Are you burned out, or close to it, and fully reconsidering running a private practice? Have you been questioning where you want to be, and if things need to change? If you are on the edge of burnout, how can you decide which route to take regarding your health and the future of your practice?
In this bonus podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about avoiding burnout and if you are ready to leave the field with Dr. Jen Blanchette.
Podcast Sponsor: Gusto
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Meet Dr. Jen Blanchette
Dr. Jen Blanchette is a licensed psychologist and host of the Finding Joy after Burnout Podcast: A podcast for therapists and helpers. She helps therapists who want to quit figure out the next steps in their careers through coaching and expert consultation to unravel and heal burnout and career overwhelm.
In this Podcast
- Be careful of the self-cost fallacy
- Handling burnout
- Navigating the end of a private practice
- To stay in private practice or to go?
- Dr. Blanchette’s advice to private practitioners
Be careful of the self-cost fallacy
When starting any business, many entrepreneurs will give and give and give because they feel like they have already put so much effort into getting it off the ground that if they stop now, it would be “for nothing”.
However, this is a dangerous mindset to get into, because it could leave you continually working on something that’s just not going to get off the ground again, and you’d risk running financial and personal ruin trying to do so.
For therapists, they have spent so many years getting to that point where they become a therapist … You’ve put so much energy into a thing [but] it feels like it’s sunk, but you can’t change it because you have too much invested. (Dr. Blanchette)
It’s important to realize that it’s not true because you don’t lose what you’ve learned. If a venture fails, you can still gain powerful insight and wisdom from that experience.
You would never lose the skills that you acquired on your journey to becoming a therapist, and even if you decided to change your career path, those same skills would come with you.
If you know that you are on the verge of burnout, or that you’re currently in it and you need to make a change so that you can shift your environment, try;
- Lowering and reducing your caseload
- Try working in a different modality to break up the grind of doing the same thing every day
- Launching a group if you see one-on-one sessions to add variation
- If you are heading out of private practice for sure, consider getting a second job or source of income that you can rely on before you close your practice for good
At that point, I really rapidly made the decision to transfer clients out and to close the practice. (Dr. Blanchette)
Navigating the end of a private practice
There can be so many emotions that go through a therapist when they decide to close their practice.
For Dr. Blanchette, her immediate emotion was relief. She had an exit plan and knew what she wanted to do, so when she made the decision it allowed her to feel some freedom by knowing that she was making an important change that would ultimately put herself and her needs first.
Naturally, many therapists would be mindful of their clients’ reactions, as was Dr. Blanchette. She reached out to find some additional support within her therapy and coaching to navigate the sense of abandonment, even though it was perfectly okay to do.
I had to really get support in my own therapy … of how I could conceptualize that for myself, that I’m not abandoning my clients. They are adults, [and] I’m providing those with plenty of time for them to find another therapist. I’m providing those referrals, but it still felt like abandonment in some ways emotionally, so I really needed some more support on how to negotiate that piece in the clinical relationship with the clients. (Dr. Blanchette)
To stay in private practice or to go?
- Take time off first. Do anything you can to reduce your caseload so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best to do instead of choosing rashly
- Do you need to change the setting you are working in or the people you are working with?
- Examine your home life. What are you doing outside of your work? Are you also caring for people at home as well as the clients in your sessions?
That tends to happen for therapists, we do tend to be caretakers, so I think it’s [important to] take inventory and allow yourself a process where someone else can hold space for you [so] that you don’t always have to be the space-holder. (Dr. Blanchette)
- Figure out the things of the business that you have to do versus what you can outsource. Many therapists suffer unnecessarily because they think they have to do everything by themselves as the owner. However, because they are the owners, things should be outsourced! If you don’t like doing billing, find someone else to do it. If you don’t like replying to endless emails, then hire a VA. Restructure your work habits and see how that changes your approach to working.
- Adapt your mindset. Your business doesn’t have to be your whole life. If you are expecting your business to be both your hobby and your job, it’s a tall order, and a tough expectation to place on it – and yourself.
Sometimes I think that we expect so much out of our businesses to fulfil every aspect of [our lives] when it’s just making sure that we’re efficient in our business and then [going to] find those things outside of the business too. (Joe Sanok)
Dr. Blanchette’s advice to private practitioners
You are worth the time it takes to take care of yourself. You can find joy when you are struggling, and you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. Put yourself first so that you can care for the people in your life in the ways that they – and you – deserve.
Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:
- 40 Days to Full free course: text #40 to 231 422 0677
- There is no reason that you should be worrying about payroll. Do it right, head on over to www.gusto.com/joe!
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit Dr. Jen’s website and connect on Instagram. Listen to her Podcast!
- Email Joe at [email protected] to suggest guests for the show
Check out these additional resources:
Apply to work with us — a decision-making matrix for your next steps
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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