In December, Burke therapist, Stephanie Knott, submitted her story to the myStrength “Stories of Impact” contest. MyStrength selected Knott’s story as one of the top five finalists in this nationwide challenge. She was interviewed by myStrength and recently featured on their Editorials and News page on their Provider Connect website. Read below Knott’s experience with myStrength and how she utilizes the tool with her clients.
A provider shares her story and tips for staying healthy with myStrength
Burke therapist, Stephanie Knott, MA, LPC Intern, LCDC, loves to learn. So when her East Texas employer, Burke, a mental health provider, introduced myStrength last year, she dove right in.
“I made it a goal when I first started that I would at least login once a week and explore the website and see what it would do for me–if I would see any improvements in my moods,” Stephanie explains. Stephanie quickly concluded that myStrength could be a powerful tool for herself, her clients and her fellow care providers.
“I feel like it’s really helped me focus on the goals that I want to set for myself. I’m noticing a huge difference in meeting those goals,” she explains. Stephanie has set up myStrength tools to integrate seamlessly into her day. myStrength’s quick and easy features are perfect for filling in the gaps in her busy schedule.
“Sometimes when I’m waiting for my clients to show up or in between clients I’ll just go to myStrength and watch those little videos or to read those encouraging, inspirational quotes,” she says. “I use them actually for the background of my computer. Every two weeks, I’ll change it.”
Using myStrength herself gives Stephanie real-life, personal examples of experiences to share with her clients. This can help break down resistance to treatment and contributes to the therapeutic alliance. “After all, if I don’t have experience with something,” Stephanie asks, “then how can I share it with somebody else and expect them to utilize it?”
“There’s a difference to me saying…‘Hey, I do this too. This is how it worked for me. You may not have the same experiences as I have…but it could be very helpful if you use it,’” she elaborates. Personally, Stephanie loves using the mood tracker:
“Sometimes we just have a day where we’re just a little bit down in the docks and we may not know why. For me, it’s really beneficial to go and track and see, ‘You know what, this day I wasn’t having such a good day. What happened?’ I started picking up and noticing my own triggers for my moods. That has been really beneficial for myself and my personal life, as well as my professional career.”
Stephanie urges all professionals who work in mental health to take time for their personal wellness and development:
“I feel like self-care is a huge deal in this field.”
“We have a high burn out rate, especially people who work in the crisis department because we’re just exposed to so much, so quickly, trying to hold that safe space for somebody to be able to process what they are going through. It’s an art, I’ll just say that.”
“That’s why I’m really a really big advocate of self-care. If we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves and deal with our own issues that we’re working through, then there’s no way I can help anybody else.”