Welcome to my guest post series: A Day In Private Practice. This is Me!
Welcome to my A Day in Private Practice blog series.
Meet Psychotherapist, Psychotherapeutic Counsellor & Coach Jodie Gale
Jodie is a clinical member of the PACFA College of Psychotherapy , a qualified Mind Body Eating Coach, Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, and a Master’s trained Eco-Psycho-Spiritual Psychosynthesis Psychotherapist who specializes in women’s early childhood trauma and emotional neglect, and food, weight & body image concerns. She is also a Clinical Supervisor, Private Practice Business Coach and Trainer for therapists. Jodie has been in private practice for over 20 years! Along with her husband, their two children and two British Short Hair cats – Bosley & Wentworth – Jodie lives on the Northern Beaches of Sydney in Australia. She currently balances being a full-time stay at home mother with a part-time, home office, private practice.
A Day in Private Practice with Jodie Gale
I currently work 3 days with weekly therapy, supervision & business coaching clients from a home office and my hours are based around being a stay-at-home mum to my two children, now 11 and 12. On Saturdays, the busiest day of my week, I see 6 clients back-to-back whilst my husband looks after the kids. Our home is open planned and I used to see clients inside my home so my husband used to take the kids to swimming lessons and to Grandma’s for the day. Since completing my new separate entrance therapy office, they no longer have to do that.
6.30am: Wake Up & Get Ready
Wake up and get ready to see weekly, long-term psychotherapy clients.
My husband and kids usually wake up at 7, feed Bosley & Wentworth, have breakfast and get ready. If they are going out on Saturday morning, their day bag is packed and they lay their clothes out on Friday night so that hopefully there are no dramas on Saturday mornings. I’m laughing as I write this because of course there always are!
I go next door to my separate entrance therapy office and get my space ready by either putting the heater/air con on or I open the windows and then switch the Doterra atomizer on. I choose a soul-quality, seed thought or image for the day from one of my collage cards, Goddess , Inner Child, Nature Therapy or Daily Meditation card decks and I spend some time ‘being with’ this card. I then place it on my bookshelf.
At the start of each client’s therapy, I buy the client an A3 portfolio art book to collect their therapy work in. This might include a subpersonality chart, art work from guided visualisations, dream images, family tree, photos, models and notes they might like to make. I get these out of my cupboard ready for the day’s clients.
I have English Breakfast or herb tea and vegemite toast while I check my emails and phone for any last-minute messages or cancellations.
7.45am: Nature Therapy Practice
I spend 10 minutes outside engaging in my nature therapy practice. There is a small area of bushland next door to my house with beautiful Gumtrees and lots of birds. Alternatively, I sit in my courtyard. On weekdays, I spend 1-2 hours most days going on long nature walks or participating in my nature therapy experiential exercises and journal homework for certification as an eco-therapist. This was and still is, a life saver, especially throughout the extended 20 week Sydney lockdown and home schooling period from June 2021 until December 2021. COVID catapulted me into a dark night of the soul or what I now call a period of ‘wintering’ having read Katherine May’s book of the same name and I took a sabbatical from clients throughout this time!
8.10am – 2.00pm: Clients
I see women, trauma and disordered eating clients in my Saturday therapy practice. My sessions are 50 minutes and I take a 10-minute break in-between which is when I take notes, refill my water and snack on my Yumbox of goodies. I have been vegetarian for 30 years and fill my Tapas Yumbox with nourishing foods such as an avocado, nut butter and salad wrap, nuts, berries, coconut rolls, rice crackers, homous & crudités. I have always worked back to back like this for 20 years and I prefer it to clients spread all over the week like Swiss cheese.
On non-client days, I do my private practice admin, content creation and marketing in school hours. This might include:
- Noting client hours for professional association memberships
- Check bank account for client direct debit payments
- Administrative tasks such as my tax return
- Business planning and marketing
- Researching and writing my latest blog
- Creating products for my Etsy store for therapists
- Recording my latest podcast
- Creating CANVA slides for Instagram
- Scheduling posts for Facebook
- Scheduling Sunday’s social media posts as I like to have an internet free day on Sunday
- Replying to any new or existing client inquiries. I then switch my phone off to enquiries until Monday 9am.
2.00pm: Finish Up for the Week
I sometimes book my 6-week Soul Sessions clients in from 2-4pm but I mostly use from 2.00pm till 3.00pm on a Saturday to finish up any admin tasks for the week; adding client hours to my client portfolio, checking payments etc and then I give my therapy room a quick clean.
3.00pm: Family Time
My family arrive home if they have been out. Rain or shine – we might go for a bush or coastal walk before dinner.
5.00pm: Family Dinner at a Local Restaurant
We love eating out at Japanese, Lebanese, Italian, Indian and Mexican restaurants and prior to COVID would travel all over Sydney to eat out. Some of my faves are Nadas Lebanese on Cleveland Street, The Dosa Hut in Hornsby, Chica Bonita and Sushi Waka in Manly.
7.30pm: Bedtime Ritual
Bath, story and bedtime for the kids. One of my favourite books to read together is The Soul Bird. I started talking very early on to my children in ‘parts’ – the Soul Bird is wonderful for that – it talks about the different ‘draws’ that we all have inside. As a psychosynthesis psychotherapist, ‘subpersonalities’ is a core component of our work. The popular IFS stems from this beautiful and non-pathologizing psychosynthesis model.
8pm: Bath Therapy!
OK, sometimes I don’t make it to 8pm, I have been known to bathe in the middle of the afternoon 🙂 This is my daily time for self-care. I create a sacred space and love the bathing rituals in the small book, The Enchanted Bath: Rituals and Recipes . I use one of those or Doterra or Dr Hauschka Sage Bath Oil products in the bath. I am an avid audio book listener so I either listen to an audio book or a podcast. At the time of updating this blog, I am listening to Phosphorescence by Julia Baird.
9pm: Watch a NETFLIX series or a movie
In 2020 we had a Baltic & North Atlantic B2B Transatlantic cruise booked with stops in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway & Iceland – all cancelled by COVID 🙁 We started watching Nordic/Scandi Noir prior to that and these psychological thrillers are now our favourite genre! Some of my faves are: Caliphate, The Valhalla Murders, Bordertown, The Killing, Twin & The Grey Zone.
As a busy mum of two – you might also find me packing a day bag for Sunday, folding washing, sewing dress-up outfits, upcycling bits and bobs for the kids’ rooms, birthday party planning (ugh to that Women’s Weekly castle cake that had me up until 2am in tears!) or chatting online with my overseas friends, my mothers’ group or counselling & psychotherapy colleagues.
11.00pm: Bed or Overseas Continued Professional Development
I would love to be all Zen and say that I have a wonderful 11pm sleep routine but I don’t always! Since the world has opened up to online training – you might sometimes find me going to bed at 8pm on a Saturday night and waking up at 12-3am for overseas trainings in trauma, spiritual psychology and eco-psychotherapy!
I don’t do all of these things every Saturday but it is my busiest day of the week. I hope you enjoyed taking a peak inside a day in private practice with me.
Connect with Jodie Gale