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Monday, 10 December 2018

Self Care – 10 Top Tips for Therapists

You might wonder why therapists need tips about self-care. After all, we’re supposed to know all about coping with stress, to have lots of techniques at our fingertips, and (most of all) to have a dream job helping others which is fulfilling and satisfying. All that might be true, but therapists can be tempted to put other people’s needs before their own, and sometimes they need to stop and take stock. After all, as every airline tells you, you put your own oxygen mask on first so you are in a fit state to help others.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Are SMART goals good enough?


Many therapists are taught to work with SMART goals – in case you aren’t familiar with this, it’s a mnemonic and stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-limited. As far as therapists go, it’s a really good system which allows you to understand exactly where the therapy is going and to recognise when you get there. But as far as motivating clients goes, it can be a bit dry.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Mindfulness in your Therapy Practice

Whatever kind of therapy you offer your clients, it would be hard not to be aware of mindfulness which has become a popular intervention in pretty much every well-being approach. So what’s all the fuss about, and should you be using it with your clients?
 

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Fear of change in therapy

Have you ever driven past a new housing estate with a big sign that says ‘If you lived here, you’d be home by now’?
Starting therapy is a bit like that. Most clients who come to see me have had their problem for some time. They’ve lived with it, or around it, or just avoided whatever situation made it worse. To re-frame the sign, if they’d had therapy a year ago, they’d have solved it by now. So what stopped them?

Monday, 13 August 2018

Seven Top Tips for Working with Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is not really a syndrome at all because it’s not recognised by the medical profession as a psychiatric disorder, but it is a term in fairly common use, and can be associated with stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, so it’s relevant to us as therapists if we’re seeing clients with those issues.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Customer Service Tips for Therapists

I am sure that you regularly think about your clients and how to help them but do you ever think about 'customer care' in a more business-oriented sense? No? You are not alone. Google 'customer care for therapists' and most of the sites that come up are aimed at physical therapists rather than psychological ones. But we are business owners, and it's something we need to consider. So, with that in mind, I thought I would share a story about customer care.

Monday, 18 June 2018

How to get word of mouth referrals

Many successful therapists will tell you that they get a significant number of clients via 'word of mouth' referrals, meaning that new clients are referred to them by previous ones. It’s a great system since it means someone else is doing your marketing for you - and for free - but when you’re new or trying to build your business it can be a challenge to get the ball rolling.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Do your clients tell you lies?

The simple answer is that yes, some of them do. Maybe even most of them, although, of course, there's no real way to tell. Or is there? 
 
A study of 547 clients done by Blanchard et al [1] showed that around 93% of them had lied to their therapists, on issues ranging from minimising the extent of their distress, exaggerating how well they thought the therapy was going, and hiding information even if they were asked a direct question about it. Martin [2] found that of  109 psychology students undertaking therapy, 37% admitted to lying.

Monday, 16 April 2018

What to do when clients don't turn up


This is a topic that comes up regularly on social media and in discussion with other therapists, so I thought I would look this month at the issue of 'no shows' - clients who fail to turn up for their appointments, without giving you any notice.

GoodTherapy.org[1] cites studies which say that 20 to 57 percent of people in therapy do not return after the initial session (Lambert). Another 37 to 45 percent only attend therapy a total of two times (Schwartz), so if your stats are lower than this you may be doing better than you think.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Therapists: can your empathy get you down?


'Compassion fatigue is caused by empathy. It is the natural consequence of stress resulting from caring for and helping traumatized or suffering people'
Dennis Portnoy [1]
You might also find compassion fatigue referred to as 'Caregiver Fatigue', 'Vicarious Stress' and 'Secondary Traumatic Stress', and it most often appears in those who help others, provide them with support and/or listen to their upsetting or traumatic stories.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Releasing negative anchors


An anchor in general terms is something which holds a ship in place by connecting it to the bottom of the sea. When we talk about anchors in therapy, we mean a response which holds the client in a particular emotional state by connecting them to a specific thought or experience.

Monday, 22 January 2018

The Chimp Paradox


These notes are based on ideas developed by Prof Steven Peters in a book entitled 'The Chimp Paradox', in which he presents an incredibly powerful mind management model based on the neuro-science of the brain The model simplifies the science into a practical way to help you understand how the mind works and give you the ability to manage it. Using the model with your clients can help them lead a better quality of life, where they feel more successful, more confident, happier and healthier.