Tag: Business support

Criticism Kills Off Our Desire

In a recent article about the creative process of setting up in practice, I wrote about how we can interrupt our desire by judging it. Criticism is toxic to creativity, whether it comes from others or from ourselves.

I have a big inner critic.

Some years ago, I worked with a coach who gave me a task, to ask people who knew me what they thought of me. When I read their feedback, at some level, I didn’t believe what was being said. I read it through distorted lenses, emphasising the negatives and diminishing the positives.

I reread the feedback recently, and was touched and humbled by the regard in which my friends and family hold me. I’m still reading it through those distorted lenses, but now I can allow in more of the truth of the positives, as well as seeing the negatives in a less exaggerated way.

Snapshot_20170318We all see ourselves in a distorted way. We look at ourselves as if looking in one of those silly mirrors you used to get at fairgrounds when I was growing up, where our heads look enormous, we look twice as tall, or we look shorter and rounder.  Or one of those apps that allow us to make silly pictures. We have these distortions in how we see others, and the world we live in too. 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

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

Be Kind to Yourself

Without fail, whenever I talk to therapists about issues they have with running their practices, they will say, “I just don’t understand why I find it so hard. I know I do good work. I sit in front of my clients and I know I can help them. So why is it so hard for me to put myself out there?” And often too, they’ll add, “What is wrong with me?” or “Why can’t I do this?”

Many of us find it easier to motivate ourselves on behalf of others than on our own behalf. kindness 2We find it easier to be positive and confident about our clients’ abilities and potential than about our own. We find it easier to see solutions to the problems of others than we do to our own.

There’s nothing wrong with us. It’s not some major flaw or block that needs fixing, it’s just that we are so engaged in the detail of our own lives, that we can’t see the wood for the trees. We have rehearsed the problems, the reasons, the difficulties so many times, that at some level we believe we can never get past them! We are often attached to our stories about ourselves to the extent that we believe that they are all we are.

Read more

Sustainable Momentum

riding my bikeDo you remember when you first learned to ride a bike? Do you remember the wobbling from side to side, and the many times you had to put your foot to the ground to steady yourself. And then one day you got it. You pushed off confidently, turning the pedals steadily and rhythmically, judging the pace perfectly. Maybe you were one of those who could cycle without your hands? I never managed that!

I usually explain to clients in the initial session that ideally therapy happens on a regular basis, because the continuity of the process is important. Momentum helps to build trust, to focus on an issue long enough for change to happen, and for appropriate support to be in place to carry us over the wobbly parts. Read more

Will Advertising Make Me Look Cheap?

“Will clients think I’m cheap?” The question came in the context of whether Google Ads was a good way to get clients for a therapy practice.

Some time ago, a friend was buying a second hand car. He’d been thinking about it for a while, looking at what was available in fancy wheels editedlocal garages, in Buy and Sell magazine, and on the internet. He’d found one he liked, which had been owned by a limousine service. He was really excited by the prospect. “It has been looked after so well, it’s immaculately clean and regularly serviced. Because that guy used it to earn his living, he really cared for those wheels,” he said. My brother was sceptical. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” he asked. “But won’t a car that’s been used as a taxi have very high mileage on it? You could find yourself having hefty repair bills.” And so the debate went on.

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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

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: ray@pembrokes.eu
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

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