Sitting down with someone who trusts you enough to share their hearts, hopes, truths, and be vulnerable is quite the honor. Whether you work as a therapist, psychologist, counselor, coach, or what particular modality you use- you know that this work is different... it is special.
And yet, there are some days in the midst of late cancellations, billing nightmares, too empty calendars, suicidal clients, etc. that it is easy to lose focus. So today we are going to talk about 7 gratitude practices you can use in your private practice, and how each can be transformative clinically and personally.
Gratitude Practice #1: Start each day writing one thing about your private practice that you are thankful for
Being a business owner can be tough, overwhelming, and it pushes our edges in the most frustrating ways sometimes. And yet, it is a beautiful opportunity to "do the work" that we encourage our clients to do. There is so much "grist for the mill" in what we experience in business that can create amazing personal change if we allow ourselves to lean into it. So- choose one thing- and yes, it can be an area that you are struggling in. Here are a few examples:
I am grateful for the opportunity to work through my money blocks
I am grateful for the clients who trust me with their story
I am grateful for the colleagues I can call when I have a hard session
Gratitude Practice #2: Start each day writing one thing about YOU that you are thankful for
I have asked hundreds of therapists some version of this question: What is it about YOU in particular that is special? Guess what response I have heard 99.9% of the time? "I have no idea." We are taught to not be focused on ourselves in the therapy process. And yet, we are taught that we are integral to the therapy process. We need to be aware of our biases, our weaknesses, what comes up for us in session... guess what? We need to be aware of our strengths as well! How would it impact you personally and professionally to have 365 things written down at the end of the year about you that you are grateful for?
Feeling unsure? A great part of check-ins and terminations is to check in with clients about the relationship, what they were initially drawn to, what they appreciated, etc. This is incredibly beneficial to the client. It can help them be more aware and proactive of seeking out and asking for what they need in relationships and SO much more. It also helps to increase your own awareness of how you are being perceived in (and out of) the therapy room.
Gratitude Practice #3: End your day writing one thing about that particular day that you are thankful for
It is sometimes hard to find the balance in private practice of a workday that doesn't leave you spent. And even if you "know your number" (the amount of clients you can see and not be emotionally on empty by the end of the day- or before) a client crisis or some other issue can definitely leave you feeling "done" at the close of the day.
It can be really easy to skip tasks at the end of the day so you can run home and put on your comfy pants and veg out for a moment. I get it. At the same time, the work you do deserves some closure and some ritual. I HIGHLY recommend finishing progress notes at the close of each session, or at least by the close of each day. It is a ritual that allows you to process the session and provide some closure. Writing a note of gratitude about that day in particular can be your final little goodbye that leaves you with something beautiful- even at the end of a hard day. And then- go put on those comfy pants!
Let's Start a Gratitude Train!
When should we start gratitude? There is no time like the present! Comment below and share one thing you are grateful for in your private practice! Bonus: Share one professional colleague you are grateful for, why, and share their website! Let's feel the benefits of gratitude, and then spread those benefits around!