week 1 forum post responses 3

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In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

As a helping professional, self-care is critical. While the work is satisfying and rewarding, it can also be stressful and emotionally exhausting.

With regard to self-care, answer the following questions:

  • How does the stress of professional practice impact the counselor’s personal life?
  • How is self-care an ethical issue?
  • What are the components of wellness?
  • How can wellness be a model for preventing burnout?
  • What is the relationship between self-compassion and being able to take care of others?
  • What is your personal strategy for maintaining your vitality?

In your peer responses, please reflect on how your peer’s choices, examples, etc. are similar or different from your choices.

forum. post response #1

How Does the stress of professional practice impact the counselor’s personal life? Stress as we know is the way our bodies tend to respond to experiences, which these experiences can be either negative or positive. Stress can impact anyone depending on the situation they are currently in. With a professional practice, stress can impact the counselor’s personal life due to many different reasons. Most common reason in which can cause stress could be working with different personalities such as co-workers, Management, a demand for higher standards of performance, overbooking and even not having a balance between personal and professional life. How does this stress truly impact a counselor? The belief is there can be a manifestation of symptoms such as being fatigue due to prolonged exposure to compassion, feeling of mental exhaustion and even become vulnerable to the point where a counselor would find themselves struggling to keep emotions a float (Shoptaw, Rawson, 2000).

How is self-care an ethical issue? This question is a bit of a struggle, because the question is not asking how to apply the issue of self-care ethical but rather why is there an ethical issue with self-care? First, I must say as a counselor it is important to have some type of self-awareness and commitment to ourselves and seek treatment if there are feelings of exhaustion, insomnia, feeling burned out, having feelings of guilt or hopelessness and even emotional exhaustion. With that said the only ethical issue I personally can see with self-care being an ethical issue is confidentiality and attempting to balance your feeling and your clients at the same time. The confidentiality part would be an ethical issue when a counselor seeks treatment for themselves, just because one counselor is talking to another it does not allow the right to release information. The other part of balancing is understanding that we must take care of ourselves before we can take care of the patients. If there is built up anger, exhaustion, insomnia or even not being available emotionally can hurt the treatments of the patients.

What are the components of wellness? Components of wellness would be physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational.

How can wellness be a model for preventing burnout? With any type of wellness, it can help your mind, body and spirit. Specifically, how does it help burnout, well for one it can help reduce stress, improve the quality of your sleep, help balance symptoms of depression and even negative emotions. Wellness personally for me attracts positive energy and positive behaviors.

What is the relationship between self-compassion and being able to take care of others? Wow, I had no idea how many things I truly struggle with until starting this class. My assumption of self-compassion is having the ability to show kindness towards humanity and being mindful of individuals experience and acknowledging them. In a way it is a person who has empathy and true concern towards the difficulty individuals are going through. Being able to take care of others is quite different but similar. Taking care of others can be on an emotional and physical level. The relationship between the two are similar because both involve being emotionally available for an individual. What do you guys think?

What is your personal strategy for maintaining your vitality? I struggle with maintaining my vitality constantly, working where I work I lose a lot of what we call our “patient family”. When I first started, I was afraid of death, I empathized with people and felt sorry on a constant basis. I felt what the patients felt, attend funerals (I still do this), listened, provided social work help and even been there for their last breath. Constantly I began to get burned out and I never took time for just unwind. What I do now to help is meditate on my breaks, take walks on my lunches and quite honestly, I seek treatment when needed. I make sure that I am okay emotionally before going to work every morning. I still have a lot of work to do but this help a bit, that and reiki (I’m that person that has rocks all over her desk for positive energy).

My question to the class is: How do you balance work and personal life? Especially when work can drain the energy out of your or certain individuals that can produce negative energy, how do you cope?

Forum post response #2

Self-care is a critical factor when it comes to any individual but more importantly to those who are involved in the helping professions. For many individuals, day in and day out, it is an ongoing process of having others dump their issues and struggles and it is the professional’s job to take all that in and decipher through it to help the individual. Many individuals in the helping field can quickly be plagued by burn out. Burnout is often the result of stress from all the emotional baggage that many professionals have to deal with daily. The individual experience burn out can often is viewed as having emotional fatigue or exhaustion.

