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Team “Private Practice”

For us Social Workers (and I imagine Psychologists and other Allied Health Professionals) private practice is often way too private! Isolating…lonely…vulnerable!

This was my experience for the first few months, needing to reach out to colleagues in other agencies for support with cases that seemed too big for one person to manage alone. But now I am blessed to be a part of an amazing “private practice” team.

Today I was I was surrounded with such “teamwork” …

  • The support of an administration team to sort appointments and manage messages (and hear my rants in between)
  • The backing of a clinical staff member to support with the hardest of professional calls
  • The lectures of both mentioned above about the need for regular and set lunch breaks
  • The end of day hang-back of a colleague because I am running late with a client, and “no man is left behind”
  • The evening SMS from a team member “checking in” after the day we have had

The blessing of a team is amazing, and way too understated.

We spend our days speaking to clients about self-care, support networks, healthy lifestyle choices, yet all too often those dishing out the advice are not taking it on themselves. I recall my parents laughing about this phenomenon when I was young… the chef who never cooks at home… the builder in an unfinished home… the fencing contractor with broken fences!

So, today’s post is aimed at two groups… the professionals like us who all too often know the advice but don’t live it! And the thousands of people to whom we dedicate our days… please remember that we are people too!

Of course, we have families and friends who are beautiful in their care and support, yet it is rare for them to understand the pressures of our work. The life/death nature of the 9am, the emotional turmoil of the 10:30, the vicarious trauma of the 12noon, and so on.

The people who have our backs are often in our professional lives. They are the people who pull us up on shortcuts, who force us to walk out of our offices for a lunch break, who often see us struggling way before we see it ourselves. These are the people we should value; we should listen to.  In our practice we laugh, we swear, we yell, we tease, we challenge, we question, we advise, but most importantly we support, every second of everyday.  On site or off site, we are a team, and we work together.

We do this job because it matters, we do this job because we love it, we do this job because we are good at it… we do not do this job because it is easy!

So today I am thankful to the wonderful people who dedicate their professional lives to helping others and especially to those who include helping their team members in their daily goals – you are all invaluable xxx

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