Overcome imposter syndrome

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know

Are you a Mental Health Professional? Do you need confidence in counseling sessions, because you deal with messy relationships at home? Do you wonder if others struggle with personal issues like you do? Well, look no further. This article addresses overcoming Imposter Syndrome Every Mental Health Professional needs to know. These tips will help you accept, align, and articulate your next steps.

Tip # 1 Accept your imperfections

We all need to grow into acceptance of our imperfections. This tip is vitally important as we meet with our clients in counseling sessions. Many clients will think you’ve arrived at your perfect destiny in life just because you are a therapist. But it’s our responsibility to normalize that we are all in process.

Even though we’re trained with credentials, we are still human beings with flaws and blind spots. We need to accept the reality of our imperfect humanity. When we do, we are giving our clients the courage to do the same.

It’s common to compare ourselves as inferior. Especially we encounter others with more education, status, or influence. We see the presentational dimensions of others, and then judge ourselves as less than. We don’t see their daily grind or interactions with family members. We don’t see what their loved ones see up close and personal.

Even though we’re trained with credentials, we are still human beings with flaws and blind spots. We need to accept the reality of our imperfect humanity. Click To Tweet

Besides, our lives are more than what we present to the outside world. Rather, we are all human beings with strengths, weaknesses, privileges and/or disabilities. We all have various roles and ways of relating that likely reveals our true character.

We listen to the harsh critic inside our heads. Then we magnify our struggles, flaws, and missed opportunities. But when we can accept our own imperfections, we give our clients hope. Any conflict or difficulty we encounter are actually opportunities for growing awareness.

Remember, none of us have “arrived” at perfection. That would be rather depressing if there was no room for improvement. This leads us to tip # 2. Align with reality.

Tip # 2 Align with reality

The catalyst for my writing “Beyond Messy Relationships” was my second husband’s season of psychosis. He was out of tune with reality. As he experienced paranoid delusions from his manic episode of Bipolar disorder, it brought me to a greater level of awareness. It made me aware that most of us live with “normal” and acceptable delusions.

As a reminder, delusions are beliefs and thoughts that seem like they are true. But in reality, we all have limited beliefs and automatic thoughts that we think are truth.

When my book was published I began my own “paranoid” thoughts. I thought, if my clients read it, they will likely say. . . “And why are we seeing her as our therapist?” And perhaps some have read it and chose not to come back. But many have told me they read the book and were deeply touched. In fact, they’ve gained courage and confidence for their journey. Phrases like these have encouraged me as their therapist.

“Wow, Judy. If you can go through these kind of challenges, I know that I can too.”

“I really identified with you when. . . now I know I’m not alone.”

Keep in mind that I’m not advocating that all of us mental health professionals should write and publish their memoirs. But, for me, it’s been an amazing journey of aligning with reality. It’s increased my awareness and made me more aware of those automatic delusions that say, . . . “if they only knew. . .”

Now that brings me to tip # 3. Articulate with trusted colleagues.

Tip # 3 Articulate with Trusted Colleagues

It’s so vitally important to build relationships with trusted colleagues. Since we’ve been doing Telemental Health sessions through months of the pandemic, we’re even more isolated than before. In fact, our isolation from peers in our industry exacerbates our imposter syndrome challenges.

Our fear of judgement from other mental health professionals keep us from growing with colleagues. Of course, it’s a risk to open up. But when we begin to do life with other colleagues, we soon discover that we’re not alone.

As with anything, our circumstances will change and adapt over time. But, these three tips are foundational as it applies to overcoming Imposter Syndrome every Mental Health Professional needs to know.

Our fear of judgement from other mental health professionals keep us from growing with colleagues. Click To Tweet

In summary, let’s take heed and apply these three tips right away: Accept, align, and articulate your beautiful authentic self.

Your Next Steps

You can get the 1st three chapters of “Beyond Messy Relationships.” Just fill out the form below.

