Session 162: How to Ensure Your Personal Safety As a Clinician



What safety measures do you have in place? As clinicians, we may not think about personal safety as a concern, and we certainly hope it’s never an issue, but we should be proactive and prepared. We’ve never had safety issues as a podcast topic before, but there have been many conversations about this in the STC Facebook Community.

Adriana Alejandre is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Porter Ranch, CA. She has learned some practical things related to safety, so she’s here to share about screening clients and staying present around safety concerns. She has also had conversations with law enforcement officials and gotten some great tips about using apps and technology to help with this very important topic. Join us!

What We’ll Learn

  • Why setting up your office with safety in mind is vital to clinical skills, your service, and your mental health
  • Since your office is your second home, it’s necessary to preserve a sense of safety
  • Why female clinicians should be aware of “size-ism” and the sense of privilege that comes with superior height and weight
  • How Adriana is aware of size-ism and how she perceives threats in that regard
  • Staying present with clients while being aware of safety: Adriana practices deep breathing and CBT(cognitive-behavioral therapy) skills
  • Questions that Adriana has developed to ask of potential clients to determine safety and fit:
    • Clients’ legal history
    • How they found her
  • Why she says, “ I now pay more attention to my gut intuition.”
  • Three things to make your office safer:
    • Move your chair closer to the door
    • Notify colleagues if a particular client makes you feel unsafe
    • Don’t reveal if you are the sole clinician in the office
  • How Adriana learned these tips over time and in consulting other clinicians
  • Tips for solo clinicians:
    • Get to know your office neighbors
    • Do check-ins with a friend or family member before and after sessions
  • Recommendations from law enforcement:
    • Use a panic button or alarm system (See Guard Llama link below)
    • Report phone annoyances to police
    • Use a call-tracking service for healthcare providers
  • Practical tips from Adriana:
    • Book appointments when other clinicians are present in the office
    • Don’t book nighttime appointments when you’re alone until you get to know and trust a client



Find out more about Adriana:  Counseling and Trauma Therapy

Safety resources recommended by Adriana: GuardLlama


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