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A Day In The Life: Meet Sex Therapist Regina Bright, LMHC

Regina Bright, LMHC Regina is the proprietor of Stepping Stones Professional Counseling, an outpatient private practice in Mary Esther, Florida that was established in 2009 where she provides individual, group, family, and couple’s counseling. Regina is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Board Certified Sex Therapist, Certified Family Mediator, Parent Coordinator, Clinical Supervisor, and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. She resides in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, where she was born and raised, with her husband, 9 year old daughter, and three Labrador Retrievers: Roxy (Chocolate), Gator (Blonde) and Chomper (Black) one of each flavor.

Read on to find out how Regina spends her time in private practice.

A Day In The Life

July 2, 2013

7:15 AM

Woke up, brushed teeth, and got in the shower followed by the rest of my morning routine.

8:30 AM

Arrive at work, greet office manager, check e-mails, look at the Google calendar, and pull files for the clients that I see for the day.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

See my 8 clients for the day – in between sessions, I write my case notes.

5:15 PM

Posted social media updates on Twitter and on my business Facebook page

5:30 PM

Before heading home for the day, I visited my business page to update insurance panels and to add a couple of more books on the suggested reading page.

5:45 PM

Headed home. Greeted by my husband and daughter. My husband had the house cleaned and had a delicious meal waiting for me.

7:00 PM

Played games with my family.

8:00 PM

Took a bubble bath and put on my pajamas.

8:30 PM

Snuggled with my 9 year old – read books, told her funny stories of when she was a baby, and tucked her in bed.

9:00 PM

Checked my e-mail – scheduled clients from my Psychology Today profile and added some pins on my Pinterest page.

9:30 PM

My husband and I got in bed and watched some of our favorite recorded programs: Mike and Molly, How I Met your Mother, and Anger Management

11:00 PM

Kissed husband, snuggled with my 3 Labrador retrievers and went to sleep.

Find out more about Regina's practice visit SteppingStonesCounseling.org

If you’d like to submit a day in your life for this series, please contact me here.

5 Self-Care Tips For Therapists

Piglet Lunch You take good care of you clients but are you taking good care of you? Being a therapist in private practice is incredibly fulfilling and very emotionally draining. While it's an honor to be trusted with client's deepest fears, pain, and vulnerabilities, it can take an emotional toll. Therapists seem to be particularly vulnerable to putting our own needs on the back burner to attend to others. It's why we're good at what we do. It's also why prioritizing self-care is crucial to professional and personal success, and to avoiding burnout.

At work and at home (I'm a wife and mother of 4 children) I emotionally and physically nurture others, so I've had to work hard to figure out what I need and how to prioritize self-care. Here are some ways that I've learned to take good care of myself as a private practitioner.

1) Start and end sessions on time

Build in 10-15 minutes in between clients to take a bathroom break, do some deep breathing, have a snack, clear your head, or consult with another therapist. Don't give away your time to clients at your own expense or you'll end up resenting them because your needs aren't being met.

2) Remember to eat and drink

This sounds so basic, but I've had times when hours would go by before I realized that I was parched and famished! I used to book  8-10 clients a day without scheduling a break assuming that someone would cancel or no-show. On the days where no one did I'd work straight through. Exhausted and starving I usually grabbed junk food and a sip of water. I've learned to build in time to eat and drink so I can maintain my energy level.

3) Schedule transition time after work

Take a few minutes to clear your head so you don't bring the emotions of work into your personal time. If you have a commute you may want to listen to relaxing music on your drive home. There was a period of time where I'd work out at the end of my work day to help release the stress of the work day before heading home and that worked well. Take a few minutes to "shift gears" after work.

4) Get consultation and supervision

It's crucial to build in support for your emotional and professional needs in order to prevent burnout. Meet with colleagues to process countertransference and consult on difficult cases so you don't internalize your client's issues. This is particularly important for solo private practitioners to prevent isolation.

5) Solve recurring complaints quickly

If you have chronic complaints about your practice, act quickly to resolve them.  If you hate your office space, start looking for a new one. If you are overwhelmed by paperwork, reports, and managed care authorizations, consider hiring office help. Take action when something is bothering you so it doesn't drain your emotional energy.

One of the benefits of being in private practice is that you are in charge of your own schedule. Be sure to build your self-care into your schedule. We are modeling self-care for our clients so let's make sure we're practicing what we preach.

What do you do to "fill your own bucket" during your work day so you can continue to feel energized, to be effective with clients, to manage your practice, and maintain a personal life? I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Feel free to comment below.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: rofanator