4 Tips To Stay Organized While Working With Adults As An Outpatient Counselor

As an outpatient counselor, your schedule can become packed with seeing patients, driving from one place to the next, doing research, coordinating services, and so much more. While never dull, it can be easy to become disorganized when your day is filled with such varied activity.

Have you ever found yourself backed up on paperwork? Maybe you’ve been late to (or accidentally missed) an appointment? Is a cluttered office creating distractions and slowing your progress?

When working with adults as an Outpatient Counselor, it’s important to stay organized, for yourself and for your patients. Here are some key ways to make that happen.

#1: Know Yourself

Are you a morning person? Or do you have one of those mugs with the words, “Don’t Talk to Me Until My Morning Coffee,” written on it in big letters? Do you work well in a structured environment? Or do you prefer something that is more fluid?

Knowing yourself is key to staying on track. Setting an organization schedule that you won’t stick to is counterproductive. Even worse, it can make you feel like you’ve failed, when really you’ve just not found the right groove. If this happens, just adjust your plan and keep moving ahead.

#2: Understand Your Patients

While keeping your personality in mind, you also need to think about your patients and their unique schedules. As adults, they have their own responsibilities. Even when your adult patients have behavioral and intellectual disabilities, they may still have commitments to families and jobs that might dictate when they can meet with you. You’ll need to strike a balance, otherwise you’ll find yourself struggling to dedicate appropriate time to each patient, and stay present in sessions.

#3: Have A Process

Set a process for yourself. If you are more fluidly organized, know that you should at least have a basic structure to follow. If you strive under a strict routine, make sure you leave some room for adaptability, when needed. Whether it’s filing paperwork between patients, traveling to in-home sessions, or scheduling a recurring meeting at the same time, having a process will provide stability to your work and keep you actively engaged with patients. You won’t be thinking about what needs to be done at the end of the day instead of what your patient is discussing with you.

#4: Be Adaptable

When working with adults who have behavioral and intellectual disabilities, you’re bound to have the unexpected occur. Accept that things won’t always stick to your schedule, and when a patient needs help, you need to be adaptable. That being said, adaptable doesn’t mean disorganized. By having a process you can stay organized and still meet the sudden needs of patients.

Pathways of Pennsylvania has been serving communities in Pennsylvania since 1981. Every individual has a right to lead a meaningful and positive life, and we are changing lives, one day at a time. Pathways of Pennsylvania is comprised of four companies: Children’s Behavioral Health, Inc., Pathways Community Services, LLC, Raystown Developmental Services, Inc., and The ReDCo Group, Inc.