Category: Earning a Living

Holding People Accountable

I have said in many previous posts that if a therapy practice is not growing into the place you would like it to be, if it is not progressing past the early sapling stage into a mature tree, then there may be some underlying issues about money, wealth or deserving going on under the surface.

One of the really tricky things about looking at money issues in relation to establishing and developing a therapy practice is that money can be a metaphor for other things, such as love, security or power. Because of that, money issues can turn up as something quite unconnected to money, and other issues can express themselves through money. We are all aware of how a client can be talking about one thing, but there is another issue deeper under the surface which is also being explored.

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited
Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

I grew up in a Catholic family and went to Catholic school. I heard a lot about forgiveness. There was a lot of pressure to resolve differences and restore the equilibrium. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against forgiveness, or the Catholic Church. However, people process experiences at different speeds, and sometimes an upset can be hurried towards resolution too soon. The danger in this is that the hurt goes underground. And unacknowledged hurt or wounding can fester in the shadow, until someone or something triggers it, and all the bile spews out.

When we have not received the apology or the recompense we feel is appropriate, some part of us is left feeling that we are owed. When this happens we can find subtle and well disguised ways of holding accountable those who we see are responsible for our hurt. In her book, The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie says, “Punitive damages are awarded in court, but not in recovery.” But the part of us that wants vengeance may not understand this.

If we are still holding on to an old wound, waiting to be compensated for the hurt we have felt, our bank balance may speak to the truth of that, even if the wounding had nothing whatsoever to do with money. “You owe me,” may be reflected in financial disappointments, investments that go sour, and unexpected costs or losses. In terms of our practices, we may experience clients not paying, or letting us down, being overly demanding or in some other way literally leaving us owed.

“You owe me,” can play out in small dishonesties, such as not fulfilling our responsibilities to an employer, or understating our income for taxes. It can be disguised, for example, by excessive generosity which leaves other people in our debt, or being excessively pedantic in money matters and counting each cent. If we have been selfless in a relationship and feel resentful that our needs are unimportant in relation to others, we may be holding out for our payback. “You owe me,” may also be recognised in having to invest more work or energy than others for less return. Or specifically in the context of a therapy practice, feeling demanded of by clients.

 

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited
Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

Another way to understand this is that we unconsciously equate money with love. A healthy bank balance symbolises that we are loved (by our paying clients). However, when we have unacknowledged wounding, it does not allow us to be loved, because our ongoing struggle is evidence of how much we have been hurt. To be financially healthy when we have unresolved hurts and wounds could be to minimise or even trivialise our past experiences. This can act as an unconscious bar to creating a practice that is financially viable.

Does any of this resonate with you? Remember, your unconscious is always looking out for your best interests, even if it doesn’t appear so! My wish is that you be kind and compassionate with yourself in exploring these ideas. And if I can help with any of that, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me here.

CAO Time

Car.

Learning a new skill, such as driving or becoming a therapist, involves a process. In learning to drive, the route is pretty simple. You learn the theory, then you do your driver theory test. Next, you go out and take some lessons. When you’re proficient enough, you do the test. And if you’ve learned your lessons well, you’ll get your licence.

A similar process takes place when you train to be a therapist. You go to school, you learn a bit, then you start trying out your new skills on others in the school, and finally on clients. If you do your lessons well, you’ll earn your qualification. You spend a couple of years putting in client hours, and eventually, you have earned your accreditation. Read more

Reviewing the Situation

I’ve written before about my belief that money is a bit of a shadow in our profession, and probably for everyone at some level. It’s a subject I have a lot of interest in, having some money related trauma in my past, and from my earlier career in accountancy. I recently came face to face with a visual image of one aspect of my own money shadow which I thought I might share with you today.

shadowWhy is it important to look at our own money shadow? For the same reason that uncovering any shadow aspect of ourselves is important, because as long as it stays in the shadow, it uses energy to keep it hidden, and it is in danger of sabotaging us in some way. Read more

Facebook: a good servant or a bad master?

