Leaving It at the Office: A Guide to Psychotherapist Self-Care


Wise, warm, and authoritative, this straight-talkiing guide adresses the real0world struggles that psychotherapists face in balancing their professional and personal lives. It demonstrates taht recognizing and tending to your physical, emotional, ans spiritual needs not only feels good—it also leads to more effective and ethical practice as a clinician. The book describes and illustrates 12 self-care straegies that aare grounded in the authors' extensive research and clincal experience. Interwoven throughtout are...

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Leaving It at the Office: A Guide to Psychotherapist Self-Care

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Wise, warm, and authoritative, this straight-talkiing guide adresses the real0world struggles that psychotherapists face in balancing their professional and personal lives. It demonstrates taht recognizing and tending to your physical, emotional, ans spiritual needs not only feels good—it also leads to more effective and ethical practice as a clinician. The book describes and illustrates 12 self-care straegies that aare grounded in the authors' extensive research and clincal experience. Interwoven throughtout are insights and recommendations from other master therapists, "self-care checklists" adn suggestions for futher reading. The lively and engaging tone will enhance the book's appeal for a wide range of mental health professionals and students.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A true gem. This book combines an insightful review of relevant research with wisdom derived from decades of clinical experience, in a warm, humorous, and thought-provoking manner. It should be read (and periodically reread!) by all psychotherapists and those in training. Norcross and Guy provide practical suggestions that take psychotherapist self-care, self-awareness, and self-action to a new level. This book is an invaluable resource, and all those who read and utilize it will be glad they did."--Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, President-Elect, American Psychological Association Division 29 (Psychotherapy); Affiliate Professor, Loyola College in Maryland

"This is a special book and one that is needed. Professional impairment is a major problem in all of the mental health professions, and prevention is the key to dealing with burnout. This book contains a wealth of practical information that readers can apply to keep themselves vital, both as persons and as professionals. Throughout, the authors interweave key research findings with their own personal and clinical experiences. Every counseling educator and psychology educator could benefit from reading this book and incorporating these topics into their training programs."--Gerald Corey, EdD, Department of Human Services (Emeritus), California State University, Fullerton

"As psychotherapists, we specialize in caring for others. This thoughtfully crafted book underscores the necessity and value of caring for ourselves. It highlights how meaningful and personally tailored self-care plans can alleviate the stress associated with being a psychotherapist and bolster clinical effectiveness. Myriad appealing and effective self-care strategies are offered; the Self-Care Checklists at the end of each chapter are especially useful tools. Any psychotherapist or psychotherapist in training who implements the techniques in this volume is likely to feel personally and professionally rejuvenated and to experience greater joys and rewards in his or her practice."--Nadine Kaslow, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University

"Work and family stresses constitute significant contributing factors to psychotherapist burnout, professional lapses, and ethical complaints. Norcross and Guy have provided a superb roadmap and guide to prevention of such problems. They provide well-validated strategies and ways of thinking needed to stay on track in a stressful and demanding occupation not usually recognized as such. We could probably cut professional liability insurance rates and ethical complaints significantly, if we could only get all of our colleagues to read and follow this book's wise advice."--Gerald P. Koocher, PhD, School for Health Studies, Simmons College

"The authors bring a wealth of experience in research, practice, and training to this priceless work; their wisdom shows in the very practical self-care strategies they suggest in each chapter. The book provides powerful examples of ways in which psychotherapists can focus on their own physical, spiritual, and mental health, many of which are anchored in the transtheoretical model of behavior change. Experienced psychotherapists will appreciate the depth and breadth of the information provided, and the book also will be a good classroom text for new psychotherapists."--Mary Marden Velasquez, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin


Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

"This self-care book is a delightfully down-to-earth, honest, inspirational, and aspirational guide for psychotherapists' well-being in their professional and personal lives....The book serves to jumpstart readers into thought and action about self-care. The particulars of what readers decide to do is deliberately left up to the readers themselves; the authors make it clear that they have no personal investment in the ultimate outcome, aside from enhancing the profession as a whole and giving much-deserved recognition to the difficult work psychotherapists are called upon to do....Clever and useful self-care checklists are provided at the conclusion of each chapter as a quick reference to the main points discussed. A recommended reading list is also provided at the end of each chapter....Clinicians are instruments of change whose focus must be on the best interests of others. Norcross and Guy remind us that clinicians are humans, too: Self-care is not selfish, but a means to ensure that we are in the best condition to meet our professional duties and sustain healthy personal lives."--Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

"True confessions: I needed to read this book. Let me be more inclusive: as psychotherapists, whether seasoned or neophyte, we all need to read this book, or at the very least attend to its vital messages....Leaving It at the Office is filled with compassionate fervor and recognition of the satisfactions of our professional lives....Twelve central elements to therapist self-care form the base for the 12 chapters of the book....Each chapter sets out information that is described as a field guide rather than an instructional manual, a 'curious mix of 'how to,' 'you should,' and 'chill-out'....In addition to finding this book informative and engaging, it was just plain fun to read. These are two very skilled writers, speaking to their peers in a colloquial tone that combines their love of language with a deliberate use of humor....Digesting this book, and making use of its energy, is just what the doctor ordered."--Psychotherapy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593855765
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 238
  • Sales rank: 349,837
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Norcross, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychology and Distinguished University Fellow at the University of Scranton and a clinical psychologist in part-time practice. With over 250 scholarly publications, including 15 books, he is past president of the International Society of Clinical Psychology and of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division of Psychotherapy, and editor of Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session. He is a recipient of the APA's Distinguished Career Contributions to Education and Training Award, among other awards.

James D. Guy, Jr. PhD, ABPP, is President and Executive Director of the Headington Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides psychological and spiritual support to humanitarian aid and disaster relief personnel worldwide. He also maintains a private practice in clinical psychology in Pasadena, California. Dr. Guy was Dean and Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary from 1995 to 2001. Widely published, he is the author of The Personal Life of the Psychotherapist.

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Table of Contents

Valuing the Person of the Psychotherapist     1
Refocusing on the Rewards     18
Recognizing the Hazards   Joan Laidig     35
Minding the Body     64
Nurturing Relationships     72
Setting Boundaries     93
Restructuring Cognitions   Maria A. Turkson     114
Sustaining Healthy Escapes   Rhonda S. Karg     131
Creating a Flourishing Environment     153
Undergoing Personal Therapy     167
Cultivating Spirituality and Mission     183
Fostering Creativity and Growth     197
References     207
Index     229
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