Female counsellor journalling

Daily Habits for Counselling Practice Success

Ever wondered what sets better counsellors apart from run-of-the-mills ones? It’s not just about fancy degrees or years of experience (although those certainly help!). It’s about the daily habits and rituals we embrace to nourish our minds, hearts, and practices. So, for this blog, let’s dive into a number of simple practice-building habits to take your counselling practice to the next level.

  1. Morning Moments of Reflection: Kickstart your day with a few moments of quiet reflection. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve today? How am I feeling emotionally? This mindfulness practice sets the tone for a purposeful and centered day ahead. I actually use a few meditations and affirmations to get myself in “the groove” for the day ahead.

   *Practical Tip*: Keep a journal by your bedside and work desk and jot down your thoughts; something really good generally comes up when you don’t have pen and paper handy.

  1. Stay Curious, Stay Sharp: Never stop learning! Whether it’s browsing through the latest research articles or attending a webinar on a new therapy approach, make sure you spend 15-20m every day (preferably more) on something you would like to learn more about.

   *Practical Tip*: Dedicate 15 minutes each day to explore a topic outside your current counselling comfort zone. Who knows what gems you might uncover?

  1. Listen Like You Mean It: Master the art of active listening. Tune in not just to words, but to the emotions and nuances behind them. Your clients will feel truly heard, valued, and understood. It sounds so simple, but I hear so many counsellors in private practice still make the mistake of thinking they know what the client needs or wants, without actually “being” with them.

   *Practical Tip*: Practice reflective listening in everyday conversations. It’s a game-changer!

  1. Self-Care Isn’t Selfish: Corny, I know. But self-care it’s essential! Whether it’s a morning yoga session, an evening walk, or simply indulging in your favourite book, make time for YOU. I will be the first to admit that I don’t always allow enough time for “me”. Don’t do as I do!

   *Practical Tip*: Treat self-care like an important appointment. Block it off in your calendar and honour it like you would any other commitment.

  1. Feedback is Your Friend: Embrace feedback, and ask for it. Seek input from clients, colleagues, and mentors to grow and evolve professionally.

   *Practical Tip*: Create a feedback form for clients and peers. Whether it’s the ORS or SRS, use something to allow yourself to be critiqued.

  1. Buddy Up for Peer Power: Join a peer supervision group and watch your practice grow! Share insights, swap stories, and support each other through the highs and lows of counselling life. The ACA Chapter meetings are great, and you can use 2 hours of peer supervision as hours on your supervision log.

   *Practical Tip*: Can’t find a group? Start one yourself! It’s easier than you think. If you’re local, I’ll join.

  1. Boundaries Are Beautiful: Know when to say yes, and when to say no. Establishing clear boundaries protects your well-being and ensures you’re giving your best to your clients.

   *Practical Tip*: Practice saying no in front of the mirror until it feels natural. No is scary but powerful.

  1. Never Stop Growing: The learning journey never ends! Invest in workshops, courses, and conferences to expand your toolkit and keep those counselling tools sharpened. I’ve recently added EMDR to my toolkit. Game changer!

   *Practical Tip*: Set aside 10% of your budget and time for professional development (if you can!). Your future self will thank you!

  1. Reflect, Rejoice, Repeat: Wind down each day with a moment of reflection. Celebrate your wins, learn from your challenges, and go to bed knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

    *Practical Tip*: Start a gratitude journal and jot down three things you’re grateful for each day, and why. It’s a beautiful way to end on a positive note, and according to Martin Seligman and         his positive psychology colleagues it increases levels of overall happiness and gratitude over time.

So, there you have it, folks! Nine daily habits to support your counselling practice and help it grow. If you need any further ideas, or would like to discuss daily habits in more detail, feel free to contact me, or join me in one of the group supervision sessions every month.

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