The Therapeutic Hour – A space for reflecting on mental health practice

The therapeutic hour is certainly not a new term and usually refers to the amount of time directly engaged with a client during therapy, this being about 45 minutes. The remainder of this hour is then used for background work that still involves the client such as clinical notes, phone calls and planning for the following session. However, the reason I have named this blog “the therapeutic hour” is for the fact that it acts as a reminder of how easy it is to set a mere hour aside for our own self-care, as well as the importance of maximising this time spent with clients. The reminder comes by putting the therapeutic hour into a bit of perspective. If I’m seeing a client on a weekly basis for one hour, then that’s one tiny hour out of 168 in the whole week, so out of all those hours, how can I ensure that the one spent with me has meaning, or even become memorable. Or if we are really precise, a whole week has 10,080 minutes, so a 45 minutes session each week sounds pretty miniscule and irrelevant…Hopefully my math’s is correct as that’s never been a strong point of mine 😊. So that bit of perspective is a motivator for me when working with clients, as well as reminding me that setting aside at least one therapeutic hour (at the bare minimum) each week for my own self-care is very achievable and essential if I’m wanting to have a lengthy career filled mostly with optimism and the occasional bit of health cynicism here and there.

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