Self-care can become an ethical issue when competence is no longer being met. Competence is described as the kinds of values that are often associated or needed to effectively practice as well as in accordance with professional standards. It is ensuring that the knowledge, skills, attitude and even values are all in accordance with professional standards. If self-care is not maintained then competence can be lost. It is almost like a natural decay.

According to The Center for Psychiatric Recovery there are 8 Dimensions of wellness that should be practiced in order to fully take care of oneself. Emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual self-care should all be practiced in order to achieve an overall healthy and positive wellness.

Wellness can be a good model to prevent burn out because when you are happy with you employment and have personal satisfaction from the work you do, you will not view your occupation as being work. When you are practice physical activity and proper diet as well as sleep patterns you are giving your body the chance to stay focused and healthy as well as providing an outlet for stress. Having other individuals to discuss your day with or just to have sense of belonging and connection with is a strong tool in creating wellness and preventing burn out. And these are just a couple of the tools of wellness. When each step is utilized and one is in the habit of practicing these dimensions of wellness daily, burn out and emotional fatigue are drastically reduced.

The relationship between self-compassion and being able to take care of others is a strong one. If you are unable to properly care for yourself and make sure that you are also taking care of your own mental and physical needs, you are not going to be able to mentally be there for your clients.

My personal strategy for maintain vitality is to work from home as much as possible and spend more time with my dog than I do with others, she is the best therapy I never had to pay for.

Forum post response #3

As for Part B, we are asked to respond to questions regarding self-care. In the psychology profession, ethics tends to be associated with research or actual treatment. The health and mental state of a counselor is very important and can present ethical concerns.

How does the stress of professional practice impact the counselor’s personal life?

Stress from a counselor’s professional practice can impact his or her life in various ways. First, hearing patients issues all day and every day can impact a person’s demeanor. Additionally, some of the patients’ problems can become a burden or cause worry for the counselor. Moreover, thinking through all the cases and considering treatment progress and whether it is the right approach can weigh on a counselor’s mind. Second, work hours and always being readily available for patients can impact a counselor’s personal life or make it feel like he or she does not have a personal life. Another major factor related to this is if the counselor has a family. Balancing work and family life can cause stress, especially if he or she cannot devote time to the family.

How is self-care an ethical issue?
Self-care relates to the previous question because it involves taking care of oneself, especially for a person who is providing services for mental health treatment. Work and personal stress can impede a person’s ability to think clearly and to provide care for another and to make sure he or she does not cause additional harm to a patient. By not taking care of oneself, there is greater room for error; allowing for the possibility of an ethical issue to arise.

What are the components of wellness?
There are different views on components of wellness; comprising of three, five or eight components. The primary components of wellness are physical, emotional, and spiritual.

How can wellness be a model for preventing burnout?
Burnout, according to our book, is a state a person reaches when his or her entire body is depleted. This includes emotional, physical, and intellectual processes. By preparing one’s mind, body, and spirit, it can help a person better manage stress. Additionally, having a great family support system can reduce burnout. Another key factor to prevent burnout is to practice self-care.

What is the relationship between self-compassion and being able to take care of others?
First, self-compassion is being accepting and kind to ourselves. By being self-compassionate there is a greater probability of being compassionate toward others and wanting to care for others.

What is your personal strategy for maintaining your vitality?
Honestly, this is an area I struggle in because there are times I feel I’m not taking care of myself or I have over obligated myself. There are times I feel work consumes a large portion of my time and I miss important events in my girls’ lives. I have tried to work on that over the past year. Something I’m notorious for is volunteering to support activities at school or for Girl Scouts, but instead of actually spending time with my family, I’m trying to satisfy other obligations that I thought supported my daughters. I’m hoping with my new work schedule, I will find time to balance meeting my needs, my family, and work.

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