Terminating Psychotherapy with Success

Terminating Psychotherapy with Success

We are not always so good at saying goodbyes. There’s just something a bit uncomfortable about it. While we, as mental health professionals, obtain instruction and training in the nuances of communication and relationship, carrying out a solid, healthy therapeutic adieu with our clients requires some forethought, preparation, and skill. The following is a review of considerations and tips for terminating psychotherapy with success.


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The “Why” & “How” of Tracking Treatment Progress

The “Why” & “How” of Tracking Treatment Progress

Treatment tracking is important because it gives you a baseline, and therapists can use repeated assessment to track progress and re-plot the course when things get off track.

Imagine walking into a therapist’s office seeking services to deal with a so-called problem or issue you have. You walk in with immense nervousness and torpidity, you feel you want it to be over before it even begins. You find yourself sitting on a sofa across from a stranger and all you’re thinking about is what you’re supposed to say or do.

But then, the stranger across from you starts to speak and describes an entire process of how therapy generally unveils. You hear about confidentiality, possible therapeutic styles and interventions, and length of treatment. You begin to feel a bit comfortable and start to relax. This information starts to ease your discomfort and the picture begins to appear clearer about what you’ve gotten yourself into.


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How to Stay Positive During Your EPPP Journey

How to Stay Positive During Your EPPP Journey

Do you remember that catchy little tune by Bobby McFerrin? “In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double, don’t worry… be happy!” I know it’s a bit corny, but it is so true when it comes to exam prep.

The prospect of being happy seems nearly impossible when preparing for exams like the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Hours of time spent studying. Fatigue from sleepless nights of cramming and, of course, good ol’ financial strain from the hundreds of dollars spent on study materials. It can be a bit much. But, as someone who recently passed EPPP, I promise there are ways to make your EPPP journey a happy one.

Before we get into the tips for making EPPP a more positive experience, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge what everyone is probably thinking right now: Yes. The EPPP is a daunting exam. Yes. It feels cruel and unfair. Yes, it sucks. However, it is a necessary part of becoming a clinician.


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9 Tips for Marketing Yourself with a Therapist Blog

9 Tips for Marketing Yourself with a Therapist Blog

If you’re like most therapists, you weren’t taught much about marketing in graduate school, especially about online marketing. Online marketing for therapists is an incredibly easy (yes, easy!) and inexpensive way to let your ideal clients know who you are and how you can help them. A super easy and inexpensive form of online marketing is blogging, but there are a few tricks you need to turn a random blog into an online marketing tool. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in and learn how to do it!

The easiest way to attract whatever types of clients are perfect for you is to create a blog and write posts about topics that interest those clients, make sure the world sees them, and make sure the blog posts guide people to book your services. I know many of us (myself included!) felt like never writing anything again after 5+ years of graduate school. That included a 100+ page dissertation, so let me just say that blogging for marketing purposes is much easier than writing grad school papers. (In fact, those old grad school papers can come in handy; keep reading to see how!)

Here are some easy ways to kick out some blog posts that will sit online forever, working to attract business for you while you sleep, catch up with friends, see clients, or do whatever you enjoy doing. Here’s how your posts can do your online marketing for you!


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Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a New Psychologist

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a New Psychologist

The end is in sight. You can see the finish line where you finally achieve your dream of graduation and are out of school forever to start a career of your own.

“Not so fast!” you tell yourself as you experience the uncertainty and ambivalence of being independent and on your own. “But I’m not ready, there is so much I still don’t know!”

The phrase “imposter syndrome” was coined by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978 [1] to describe the feeling that you are not the professional who everyone thinks you are, or worse yet, someone will out you as a fraud. Clance and Imes’ research focused on women in professional life, but the phenomenon is often applied to any new professional facing self-doubt.


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When a Therapist Needs a Therapist

When a Therapist Needs a Therapist

Therapists are the heroes of mental health — after all, they help people cope with their problems and be healthier mentally and psychologically. Without therapists, many people would have no idea how to deal with their respective issues. However, if you’re a therapist and you’re experiencing issues of your own, there is no shame in seeking the help of another therapist.

If you’re unsure whether you need another therapist’s help, or if you’re also a client who thinks your therapist may benefit from therapy, there are signs to look out for.


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3 Essential Ingredients for Effective Family Therapy

3 Essential Ingredients for Effective Family Therapy

One of the challenges I faced during my training as a psychologist was determining how to improve client behavior between sessions in order to optimize treatment outcomes.

Clients often presented with stressful family relationships, relationships that seemed to limit therapeutic progress. I wanted to help my clients as individuals, but I also understood that they did not exist within vacuums. In family therapy, I was able to help clients appreciate how family dynamics and communication styles are important factors in achieving their individual behavioral health goals.

Family therapy also extended my therapeutic reach beyond the individual and beyond the one hour that we had together each week.


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Improving Clinical Supervision Through Collaboration

Improving Clinical Supervision Through Collaboration

The core purposes of clinical supervision are to protect the welfare of clients by ensuring they are receiving ethical, quality care and to promote the growth of pre-licensed clinicians [1].

A couple of main areas that distinguish pre-licensure clinical supervision from consultation, mentoring, or another form of guidance are the evaluative and non-voluntary components of the supervisory relationship [1].

This tends to amplify a supervisee’s existing anxiety related to questions of competency, training demands, and balancing academic, occupational, and personal obligations [2]. Too often, the level of anxiety is suboptimal, negatively impacting learning, growth, and clinical work.


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5 Crucial Concepts for Working with Sexual Abuse Survivors

5 Crucial Concepts for Working with Sexual Abuse Survivors

The #MeToo movement has exposed powerful men who leverage their positions to abuse and manipulate. The courage these women and men exhibit as they step forward to confront this behavior is inspiring.

May it continue to motivate other survivors to come forward, because as statistics show, roughly 2 out of 3 sexual assaults go unreported [1]. What a jarring reality, especially since nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives [2].

Survivors may have many reasons not to publicize their story. But if and when they do, are we as mental health providers prepared to help? A thorough manual on how therapists can propel them toward recovery is beyond the scope of this article [3], so what follows are 5 concepts to remember when working with survivors of sexual abuse.


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Attention Psychotherapists… You’re Going to Fail.

Attention Psychotherapists… You’re Going to Fail.

And there’s nothing you can do about it! You have to fail. You must fail… If you want to succeed.

To foster a patient who loves himself, warts and all, therapists must accept and own their foibles and follies. To the best of my knowledge, there is no greater strength than the courage to look our demons straight in the eye. This is a question – “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” – you will face at comprehensive exams and internship interviews; my answer always begins, “they are one-and-the-same: my greatest strength is how I have grown from my weaknesses.”


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