Challenges to Therapist Self-Care with In-Home Work

Module Sections:

Development & Support Tools

Scheduling breaks

  • Taking time to unwind and collect one's thoughts between sessions, and occasionally during sessions, is often helpful in preventing clinician burnout. The home-based therapist may consider accessing areas within the community to engage in self-reflection between sessions. This self-reflection will also be valuable to the supervision process.

Attending continuing education seminars

  • Continuing education is also recommended to maintain and expand one's therapeutic skills, while also nurturing one's overall interpersonal support (Kramen-Khan & Hansen, 1998) through collegial relationships. As the clinician expands knowledge, skills and awareness of professional issues, the clinician is also better prepared to address the expressed needs of the client.

Monitoring caseloads

  • Caseload management is an area specifically connected to therapist self-care. When a home-based clinician is faced with large caseloads and a number of high intensity cases, self-care can easily be perceived as another burden. The process of monitoring caseloads is particularly relevant to the supervision process and maintaining ongoing collaborative discussions about the clinician's daily responsibilities.

Setting realistic expectations

  • Unrealistic therapeutic goals, expectations, and loosely established guidelines for evaluating progress may interfere with therapeutic efficacy and lead to lower morale (Kestnbaum, 1984). Each clinician must realistically determine that the therapeutic goals and expectations are manageable within the timeframe and context of the therapy process. For the home-based therapist, consideration must also be given to the logistics of the service (e.g. distance to home of each case).
  • Reflection: What additional methods do you draw on for your professional development and support? What is one aspect of supervision that contributes to you feeling supported?

Audio Companion: Challenges to Therapist Self-Care