Article Published: 7/20/2022
Elizabeth Williams Haarberg is a member of Chi Sigma Iota and a 2021 Minority Fellowship Program-Addictions Counselor. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in counseling.
A client advised me to be careful how much energy and care I put into counseling to avoid “burning out,” and I then told him my secret to letting go and detaching. Many counselors have heard ways to combat helper’s fatigue; everything from meditation to vacation has been suggested to prevent burnout. I’m throwing my hat into the burnout remedy ring on what has helped me when dealing with this issue.
What is being described here is a way to fully engage by partnering with the client when they are present and releasing them as they leave. The release is meant to alleviate the counselor from carrying the client’s heavy burdens after the client departs.
Detaching is a practice that takes time to fully engage. To remain effective in helping professions, and in life, it has been imperative to learn how to disconnect and stay present.
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