Category: Managing Your Practice

Plan For A Better Year

When we first set out to establish our practices, there are so many things we have to think about and so many decisions we have to make. It can be a bit overwhelming. However, time invested in really thinking through some of the issues involved provides great holding and support for us in the early stages of our practice, and sets the stage for the future.

A key exercise to do at the start is to create a business plan for the practice. And it doesn’t apply only to new practices starting out. Even well established practices can benefit from taking a step back to look at some of these issues. 1879041

This may sound over the top, and I can hear the groans as I imagine people reading my words. A business plan just doesn’t sound like it belongs in a therapy practice does it? However, time and again, I have seen how looking at these issues can make what comes after so much easier. When faced with a decision, we can simply ask ourselves whether our proposed course of action is in alignment with our business plan. Read more

Earning a Living From Therapy Practice

A recent article in the Irish Times said that an average family spent between €45, 000 and €50, 000 between running their home and car, food, property and water tax, education and childcare. This figure does not include Photo no (23)income tax, PRSI or USC, nor does it include provision for retirement. If we estimate that those taxes might reasonably amount to €15,000, a therapist who is the main breadwinner of a typical family of two adults and two children, would need to earn at least €60,000 after all expenses in order to support their family.

To put this in context, €60,000 equates to 1,000 hours at €60 per hour, or 20 hours every week for 50 weeks. This takes no account of any of the costs of practising (such as rent, insurance, supervision, professional memberships, or CPD), takes no account of holidays or sickness, and takes no account of cancellations or discounts. It also takes account of face to face client hours only, and ignores the time needed to generate those 1,000 client hours, or to do any of the other tasks of running a small professional practice.
It’s a big ask. Read more

Creating Support for Our Practices

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I have often written about the need to provide ourselves with sufficient support to start or develop a therapy practice.

When I worked in the accountancy profession many years ago, I had two trainees in my team at one stage. They were as different as chalk and cheese as the saying goes, and there was no love lost between them. One of them failed his end of term exams, and the other passed. The one who failed really found it hard to accept that his rival had passed, but he used this experience to support him in passing the repeats. He told me he kept a photo of his rival over his study area at home, and every time he felt like giving up, or was struggling to focus on his studies, he told himself, “If he can do it, so can I.” He channeled his jealousy into action that supported him in moving toward his goal.

Support comes in many forms, and sometimes it is heavily disguised. Support can be either internal or external, and often too we can be unaware of support until it is no longer there. Read more

It’s The Eurovision…Again!

It’s the Eurovision song contest, again. I’m old enough to remember when it was a huge event, the highlight of television viewing. We would be allowed to stay up late to see it, and there was excitement for weeks in advance about the Irish entry and its potential. The scoring was particularly exciting, and “Nul Points” was as common as “LOL.”

Changing channels.Of course, these days it’s not the big thing that it was. When we only had one TV channel, watching the Eurovision was a no-brainer. Now, between thousands of satellite TV channels, YouTube, and Netflix, something like the Eurovision Song Contest no longer has the star quality it once had.And this is the way of our world today. So many choices. I’ve often written about the choices available to our clients, and how we have to help them to find us in among all the dazzling range of healing options that are out there. There is another way, though, in which the overwhelming array of choices makes life difficult for a self-employed therapist. Read more

Working with Others

Do you work with others in your practice? Perhaps it’s not as formal as a partnership, but arrangements with other practitioners are common in flying teamtherapy. Often people come together to share costs and otherwise have little interaction, but if you can co-operate with others around you in relation to some of the common tasks, it will make your life much easier! 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

Could Your Practice Use a Little Discipline?

I have been writing a book about starting a practice, and as I have been honing the framework of what I want to say, the word discipline keeps coming to mind. Discipline is a loaded word for me. It conjures images of rigid formations and punishment for infringements of rules. It reminds me of harsh school teachers and the worst of organised religion.

And yet the word persists in my mind.5 pillars Cloud 2

I am learning Spanish. I don’t have a particular gift for languages, but I like the sound of the language and I love learning. I also like to travel abroad, and some familiarity with other languages is always a benefit. So despite my minimal innate gift for the Spanish language, I persist. I try to do about 15 minutes every day. I’d like to say I do it faithfully every single day, but I do miss the odd one. However, the consistency of my application is paying off. In other words, the discipline is working. My memory for the words and phrases is improving, and my tongue and ears are slowly winding themselves around the foreign sounds. I still have a long way to go before I am ready to be let loose on the unsuspecting Spanish population, but even I can see that I’m better than I was a year ago. Read more

If your therapy practice were a car, who’s driving?

If your therapy practice is a vehicle, are you an owner, a driver or a passenger?

Think about a car for a moment. You can enjoy the advantages of a car in different ways. You can own the car, drive someone else’s car, or be a passenger in someone else’s car. Read more

Using EFT to Support Your Therapy Practice

I have been a fan of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping) for about five years now, and use it every day to support me in my practice. I liked it so much that I trained to become a practitioner, and received my AAMET Level 2 Certificate approximately 18 months ago.

In its basic form, EFT is a simple technique to learn, involving tapping with your fingers on acupuncture meridian points on the head and upper body, while speaking about the topic at hand. It is used for a wide variety of issues, from pain relief, to stress relief to PTSD and more. If you’re new to EFT, you can read more about it here.

I have been thinking recently how I might expand my work with therapists through This Business of Therapy. Read more

What Do Therapy and Criminal Law Have in Common?

It’s hard to imagine two professions that are less alike than psychotherapy and criminal law. Or so you’d think! After all, criminal law deals with laws and rules, with evidence, argument and ultimately, with winning or losing. Not concepts that you learn in therapy training!

scales of justiceI had the pleasure recently of meeting a group of criminal lawyers. Listening to their stories about their practices and the struggles they are dealing with, I found myself thinking how much the two professions have in common. Read more