A Day in the Life of a Psychologist



It is about time to go to bed but I couldn't see sleeping soundly without posting something first. It's been four days since my last post, long enough to make me think of turning in my blogger's badge due to blog neglect. If I post, I think, what will I write about? All options seem either lame, done before or too complicated to write easily. Which is why I decided to just write about my day. Rather than list all the reasons I have no time to write, I will write about what my time is like just for this one day.

5:30AM

I woke up a few minutes before the alarm goes off. That is generally a good sign I got a good night's sleep. Also it means there is no excuse to not do some form of exercise. Today it's yoga. After 20 minutes of vinyasas, there's time for breakfast, grooming, get dressed, make my lunch and get out the door. Thank God my kids are teens. All they need from me is a kiss and a "Have a great day!"

7:30AM

I open the office, turn on lights, get the heat going, make sure the coffee/tea machine is ready and prepare for the first of seven patients I will see today, including a Skype session from out of state.

Among the guests at my office today was a dog. Occasionally a client asks if they can bring their dog to a session and I say yes. Labradors, Goldens, miniature terriers, yorkies, shepards, mixed mystery breeds, I can't remember all the different types of dogs that have come to my office to check me out. Dogs, like most pets, are very therapeutic. I know a psychiatrist who had an office cat which was pretty cool. Her patients loved that cat.

11:30AM

I have a break from 11:00 to 1:00 but it really isn't a break. Over the last year I took a couples therapy seminar. To earn continuing education credits I have to fill out a 200 question exam and answer 80% of the questions correctly. This will be a breeze! Haha! Not so easy. It's taken four days but finally today I finished it. Time for lunch!

Over lunch I'm cruising around the Internet when my connection goes down. What?! Yes, and the phone land line too. You have got to be kidding. There is no time to call before my next patient. Just the thought of being put on hold and forced to listen to bad easy listening jazz gives me a headache. Instead, I take a Tylenol, make myself a cup of French Roast decaf and settle in for the afternoon sessions.

5:00PM

The door closes on my last patient for the day. There is still a lot to do, the unglamorous, administrative side to running a private practice business. Sadly, there is no room to procrastinate. Rats.

This weekend I am leaving for California to meet up with my web site designer, social networking coach and blog editor, founder of Smack Smog, Stephen O'Bryan. It will be a week of workmen's holiday. Steve and I are revamping, consolidating and upgrading the Explore What's Next website and blog. I'll write more about this soon.

For now it's enough to say that because of the trip I couldn't put off doing stuff like writing process notes for everyone I saw today, trying to make sense of the explanation of benefit reports from insurance companies, recording financials on a spread sheet, reading and responding to emails and vmails, faxing docs to my off-site admin, and calling the damn telecommunications company (Verizon. There, I said it) to ask what the heck happened to my service?

6:00PM

Home. My dog greets me at the door with that strange mixture of uplifting happiness (I'm so glad to see you!) and guilt provoking sadness (how could you leave me all day? Do I smell another dog?). I change into something that can get splattered with olive oil and it won't matter. Today I am on dinner duty. Broccoli Pasta is on the menu. Thank God for meal planning. Food is good!

7:00PM

Chauffeur son to music lesson. Chauffeur same son to high school for basketball game after music lesson. Return home. Chauffeur spouse with sports related injury to pharmacy.

8:45PM

Home for good at last. After counting the daily calories on my Lose It app I decide I can afford to have a snack. (Half an apple, a few raisins and almonds.) Watch a little American Idol with my daughter, a little "news" with my husband. Clean up and begin writing this post.

10:30PM

And here we are. Finally putting the day to rest, the go to sleep ritual, and sweet dreams.

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