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How Naomi Cohn, LCSW, uses Alma to avoid provider burnout

Hi, my name is Naomi. And I decided to become a therapist because I used to be an elementary school teacher and I found that I was at my best when I was helping Children one on one, when I realized just how much difference I could make in one person's life by being there for them.

Have you always worked in private practice?

I have not always worked in a private practice. I started my career as a social worker, working in community mental health. Um I started out with my second internship, working with Children and adults and moved from there to working with Children who were in the foster care system. Um and eventually with Children and adults at a community mental health clinic for several years. And from there, I decided to make a shift to group private practice. I joined a group private practice um during the pandemic pandemic um in September 2020. And I realized through working with the group private practice that I was ready to branch off onto my own. So I gradually started my practice last year in April. And as of May of this year, I have stopped working for the group private practice and I now solely working on my own. And it's been wonderful. I know I made the right decision.

Why do you think so many clinicians experience burnt out?

Burnout is an endemic issue for clinicians, whether they're in private practice or working in community mental health, they're working in a hospital setting in any type of setting. Burnout is a possibility. And part of the reason for that is working in community mental health, there are hospital settings or any other settings. A lot of times not having support from administration, not having proper supervision, having too many clients um who may not be appropriate for your skill set and not having choice over who you're able to see often leads to burnout. And a lot of times even though in social work school, we were taught, these are some great ways to take care of yourself and self-care. And for me personally, I'm very good at teaching my clients how to um implement self-care, but not so great at doing it myself. And I'm still learning that, you know, I'm still kind of new.

Have you personally experienced burnout as a therapist?

I have experienced almost burnout. I would call it very, very, very close as a therapist when I was working in a community mental health clinic for 2.5 years. Um I think the factors that contributed to it was that the administration became very, very punitive cases were extremely high supervision was constantly changing as people were quitting, there was very, very high turnover, poor morale and not just not enough support overall.

How has Alma helped you alleviate the effects of burnout?

The most significant way that Alma has helped me to alleviate any type of burnout for me is that I am able to choose which clients that I work with and how many and to choose my schedule and to choose the skill set, to choose the type of clients that I wanna work with based on my training and based on, you know, their characteristics and what kind of issues they're having. So that it seems like my clients are the best possible fit for me. And the fact that I don't have to take care of talking to insurance companies that Alma takes care of insurance claims. And for the most part, I've had no issues with verification of claims of um insurance eligibility. Um that definitely has affected, I think I might have been more burnt out if I did have to handle all of those details on my own. And it allows me to be an in-network therapist for clients where a lot of people in private practices do not, are not, are out of network providers. And that makes it much harder for clients to have accessibility to therapy.

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