Most of you know that I am an advocate of mental health in all its various forms. I encourage everyone to find any healthy option that works for your personal growth and go for it! Over a long career in a caring profession, I recognize that my own need for downtime and relaxation is paramount to my continuation in the field. Basically, I have experienced the awful power of ‘burnout’ and will not allow it to negatively impact me – or YOU.
Time away from paperwork, insurance, and marketing is always a relief and allows me to recharge my energy levels. I also give a lot of emotional energy to all that I do. Connecting deeply with others, being highly empathetic, learning and remembering even the tiniest details of people’s lives, and carrying the mental load of caring so deeply for all my clients (and friends & family), is exhausting!
During my time away from the office, I will continue to learn and grow as a therapist. I take great pride in being able to offer a wide variety of treatment solutions based on the personal needs of every person I see. I have never been comfortable with a one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, so I strive to stay abreast of new treatment modalities and trends in the field. Every person I work with gets an individualized treatment plan so my dedication to gaining knowledge is a direct reflection of the service YOU receive from me. While I am required by the state of Washington to maintain a high level of continued education in the form of training and classes, I also seek out information that excites me and fuels my passion for the work. Plus, I have ADHD and I simply need to keep learning and trying new things, or I lose focus! There is a constant teetering stack of articles, textbooks and self-help books around my home and office that I plan to make a large dent in this summer.
Finally, as I am sure you all know, I am a parent. I am also a partner, a daughter to aging parents, a sister, an aunt and a friend. One special day in July also marks the addition of my new title: Grandma. I take all these roles on with excitement and pride; they are not a hassle or a burden, and I am grateful to play my part. So, I intend to spend uninterrupted time with these people to soak up all that these relationships offer – life is short & I choose to be remembered as fully present and engaged; be that with them or YOU. Maybe there will be a little travel, maybe some fun adventures? Mostly it will be time simply spent with the people I love.
I recognize the level of privilege it takes to accomplish this undertaking; a full month off of work to simply BE!? (Maybe it sounds better if I call it a ‘sabbatical’). It felt a little crazy to me and I have grappled with this decision all year. I will not make excuses or defend my choice, but I offer this information to YOU, my clients, because I like being honest and authentic in all that I do. Most of you have experienced my high-ish level of self-disclosure during the therapeutic process and this topic falls right into that arena, in my opinion. I have been saving all year so that I will have enough funding to cover my office lease and numerous business expenses along with my personal expenses. Like most of you, it has been (and always is) a tight year financially! I do have a very supportive partner at home, and I am so grateful that they work so long and hard to provide so much for me to have this freedom. I do not take that sacrifice lightly and will wring every drop of enjoyment from this opportunity to show my gratitude.
Being away from YOU, my clients, will be a challenge. While my work can be emotionally taxing at times, I am also fueled by all that I gain in our sessions. Each and every one of YOU has taught me something new. YOU have exposed me to new ideas and experiences. YOU have opened my mind and heart in so many ways and I am grateful for all of YOU. I cannot wait to catch up with all that YOU have done during our time apart!