#CounselorChat: “The Helper” Needs Support Too

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“I was determined to at least have my version of success come to fruition…”


As rewarding as it may be, being a counselor with your own private practice can be overwhelming. Today’s #CounselorChat highlights Cha’Ke’Sha Spencer, LPC, CPCS of Grace Anthony Counseling as we discuss how to balance entrepreneurship and being a full-time clinician. We’re also diving into how the field has transitioned over the years and how “newbie counselors” can be successful in these therapeutic streets.

Don’t have time to watch? Check out the highlights below.


Changes in the Counseling Field

  • The counseling profession did not always require a license but as the need progressed and the overall scope of practice became more in-depth, states began implementing licensure regulations.
  • There has also been a significant increase in clinicians of color, which has helped the field make strides towards diversity. Subsequently, governing organizations like the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) have been working diligently to advance the message of inclusivity and multiculturalism to meet the needs of both clinicians and the clients they serve.
  • Although the number of black and brown clinicians has improved over the years, it is not directly correlated to the gradual rise in the number of clients of color. But I must say, there is research that shows that non-white individuals are more likely to seek mental health services from those of the same race/ethnic background as they are.


Advice for Starting a Private Practice

  • Consider developing a niche or specialization that you are passionate about and become well-acquainted with the modalities and interventions that work great with that population.
  • Start by implementing certain systems that will aid in the management of the business. Will you be on insurance panels or strictly self-pay? Who will be responsible for overseeing billing aspects? Can you afford electronic health records?


Trauma Work

  • Help clients identify their trauma triggers by helping them recognize what trauma actually is and how it is often manifested in emotionally and physically.
  • Dialectal Behavior Therapy was initially developed for working with individuals with borderline personality disorder. It focuses on emotion regulation and the ability to cope with distress effectively.


Finding Support as A Clinician

  • Find and connect with supportive counseling spaces for clinicians both online and in-person to develop relationships, network, and establish accountability partners.
  • No matter how long you’ve been in the field, you can always learn for other clinicians. No clinician knows everything so this is your chance to acquire free knowledge about potential interventions and gain access to resources and case consultations.
  • If you can’t find a supportive space, then create one your own! Identify your circle and begin inviting your colleagues, supervisors, and even current students within the field.
  • Consult! Consult! Consult! New clinicians, it is oober important to develop a strong connection with your clinical supervisor. It’s super beneficial to have someone who can help you into the powerhouse clinician that you are meant to be.
  • “Every clinician needs their own clinician.” Counselors, social works, psychiatrists, and psychologists are NOT exempt from therapy. It helps with countertransference and reduces the likelihood of burnout.

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