How to Take a Vacation as a Therapist in Private Practice

Hey there, fellow therapists in private practice! As a clinician who’s been in the game for a while, I understand the struggle of balancing work and personal life, especially when it comes to taking a well-deserved vacation. That’s why I want to share some tried-and-true tips on how to plan for a vacation while ensuring your clients are well taken care of and your boundaries remain intact.

Preparing for Vacation Before You Leave

First things first, let’s talk money. It’s essential to save a portion of your income monthly for vacation and sick days. Setting aside money not only allows you to enjoy your time off worry-free but also helps prepare for any potential loss of income resulting from being out of the office.

Communication is key. About a month before your planned vacation, let your clients know you’ll be taking some time off. This gives them ample notice to schedule any necessary sessions or address urgent matters before you’re out of the office.

Now, let’s talk contingency plans. It’s crucial to find a trusted colleague who can be “on-call” for you in case of emergencies while you’re away. Make sure they’re well-versed in your practice policies and are comfortable handling any urgent situations that may arise.

Setting boundaries around technology is essential for truly disconnecting and enjoying your time off. Decide how often you’ll check your phone while on vacation, and stick to it. Remember, your well-being matters too!

Lastly, don’t forget to set an away message on your email. Here’s a template to get you started:

Setting an Away Message:

Hey there,

I’m currently out of the office soaking up some much-needed R&R and will be returning on [date]. During this time, I won’t be checking my email, voicemails, or texts regularly.

If you’re experiencing a crisis, please dial 911 immediately. Additionally, here are some local crisis numbers for your convenience [insert numbers].

For non-emergency situations requiring a therapist’s assistance, please reach out to my colleague [name and phone]. They’ll be on-call for me and available for appointments on a case-by-case basis. Standard therapy rates apply.

I appreciate your understanding and patience, and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as I return!

Taking a vacation as a therapist in private practice is not only possible but essential for your well-being and the quality of care you provide to your clients. By planning ahead, communicating effectively, and setting clear boundaries, you can enjoy your time off knowing that your practice is in good hands.

So go ahead, book that trip, and savor every moment of your well-deserved vacation. You’ve earned it!

Warm regards,

Kelley Stevens

P.S. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and leave your work worries behind!

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