Many practitioners find their work slow at the beginning of the year. Clients are feeling the pinch from spending too much at Christmas and are full of good intentions to implement resolutions that will change their lives for good. If you are finding that you have time on your hands, maybe it’s a good time to get done all those little tasks that we keep putting to the end of the “to-do” list. Read more
Category: Minding Your Practice
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!
I 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
Did you see the recent IAHIP bulletin in relation to Statutory Registration of Counsellors and Psychotherapists? It directed members’ attention to the website of CORU, the body charged with regulation.
Or perhaps you saw the announcement from IACP that mandatory Garda vetting is to take place for all IACP members from late 2014, and will in the future be a pre-requisite to applying for membership. Read more
In case of emergency…
It’s the scenario we don’t want to think about, but it could happen to any of us in the morning. If you suddenly became ill or incapacitated, what would happen to your practice? Would your family and colleagues know what to do?
During my career in the accountancy profession, on several occasions I was called on to step in to help when a practitioner became ill or died suddenly. The grieving family had little notion of how to go about handling their loved one’s affairs.
But there are things that you can do to minimise the additional stress that might be caused by this situation. By putting in place a few simple processes, you can make life easier for those who might be left to pick up the pieces. And it is especially important if you practice on your own with no partners or colleagues.
Here are a few ideas.
“Work would be great if it weren’t for the clients” was something I heard regularly in my former occupation as an accountant. It was said tongue in cheek, but really spoke to a truth about the ambivalence that many feel about their work, and not just in accountancy. We’d like it to be easy and stress free, where often it’s anything but!
Often it’s not the clients that make the practice of therapy or counselling so difficult, but the other challenges that may keep us awake at night, such as financial struggles, administrative challenges, relationship issues and so on.
There are ways to make running your practice a bit easier on you, and here are 5 strategies that I find useful:
Ray Pembroke, Chartered Accountant, of Pembroke & Pembroke, Kilkenny, has some sage advice for those starting their own practice:
“So you have decided to set up as a Self Employed Therapist. In order that you can build a successful and viable Practice I would recommend that you follow this 10 Point Plan:-
There is a serious danger in this work that the practitioner’s needs become eclipsed by the needs of her clients. This is particularly so in the early years, when a therapist may not have enough clients and takes on everything that comes their way for fear that there will never be any more.It can also be a problem for those who are well established when they encounter particular clients.
However, there also some easy ways to look after yourself so that you have what you want to give:
- Look after your own needs, and balance them with the needs of those you seek to help. You cannot give what you don’t have, or what you don’t allow others to give you. You can’t help everyone, and you are not the only support your clients will have. There’s a reason they ask on airplanes that you put on your own air-mask before attending to the needs of others!
Read more about self care
Some time ago, I attended the funeral of a former work colleague. Throughout the ceremony and afterward, talking to others, one message was repeated, by just about everyone, that her death was premature and unfair. She was forty, and left behind a husband, two children, sisters, work colleagues and friends, by whom she will be sorely missed.
It wasn’t the first time I’ve been to the funeral of someone younger than me, and it always leaves me with a nagging question, if I knew I were to die soon, would I be living my life any differently? Read more
“Nature abhors a vacuum” I was taught in one of my first science classes. Whether you’re talking about air rushing in to fill the empty space, or how other people’s goals and intentions can fill up the space in our lives, it’s true.
Nothing gets done without there first being an intention. My big indulgence in life is spending time with friends and family, often away from home because I like to travel too. People often say to me, “Oh, you’re off again,” or “You’re great to organise that.” But it doesn’t happen by accident.
Over the last week, I’ve been making suggestions about how you might use the Therapy Practice Business Assessment as the basis for making some changes to your therapy or counselling practice in 2016. So far, we’ve looked at three areas: Knowing Your Practice, Growing Your Practice and Valuing Your Practice. (You can read the blog posts in which I made suggestions in those areas by clicking on the links.)
Today we’re going to look at the fourth pillar of a successful practice, Minding Your Practice.
When they hear that phrase, most people think first about the practical steps of insurance and safety, and these are indeed important. Another important area in minding your practice is self-care, and one that is often overlooked is provision for the future. What steps could you take in 2016 to mind your therapy practice, to make it more robust, and to help create a buffer against the vagaries of life? Here are some ideas…