PRACTITIONER WELLBEING COMMUNITY
A Safe and Caring Space for Therapists & other Mental Healthcare Professionals to LEARN, CONNECT and lean on each other for SUPPORT
Do you find your work both rewarding and stressful?
Have you ever felt scared that you couldn’t do your job forever?
You are not alone.
Multiple studies have shown that around half of all Counsellors, Psychologists, and Psychotherapists report feeling burnout. Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) who have higher caseloads and do more telephone work report levels of burnout, reaching 70%.
Despite having the knowledge and skills to help other people, there are no guarantees that you’ll be OK yourself.
When you work in a relationship-intense profession such as we do, you are more vulnerable to emotional exhaustion and empathy fatigue.
Although you care deeply about alleviating people’s distress, it can sometimes feel too much.
Practitioners are not robots. We are people too, and we find life challenging, just like our clients.
It can be painful to admit that you’re struggling because your mind tells you that you should have it all sorted. Even your clients expect that sometimes as well.
Our reality is very different. We get scared. We feel guilty and ashamed, and we hurt too.
What can employers do to support mental health?
Sometimes employers expect you to be more resilient. They say things like: “get on with it”, “practice your skills on yourself”, or “look after yourself better”.
We try to self-care, and it’s not that simple.
Workplaces often expect too much of their employees. They don’t recognise that they uphold a culture that prioritises productivity at the expense of wellbeing. When they neglect your welfare, it leaves you feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.
Research tells us that burnout is the consequence of many organisational factors, including:
The big problem for you is that you can’t affect organisational change all by yourself. It can leave you feeling helpless, which increases your risk of depression.
What do we do to improve therapist wellbeing?
How can we protect ourselves against burnout?
At Openforwards, we believe we’ve found some of the answers.
To help you cope with the demands of your emotional labour, we’ve set up the Practitioner’s Wellbeing Community.
We bring together therapists and other mental healthcare professionals inside a safe and caring community to learn new skills to reach our personal and professional goals, connect with others and lean on each other for support.
We’re a small group of paying members who work as counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, coaches, social workers and healthcare professionals.
Since our launch in January 2021, we’ve created several helpful activities that benefit each of us in many ways, including:
Feeling more connected and less alone.
Establish better self-care habits by sharing our weekly goals.
We learn new skills to help us deal with our biggest challenges.
We’ve increased our energy and enthusiasm for our work.
Feeling more competent and confident in our roles.
Feeling braver to open up and check in with other people.
How does the Practitioner’s Wellbeing Community work?
We start the week with Monday Focus, where we share our wellbeing intentions for the week.
By identifying and sharing our weekly goals, we’ve discovered that it helps us see through our commitments. It’s allowing us to take better care of ourselves as we learn what others are focused on in their lives too.
Each month we focus on a different topic to discuss, and we learn new relevant skills. For example, we might share an article and practice specific psychological skills that improve our wellbeing.
ACT Practice Groups
Every Monday at 5.30 pm (UK time), you can get together with other ACT Practitioners from around the world who want to deepen their knowledge of ACT and refine their ACT Skills. By learning to embody the ACT model, observing how others apply interventions and getting feedback on your practice, you’ll become a more solid ACT Practitioner.
We run several online courses, including:
Therapist Burnout & Self-Doubt*
How to soften the blow of empathy fatigue by building Psychological Flexibility & Self-Compassion.
* enrollment only
From the Feet Up
How to stop fear, shame, hurt and anger from controlling your life before it’s too late.
Seven Day Mindfulness Challenge
How to get started doing Mindfulness Meditation properly five minutes at a time.
Our library of courses continues to grow as we discover the most relevant areas of interest to our members.
We have weekly get-togethers in ZOOM meetings where any member can come along and talk about what’s happening. Together we explore our experiences of the monthly topic. So far, we’ve looked at:
There are daily questions or polls to spark conversations and help us stay connected. They can be thought-provoking or light-hearted. We’ve found that a mixture of approaches helps us, but the premise is always the same; ask a question that feels easy to answer.
Would you like to take a look inside?
The monthly membership is £19.95. Take it for a FREE 7-day test drive and cancel at any time.