Self-Care & Self-Development: A Professional Responsibility

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As mental health practitioners, we often give the notion of self-care a cursory glance whilst studying in post graduate programs but how many of us actually place self-care in our weekly calendars or map out longer-term care plans for ourselves? We are reminded by Lawson et. al (2007) that “Mental and physical health are essential to maintaining competence as much or more than knowledge and skills.” It seems more crucial than ever before that we endeavor to look after ourselves in the profession of counselling and psychotherapy. We experience higher client workloads and demands, at times toxic bosses or work environments and greater administrative burdens than ever before. The question for all of us is how we stay on top of our game without experiencing professional impairment. This talk explores the things we can do to help us thrive.

Doug Scott has worked for 30 years in the mental health sector. During that time, he has worked in clinical and community settings. Prior to working at Monash University, he was the Director of Assessment Services for the Department of Human Services where he managed a team of 100 allied health professionals. Doug lead teams of psychologists into some unique environments including post-natural disasters such as the Asian Tsunami and the Black Saturday Bushfires. He also held a position at the Australian Psychological Society as the Executive Manager of Professional Practice. A career highlight has been to conduct training in Mongolia on topics such as trauma counselling and suicide prevention. As part of his work at Monash, Doug has been visiting Hong Kong and Singapore for teaching over the past 10 years.