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How Can Therapists Take a Real Vacation?

Curt and Katie chat about how therapists can take extended time away from their therapy practices. We talk about how to budget time and money for vacation as well as what therapists need to have covered when they’re gone. We also look at how to mitigate foreseeable risk and manage continuity of care.


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In this podcast episode we talk about how therapists can get time away from work

We’ve heard too many people talking about the challenges of taking time off when you’re working as a therapist.

How can therapists budget for time off?

  • Determining fees based on time you’re actually working (i.e., charging more or determining number of weekly sessions based on when you can be away)
  • Scheduling based on diminishing the number of actual missed sessions (i.e., scheduling vacations when your clients are on vacation and/or taking long weekends and moving clients within the week to take partial weeks off)

What do therapists need to cover when they go on vacation?

“We do have an ethical responsibility for managing treatment disruptions…even if those disruptions are intentional things like vacations.” – Curt Widhalm, LMFT

  • Clinical coverage within your practice or with colleagues
  • Identify when you’re on-call and how you navigate that within your vacation
  • Supervision coverage planning
  • Understanding when you can respond to clients or supervisees (i.e., being in wise mind)
  • Safety planning with clients, including coverage plan and/or when you’re available

How can therapists mitigate the clinical risks for taking longer vacations?

“When I have a big trip scheduled, I don’t take new clients, probably for at least a month ahead of time…so that if I have some new clients they’ve at least had, you know, a stabilizing set of sessions before I go off on vacation.” – Katie Vernoy, LMFT

  • Determining when you should stop taking new clients before a longer vacation
  • Teaching your clients to be okay without you
  • Flexibility on when you take time away and how to take time away from the office
  • Planning for foreseeable risks
  • Homework or other resources

What does a hybrid work vacation look like?

  • Virtual work as needed
  • Creating times/spaces for clinical sessions and follow up
  • Make sure you have sufficient wifi or cell reception and privacy
  • It’s important to make sure you get downtime and aren’t constantly working

Why is it important to take time off when you’re a therapist?

  • Getting rejuvenated and living life
  • Working to prevent burnout
  • Renewed sense of energy within the profession
  • Our job is to talk about pain and suffering and there is so much pain and suffering in the world, so it is important to get restorative breaks

Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

Understanding Your Money in Private Practice: An Interview with Jennie Schottmiller

How to Manage Your Practice as a Traveling Therapist: An Interview with Kym Tolson, LCSW

Structuring Self-Care

Why You Shouldn’t Just Do it All Yourself, An Interview with Bibi Goldstein

We Can’t Help Ourselves

Summer Slow Down

Navigating the Holidays as a Therapist

Who we are:

Picture of Curt Widhalm, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast; a nice young man with a glorious beard.Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Picture of Katie Vernoy, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcastKatie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:


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Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy:

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Connect with the Modern Therapist Community:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:

Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):

Transcripts do not include advertisements just a reference to the advertising break (as such timing does not account for advertisements).

… 0:00
(Opening Advertisement)

Announcer 0:00
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide, where therapists live, breathe, and practice as human beings. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy.

Curt Widhalm 0:15
Welcome back modern therapists, this is the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm, with Katie Vernoy. This is the podcast for therapists about the things that we do in our practice, the ways that we manage our lives, and we are talking about how do therapists take vacations? And especially longer vacations, some of us might be taking some extended time off for the holidays. What do we do for ourselves? What do we do as far as being in a profession that we owe our clients stability and predictability? And how do we manage all of that kind of stuff? So diving into that today, and Katie, you have convinced me over the years to take more vacations. So as our resident vacation expert, what is it that you do? Or what are some of the considerations that you think that we should start off with?

Katie Vernoy 1:08
Well, I just want to acknowledge this is probably the second or third time we’ve talked about this over the years. But I don’t think we’ve talked about it since the big push with telehealth during the pandemic. So, probably I’ll find some old vacation episodes in the show notes and add those in the show notes. And some and I’ll probably also link to our episode with Kim Tolson on the traveling therapist situation, because that’s another option. But to answer your question, what do I do on vacation? I, I have tried to get seven or eight weeks off a year. It doesn’t turn into that being full time away from clients, because I have every other weekers and I do have, you know, the scheduling stuff where you leave on a Wednesday, and you come back on a Monday or whatever. So it’s two and a half weeks instead of three, that kind of stuff. But I think it’s it’s something where for me, I find that vacation is so important as a therapist, and it always makes me very sad when folks are like I can’t afford to take vacation, or I don’t have time for vacation, or those types of things. And so I want to push back on those things. Because I do understand that there are financial reasons that you can’t take big extravagant vacations, but time away from practice is really, really important for our mental health, for our ability to be present for our clients, for all of that. That’s why I wanted to make sure we revisited this because I see more folks trying to get away on vacation. And I want folks to know kind of what what to consider while they’re, while they’re doing it.

