The “When I” trap

A Facebook friend proudly posted an image of her daughter’s first work placement badge that said “provisional psychologist”.

“It’s a big achievement” I commented and I meant it.

It isn’t easy to get in to a Masters training program, the course work is heavy and placements are both exciting and daunting.

I reflected later how therapists rarely take a moment to enjoy where they are and often believe they need the next step in their career or development to feel proud of themselves.

When I have my endorsement I will feel confident

When I have a permanent job I can relax a bit

When I am in private practice I will see myself as successful

When I have my own practice…

When I’m recognised as expert….

When I finish accreditation….

When I have so many referrals a week….

When I lose my self doubt….

The list goes on.

Unrelenting standards makes it hard to say I am proud of where I am. I am helping people as a therapist. I am doing a good job.

There is always a when I….

So wherever you are in your career in this moment, take a breath and instead of noticing where you want to be, instead notice where you are right now and all the effort you put into getting there.

Just as you are.

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