Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips is a counselor, art therapist, and marriage and family therapist. She maintains a private practice and teaches at the University of Oklahoma.

  • Overload

    May 26, 2010
    This is not burnout. Not secondary trauma. Not even compassion fatigue. It is plain and simple the situation of working too much in too short a time. I don't think I'm the only helping professional to have this- nor even the only human being to. Every profession and vocation can experience overload- too much work.
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  • The pitfalls of contract work

    May 11, 2010
    I currently supervise several counseling licensure candidates and many if not all of them work at jobs where they are “contract” therapists doing either school or home-based counseling. In our state the use of contractors has developed into the mainstay of how Medicaid funded counseling takes place and this really has had some pros and cons. One major “pro” is that it gives new graduates a job! But as a clinical supervisor to the contractors, I have noticed some endemic issues they face and have few resources to address. One is the issue of how to document business expenses such as mileage, computer and phone time, etc.
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  • Clutter is Getting a Bad Rap

    May 03, 2010
    As with many issues, a pendulum swings between polar positions that define a territory. When it comes to “clutter” the territory has been recently mapped very well through television with shows focusing on hoarders and other shows organizing homes and clutter within 30 minutes of TV time. Both are extremes, outside the norm, and shown primarily for entertainment value with educational a far second. What does any of this have to do with counseling? A lot. Many of our clients struggle with the stuff of their lives. Things, housekeeping, organizing children to be successful in school, fixing dinner, meeting their own or inherited expectations of how to handle space and clutter.
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  • Clan? Family? Network?

    Apr 20, 2010
    Networking. This seems like a term from the 80’s or Wall Street. Maybe today we think of forming connections. Partnering. Collaborating. “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a family; whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” (Jane Howard) And whatever you call it counselors still need to do this- and many still have no idea how in a business sense. Our profession can be isolating- especially in private practice as a sole proprietor. Even in my office which I share with several colleagues, we all are working and seeing clients so rarely spend time just seeing each other. And we know each other- we don’t really need to partner and collaborate because we already have. But how do we form new relationships, referral connections, and gain professional growth opportunities?
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  • “Do you mind if I answer this?”

    Apr 07, 2010
    I know I’m not the only one being asked this question- in counseling sessions. Our clients are on the phone or texting- constantly. I have clients offering to show me threads of texts that illustrate something in their relationship or prove some point they are trying to make. I have kids that want to show me videos or pictures on their phone. I have phones ringing and buzzing more and more. Do you? I imagine it’s a pandemic out there. The techno-revolution is here and it has won. Some clients don’t even ask- they just answer their phone. I am considering posting a notice like many other places have gone to- “please turn off all electronic devices upon entering the office”. But then again I think we have to consider rolling with this and seeing what we can learn about clients from this technological information.
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