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Therapy Treatment & Counseling for Nurses

Therapy Treatment & Counseling for Nurses

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Statistics on Mental Health & Nurses

  • According to a report by the American Nurses Foundation, there are an increasing number of instances of workplace violence against nurses. For example, 2/3 of nurses questioned claimed to have encountered more bullying at work, and 1/3 report seeing more physical violence at work.1
  • According to the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses experience clinical depression twice as frequently as the general population.2
  • In a study conducted by Mental Health America (MHA) from June – September 2020, the most frequent explanation for changes in how healthcare professionals were feeling during the previous three months was emotional exhaustion (82%). This was followed by sleep issues (70%), physical exhaustion (68%), and work-related dread (63%).3
  • In a study of nurses under 35, nearly half reported that since March 2020, the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, they have sought professional mental health care.
  • More and more younger nurses are leaving their current jobs. Survey results showed that nurses aged 25-34 and 35-44 were more likely to switch jobs than nurses over 55.
  • More than 34% of nurses said they are not emotionally healthy.4
  • 35% to 45% of U.S. registered nurses report having burnout.5
  • Nearly half of nurses who said they planned to leave their jobs within the next six months gave the top reasons—work negatively affecting their health and well-being (48%) and inadequate staffing (41%).
  • The most significant risk of getting PTSD-like symptoms was among female nurses working in ICUs and COVID-19 pandemic-designated hospitals and departments.6
  • A Nursing Times survey revealed 84% of nurses saying they were more stressed or anxious than before the pandemic began. In addition, more than half claimed that stress and anxiety were exacerbated by the inability to offer quality care due to staffing or time constraints.7

Common Reasons Nurses Seek Therapy Treatment

Even before the pandemic, working conditions for healthcare professionals were difficult. Common reasons nurses seek therapy treatment include:8

  • Extremely stressful and emotional situations when caring for the sick
  • Exposure to the pain and suffering, including the deaths of others
  • Due to their ongoing emotional connection with their patients, nurses are more likely to experience compassion fatigue, a form of burnout
  • Specific demands resulting from interactions with the patient, family, and employers
  • The constant risk of exposure to harmful diseases like COVID-19, other infectious illnesses, dangerous medications, and more
  • Demanding physical labor and danger of harm from close contact with patients
  • Long and frequently unpredictable work schedules tied to on-call scheduling, unforeseen double shifts, and workload intensity
  • Financial distress

It’s essential for nurses to take care of themselves, including their mental health. Unfortunately, many nurses prioritize the health of others before their own needs. This commitment to the patients can appear admirable at first glance. However, it may be detrimental if it delays or obstructs employees from receiving the support they require for their health and well-being. In order to care for others, we must take care of ourselves first.

What Happens in Therapy for Nurses?

Finding the right match is crucial since patients and psychologists work closely together. It’s important to form a “therapeutic alliance” with your therapist. Inquire with potential licensed therapists about their training, professional experience, and success in handling problems comparable to yours.

Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions. In addition to pricing, insurance, and office hours, below are some examples of questions you may want to ask when seeking mental health services for nurses:

  • What’s your experience and success rate working with healthcare professionals?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What treatment methods and philosophies do you favor?

Depending on the issues you are seeking to address, there are different types of evidence-based therapy for nurses, including, but not limited to:9

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): an effective therapy treatment for burnout and anxiety
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): useful for people having suicidal thoughts
  • Humanistic Therapy: Humanistic therapy may be helpful for anyone with concerns about self-worth, relationships, depression, or anxiety.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: People who struggle with self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-expression might consider this a viable alternative. Depression and anxiety sufferers may also benefit from it.

In addition, medication may be prescribed or recommended as part of therapy treatment for nurses. This depends on the severity of your issue(s) and any potential diagnosis, such as anxiety.

