Concierge Therapy and Therapist Burnout
San Jose Counseling and Psychotherapy
Working in the mental health field can be emotionally demanding, and some therapists and psychologists may experience burnout as a result of the constant emotional demands of their job. In fact, therapist burnout is one of the reasons that concierge therapy has become more common.
Therapist burnout is something most therapists don’t like to talk about, but it can have a profound impact on the level of care you receive. In order to provide a clear picture of what’s happening in therapy today you need to understand the causes of therapist burnout, what the scope of the problem is, and what solutions different therapy practices are utilizing to make sure therapists continue operating at their peak.
Causes and Conditions of Therapist Burnout
Workload and time pressure is probably the most significant contributor to therapist burnout. When therapists work for in a clinic-type environment or take insurance they face an overwhelming workload combined with time pressure on a daily basis. In order to survive, many therapists have heavy caseloads, juggling numerous clients at any given time. They are often expected to work long hours, sometimes sacrificing personal time for the sake of those they serve, their occupational climate, and the allowance of time off given by the places they work.
The demanding nature of therapy sessions requires intense focus and concentration on each client’s unique situation. This level of dedication requires considerable mental and emotional energy from therapists, leaving little room for respite or self-care during work hours. Moreover, due to the high demand for mental health services in many areas, therapists may struggle with limited resources when it comes to scheduling sessions or finding adequate support staff. The resulting pressure leads them to take on more than they should handle in an attempt to meet these demands effectively. Due to the nature of the work, therapists may often find themselves pushing their own boundaries regarding time off.
As client count climb, administrative duties grow, and complex computer systems make everyday tasks harder, therapists have less time to provide care for their clients.
Therapist Burnout Results in Decreased Level of Care
Clients care declines and dissatisfaction increases alongside therapist burnout rates. Researchers have tried everything from checklists to surveys to try to generate awareness and minimize the issues, but these types of things don’t address the cause of therapist burnout and have typically proven ineffective. These same therapists are also more likely to refer patients out. And, even though the quality of care declines, the cost of care rises.
Therapist Shortage in the United States
It’s estimated that nearly half of all therapists and other medical professionals are presently experiencing burnout, with about 1 in 50 preparing to leave the profession because of it. Over the next decade, about a quarter of these professionals are expected to leave the work force. At the same time, the number of older Americans, who generally require more medical care, is projected to nearly double by 2050. This only compounds the issues for those who continue to practice.
Better Care Requires Dedication
While there may be no overall short term solution to the therapist shortage, yet it’s clear that practices need to see fewer clients and give therapists more time with the clients they have in order to reduce or hopefully even eliminate therapist burnout and improve quality of care as well as client outcomes.
Few models accomplish this, but one stands out above the rest: concierge therapy. Concierge therapists have fewer clients, they tend to be happier, and provide better care, as demonstrated by better client outcomes and improved client satisfaction. If you feel like your therapist isn’t spending enough time with you, doesn’t value you, or isn’t focused on your overall well being, I can help. To learn more about my practice or to schedule a complementary consultation, go here.