Get the Buy One Get One Free offer. I’ll send you the author-signed copy to you. So you can share with a colleague. Go here:

3 Tips to Attract Ideal Clients Every Mental Health Professional Needs

There’s no doubt that every Mental Health Professional starts out with a whole lot of questions, especially at the beginning. The problem is, many experience burnout and stress by being a “general practitioner.” They take on cases that drain their energy. It might be the insurance industry, or just thinking they need to fill up their hours. Rather than submit to systems that feel too enclosed, many just throw up their hands and give up. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 3 tips to attract ideal clients every mental health professional needs. These three tips will help you breathe fresh A.I.R. into your profession. They are Awareness, Intentionality, and Risks.

Tip #1: Awareness of what drains or energizes you

After reading the book, “Getting the Love you Want” by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelley Hunt, I was curious about Imago Therapy. Then, I spent a weekend assisting another seasoned Imago Relationship Therapist. It was my first exposure to this particular modality. I felt energized in seeing couples transform from conflict to connection. While facing my own insecurities, I was drawn to get more training and become certified. The following exerpt is included in my book “Beyond Messy Relationships.” I pondered the words of my spiritual director, Dr. David G. Benner.

We talked about my growing counseling practice. I felt both unsettled and drawn to counseling couples. But how would pastors or prospective clients trust me as a couple’s counselor since I was divorced?

He said something like this: “Judy, allow your counseling practice to grow out of your being. Remember you are a human being. Don’t get caught up in living as a ‘human doing.’ Let your counseling reflect your grounding in truth. Remember that you are a person rather than a theology.”

You can count on there being seasons of transitions and change throughout your counseling career. Especially now while we are all facing the effect of the pandemic, it’s vital to know what is draining and what is energizing. This profession requires acute self-awareness. We must be attuned to our needs as Mental Health professionals.

Remember you are a human being. Don’t get caught up in living as a ‘human doing.’ Click To Tweet

Expect days in which you wonder why you entered this field in the first place. And other days may feel like “holy ground.” Of course, we have “normal” days in which neither extreme happens. But of course, we strive to make space for those “aha” life-affirming transitions.

Given our continual awareness, this leads to tip # 2. Intentionally envision your ideal practice.

Tip #2: Intentionally envision your ideal practice

Without a vision, we are sure to remain stuck doing the same therapy year after year. We work with the same type of clients because insurance dictates our client load. As a result, we put ourselves at risk for negativity, cynicism, and stress.

But just as we plan for vacations with a specific destination in mind, we need to envision our ideal counseling practice. It’s vital that we evolve, learn, and innovate ourselves professionally.

So many of us become isolated even in group practices. Without awareness, we stay in our comfort zone with those we’ve known for years. We go to the same conferences for our CEU’s.

It’s vital that we evolve, learn, and innovate ourselves professionally. Click To Tweet

Here’s a couple of conferences I’ve recently learned about.

Not So Typical Psychotherapist Summit
Therapy Reimagined 2020

It’s extremely important to build relationships and grow our perspectives with other mental health professionals. Given our continual awareness and intentional vision, this leads to tip # 3. Risk growing your services.

Tip #3: Risk growing your services

In the last few short months, because of the pandemic, we have learned how to do therapy online via telemental health. It’s made our services either more challenging, exciting, or somewhere in-between.

Many therapists have felt overwhelming stress and tried to be available to all in need. But to do so is to put ourselves at risk for burnout.

It’s time now to think outside the four walls of our counseling practices. Recently I presented a workshop on “How to Facilitate Group Empathy Using Communologue.”  And I connected with other therapists online.

It’s a challenge to change, of course. But our time is valuable and the needs are great. As a result, it’s so necessary to integrate what you love to do as an added service in your practice. For example, I created a Facebook group for “Vibrantly Authentic Therapists.”

It will amaze you at how much you’ll nurture your own soul while attracting ideal clients. So whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a seasoned therapist, it’s vital that you breathe fresh A.I.R. Awareness, Intentionality, and Risks.

Your next step