Tag: practice profile

Taking Ourselves Seriously

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll have heard me referring to the Six Pillars of a Successful Therapy Practice.[1]

pantheonThe first pillar of a successful therapy practice, “Owning Our Practice”, is all about seeing ourselves as a business owner as well as someone who helps other people. It means embracing the idea that we are not just there to help our clients, but that our practices are also providing us with a living (hopefully :)) 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

EFT Video for Therapists: Hiding Things

Being Seen

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Jerry Seinfeld

This quote from Jerry Seinfeld beautifully captures the ambivalence that many therapists feel about anything to do with promoting their practice. I don’t know how many of you would prefer to be dead than speak about your businesses, but it is no understatement to say that it evokes anxiety and fear in the hearts of many. It can leave people feeling exposed and vulnerable. So, inevitably, we avoid it, or we find reasons not to do it, or become really busy with other things so growing our business gets pushed to the end of the queue. Read more

13 Ways to Market Your Therapy Practice Without a Website

You’d like more clients, but technology isn’t your thing and you don’t want to go down the route of getting your own website. No problem. There are many ways to put yourself out there. Maybe you can find a couple that will work for you from the ideas below:

  1. Business Cards

Whether it’s handing them to referrals sources, or giving them to clients, business cards are an easy and cheap way of putting your contact details out into the world. Make sure they work for you, and don’t leave them gathering dust in a drawer. The more of them you hand out, the better the chance that they’ll be used. For more information on getting and using business cards, read my articles: Lots of Things to do With Business Cards and All About Business Cards

Read more

It’s Not as Solid as it Looks

A friend shared his good news with me. Many years after starting his training, he finally achieved accreditation as a psychotherapist. I was delighted for him, as it hadn’t been the easiest or most direct journey for him. As we talked about it, he said to me, “It taught me that things are not as solid as we sometimes think they are.” You see, he had thought that he wouldn’t get there. His belief was so strong that he put off applying as long as he could, for fear his application would be rejected. His belief was so strong, that he genuinely believed there was no point applying, because he would be Photo no (3)turned down. No possibility, no doubt, just truth for him. And yet, when he took the risk, he found his belief was just that.

It was a belief, not a fact. Read more

What is Your Message? Creating Promotional Material

So you’re creating a piece of promotional material for your therapy practice, or getting someone to create it for you. Maybe it’s a flyer or a brochure, maybe it’s a website. Maybe it’s a presentation you’ll be giving. Where do you start?

One of the differences between promotional material that works, and that doesn’t work, is the thought and preparation that went into its production. Whether it’s a paper product, or the text for a website, this is your opportunity to get your DSCN8260message across to your readers.

What is that message?

Before putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, you might spend a bit of time finding out what your message is. Have a look at brochures, flyers etc of other therapy practices, and of other professionals. See what you like and what you don’t.

Then try asking yourself some questions to clarify what it is you want to say. The following ideas might be of help:

  1. If I were looking for a therapist, what factors might I consider before making a choice? What would help me to choose in favour? And what would lead me to choose against?
  2. What words would capture the ATMOSPHERE I’d like to convey? (For example: Professional, approachable, soulful, peaceful etc)
  3. What colours do I like? What images might convey the essence of my message? (Even if I don’t use the specific images in my material, this question is a good one, as it helps to capture what you’re reaching for!)
  4. What promotional medium am I trying to create? (Flyer, brochure, presentation, website, letter, etc) Ideally, your message will be the same across all media, although it may be presented in a different way, depending on the space and shape you’re trying to fill. With a website, for example, although there is potential for far more information to be displayed, visitors tend to move on within seconds unless their interest is immediately stirred. With a paper product, although the space limited to the size of paper chosen, it’s more likely that someone will pick it up and put it in their pocket or handbag, to be referred to again later.
  5. file000321909801Who am I aiming it towards? (GPs, other health professionals, other potential referrers, potential clients etc) What you say and how you say it will differ according to your target audience.
  6. What result am I hoping for from this? (New client, client referrals, information, raising awareness, introduction) Is it easy for them to find out how to contact me? Have I given them the information they need in order to take the next step? Have I invited them to take that step?
  7. If I am hoping to attract new clients by this, ideally what are the characteristics of the clients I’m trying to attract?
    1. Presenting Issue
    2. Gender
    3. Age
    4. Attitude
    5. Ability to pay
    6. Other
  8. Is the language I use, and the media I have chosen, appropriate for this group? Are my ideal clients likely to be attracted to me as a result of this?
  9. Does this stand alone or will there be some other contact with the reader / receiver? If there is more to say, or more information to get, have I told the reader this? Have I told them how they might get that additional information?
  10. What questions might they have that I need to answer? For example:
    1. What do you do?
    2. How can you help me?
    3. How long will it take?
    4. What is your approach (and what does that mean to layman!)
    5. How does this process work (frequency, duration etc)
    6. What is the difference between your approach and ….
  11. What information do I want them to have about me or my practice (but which they may not know they want/need)? Is there something about me as a person that might help them to connect easily with me, that I am willing to disclose?

If this is really difficult for you, consider using a professional to prepare something for you. It doesn’t have to be hugely costly, especially if you have some ideas about what you like or don’t like.

If I can help you at all with any aspect of running your practice, please make contact. Email me here to make an appointment or to avail of a free 20 minute consultation.


Starting Up A Therapy or Counselling Practice– Getting Those First Clients

Having decided where you’re going to practice and put the framework in place, you’ll want to get some clients to work with. This is where having an idea of what you’d like your practice to look like really helps. There’s a saying that if you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no-one. For example, if you know you want to work with children, that will largely shape how and where you market your services. You will look to where parents, guardians, or teachers of children in difficulty are likely to be. The same principle applies for any other work. While many therapists are reluctant to be too specific about the type of work they want to attract fearing that this will mean they will be pigeonholed, this is not true in practice.Portrait of smiling business people with thumbs up against white

Read more about getting those first clients

Changing it Up

I’ve spoken before about getting focussed, whether it be on what you want, on a niche or target market, or on the way you see yourself in your practice. Today, I want to talk about changing things a little. Why on earth would you want to do that?

I come from a big family, and getting us all to agree on a time and place to do anything is, as my sister calls it, like mousetrying to herd mice at a cross roads. I often think it’s like this in therapy or counselling practice too. Just when your week is beginning to take a regular shape, a client goes to shift work, and asks for flexible appointment times. Or you’ve just got the hang of what the child protection guidelines are, when another set of rules appears. Or you’ve got to know and like your colleagues at work, when someone announces they’re leaving. Like herding mice, it can’t be done, things change all the time, whether we like it or not.

Read more about how you can change it up

Living (and working?) Intentionally

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.faded flower

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