Minding Therapy by Ros Johnson
Finally ... a novel about the life of a mental health therapist, written by a social worker! Set in New England, this book is the fictional account of a social worker named Daryl who's burned out from her job in a community mental health center.
But burnout isn't the only problem she's facing. When her estranged father dies unexpectedly, a lifetime of pent up emotions comes flooding to the surface. But she's a therapist, so she should be able to handle this life-changing event, right?
Her ego takes a beating when concerned friends suggest that she seek therapy. She isn't convinced she needs it until she realizes the impact of her emotional issues on her work, her relationship with her mother, and her budding relationship with a new lover.
What I appreciated most about this novel was the way in which the author weaves the problem of burnout into the overall context of the therapist's life. Burnout rarely occurs in isolation, does it? It occurs in the midst of all the other burdens we carry through life.
If you've ever worked in mental health, you'll appreciate Daryl's one-liners and sarcastic running commentary as she freely shares her views on community mental health, clients, supervisors, family, and just about everything else!