People become helpers – psychotherapists, medical professionals, social service and nonprofit professionals, educators, public service attorneys – for many important reasons, some of which are conscious and some of which are hidden from our awareness. Because our work is so personally meaningful to us, we often find our work gratifying and nourishing when all goes well. When things go awry, however, it can have disastrous consequences for our emotional health. Sometimes the signs of this are obvious, but other times they can be subtle, like a persistent sense of fatigue, sudden lack of motivation, or an inability to finish projects or professional benchmarks.

I offer psychotherapy for my colleagues in the helping professions who are in need of support with sensitive issues such as:

  • Burnout
  • Legal/ethical violations that threaten one’s professional license
  • Students developing the skill set of being a professional helper
  • Deciding whether to stay in the profession
  • Impasses in treatment or challenging countertransference that is linked to personal history
  • Vicarious trauma

Vicarious trauma happens when a professional is harmed by exposure to something that happens during the course of their work. Attorneys who are witness to stories and images of violence, nurses who tend to sick children, rape crisis counselors who dread the next phone call, physicians haunted by the death of a patient, therapists who have patients whose stories evoke their own trauma: all these professionals might need the formal help of a psychotherapist to cope with the rigors and demands of their work.