In order to be effective in applying the methods and techniques of clinical psychologists, practitioners must make use of their own personalities and behaviors to develop an effective working alliance with clients. Two critical aspects that guide practitioners are boundaries and self-care. Boundaries involve the understanding and maintenance of personal and professional boundaries of behavior between practitioner and client. An important boundary is not allowing multiple relationships, as these can be harmful to the client. Self-care involves taking care of oneself in order to avoid burn-out from long hours of working with clients who are often seeking treatment for intense problems. Self-care is important for all practitioners, yet is especially important for practitioners who work with survivors of trauma. Without proper self-care, practitioners who work with this population may suffer from secondary traumatic stress and/or vicarious trauma.
The assignment: (3–4 pages)
- Describe ethical boundaries in clinical psychology and explain why they are important to the profession.
- Explain the importance of self-care for professional psychologists and professional psychology students.
- Develop a plan of self-care that you will utilize while completing this professional psychology program.