable. If you don’t respect a theory or practice style, don’t use it. If you can modify a theory or practice style to suit you, do it.
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9. Do your own work. It’s impossible to be effective as a therapist if you haven’t been in the client’s chair. You need to delve deeply into your own subconscious, so that you’ll understand your weaknesses and your strengths, and won’t be blindsided by “dark side” issues when they are triggered.
The Real 13th Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs presents my process for helping people in recovery heal the associated problems.
Good luck with your career.