To Facebook or Not to Facebook?
I was at a family function recently at which an argument was raging about Facebook. The pro-camp was strongly in favour, citing the benefits of keeping in touch with family and friends, and being able to share photos and cute and inspirational sayings. The anti-camp were pushing hard, pointing to undesirable posts, such as videos of ISIS going viral and youngsters being exposed to unsuitable material before they were mature enough to handle it.

fireI found myself wondering if the same arguments raged in the aftermath of the discovery of fire. The pro-camp would be extolling the advantages of heating and cooking, the anti-camp talking about the dangers of burning yourself or your cave! Or perhaps when the wheel was invented there were heated debates on the virtues of being able to move your things about more easily against the demons of motorway accidents and runaway trains. Read more

The Support Inside

Often the challenge for therapists around what needs to be done to create the practice they want is not a lack of information. It’s not that people don’t know what to do. In truth, if you want to find out how to do pretty much anything, Google will give you the answer. In this high tech, instant access culture, there is no shortage of information about how to do anything. (There are also several books with just that title!)  helping hand

So what is it that gets in the way? Well as therapists, we also know the answer to that. It’s the internal game. What’s going on inside us dictates what actions we are willing to take, the attitude with which we meet those tasks, and how we feel about doing them. When we are unaware of what is going on inside us, we can sabotage and undermine our own efforts. Even when we are aware of our inner experiences, we can get tangled in what’s going on inside, so that we can become lost in indecision, in lack of focus, or in yo-yoing backwards and forwards from one direction to another. Read more

Investing in Your Therapy Practice

It can take 3 years or more to get any new practice off the ground, and even then, some struggle for ever to earn sufficient income to support themselves. Often the response to that is to “tighten the belt” or trim expenses to the minimum in order to make ends meet. However, there is another option.

You could invest more money into your practice to give it the boost it needs.Photo no (53)

A practice needs to generate sufficient income to give you what you want out of it (which is VERY important). However, there is a level of activity below which it is costing you money to have a practice. There are some costs you have to incur in order to maintain your accreditation, whether you see clients or not, such as your professional subscription, CPD and a minimum level of supervision. Until your income exceeds the costs of going to work, working is costing you money! You may still choose to practice under these circumstances anyway, and it’s a valid choice. If you’d like to read more about this subject, please see my article on the Breakeven Point.

However, if you’d prefer to earn a bit more, there are many ways that investing capital into your practice could help to make it more profitable. Read more

How Do I Break Even in my Therapy Practice

How Many Clients Do I Need Or How Much Do I Need To Charge

In Order To Breakeven

Your total income from your practice is affected by 2 main factors: the price you charge, and the number of hours you work for which you get paid. A change in one factor leads to a higher or lower total income. If you increase your price, and work the same number of hours, your total income over a period (say a year) goes up. If you work fewer hours but keep the price the same, your income goes down.

“Breakeven” is the point at which your income equals your expenses. If I earn more than the breakeven I make a profit, Wallet and some money on a wooden tableor net income. If I earn €100 in fees, and it costs me €80 in expenses, the difference (100-80=20) is profit or money I can spend. If I earn less than breakeven I make a loss, or net expenses. If I earn €100 in fees, and it costs me €120 in expenses, I need to find the difference from somewhere, in order to ensure all my expenses are paid.

Why is breakeven important? Breakeven gives a benchmark for the minimum you need to earn in order to cover your costs.

Read more

Not Earning Enough? Five Ways to Improve Your Bottom Line

If you find that you don’t earn enough from your practice, if what you have left after paying expenses at the end of the day, week or month is insufficient, then you need to look at what you can do to improve the situation. There are a number of options Photo no (39)available, and depending on your circumstances, you might consider looking at all of them. Read more

7 Tips to Manage Your Cash Flow

Wallet and some money on a wooden tableCash flow is the term used for the ins and outs of money in your practice. It’s important to manage it so that you don’t end up at the end of the month with no money to pay the rent, or put petrol in the car. Income in a therapy or counselling practice can be changeable, dipping at some times of the year, rising at others. There are a few easy steps you can take to help you manage your cash flow more effectively:

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Are Negative Thoughts Holding Your Practice Back?

Do you have negative thought patterns that are getting in the way of you having the practice you’d like to have? No? Maybe? Ask yourself if any of the following are familiar?

  • There are very few clients out there
  • No one has any money
  • People are making other choices, such as Reiki, or Homeopathy, or Angels
  • Therapy is seen as an expensive way of sorting out your problems
  • No one wants to take the time it takes, they want a quick fix
  • No one wants therapy in my area?

And all of these statements are true.file0001517402088

Except for those people for whom they’re not true.
Read more here