Several factors contribute to the stress in a psychologist’s life. Clients come into your office dealing with issues that aren’t pleasant. After all, how many people see a psychologist because life is going well? Hearing traumatic events retold can be emotionally draining. Moreso for your client, but it’s no day at the park for you either. For instance, psychologists can become conflicted when they over-identify with their patients. Occupational stress can turn into personal stress, which can wind up impairing your ability to treat patients. If someone comes in to see you and you’re sweating profusely, wringing your hands, pacing nervously and pummeling a punching bag, they may not feel the utmost confidence in the quality of your treatment.
Furthermore, psychologists who start their own practice have the daunting job of establishing an office, drumming up clientele, dealing with insurance companies, documenting clinical management, and marketing. To increase clientele, psychologists may create a website and advertise on counseling websites. Many join the American Psychologist Association, which provides a service that helps people find psychologists in their area. Others hire skywriters to etch their name and contact number across the sky, but that can get pricy.
Chaotic work schedules may add stress to a psychologist’s career. Those working in hospitals, healthcare facilities, rehabilitation clinics and nursing homes may work night shifts, weekends and holidays. Even those with private practices may find that they have to work into the evening in order to accommodate their client’s work schedules.