Therapists Do Homework
I had a client ask me recently if I do homework, & this got me thinking that many of you might not know just how much homework I (and other therapists) do.
As a therapist, I spend a substantial amount of time outside of session on activities that improve our ability to provide excellent care.
I won’t speak for all therapists, but here are some of the things that I do outside of sessions & writing notes and doing other business/administrative tasks.
I am a psychology nerd, so over the last five years, I have averaged 80 hours of continuing education each year (although I am only required to accrue 15 hours/year).
I read books & articles about different people, psychology, and therapy. Last year I bought 10 such digital & tangible books and another 10 audible books (although I have not read all of them yet).
I am a part of a peer consultation group that meets every other week for 1.5 hours to support each others’ continued growth & discussion of difficult situations, cases and issues. This year I am also part of an international consultation group that meets once a month for two hours with a focus on complex trauma & dissociation, headed by two of the leaders in the field.
I seek out & pay for individual consultation with experts in the field. I am currently involved in consultation as I work toward become an EMDR Consultant. I also seek out consultation on specific topics that I have less experience with, recent examples include perinatal mental health and eating disorders.
And I sometimes look up issues & concerns that my clients raise about their lives if I am unfamiliar, such as a medical issue that they are dealing with, so that I can have a grasp of some of the basics of what they are going through.
I hope this gives you a sense of how much time & energy goes into being a therapist outside of sitting with my clients. And I am not alone in this. Many of us have a strong desire to continue learning and growing and honing our craft. And that in my opinion, is the type of therapist my clients deserve.