I have worked in larger facilities and seen how easy it is to become impersonable, focused on "productivity", and burnt-out. My ideals for private practice were the opposite. I am "human" though and I do get stessed about income, paying the bills, and I even tend to get a little jealous when I see other practices surpassing mine. When I become cognizant of these feelings, I know it is time to pause, take a step back, cock my head to one side, and do a quick re-check on my goals:
- Am I providing high quality services to my clients?
- Am I working effectively and efficiently?
- Am I doing ______, in order to be a better therapist or simply to make a name for myself?
- Do I really want this thing I find myself a bit jealous over? (Think about what this would involve in the way of work, stress, time, etc.).
- Am I sacrificing my personal life on the altar of my work?
My sons are 22 and 18 years old. My youngest is graduating from high school in May. Last night I was digging through photo boxes (because my albums have only been completed through when they were 6 and 2 years old... because I went into private practice and have had NO time to work on things like that). As I rummaged through photos looking for the cutest photo of my son for a Senior ad, I was hit by a wave ("tsunami" actually) of emotion. Where had those years gone? What I wouldn't give to be able to go back and just have one day with those sweet little babies? I would appreciate the moments more, I would not sweat the small stuff, I would hold them and hug them and laugh and play... (I would not expend so much of my energy on work - my work is very important but I do feel that I fretted far too much about it over the years).
I digress too much. What I am trying to say is... if you want to take Spring Break off, or a day here or there, then do it! I have found that most of my clients want their breaks off from therapy too. If you are in private practice, that is the beauty of what we are doing: flexibility. I find that if I take the time off to rejuvenate and recharge, that just makes me a better therapist the rest of the time.