Challenges to Therapist Self-Care with In-Home Work

Module Sections:

Professional Development & Support

Professional Development and Support (Carroll et al., 1999)

Using Case Consultation/Supervision

  • The use of colleagues for case consultation, particularly to maintain objectivity about clients and to sustain interest in their problems is necessary and helpful (Kramen-Khan & Hansen, 1998). Collaborating with colleagues may provide a sense of support for the clinician's ideas while also contributing to the development of additional areas of focus and intervention. Colleagues may provide validation for intuitive concerns about safety, risk, and a clinician's emotional reaction to the family environment or disclosure of information. Supervision is essential for the home-based therapist in managing appropriate boundaries, accessing available resources, receiving guidance and support, and simultaneously maintaining varying points of view.
  • There is a strong connection between supervision and self-care. Clinicians who are able to co-create a relationship that involves vulnerability with their supervisor will feel more comfortable discussing self-care issues. Littell and Tajima (2000, as cited in Lawson, 2005) found that "adequate and quality supervision was positively correlated with collaboration and compliance characteristics in families; negative correlation between supervision and a deficit orientation in the counselor." As the supervision process addresses the clinician's case-by-case needs and makes self-care a priority, the clinician is then encouraged to prioritize self-care as well.

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