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The Other Side Of The Couch

Welcome to our monthly newsletter, where we bring you perspectives, resources, and ideas from fellow therapists who are out there doing the hard work just like you are. We’re glad you’re here.

This month, we heard from one of our staff therapists at BetterHelp – Sreela Stovall, LMHC – about her strategies for self-care, how she decompresses after a difficult session, and what mental health content she’s consuming right now.

Sreela is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with her Doctorate in Human Services. She works in Clinical Operations for BetterHelp while continuing to practice as a therapist. She has been in the field 17+ years across specialties in behavioral health.

What are your favorite ways to engage in self-care as a therapist?

As a therapist, I personally feel that you have to do “what works for you” in terms of self-care.

For me, it varies day-to-day. But, like learning any new skill, indulging in positive self-care is about building it up and making it part of your daily routine. I build in breaks throughout the day, sometimes 5 minutes, other times 15 and I make it a point to eat and hydrate.

Taking a step outside, a quick walk, listening to music, exercising, spending time with a pet or catching up with a loved one can be part of that or just taking some time for yourself to reflect.

At the end of the day, I do my best to focus on enjoying the activities that matter the most to me – like cooking, arts and crafts, watching a movie or show, reading a book, and journaling.

How do you decompress after a particularly difficult session?

Difficult sessions do not get any easier no matter how much experience we have. When they are difficult, they are difficult, and it’s important to give it exactly that recognition.

Accepting that you had a hard time with it and experiencing the raw emotions of what a client is going through is a lot.

Make sure you default to any of the self-care strategies that you know will work best for you: Step away, take a minute to be human and have the reaction you need to while not dwelling too much; use clinical supervision or make sure you reach out to your clinical supports; and, lastly, try to understand why you may be having such a strong reaction to the session and what it may be bringing up for you.

It’s important to treat those difficult sessions as learning experiences, if and when you can.


What are reading or listening to in the mental health world right now?

The Positive Psychology Podcast is one of my favorites. The topics are broad and established. You can and will find what you need about the topics of interest, even if you are limited on time.

I also highly recommend the PsychCentral newsletter. As a therapist, it helps me stay current on trends, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the field.


That’s all for this month. Thanks for reading!

Until then, take care.

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