Curt Widhalm 2:39
So, amongst the things that you’re talking about here, I want to maybe dive into the one that I think is one that I faced a lot earlier in my career is: if I’m not working, I’m not making money. And particularly if I’m not making money, then how am I going to be able to afford, you know, being a therapist. How can people afford this, if you’re in private practice, or you’re working in an agency private practice, you don’t see clients, you don’t get paid, if you’re working for an agency that doesn’t have paid time off? And kind of making sure that like you have consistent income sorts of things. I’ve been practicing long enough now that I kind of stow away some money in my business accounts and kind of keep a regular paycheck even while I’m on vacation. But for those people who are earlier in their careers haven’t had necessarily that kind of time and ability to kind of store away their acorns for taking a longer break. What do you suggest as far as this balance other than just like you need time away?

Katie Vernoy 3:47
I think there’s there’s two things we’re talking about. So the first one is money. And so I actually want to direct folks, and I’ll put this in the show notes to the episode we did with Jennie Schottmiller around how do you actually budget for vacation. And so for folks who are private pay in private practice, it’s determine your fees based on how much time you’re going to spend in the office versus how much time you’re going to be out. So you put it into the numbers, you set your fee based on what you need it to be. Now for folks with insurance or hybrid practices, it looks at how many clients do you need to see for the time that you want away? That’s more in depth than I think we go into here. But being figuring out how many sessions do you have to have in a year? Or how many weeks do you have to work a year? And if so, what levers can you pull to make sure you’re bringing in the right amount of money to cover the whole year even if you’re not working every single day of that year. So that’s the first part. And obviously when you’re newer in practice, you might take shorter vacations and so that’s why I’m going to the other part of this which is how you schedule vacations. So, long weekends or one week off, that kind of stuff can be almost neutral to your actual attended sessions. If you have every other weekers, they end up on the same week. If you have clients that that you’re seeing, and you know, they’re going to be out, you know, most most folks are out at certain points during the year and your practice will be able to determine that, you take time when you’re going to have less sessions that you would miss anyway. And so I don’t know how much it makes sense to go into the scheduling jinga that can happen to try to minimize the impact on your financial bottom line. But but that is, that is I think, how you can try to budget for it timewise and financially.

Curt Widhalm 5:47
So weeks like Thanksgiving, where a lot of people are gonna be out anyway, if you take an extra couple of days off, it’s kind of that minimal impact to what you’re potentially missing out on, but still giving you that much needed time and reprieve away from your caseload?

Katie Vernoy 6:05

Curt Widhalm 6:07
Then, you know, I think we’ve talked about this before is like, depending on the type of practice you’re in, like, I know, a lot of my clients like, or with a lot of teenagers that when there’s school breaks, a lot of them end up going out of town to see extended family anyway, and kind of being able to time, your travel with time so that they’re going to be out of town anyways. So that way, your your vacations are kind of based on what the market allows. That you know, supply and demand, the demand is low, you can take your time off, too.

Katie Vernoy 6:41
Yeah, and I found that there have been times when I didn’t get away, when my client load was was small, and I was sitting around, and I would try to do stuff for my practice and just rest. But I would sit there and the weeks were already way low, financially, and I wasn’t seeing that many folks. And then everybody would start getting back from vacation, and I’m getting ready to go on vacation. And everybody’s like wanting to schedule and I’m not available. And so when you when you’ve been in practice for a couple of years, especially have you, if you have a niche or or kind of a target population of folks that you see, you’ll start finding that rhythm and identify like, this is when everybody’s gone. So, so that’s getting to being able to be on vacation. So do you think that sufficiently covered? I know, there’s probably other episodes, we talked more in depth on some of that stuff. All right. So then it looks at what do you do about your clients when they’re away? And this I think is the highest priority is the safety and the continuity of care for your clients. And that’s different for different practices. So, let’s, let’s start with the dream, which is your practice? Because you’ve got, folks, you’ve got a whole group of folks, how do you, how do you manage coverage? How do you manage off time, like, what does that look like?

