Is Stress Getting to You?

Like their clients, psychologists struggle with work/life conflict. How can they help their clients and themselves?

“There are ways psychologists are particularly vulnerable to stress, part of which has to do with the nature of our work with people who have difficulties and maybe getting too engrossed in that,” says Daniel I. Galper, PhD, director of research and special projects in APA’s Practice Directorate. “And in this economic environment, there’s a tendency to maybe see more patients and work harder trying to make up income and keep the practice going.”

Those tendencies can strain psychologists’ abilities to meet their family obligations, the survey found. Nearly three-quarters of respondents reported that an overly challenging work/life balance was interfering with their optimal functioning as professional psychologists — a worry that topped even dealing with insurance companies and managed care.

On the flip side, 96 percent of respondents reported that maintaining balance between their personal and professional lives was their most effective strategy for coping with that stress.

By Rebecca A. Clay at the American Psychological Association

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