Welcome back to Therapy Chat! This week, host Laura Reagan, LCSW-C revisits an episode from 2016 on a very important subject – self care for helping professionals! Ashley Davis Bush, LICSW is a psychotherapist in private practice in southern New Hampshire with over 30 years’ experience. 

Ashley has written several self-help books, including Transcending Loss and Simple Self-Care for Therapists. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and has some great tips to share with us today about improving our relationships to self-care. Join us!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Ashley loves her work and counts it a privilege to be part of peoples’ lives. Her private practice is in her home, and it’s “a fun job, watching life unfold in front of you.”
  • Even the simple choice of working from home can be a self-care choice.
  • Ashley’s work focuses on grief, couples, and anxiety, but self-care is a common thread that is woven into her work with all clients.
  • Ashley says that much of her practice patterns itself after her books.
  • Her most recent book introduces the idea of “micro self-care.”
  • “Macro self-care”practices are the big things that we normally think of regarding self-care, but micro practices are short, simple things that can be done in 1-2 minutes.
  • Ashley focuses on self-care to avoid burnout, which she categorizes as “little b” and “BIG B” types of burnout.
    • “little b” burnout is when you are exhausted at the end of the day or week. You may need a good night’s rest or a few days off to regenerate and recover.
    • “BIG B” burnout is when you need to leave the field because you can’t take it anymore.
  • Ashley addresses “vicarious trauma,” in that ALL therapists do some sort of trauma work.
  • Personal and professional experience can cloud the lens with which we see the world, but life’s pains are a constant trauma.
  • Ashley explains self-care vs. self-violence: when you don’t take care of yourself, then you’re doing harm (violence) to yourself.
  • Mindfulness leads to grounding, bringing us into this moment right now.
  • Ashley shares her Tibetan bell practice to help bring clients into mindfulness.
  • She recommends using micro self-care practices at the beginning, middle, and end of your day.
  • Ashley’s book lists 40-50 suggestions as to how to scale down macro self-care practices into small micro practices.
  • Making the transformation from macro to micro self-care practices requires thinking creatively, but shouldn’t be overwhelming.
  • Neuroplasticity is the science that show the brain can change in response to repetitive behaviors. You can rewire your brain to be more peaceful!
  • When your brain is rewired, then your default setting comes to a place of gratitude and feeling good.
  • Ashley’s three takeaways:
    • Have a basic plan for 3 micro self-care practices each day.
    • Sleep 8-9 hours each night so you aren’t tired during the day.
    • Prioritize self-care, and you’ll soon realize that you can’t live without it!
    • Be aware of the seasons of life, but regardless of the season, you can fit in micro self-care every day
  • Find Ashley at www.ashleydavisbush.com.

Thank you to The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this week’s episode.

The Receptionist for iPad is the highest-rated digital check-in software for therapy offices and behavioral health clinics, used by thousands of practitioners across the country.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial of The Receptionist for iPad by going to www.thereceptionist.com/therapychat  and when you do, you’ll also receive a twenty five dollar Amazon gift card.

Thank you also to TherapyNotes for sponsoring this week’s episode!

TherapyNotes makes billing, scheduling, notetaking, and telehealth incredibly easy.  And now, for all you prescribers out there, TherapyNotes is proudly introducing E-prescribe!

Find out what more than 100,000 mental health professionals already know, and try TherapyNotes for 2 months, absolutely free.  

Try it today with no strings attached, and see why everyone is switching to TherapyNotes.  Now featuring E-prescribe. Click here or use promo code “chat” at www.therapynotes.com to receive 2 FREE months of TherapyNotes! 

This episode is also sponsored by Trauma Therapist Network. Learn about trauma, connect with resources and find a trauma therapist near you at www.traumatherapistnetwork.com. We believe that trauma is real, healing is possible and help is available. Therapists – join the TTN community and receive weekly support in live video calls. www.go.traumatherapistnetwork.com/register

Podcast produced by Pete Bailey – https://petebailey.net/audio 

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Original Date

August 5, 2022

About the Host

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C is an integrative trauma therapist and owner of a group practice, the Baltimore Annapolis Center for Integrative Healing. She is also the host of Therapy Chat and Trauma Chat podcasts and the founder of the Trauma Therapist Network, a website for learning information about trauma and finding resources and help for trauma.

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