Carla loves her work. She sees 20 – 25 clients each week as a therapist in her private practice. She comes home to a wonderful family of two adorable, although imperfect, grade school children and a loving partner. It all looks so good, from the outside. But, if you could see into Carla’s heart, you’d see she is dragging. She is physically exhausted, more cranky with her kids than she wants, and she’d tell you she “hasn’t had time for herself in what feels like an eternity.” Her best friend, also a therapist, commiserates with her about the challenges of a busy work and family life. They conclude this is normal and just part of the territory of being both professionals and parents. So, Carla trudges on.
Carla recently found herself showing up at work with a sense of dread and exhaustion. She noticed herself looking at her calendar and exhaling in exasperation, when she saw the name of a weekly client whom she feels, “sucks the life out of her already drained existence.” This is no way to work, no way to live, and clearly not a positive mental health selling point for her clients. She knows she shouldn’t preach to others that they should do self-care when she is neglecting to create this care for herself. Thankfully, Carla found her way into my office and we began to examine the dissatisfaction that hid behind her “successful life.” [Read more…]