Curt Widhalm 7:58
So in general, and according to the coffee mug I have here, I am the world’s greatest boss. So, looking at that as my credentials, I do try to give everyone kind of the freedom to be able to manage their case loads as they see fit. I give a fair amount of freedom when it comes to that it’s part of why I have such an awesome coffee mug here. But…

Katie Vernoy 8:28
But you got yourself that coffee mug right?

Curt Widhalm 8:32
Moving on. But our overall group practice, we do work with a little bit higher severity caseload than I think a lot of people do, we do DBT, we work with a lot of people with suicidal feelings. So, we have a higher risk, overall clientele that we work with. So even if everybody wants to take the same days off, at some points, I have to make the boss decision and assign people to be on call for the practice on those days. So that way, if there are people who are calling in who need kind of the assistance, it’s kind of done in a way that is based on who can best provide services to everybody. It’s I make boss decisions as far as like, okay, somebody’s going to have to work. This time, it’s your turn. And we all rotate through that. So even if all of the practice is out for let’s say 10 days, then everybody will end up having a day or two where they’re the ones who have to take phone calls. And I think in our experience, it has been incredibly minimal when people have actually had to take those calls. But it’s just kind of then being able to plan vacation days, like if I’m out with my family that’s not the day are out on a vacation with my family. If it’s my day to be on call, that’s not the day that we pick to go to, you know, some remote location where I’m out of cell phone service range. Or I’m not picking that day to be, you know, at the amusement parks or something where I’m not going to be able to get away and be able to talk with people. So it’s being able to kind of soft plan those vacation days for, okay, I’m, I’m on call. And the awesome thing that I do is I pay people to be on call to make those adjustments. So it is kind of the dream situation to be an employee for me.

Katie Vernoy 10:27
I really like that. And it reminds me of some of the agency’s stuff when I was doing kind of the 24/7 stuff. And that would be the case, we would have an actual on call phone, I’m sure at this point, now it’s it’s a digital transfer. And, and somebody would be on call, we would divide that up. And it was and it was very helpful. So I think hopefully, if you’re at an agency that’s salaried, you’re, you’re getting that or if you’re on call for an agency that they also do what the amazing Curt does and pay you while you’re on call. The one thing though, that you aren’t talking about in that is supervisor coverage, because some of the folks who work for you are indeed pre licensed and need clinical supervision. And so when you’re fully off grid, what do you do about supervision for your practice?

Curt Widhalm 11:16
So, this might depend on the laws and the jurisdiction that you are in. I’m familiar with California. So I’m going to talk about how I operate. And this is with the influence of California law. My practice now has multiple people who are able to provide clinical supervision. And so if I’m on vacation, now, there are other people who can fill in for up to a month without needing to sign extra paperwork in California. I’ve never been out, you know, more than a month in kind of one of those situations. But what I used to do is I used to kind of bite the bullet and scheduled video supervision while I’m traveling to make sure that people are still in compliance and able to run their practices. It might not be at the same time that we normally have, I’ve had to kind of step away from my vacation in order to make sure that my practice runs a little bit. So as much as I’d love to, I’d love to just be fully on vacation. But as a business owner, sometimes that means that I’m mostly on vacation. And I think as we go forward, and as our group kind of continues to mature, it’ll allow for more opportunities to do that. But the way I’ve managed it in the past has been, okay, if I’m softly on call and still available as a supervisor, then I’m still going to do that. Depending on the time of the year, if my supervisees if all of their clients are out of town too and they’re not working when they don’t need supervision that week, and we’re both able to take the week off.

… 12:50
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Katie Vernoy 12:51
Yeah, I think for me that that is similar to what I do, for my practice, not for supervisees. But for my practice during the holidays, when there’s a lot of folks who are also taking time away. And I think a lot of therapists take some time off between, you know, mid November and mid January. And so I typically don’t count on coverage, I kind of lightly cover my practice. I keep my my email going to me I keep keep my phone, my therapist practice phone still coming and I don’t get a lot of inquiries. But if I do I try to be able to step away. I think the thing to think about for that, and this is probably very, very aligned with kind of the DBT wise mind do when when do you answer a coaching call and when do you not. But I think if you’re truly enjoying your vacation, whether it’s your off grid, you’re exhausted, maybe you’re having a cocktail, like there’s things like that, where you you make the determination when you’re able to respond to your clients if they have a coaching call need or to your clinicians, if they need a supervision follow up and how you do that. So I think that’s beyond the scope of this conversation. But I think if you’re kind of lightly on call, whether it’s for coaching calls or crisis or whatever for your clients, there’s always a little bit of an extra awareness. But I think you can still live your life and respond reasonably timely in that regard. And you’re not abandoning your practice. Is there anything like in the ethics codes to worry about? If that’s the case, if you’re kind of gone for two or three weeks and lightly covering your practice?

