Is being a mental health counselor draining? Licensed mental health counselors have many responsibilities. Some are stressful and challenging, while others may not be so difficult. But all mental health professionals must face a variety of challenges every day, including client turnover, on-call schedules, crisis situations, and professional isolation. In addition, they must contend with the possibility of ethics complaints or malpractice claims. They must also deal with administrative duties such as paperwork, reduced reimbursement, staff cutbacks, and utilization reviews.
The job requires constant self-care and support. Counselors need companionship and should build a network of support people from many different spheres of life. A trusted friend can be a good source of support during challenging times. A qualified mental health peer can help a counselor when she is having trouble getting a client to talk. Another way to deal with the pressures of her work is to spend time with her family.
Burnout is a natural reaction to the demands of the job. Licensed mental health counselors face unique emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. While clinical mental health counselors are less likely to develop burnout than other mental health professions, it is important to understand the signs of burnout to avoid developing it in the first place. It can have negative consequences for the individual and their clients, as well as their relationships.