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resisting internalized capitalism: my secret sauce to being a therapist and reducing burnout

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

when i finished grad school, i remember starting my first practice and feeling like…why would anyone work as a therapist full time?! i was deep into perfectionism and imposter syndrome, the amount of work that i required of myself before each session in order to be ‘the best therapist ever’ was exhausting, and i was so afraid of losing clients that i would work late into the evening and offer weekend sessions. i also didn’t know my own worth at the time, and charged below market value for my services which led to financial stress and needing to take on secondary jobs to supplement my income. i even became a certified yoga teacher, because i truly believed i could never make enough money or be fulfilled by providing therapy as my main career.

almost ten years later, i feel extremely fortunate to share that despite how it all began, i am a full-time career therapist and i absolutely fucking love it. over the last few years, i really leaned into my own purpose and looked at the bigger picture of how I want to feel at the end of each day vs. how much money was in my bank account. capitalism reinforces the belief that we must attain as much wealth as possible, even if it comes at the expense of relationships, health and spirit. to be transparent, i know that some of the lifestyle choices i have made afford me the ability to resist internalized capitalism, such as: childfree living, moving to a small community, detaching from the need to own a home with a big back yard for my dog to play in (sorry larry, not happening) and not purchasing 100% organic avocados.

here are some of the ways that i resist internalized capitalism:

  1. boundaries around self care; thou shall not see clients without eating breakfast, lunch is a verb that includes eating away from your computer and not scheduling clients during pre-established breaks (which allow for me to go to yoga, go for a walk, call a friend, lay on the floor and eat doritos etc.)

  2. working a 4 day work week; i see clients monday-thursday and limit administrative work/emails/communication etc. as much as possible outside of my work week. i share this with all clients at the beginning of our work together, and explore what additional support may need to be in place for crisis and emergency situations. this one is particularly challenging when therapists can feel like ‘the only one’ at times, however, if you truly are the only one… that is a place that holds so much pressure and also disempowers the client! building a team of resources and support is mutually beneficial for both client and therapist.

  3. shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset; through this process i lean into trusting myself and my resourceful part. i know that there is a part of me (my resourceful part!) that will always shine and step up when i need it. a helpful mantra, ‘knowing that i am enough’

  4. letting people know my bandwidth, setting limits and challenging people pleasing; no is a response, not an apology.

  5. connecting with the natural cycle and flow of my body/mind/spirit and being kind to the ebb and flow of my energy throughout the day, week and month. “i am a human being, not a human doing”.

  6. being my own boss - i know that it can be challenging to be a business owner and rocking out solo, but it also allows me to do things like post pictures of my dog on my own website and curse in blogs posts if i feel like it.


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