Curt Widhalm 14:26
I’m most familiar with the CAMFT ethics code. It’s and so I’m going to mostly speak from that one, but also, a lot of the ethics codes overlap. So we do have an ethical responsibility for managing treatment disruptions. And even if those disruptions are intentional things like vacations. And we’re needing to put protocols in place and to understand from kind of the clients perspective on this stuff too. Like if we look at you know, taking seven weeks off of vacation per year, and all of the conferences and the other, you know, things that were on your time, especially like when we were on the CAMFT board, like…

Katie Vernoy 15:07
Oh, sure.

Curt Widhalm 15:08
…there was a lot of time that we took off. And while many clients will understand kind of the, oh, you’re busy, and you’re doing advocacy kind of stuff and you’re taking care of yourself. Some clients do need that predictability. And they do need kind of that stability and being able to talk with them beforehand about protocols. And I’ve been surprised in the past, even with some of the clients that I’ve thought who have, you know, been, you know, in my eyes and evaluation, very stable, productive, professional type people. Whenever I’ve been like, Hey, I’m gonna take some time off, I’m softly available. Here’s the kinds of situations that based on your presenting kind of issues for therapy, where I would imagine you might consider calling me, if not, you can send me a message. And I’ll respond back whenever it’s appropriate. And people just still getting very panicky about like, well, but what does that mean for our next session? And there’s been times where I’ve kind of talked with clients before of like, oh, yeah, you know, I’m gonna be gone for five days, whatever it is, and it just kind of shaking people to, like, oh, but that’s not the stability of my regular schedule. And it’s sometimes been very helpful to, you know, have good protocols in place, that’s our responsibility. If you’re having somebody else cover, here’s in writing the person, you know, who’s covering my practice, here’s their contact information, so that way you have it. But it’s also incredibly rich, sometimes as far as bringing up other kinds of treatment goals and ideas for when you do come back. And being realistic with some clients of like, I need you to kind of start working on some skills that makes it to where there’s more than just me as far as your stability in life.

Katie Vernoy 17:05
That’s a really good point. And we hadn’t talked about coverage yet. But I think that’s a good place to go to right now is, I think most folks when they’re going through therapist school, you know, when you’re supposed to be away, you have someone cover and and especially in agency settings, that’s pretty easy. Like the you, you have a whole coverage plan, you give the information to the person covering da-da-da-da-da, right? And I think with electronic health records and being able to get you know, access, through, you know, whatever you’ve put together, I think it makes it fairly easy for someone to cover your practice. And, you know, having that consultation relationship with the person who’s covering your practice from the beginning. So, I think that is that is a strong practice. Most of my clients, I think, in the 11 years, 12 years, I’ve been in private practice, oh, maybe it’s 13 now. Anyway, the long time I’ve been in private practice, I think I’ve had one or zero, trying to remember, calls go to the covering clinician. And it wasn’t that things didn’t happen. It’s just that they didn’t feel comfortable calling my covering clinician. There’s safety planning, there’s, there’s putting together the protocols, and all of those things in place. But I think that the last thing that you said, around really teaching your clients to be okay without you, I think is a really important element in and especially longer vacation planning. I was gone for almost three weeks this past summer. And I was completely going to be like, not available at all. And so I spent probably a month talking to my clients and planning for it and making sure we had as many sessions as we could have beforehand, as well as as many as we could, when we when I got back to try to offset that. And so I think to me, there was still some crises I missed, and they handled them, you know, either with family supports or whatever. I don’t think anybody nobody had called my, my covering clinician. But I think it is something that you think about, especially with your caseload. When I have a big trip scheduled, I don’t take new clients, probably for at least a month ahead of time. Now, granted, sometimes you can’t afford to do that. But I also try to plan for big marketing pushes three or four months ahead of time, so that if I have some new clients they’ve at least had, you know, a stabilizing set of sessions before I go off on vacation. So I don’t have someone I don’t almost definitely have someone in crisis like someone who you start right before vacation. Because usually people start therapy in crisis, maybe not all but most people that’s what it takes to get them into therapy. So I try to plan around it both having more clients ahead of time and then not doing any new clients when I get to vacation. But, but it is something where there is a clinical risk and like you said the protocols I think can help offset that risk, but your clients still may have challenges with you being gone. And I think that’s something where that is a reality. And I don’t know that we can mitigate that completely. Do you feel like that’s something that we could actually reduce to like, Oh, no worries go completely off grid and your clients will be fine. Like, I feel like doing our due diligence and getting as far as we can gets us there, but I don’t think we can completely avoid it.