Things to Consider When Seeking Therapy for Nurses

Finding the right therapist is the first obstacle to overcome if you’re considering therapy. Whether it’s to repair a relationship, recover from trauma, or improve your overall mental health, therapy for nurses can provide the coping mechanisms necessary.

When seeking counseling for nurses, you’ll probably find a series of letters following licensed mental health professionals’ names. Most of these you’ll probably be familiar with as a healthcare professional.

The prerequisites for each degree are different. For instance, a clinician with LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) qualifications in Tennessee must have at least 3,000 hours of clinical practice in addition to a master’s degree in social work. At least 100 hours include direct supervision, 60 of which are one-on-one.10 And a psychologist (usually with a Ph.D. or PsyD) has training in various forms of psychotherapy and psychological assessments.

You should locate a psychiatrist or other medical professional who can write prescriptions for you if you believe a certain medicine might help your problems. Consider looking for a therapist who participates in support groups or group therapy sessions if you want to be a part of a community of people who can relate to your experiences. In addition, online therapy is an option. As you continue working with a therapist, your objectives could change, and it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss the possibility of changing the course of your treatment.

Prepare to discuss the specifics of your situation, what you’ve done so far to cope with it, whether you’ve attended therapy before, and the results of that experience when you go in for your first in-person session with your therapist. Your therapist will probably also inquire about your treatment objectives and information about your childhood. Many people struggle during their first therapy session, which is entirely normal.

Insurance may be able to help cover the cost of depression therapy. Find out if your insurance provider can help with the costs by filling in our confidential insurance verification form below.

Find Mental & Behavioral Health Treatment Centers Near Me

Athena Care offers a full-spectrum of mental and behavioral health services to those in Tennessee.

We have qualified therapists and accept many of the big name insurance providers. Our locations are open Monday-Friday from 7am to 6pm. Learn more below:

Can I Lose My Job or Nursing License for Going to Therapy?

Simply seeking therapy treatment for nurses to help cope with day-to-day stressors does not warrant a nurse losing their job or license. The Tennessee Board of Nursing11 rules states that the most common areas of discipline involve drugs, patient neglect, and causing harm to a patient.

Fortunately, most states have authorized organizations that may assist doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in getting the necessary support to overcome an alcohol or drug addiction.12 As a result, licensed healthcare professionals can enroll in addiction treatment. They can recover their health while simultaneously preserving their professional standing and licenses. For nurses who are impaired, several organizations offer recommendations for addiction treatment, including the Professional Resource Network (PRN).

According to a manual for healthcare professionals dealing with substance use disorders, most license denials are brought on by untreated drug misuse. Among medical professionals who have benefited from the help programs, the success rate of ongoing recovery is excellent.

Is Therapy Confidential?

Tennessee law safeguards the confidentiality of communications with a therapist. Therefore, the release of confidential information will only be permitted with your signed informed consent. However, there are some exceptions to Tennessee’s confidentiality laws, including the following:13

  1. The protection of life is a clinician’s top priority. A therapist may breach your trust if you put yourself or others in danger.
  2. As required by law, your therapist will notify protection services of reports of sexual, physical, or both types of abuse against children.
  3. Serious Risk to Safety or Health
  4. If a judge issues a court order subpoenaing your medical records. Before the publication of those records, you will be informed so that you have time to consult a lawyer.

Behavioral Health Resources for Nurses

Mental health resources for nurses can offer various tools and resources and mental health support. Among these are:

  • The All Clear Foundation is a vast library of resources devoted to enhancing the life expectancy and general well-being of first responders and their families.14
  • The Married to Doctors Podcast examines the difficulties faced by physicians’ spouses and families.
  • The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress advisesfamilies of healthcare workers.
  • American Medical Association (AMA) – www.ama-assn.org
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – www.adaa.org
  • American Nurses Association (ANA) – www.nursingworld.org
  • Visit www.ena.org/nursetogether to participate in peer-to-peer video calls through Nurses Together: Connecting Through Conversations.
  • Download the Happy App, a platform tailored to nurses that offers access to a team that provides 24/7 help.
  • Mental health treatment centers like Athena Care: With multiple locations throughout Tennessee, obtaining the help you need is just a phone call away: (615) 320-1155
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Tennessee Hotline: (800) 467-3589
  • 988 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline – Available 24 hours a day
  • Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to reach the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services for free, confidential information on treatment alternatives available around-the-clock.
  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746


