Category: Starting a Practice

Help, Where Do I Start?

Sometimes when we’re starting up in practice, or when we hit a difficult period, it can seem overwhelming, and we don’t know where to start. So many tasks seem to be calling out for our attention, and all of them seem to be equally important. How do we decide what to do?

Lost and Confused SignpostSometimes when this happens to me, I find that I can’t do anything at all, or at least, nothing productive! I spend time doing things that are easy and comfortable (like emptying the dishwasher), or things that distract me (like reading a book), or things that are urgent but not important (like answering the phone). There’s nothing wrong with doing any of these things that we choose to do, however, they may not be the best choice at the time to bring me closer to what’s important for me. Read more

How Should I Structure My Therapy Practice?

It’s probably not a question you’ve considered, but what structure do you see your business of therapy taking, sole trade, partnership or company? Most therapy practice are sole practices, ie one person practising on their own. A much smaller number operate as partnerships, and still fewer as limited liability companies.partnership

In legal terms, the main difference between these choices relates to what happens in the event of insolvency (ie, if you go broke!) In a sole trade, the individual is personally liable for all the debts of the business, so if a sole practice goes bankrupt, the practitioner may be in danger of losing their home,  (even if they did not practice from it,) or any other personal assets they may have, such as a car, shares or bank accounts. However, a sole trade means you get to make all the decisions on your terms, in your own time. You’re not accountable to anyone but yourself! Read More about practice structures

12 Ways to Put Yourself Out There

Looking for ideas to promote your practice? Here are twelve ways you could do it. Pick some that appeal to you, and are most likely to attract the clients you’d like. Think about placement too. Where are you most likely to find your ideal clients? Will the medium you’ve chosen be seen by them? Ask yourself, “If I were looking for someone with my skills to provide the service I offer, where would I look?”

Here are twelve ways to put yourself out there…

5 Strategies for Having a Stress Free Practice

“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:

More about strategies for a stress free practice here

Don’t Confuse the Map with the Territory!

Someone told me recently that I can make the issues I write about here seem easy and enjoyable, and of course, that’s how I want it to be. However, there’s a saying in therapy, “Don’t mistake the map for the territory.”Lost and Confused Signpost

I was reminded of this sharply at a workshop at the weekend when the topic under discussion was very alive in the room between the members of the group. As we tried to absorb the theory that was being presented (the map), the real live example was there in the body language of the participants. I found myself thinking that it’s all very well to understand what’s going on, and it’s another thing to live it.

Read more here

Value for Money

Photo no (38)Value for money is so subjective, isn’t it? And it’s also a very personal thing. What is a necessary expense for one of us, is a frivolous luxury for another, and vice versa. Writing about our values and beliefs about money recently left me thinking about the value we place on experiences and on things, and how that varies so hugely from person to person.

Read more

Fee Levels and The Price of Eggs

It started out as a simple question about fee levels, what could he charge, what was reasonable, what were others charging…and I said he could charge as much or as little as he wanted to, it was a simple question of finding a willing buyer at the price point he  wanted to set.

My answer didn’t satisfy him, because like many of us, we find it hard to trust our own judgement when more eggsit comes to the question of valuing our services. And of course, while it is true that a therapist can charge what they like, (in the sense that there is no regulation or control of the pricing) in practice for most of us it’s nothing like as simple as that.

Yes, there’s more!

Starting a Therapy Practice – a Ten Point Plan

Ray Pembroke is a Chartered Accountant and Partner in Pembroke & Pembroke Chartered Accountants, 15 Ormonde Road, Kilkenny
Tel: 056 7762027 email:
The Firm specialises in dealing with the affairs of Medical Doctors and related Para-Medical Practitioners.
Ray says: “The initial meeting with us is always free, and, we would be pleased to advise how we might be of assistance to you with your Practice”

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:-

Read Ray’s Ten Point Plan here

Counselling and Therapy: Vocation or Profession?

During a recent conversation with a colleague, I was talking about the 2013 IACP survey of members which said that the average billable hour is charged at €44, and that one in three charges €30 or less per hour. A more recent Uncommon Practitioners survey suggested an average of €60 an hour for Irish respondents. In both cases, the number of hours being worked was resulting in a gross income (before expenses) of approx €1,400 per month, not enough to run a home.

My colleague asked if perhaps therapists were less interested in earning a living than other business babyowners because therapy is a vocation rather than a profession. I know that I use the term profession about the practice of therapy, but also that others see it very much as a vocation. I wondered, what is the difference?
Read more

Setting up In Practice: 8 Important Steps to Looking After Yourself in the Work

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:

  1. 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