Category: Growing Your Practice

Clients Come Through People

Where does the income in your practice come from? Well, obviously from the fees you receive from clients or organisations who pay on the clients’ behalf. But that’s only part of the story.

We none of us exist in isolation. There is a constant process from birth to death of interacting with our environment. Basic physical functions that meet our bodies’ needs such as breathing, eating, and sleeping all involve interacting with our environment.

In the same way we receive and pay out money in a constantly moving cycle. We may dislike money, but that is the medium that our society has chosen to make the exchange of goods and services easier. Money is a convenient way for us to give what we have in order to receive what we want. We are paid for giving our services, and we use that money to buy goods and services from others. Read more

Poverty Consciousness

I was in my twenties when I first heard the expression “Poverty Consciousness” and I immediately related to it in myself. I understood it then as expressing a presumption that there is a finite amount of resources to go around and so everything I get takes from someone else. It expresses a bias in perception towards “what there is not” or “what is lacking” and away from “what there is.”

Poverty consciousness leads us to hold tight to what we have, in fear that there will be no more. It can lead people to stay in jobs or relationships that no longer serve them, or to collect things that have no meaning or value for them because they fear that nothing will fill the space left by the absence of those things. And it leads to a focus on external reasons for staying stuck, such as, “There’s no point marketing my practice because there aren’t any clients who have money to pay for therapy.”

And for many people, this perspective of the world is their reality. Read more

Supporting Our Growth

We all need support to help us grow. A plant needs sunlight, water and food. A child needs a safe home, food, love, encouragement, stimulation and space to explore. A therapy practice also needs support, and by extension, since we are the product or service we provide, we too need support in order to grow in the work, and to grow our practice.

What does support look like in this context?

We all need to have our basic needs met. These include physical needs for safety, warmth, closeness, and touch; 1696049emotional needs of encouragement, compassion, companionship, intimacy; psychological needs of interest and stimulation; and of course, financial needs of enough money to pay for what we need and want to buy.

Often when first meeting a client, we will ask them about their support network, in terms of the people around them who are supportive and caring. However, we know this is only part of the story. Learning what supports the client helps us to become more attuned to them in the work, and can help to smooth the path they are taking. Read more

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

What do Smoking and Building a Practice Have in Common?

I started smoking when I was about 14. I didn’t much like the taste of cigarettes, but I persisted. There were lots of cigarettes about which made it easy. My parents discouraged us from smoking, but since they smoked themselves, it didn’t have much effect!

117Smoking filled a lot of needs for me. Like many teenagers, I was socially awkward, and smoking helped me to feel more grown up. I saw my two elder sisters smoking, and wanted to be like them. Most of my friends smoked, and when I smoked, I felt that I belonged in that group. There were a gang of boys that I was interested in, and they also smoked. Read more

Employed or Self-Employed?

So you’re in a job and thinking of becoming self-employed? Or maybe it’s some time since you’ve been in the workplace, and you’re weighing up the choices.

It’s a big step, bigger than you might think, so if you’ve never worked for yourself before, think carefully before making the leap. The thing most people underestimate is the extent to which being employed by someone else creates a framework and a structure within which you operate. While this might feel restrictive and stifling at times, it also creates boundaries, and hence, safety. When you’re self-employed, you have to do this for yourself, and some people are better at it than others. To some extent, your family history will influence which choice is better for you. Someone who has no family history of self-employment will find it more of a challenge to step into that role. Read more

I Don’t Want To Be Like That…

For some time when I first started practice, I was plagued by calls from an online advertising agency who wanted my business. Their approach was pushy and aggressive, persistent and intrusive. They always managed to call when I had just started to eat, or relax with a book. It drove me mad. I felt like I was being assaulted in my own home.

stop handMy upbringing asked of me that I always be polite, and respectful of what other people had to say. I can find it difficult to say “No” directly. So I was polite to these callers, and declined their services as best I could. The calls kept coming. Eventually, I found a way to manage it by asking for my number to be removed from their call list. Read more

Pushing Against Closed Doors

I’ve written before about how we always have options in addressing an issue. Those options generally break down into the following groups:

  • We can try to change the situation or the other person
  • We can leave the situation or relationship
  • We can change our own behaviour so as to fit in with the situation or the other person, or
  • We can find another way of looking at it, or feeling about it.

I think of these options as exits on a roundabout. Most people have one or two favourites among the four options above, a default to which they habitually are drawn, an exit which they almost always take. Usually because they have found that it serves them to do so. However, it’s important to remember that there are always other choices available to us. Read more

EFT Video for Therapists: Hiding Things

Hiding Things!

I have noticed recently how much energy I can invest in hiding things I don’t want other people to see, or even that I don’t want to see myself. I’ve known about this tendency of mine for a long time, but recently I notice it all over the place! It’s a product of all the rules that operated when I was growing up, the ones I learned at home, at school and in church. Knowing there was a rule about it, and not wanting to break that rule, I would go the other way, and invest a whole lot of energy into being the opposite of what the rule said I shouldn’t be. And since I was a really good student, and learnt all the rules really well, I had a lot of stuff that needed hiding! Read more