I have to admit that my absence has been due to a hefty case of burnout. Yes, I said it.
We read about how to prevent burnout, how to maximize self-care, and luckily the conversation has been started and helping professionals are talking seriously about this issue.
For me, part of my healing required me to step away from my blog, even though it was something that I just started! I took a good month away from anything extra regarding work and I dived into a self-care program called “Resilience over Burnout” through the Self Care Institute. The program was created by Ami Kunimura, also a music therapist, and tackles big topics such as:
- Definitions of self-care, pseudo-self care, burnout, and compassion fatigue
- How to start small, attainable, and success-oriented self-care practices
- Exploring your own experience of stress and burnout
- Creating and re-defining self-care values at work, home, and for your lifestyle
- And SO. MUCH. MORE.
Before I embarked on this self-care journey, I had no idea what I was feeling. I know that it wasn’t good, that my energy level was zapped at the end of the day, and that something just didn’t “fit”. Once I started understanding the intricacies of burnout and stress and how it effected me, I was able to more clearly understand my own burnout experience.
For me, I realized that there were incongruences with the client population I worked with and my true authentic therapist identity. My clinical identity is influenced by orientations such as Client-Centered (Rogerian), Humanistic, Phenomenological, and Nordoff-Robbins approaches.
Part of my current work is providing services to client who need more structured, behavioral, and neurologically-based interventions to support their most pressing needs. Although I absolutely love these clients, I have begun to see the increased energy it takes from me to provide support that isn’t necessarily authentic to me. Luckily, I work at an amazing company that has been receptive to supporting my changing needs and looking for best ways to support the clients and the therapists, so I’ve been able to recommend some clients be transferred to another therapist, when appropriate.
Burnout isn’t easy. But it’s been the best lesson of my career so far. I’ve learned so much more about myself as a human being and what I need to cultivate a successful and balanced career. I love being a therapist, I love learning about this field, and I now love my self-care routines that have supported my growth to becoming a better person and therapist.
I’ll be back with more once I finish the program, and I hope to write more in the next coming weeks. Take care of yourself!
P.S. No joke, I found myself singing “Girl on Fire” as I was writing this post. THE POWER OF MUSIC!