Over the years, I have witnessed valuable colleagues and heard stories of excellent professionals burning out and leaving the psychotherapy field. Why? Taking care of oneself as a professional is a most important subject that is too frequently neglected in our training and practice. Using my personal and professional experience along with basic Adlerian concepts, I will present two major challenges we face in our clinical work, the battle for structure and the battle for initiative. I will share the structures that are required to keep yourself sane along with some initiatives that will help lift your spirits and put a smile on your face.

Leftheris Papageorgiou, M.A., L.M.F.T. received his graduate degree in counseling psychology from the Adler University of Chicago. He has been on the core faculty of the Adler Graduate School of Minnesota since 1989. He practiced as a marriage and family therapist both in private clinics and in private practice in Minneapolis and St. Paul for 30 years working with issues of addiction and recovery, shame and guilt,depression, anxiety, intimacy, sexuality, and infertility. He was an adjunct assistant professor in the Chemical Dependency/Family Treatment Training Program at St. Catherine University and adjunct faculty in the Program of Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has extensive training in marriage and family therapy and sexuality.

What knowledge will be gained by participants upon completion of the course…
The discussion on structure will address such issues as understanding:

A. how the Adlerian “Life Tasks” relate to work choices

B. how your family budget and financial goals affect your work decisions

C. the significance of establishing a professional family outside the workplace for peer consultation with a focus on case presentations to facilitate ongoing learning from one another.

D. the importance of the first contact between the therapist and the prospective client, and who decides who the ‘client’ is

The discussion on initiatives will address such issues as:

A. the relevance of “never working harder than your client”

B. the importance of aligning the therapeutic goals of therapist and client

C. the significance of genuinely caring for your client as a necessary condition of establishing a therapeutic relationship with your client

D. clinical traps to avoid

…and how will it enhance practical skills and/or knowledge?

Participants will gain knowledge of these significant challenges by

A. examining the desired number of direct clinical hours-of-service per week

B. considering the importance of having a “professional family”

C. recognizing the importance of establishing clear work expectations with one’s client

D. understanding a client’s “movement”

E. understanding and honoring a client’s resistance

F. learning to avoid the potholes, e.g., being the fixer, shoulds

G. being congruent