I should really be getting in the shower right now and not writing in my diary, but I wanted to clear my head a little before starting my day.
The good news is, I’ve pretty much reached a full caseload. I have one time slot on my schedule that is filled every-other week, meaning the other week is empty. That spot could potentially be filled, but it doesn’t feel urgent. Most of the time, I am grateful to have an unscheduled hour in the day anyway. I also have one time slot on Friday night and one on Saturday morning where my clients don’t come every week. Again, getting extra time, especially on Friday night and Saturday morning, feels appropriate right now. I’m not even going to try to fill those spots consistently.
So what does “full” mean? Right now, it means I see 6 people on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, 6-7 on Friday, and 5-6 on Saturday. If everybody showed up, I would see between 21 and 23 people per week. In real life I usually see 19-20.
The downside to being full is that I’m starting to feel the weight of the unpaid work that comes with seeing that many people. For example, I have to send certain clients “Release of Info” forms and then I’m supposed to collaborate with the other health professionals in their lives. I need to speak with the individual therapist who is meeting with one of the members of my family-client, or I need to speak with the psychiatrist of one of my individual clients, etc. I also need to find resources for people who are struggling with binge eating or housing or childcare, etc. And on top of all that, I’m expected to educate myself in areas that I am uninformed in. A good example of that is the recent events regarding the Asian community. I had no idea anything was going on until one of my Asian clients mentioned it, and now it is my duty to learn about the current climate in that way.
…and, to be honest, not getting paid to do these things and already feeling swamped with my typical list of responsibilities makes it really hard to motivate myself to do them. These are the kinds of things that get put off, and I’m not proud of that.
Right now I spend one hour per week in supervision and another three to four hours per week studying for my licensing exam. I have been thinking that, once I’m licensed, those five or so hours can be used to meet with more clients. That will bump my paycheck up a bit. But I also know that, if I’m being responsible and organized, I need to set aside time to do this administrative-type work.
Another piece of the issue is just flat-out motivation. When I get those extra hours due to client cancelations, I almost always use them to rest. If I were more energetic and engaged, my performance would increase significantly. This is one of those things that I believe will improve when I have a bigger space (working at my dining room table with a view of my kitchen and living room and my husband walking in and out to print things or get a snack between every client does not promote concentration) and when my kids are old enough to understand healthy boundaries.
Right now, my daughter is two. I’m working on boundaries with her, but we’re still a bit enmeshed, which is normal at this age. Last night we put her to bed at 8pm like we do every night, but she was having trouble falling asleep. By 9, she was understandably frustrated, and by 9:45 she was a blubbering mess. Out of sheer exhaustion, I just decided to take her to bed with me after getting minimal winddown time myself. This is the kind of shit that I don’t expect to be nearly as much of an issue when my daughter is 5 or 6 years old, you know? And then when I get a free hour during my work day, I’ll be much more likely to use it productively.
Anyway. It’s time for me to shower. I have my first client in 45 minutes. Until next time <3
Last updated March 26, 2021