Welcome to my guest post series: A Day In Private Practice. Meet Counsellor & Gestalt Psychotherapist Birgit Patenall.
Meet Counsellor & Psychotherapist Birgit Patenall
Counsellor & Psychotherapist Birgit Patenall runs a private practice in Perth, Western Australia. She enjoys giving back to her community and is a volunteer counsellor with Griefline. The majority of Birgit’s clientele are women in midlife who are going through life transitions such as empty nest, menopause, career change, divorce or separation or they may seek new direction in life as their priorities have changed. Birgit lives with her husband and has four adult sons who left home and were ‘replaced’ by two fur babies, Cavoodles Jet and Ollie. Her practice is currently part time as she also spends time completing a degree in psychology.
A Tuesday in Private Practice with Birgit Patenall
5.30am – Exercise
I wake up early to get ready for my outdoor group training session, Fit & Tone, at 6am, with Outdoor Active South Perth. I love exercising in the outdoors and see the sun rise. I’m a real morning person so being up at that time of day and running around the park and doing a weight work out gives me joy.
I go home energised and ready to tackle the day.
7am – Out with the Dogs
Time to walk the pooches. My husband and I take the dogs to a park nearby where they can run around for a while and make friends with other doggies. It’s nice to have that time with my husband to chat about the day ahead.
8am – Getting Ready
Getting ready for the day with a hot shower and some breakfast, which is usually eggs, poached, scrambled or an omelette. Being German I also like a slice of nice rye bread.
8.30am to 3pm – Client Appointments & Lunch
I schedule 3 appointments before lunch and include time in between each session for my notes. Each session is 60 minutes and is held on Zoom.
In my lunchbreak I make a salad, have leftovers from dinner or just make a big smoothie. You can find some of my favourite smoothie recipes on Taste.
3pm – 5.30pm – Client Appointments
In the afternoon I see two clients face to face at the Vivacious Living Centre Vivacious Living Centre.
Most of my clients are women, many in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s who are going through a life transition. Many are finding the empty nest quite challenging and find it difficult to adjust now that their kids have left. Some are going through relationship breakdowns or they might be trying to make changes in the relationship. Many struggle with the effects of menopause, some considering a change in career and others just feel stuck in life and without direction.
Together we look at the emotional effect this has on them and what the underlying issues may be. For some women having the opportunity to talk about their feelings and emotions with a trained professional can be enough, others might want some strategies to move forward.
As a Gestalt Therapist I work by staying in the Here and Now to raise the awareness to what the person is experiencing in the current moment. This enables the individual to notice their own process which allows them to find ways to live personal meaningful lives.
6.00pm – Another Walk
Time permitting I take the dogs to the beach or for a quick walk around the lake.
7pm – Dinner Time!
Our dinners are usually fairly simple, it might be a stir fry, pasta, fish and vegetables or a big salad with some more rye bread.
7.30pm – Study
I am not a big TV fan so I might read a book for my studies or work on an assignment.
9pm – Me Time
This is Me time. My husband is usually watching TV at this time so I’ll go to bed and read a book or listen to one on Audible. I am currently listening to Ken Follett’s new book Never.
It won’t be too long and I’ll drift off to sleep.
Connect with Counsellor & Psychotherapist Birgit Patenall