Mater psychologist stresses the importance of relaxation as a health professional

Psychology Week (29 October - 5 November) is recognised each year to highlight the crucial role psychologists have in helping patients navigate their emotional and psychological challenges.

This year’s theme, ‘self care for psychologists,’ aims to focus on the importance of taking time out, with Mater psychologists encouraging their colleagues to prioritise their personal wellbeing.

Often tasked with helping patients who may be experiencing the most vulnerable or challenging moment in their lives, psychologists often fall into the trap of letting their own mental health take a back seat.

During this year’s celebration, Mater psychologists are turning inward ensuring their own needs continue to be supported so they can support the needs of patients.

Mater at Home Clinical Psychologist Natasha Ryan said to properly care for a patient’s mental health, psychologists need to look after theirs as well.

“Naturally, empathic people are drawn to caring roles. An important skill in our field is learning how to balance the duties of our role with self care and understanding self care is part of our responsibility,” Ms Ryan said.

“It is always our goal to support clients but if we don’t consider our own need for compassion and care, we risk losing the joy we receive from helping others and being able to show up every day for the clients we support.”

Ms Ryan said the definition of self care can be skewed, often associated with the need for a routine that stereotypically shows the picture of ‘healthy living.’

“Self care is about connecting to our values. While travel and adventure are important, small moments of gratitude and taking time to connect and appreciate those who support you is also an effective form of self care. For me, self care includes spending time in nature and staying grounded with my friends and family,” Ms Ryan said.

“When we are always focused on our end goals, we can lose sight of achievements made along the way. Taking time to thank our colleagues, express our gratitude and recognise our accomplishments is an integral part of our practice”.


To find out more about Mater Psychology services, visit here.

For resources and support, make use of Mater’s Employee Assistance Program here.

Pictured: Natasha Ryan.

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