Preventing Depression While Helping the Despressed

Kristie Overstreet Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, LPC, CST

Your role in the helping profession is to support, motivate, and assist clients with their problems. You are a caring person who likes to help others, but it’s also your responsibility to stay balanced.

One occupational hazard that clinicians face is having to stay emotionally healthy while working with depressed clients. These clients can be emotionally and physically taxing if you aren’t practicing daily self-care. Here are a few signs that you need self-care, tips to prevent depression as a clinician, and the importance of an in-depth depression assessment.


Signs that you need self-care

These are just a few of the warning signs to watch for.

  • You get easily frustrated
  • You dread working with a client who is depressed
  • You begin to reschedule a client’s appointment to avoid them
  • You are struggling to manage your emotions
  • You notice a change in your eating and/or sleeping
  • You are experiencing excessive countertransference
  • You lose motivation in your work


Tips to prevent depression as a clinician

These tips will help you stay healthy as you care for your depressed clients.

  • Take a day off or schedule a vacation
  • Schedule fewer clients per day
  • Get outside and go for a walk
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Schedule routine health appointments
  • Make time for your hobbies or interest outside of work
  • Review your personal and professional goals

You can now identify the signs to watch for and the tips to help you avoid depression as a clinician. The final part is ensuring you provide a comprehensive depression assessment for your clients. Your ability to provide a thorough assessment and accurate diagnosis makes all the difference in the world. To learn more about depression assessments check out the Gerry Grossman 4hr CE course.

You entered this profession because you wanted to make a difference or you wanted to help others. To continue working toward your professional goals you owe it to yourself and your clients to stay healthy.