298 – Self-Care for Counsellors

298 – Self-Care for Counsellors

Addressing Racial Identity – Neurodivergence within PD Groups

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In Episode 298 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly are back with this week’s three topics:

  • Firstly in ‘Ethical, Sustainable Practice’, we look at resilience and self-care for counsellors and therapists.
  • Then in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Sarah Henry about the significance of addressing racial identity.
  • And lastly in ‘Student Services’, Rory and Ken discuss neurodivergence within PD groups.

Resilience and Self-Care for Counsellors [starts at 02:00 mins]

This segment of the Counselling Tutor Podcast is sponsored by


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In order to look after your practice, you need to look after yourself. In this section, Rory and Ken discuss the importance of resilience and self-care for counsellors, and some of the ways you can practice this:

  • Your counselling work should be bracketed, find things outside of work that you can focus on and enjoy.
  • Be an active participant in your own well-being.
  • Know yourself and your triggers – address things with your own personal therapy, and don’t be afraid to refer a client.
  • Engage in a hobby or interest.
  • Another self-care tip for counsellors and finding their own mindfulness.
  • Engage in supervision and peer support – it can be a big help to share something that is worrying you or playing on your mind.
  • We’re responsible to the client, not for the client – it’s about finding that balance.
  • Review your supervision – are you getting the most out of it?
  • Practising self-care as a counsellor also means creating your boundaries and keeping them.
  • Take breaks when you need them.
  • Sharpen your competencies with CPD – CPD is more than courses and certificates, it can be as simple as listening to a podcast such as this one.
Theory to Practice is sponsored by

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Addressing Racial Identity [starts at 30:11 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Sarah Henry, a race trainer, about the significance of addressing racial identity.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • The fear of offending somebody can't be avoided, but it can be worked through.
  • It’s about building up the resilience and the courage to go through the fear and tolerate the experience of being vulnerable when having conversations about race and identity.
  • Conversations about race don’t have to feel uncomfortable – questions that come from a place of respect and genuine curiosity open up conversations for mutual understanding.
  • Sometimes there is a gap in your knowledge, not from malice, but from a lack of experience.
  • Talking about race should be guilt free and free from fear – if you get something wrong, you can apologise and move forward with this gained knowledge.

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Neurodivergence within PD Groups [starts at 56:57 mins]

For some counselling students who are neurodiverse, personal development groups might be uncomfortable. In this section, Rory and Ken ponder how neurodivergence might present in PD groups – and whether something has to change:

  • Sometimes, communication within personal development groups can feel especially difficult for those who are neurodivergent.
  • It’s possible to sit in a PD group without saying a word, and still come out having had incredible process and breakthroughs – it is an internal process of personal development, individual to you.
  • However, because of certain expectations that come with being in a PD group, we can feel pressured to speak and/or act in a certain way.
  • Some people may feel they have to do what is expected of them, and that prevents you from meeting the real person.
  • Could PD groups be adapted to understand a neurodivergent way of being?
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Resilience and Self-Care in Practice

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