Curt Widhalm 20:25
I was here being like, you can completely avoid it, then you should not listen to anything that would come after that. There’s always, you know, kind of the unintended consequences. There’s the things that come up for people, there’s, you know, just kind of the things that are outside of your control, the diathesis of your clients, where there might be just kind of that perfect storm of events that…

Katie Vernoy 20:51

Curt Widhalm 20:51
…is really something where your responsibility to your clients, to yourself, to your ongoing practice is put protocols in place to manage the foreseeable ones and recognize that, okay, sometimes you might need to be a little bit flexible with your off time. And maybe this is just because of the kinds of clients that I’ve always had, maybe it’s just my personality, but you know, I always kind of have my own feelings when I see the therapists and Facebook groups, and that kind of stuff being like, here’s my absolutely rigid boundaries that are non negotiable whatsoever. Where I’m like, Okay, who are these rules for? Because especially being the owner of a practice, I recognize that, all right, the buck stops with me. And that might mean that if somebody doesn’t show up for their on call, you know, kind of phone calls sorts of things, like, at the end of the day, it’s my business, and I’m going to do the things to make it manage. But am I going to spend an extra, you know, 40 hours figuring out well, if client J ends up having this and this and this happen, and therapist y isn’t available for that, that I need to have, you know, therapist X, and therapists Z be on backup backup call. I’m not going to do that kind of stuff, that those, the more ifs that end up getting put into those kinds of things, the more in general, I’m not going to waste my time on it. Just kind of having the, okay, here’s what to do, here’s the safety planning that we’re going to do for you. Here’s what my extremely limited availability is like, Thanksgiving, I ended up taking off, you know, essentially, for client days, the week of Thanksgiving this year. And two of those were, I am absolutely not available during the day. One of them I’m softly available to return calls in the night. The other days, just kind of business as usual, just without scheduled clients. So I’m still going to be doing some of my business stuff. I’m still going to be puttering around my house. I watched, I watched football, I cooked leftovers, I did holiday shopping, but I was available-ish. Like I don’t necessarily need to have all of my vacations be I am completely unavailable.

… 23:22
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Katie Vernoy 23:24
And I think that’s a good place to move to. Before we get there, though, just to kind of summarize so folks have it: is to plan your vacations as well as you can to include no new clients leading up to it, if it’s a longer vacation, make sure you have a coverage plan, whether it’s you being softly available, or another clinician, and oh, I guess to clarify, you know, I have, you know, go to clinicians who are my backups, and I’ll put them and all of my, you know, outgoing messages, if you’re in crisis, call 911 or whatever. If if not, if you need to talk to somebody before I get back here is the clinician who’s covering my practice. So I let them know and I have it on all my kind of auto responders. But plan around it so that you, you know, you’re not taking a whole bunch of time off before after a big, big long vacation, make sure that you’ve got coverage planned, make sure that you are doing safety planning or or some sort of kind of talking through how do they get through an extended period of time away. And then also, I think one of the things I’ve done is sometimes I’ve got given them homework or writing prompts. The client was like, Can you can you tell me some podcast episodes I can listen to so I can hear your voice and kind of keep that going like almost like a little security blanket thing. And so I think there’s there’s different ways that as clinicians, we can provide some continuity for them to either keep the work going or keep them safe. So I think that’s, that’s that piece. But you’re talking about kind of being softly available your Thanksgiving week. You know, most of the folks in America, in the United States, are, are, you know, taking a lot of Thanksgiving week off or took a lot of Thanksgiving week off. And a lot of folks that want therapy sessions because of family stuff. I actually went up to the mountains, and I was able to see clients from up there. And, and, you know, because I just basically switched everything to virtual. And so I think for me, what, what you can do is if you’re wanting to take a longer vacation, get someone somewhere further away, you can do a portion of that time where you actually see some clients that are maybe, you know, higher needs clients, clients that need a little bit more stability, and you still have the ability to do fully unplugged times for like a week or two weeks within that timeframe. But you’re also doing some work. And I think that’s the joy of telehealth is that, if you’ve got clients who are open to it and available to it, you can actually diminish missed sessions that way. The big piece is with that, though, is to make sure that you’ve set it up that you can have a sufficient Wi Fi or phone connection, phone calls can also work. And that you also are able to get the adequate privacy and all the things that you would do any remote telehealth situation that you would have. But but to me, I think the biggest pieces with that is making sure that you actually do get some downtime, and that you’re not constantly working. Because I think constantly working on travel and you know, and vacation means that you’re not actually getting vacation. Yeah, it might be nicer than being kind of at home or in your office or whatever. But it doesn’t give you that full time away. I feel like for the mental health benefits of time away, we want kind of as much as you can not on call, and and fairly unplugged for at least a full day. If not, like five or six full days.

