Becoming a Resilient Clinician

Becoming a Resilient Clinician

The concept of resilience has become quite a popular one lately. There are countless articles, workshops, lectures, and even centers that focus on resilience.

But what exactly is it? And from where does it come?

Is it an inherited personality trait predetermined by genetics? Or is it something that can be taught, fostered, and developed? Perhaps more importantly, why do some people seem so much better at it than others?

These are exactly the kinds of questions that have inspired my colleague, Dr. Darlyne Nemeth, and me to probe deeper into the concept of resilience. Our research and experiences eventually transpired into a book, which was recently published.

We described the hallmark of resilient people as being grounded in today, learning how to benefit from yesterday, and imagining themselves in tomorrow. Resilience is not just about surviving, but also about thriving in the midst of challenge.


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The Dual Language Dilemma: Doing Your Best Work With Spanish-Speaking Patients

The Dual Language Dilemma: Doing Your Best Work With Spanish-Speaking Patients

Despite the growing need for Spanish-language mental health services, there is a shortage of bilingual clinicians, as well as inadequate training for them [1,2].

Does this mean you have to brush up on your Spanish to provide Spanish-language services? Not necessarily.

Here are some helpful tips for working with Spanish-speaking patients if you don’t know Spanish. And if you do know Spanish but are hesitant to use it for clinical work, keep reading for tips to help make that transition as smooth as possible.


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Are You Dreading the EPPP? Here’s How to Prepare for It.

Are You Dreading the EPPP? Here’s How to Prepare for It.

The EPPP: 4 letters that will strike fear in the hearts of clinical psychology graduates everywhere!

Developed and administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPBB), the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology is a 225-item test of endurance spanning 4.5 hours (including the 15-minute tutorial).

For many, the EPPP represents one of the last hurdles that must be tackled before they can hang up a shingle outside of their office doors and proudly proclaim themselves to be a licensed clinical psychologist.


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Therapist Burnout & How to Prevent It

Therapist Burnout & How to Prevent It

Ever notice yourself getting a little more irritable than normal? Finding it difficult to interact with colleagues, clients, and even family or friends? Struggling to find empathy and patience for others? This could be the result of therapist burnout. Yes, even therapists get burned out and need to take a step back in order to take care of our own needs.

Therapist burnout happens when an individual’s psychological resources are overpowered by the demands placed on them. It is an extreme kind of exhaustion that can result from working with particularly challenging populations [1].

Not only does burnout cause us to simply feel terrible, but it also contributes to job dissatisfaction and poor job performance. Further, it can lead to frantic job searches, and, at the extreme end, it can result in ethical violations, which may have professional repercussions for the therapist – and may harm the client.


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The Definitive Guide to Financially Preparing for Licensure

The Definitive Guide to Financially Preparing for Licensure

Licensing protects you, the public, and the profession. I appreciate that it exists, now that I have joined the ranks of licensure. However, the pursuit inspired many sighs, groans, and eye rolls between me and my colleagues. Complaints formed for many reasons – cost was (and still is) one of them.

What should you do to prepare – financially, at least – for licensure? Below, I outline seven steps with an estimated time that it will take for each. I will give you concrete suggestions, with real numbers and links included.


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How to Gracefully End a Therapy Session On Time

How to Gracefully End a Therapy Session On Time

Ending a session on time and doing so gracefully can be tricky. There are a plethora of ideas out there of how to end a session on time, such as setting a timer or providing a nonverbal cue, and many of those suggestions may be effective in ending a session on time.

However, very few, if any, address implementation of those techniques fluidly and in a manner that is natural and least disruptive to the client’s process. Why does this matter?


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How to Communicate with Doctors as a Behavioral Health Professional

How to Communicate with Doctors as a Behavioral Health Professional

The first time I worked with a physician was during my training as a suicide risk assessment consultant in a hospital.

My job was simple: give the nice doctor a brief run-through of the patient presentation and make recommendations for treatment. I walked into the doctor’s office, smiled, took a deep breath, and I began to regale them with the tale of my time with the patient and how they made me feel.

After about thirty seconds, my story was cut short.

The doctor shook his head, raised his hand, and said “you’re burning my time buddy, just tell me what I need to do.” Caught off guard and sweating profusely, I managed to stumble through some recommendations before the physician said “sounds great” and turned back to his notes.


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What Counts? Tracking Hours.

What Counts? Tracking Hours.

In my book, The Beginning Counselor’s Survival Guide, my main goal is to simplify the difficult-to-understand. For a career that is all about helping people, we certainly do make it complicated to get into sometimes! As the co-founder of Beginning Counselor: Building Your Ideal Internship I get questions all the time, many of them starting with, “What do they mean by _______?”

The fact is, with counseling licensure, as well as with counseling practice, there are a lot of gray areas. “This means this if this is the case…unless of course, this happens.”

That’s why I wanted to take this opportunity to clear up some of the confusion, specifically about the concept of HOURS. By that I mean the specific number of hours we as counselors (or psychologists, marriage and family therapists, or other behavioral health professionals) are required to earn in order to switch from a provisionally licensed mental health professional to the real deal.


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Your Plan for Therapist / Client “Real World” Interactions

Your Plan for Therapist / Client “Real World” Interactions

Imagine that on that you are at the grocery store on a Saturday morning for a quick stop to get some milk, and you spot one of your clients just a few places in front of you in the checkout line.

What do you do?

Should you wave to them? Walk up and ask if they were able to work things out with their significant other? Remind them of their appointment this Monday (since they missed their last one)? Ignore them and frantically try not to make eye contact?

If this situation is new to you, you may experience some panic.


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Political Therapy: When Your Client Talks Politics

Political Therapy: When Your Client Talks Politics

Can’t you just feel the tension of this year’s political climate?

Look at you, reading a blog post about politics on a psychology website.

And who can blame you? Only about 24 million people may have tuned in to the live presidential debate between Clinton and Trump [1], but everyone is talking about it. With the presidential election coming up, you can bet your clipboard that your clients are going to bring this into session.

Most clinicians can agree that political conversations have little place in the therapy room. Angsting about presidential prospects and governmental goings-on appears to have limited healing power for our clients. Regardless, our clients continue to ask us where we stand on gun control, whether we are pro-life or pro-choice, and for whom we plan to vote.

So, what do we do when our clients want to talk politics?


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