What do I do?

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So a slightly different blog this time about my present work as a psychologist and what it involves – without of course breaking confidentiality…I  trained as a health psychologist and I am chartered with the British Psychological Society (also registered with the Health Care Professionals Council); both of which involve responsibilities i.e acting ethically and keeping up my professional development (see below). The reason I am writing about this is because quite often you hear people say to those who are living with difficulties-“why don’t you go and have a little chat with a psychologist?” Warning – never use the word “chat” when referring to talking therapies! One of my old colleagues said those chats can be expensive! Also because I am self-employed it seems to me that some other people – including the people at my church, think I just spend a few hours a week chatting to people and that is all my work entails!!

At present I work as a psychotherapist (not the same as a counsellor when a psychologist is doing it- see my previous blog!) I work with adults, adolescents and children. I mainly use CBT, but also other concepts/ideas/approaches too. And yes I do talk to my clients, but very little of that is chat – some of it is psychoeducation, some of it is Socratic dialogue and the rest is working collaboratively with people in getting them to change/accept their thoughts and behaviour. However the work I do is not just the time I spend with my clients….I have to continue with my professional development and this includes: reading, reflecting, attending workshops/conferences etc. I also see my supervisor once a month… I have to send out invoices, write reports, market myself, read through notes and prepare session content, as well as responding to emails and chasing up clients who don’t contact you when they should…On top of that it is a sedentary job and also one that takes an emotional toll, so I sometimes feel drained and can have impostor syndrome! Therefore I have to look after my own physical and mental health through exercise and finding time to relax etc. Despite all that I do enjoy my work; I don’t earn much, but I love being my own boss and I like working with my clients…