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