  1. “NEW SURVEY DATA: Younger Nurses More Negatively Impacted by COVID-19.” ANA, American Nurses Association, American Nurses Credentialing Center, American Nurses Foundation, 1 Mar. 2022, www.nursingworld.org/news/news-releases/2022-news-releases/new-survey-data–younger-nurses-more-likely-to-experience-negative-impacts-from-the-covid-19-pandemic.
  2. Lampert, Lynda R. “Depression in Nurses: The Unspoken Epidemic.” Minority Nurse, Springer Publishing Company, 1 Mar. 2016, minoritynurse.com/depression-in-nurses-the-unspoken-epidemic.
  3. “The Mental Health of Healthcare Workers in COVID-19.” Mental Health America, Mental Health America, Inc., mhanational.org/mental-health-healthcare-workers-covid-19. Accessed 22 July 2022.
  4. “Nurses Are Still Stressed, Frustrated, and Overwhelmed Almost 2 Years into COVID-19.” ANA, American Nurses Association, American Nurses Credentialing Center, American Nurses Foundation, 26 Oct. 2021, www.nursingworld.org/news/news-releases/2021/new-survey-data-thousands-of-nurses-are-still-stressed-frustrated-and-overwhelmed-almost-2-years-into-the-pandemic.
  5. Janeway, David. “The Role of Psychiatry in Treating Burnout Among Nurses During the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Journal of Radiology Nursing, vol. 39, no. 3, 2020, pp. 176–78. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jradnu.2020.06.004.
  6. Riedel, Brittney, et al. “Mental Health Disorders in Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications and Coping Strategies.” Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 9, 2021. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.707358.
  7. Ford, Megan. “Nursing Times Survey Reveals State of Nurses’ Mental Health One Year into Pandemic.” Nursing Times, EMAP Publishing Limited, 31 Mar. 2021, www.nursingtimes.net/news/mental-health/nursing-times-survey-reveals-state-of-nurses-mental-health-one-year-into-pandemic-31-03-2021.
  8. “Healthcare Workers: Work Stress and Mental Health | NIOSH | CDC.” CDC.Gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/healthcare/workstress.html. Accessed 23 July 2022.
  9. “5 Types of Therapy: Which Is Best for You?” Cleveland Clinic, 25 Oct. 2021, health.clevelandclinic.org/types-of-psychotherapy.
  10. Writers, Staff. “Social Work Licensure in Tennessee | Find Accredited Programs.” SocialWorkLicensure.Org, 1 July 2019, socialworklicensure.org/state/social-work-licensure-tennessee.
  11. Asher, Garrett E. “Nursing Disciplinary Process in Tennessee.” Tennlawfirm.Com, www.tennlawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/Nursing-Disciplinary-Process-in-Tennessee.pdf. Accessed 23 July 2022.
  12. BoardPrep Recovery. “Fear Losing Your Medical or Nursing License for Entering Treatment?” BoardPrep Recovery Center®, www.boardpreprecovery.com/rehab-blog/fear-losing-your-medical-or-nursing-license-for-entering-treatment. Accessed 23 July 2022.
  13. “Confidentiality and Consent to Treatment.” Transitionscounseling.Net, www.transitionscounseling.net/storage/app/media/confidentiality-and-consent-to-treatment-transitions3.pdf. Accessed 21 July 2022.
  14. “Health Care Professionals | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.” National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), NAMI, www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Frontline-Professionals/Health-Care-Professionals. Accessed 23 July 2022.

If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.

One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control. 

(615) 320-1155