YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU NEED TO BE…
Congratulations, you did it! You graduated from your Master’s level clinical program. You may be a new social worker, counselor, or clinical professional. You may have just landed your first clinical role as a new therapist, milieu counselor, support therapist, case manager, etc. This is a huge step in your career and I bet you are so excited to start and go forward in your new role. As new therapists and clinicians settle into their new role it is common to have fears and worries.
“What if I’m not good enough?”
“What if I’m not helping anyone?”
“Do others think I’m good at my job?”
This is called imposter syndrome and it happens to the best and most of us.
This gut wrenching or anxiety ridden feeling, is your inner voice telling you you are being challenged, growing outside of your comfort zone. Even though it does not feel like a comfortable place to be, you can do amazing work here and also become an amazing clinician. When we are challenged and at our edge we need a lot of support, compassion, and patience. Keep working hard, keep trying, and know that one day this feeling will pass you will be in a stronger and more balanced place.
Three things you can do when facing the vulnerable feeling of imposter syndrome:
Find your self-care routine: know what helps you stay grounded when you are feeling your most vulnerable. I find that being out in nature, meditation, and reading help me re-group and ground myself. Find what works for you, do it often, and build a routine into your day to make sure you are taking care of yourself as you learn to take care of others.
Surround yourself with compassion and encouragement: you need a strong support network in order to get through your first two years of pre-licensure training and learning. It is harder than being in graduate school because you are facing self-doubt, beginner jitters, mistakes, and self-judgment as you learn new techniques and skill sets. Also, being a therapist takes a lot of vulnerable work. You can only take your patient as far as you have gone in your own journey of self-exploration and understanding. Find a supervisor, mentor, and friends that can help you along the way and encourage you to be patient, compassionate, and values driven.
Focus on your strengths: we spend a large portion of our time focusing on our limitations and weaknesses. Research is showing us that focusing on our shortcomings does not yield better results. Rather we need to find our strengths and focus on what we can and do offer. Use our strengths to build up our shortcomings and learning edges. We will grow faster and further.
If you are searching for a clinical supervisor that can help you excel and expand your clinical courage, competence, and connection please check me out at Clinician Development Collective.