Curt Widhalm 26:57
One of my favorite episodes that we’ve done is on structuring self care. And speaking to this kind of stuff of having that really deliberate time off wherever possible. And that’s not going to be possible for everybody in every single situation. But you know, we’ve talked about this episode a lot from kind of that private practice perspective where people will have control. But shout out to all of our agency listeners out there as well that if you do get paid time off, take it, like…

Katie Vernoy 27:27

Curt Widhalm 27:27
…that’s what it’s there for. And, you know, if you can time it to where it’s not going to affect your productivity stats, and that kind of stuff, like be awesome about it. But that’s why you have that kind of time off there. And being able to actually get away from work, like, I know, my work schedule tends to end up like getting really intense sometimes, especially like the semesters that I’m teaching or if we’ve got a lot of work on our end or finishing up like any trainings or stuff that I’m doing. But I also really try to embrace kind of the slow times off to balance it out. It’s the both/and, it’s not just humanly possible to continue to go, go go. But oftentimes, I come back from those vacations with that renewed energy that allows for me to kind of do that. That is, alright, I had that vacation, so I can come back and enjoy the profession, enjoy the work that I do. And a lot of the burnout that I see in myself and other clinicians throughout the field just kind of seems to come with: When did you actually get fully away from the work that we’re doing? Usually, it takes me two or three days just to like get out of work mode for vacation. I may not be the example that everybody else follows. But sometimes it is that extended period away that helps you to get that renewed sense of energy. I would, you know, recently there was kind of a poll going around at one of the therapists Facebook groups about like, why are people leaving the profession? We’ve had it in some of the episodes that we’ve talked about in the past as far as like, this is why therapists quit. But it’s being able to really kind of have some some good time away from our work that allows for us to be human beings and live our lives.

Katie Vernoy 29:28
Yeah, and I think about kind of what work looks like, pretty much since well before the pandemic but certainly during the pandemic and now with all the global crisis. It seems like we spend time in session talking about really challenging things, lots of pain, lots of suffering. If we scroll through social media or if we’re looking at the news and those kinds of things, there’s a lot of pain and suffering and there’s so much going on and I think because our job is so focused on pain and suffering, and we can’t escape it either at work or at home, I think being able to take some steps away for for restorative breaks are really, really important for all of us. To me, I hopefully this was, you know, you know, one of our lighter episodes, but maybe there’s some practical stuff here that you can use to really make sure that you’re able to take care of yourself over the holidays, throughout the year, get some vacation time in. I know, there’s stuff we’ve missed. I think there’s even some additional systems I want to talk about maybe on another episode around how you can keep your practice running and continuing to get new inquiries, that kind of stuff even while you’re away. So maybe we’ll talk about that later. Or I’ll look through and see if there’s any in the show notes. But, but please take some time away, even if it’s a long weekend, even if it’s just a week off. Something so that you can really keep doing this work because we need therapists to continue to do this work.

Curt Widhalm 30:59
We reference a lot of our previous episodes, we’ll include a list of those in our show notes. You can find those over at Follow us on our social media, join our Facebook group, the Modern Therapists Group talk about your vacations, like it doesn’t just have to be a work in the Facebook group over there.

Katie Vernoy 31:19
Yeah, please don’t just talk about work.

Curt Widhalm 31:22
And if you want to support us in other ways, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter or supporting us through Buy Me a Coffee. And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy.

… 31:34
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