Nothing brings up trust issues as quickly or as obviously as money! (Except perhaps sex?)
I have had several clients who pay me at the start of the session rather than risk forgetting to pay at the end. I’ve asked about it and the answer is always the same, they don’t trust themselves to remember. They fear the possible shame they might incur if they had to be reminded by me, and make the judgement that it is better avoided. And I feel for them.
I remember my own huge shame when, driving home after therapy one evening, I remembered I had forgotten to pay my therapist. I pulled over to the side of the road and called her. I was sick with guilt, embarrassment and shame, and was ready to drive back (almost 20 miles) to correct the problem there and then, if she hadn’t insisted on leaving it until the following session. Looking back now, I can remember the intensity of those feelings, though they seem curiously out of proportion to the mistake. The underlying fear for me was that the relationship could not hold such a huge issue, and that my mistake could have been the end of the relationship. My fear was on a catastrophic scale. My thoughts ran riot with questions about my motivation for not paying. What was I saying in that? Was some part of me angry with my therapist and refusing to pay? What was going on for me that I had forgotten? How could I have done that? How could I be so stupid? It went on and on.
Tag: private practice
Nothing brings up trust issues as quickly or as obviously as money! (Except perhaps sex?)
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.
The 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
At AnneLeigh Counselling & Psychotherapy our focus is on emotional well-being for clients and therapists. We aim to provide a warm and safe space in which clients can explore what troubles them, and receive support in exploring and moving towards changes that are right for them. Healthy relationships are at the heart of our philosophy, in which we seek to honour both the robustness and fragility of all those who come through our doors, be they therapist, client, parent or any other person.
To add to our expertise we would like to have a child psychotherapist available to clients. If you are an accredited and experienced child therapist and would be interested in working out of our practice in Naas on Mondays, Fridays or at weekends, we would like to talk to you.
We are also interested in receiving enquiries from experienced and accredited therapists who work with adults.
We recognise that not all those who need counselling and psychotherapy support will be able to afford our services, and would like to have some facility for offering a low-cost alternative. We welcome newly and nearly qualified therapists who may be seeking to work towards accreditation and would like to take on some private clients.
Please contact Jude, Jennifer or Evelyn at (085) 105 0337 for further details
In order to create something, whether it’s a home, a relationship, a work of art or a therapy practice, there is a process of creation. This process brings us through a number of steps from original conception to realisation. There are many ways to describe these steps, and I’m sure you’ll have your own version. I put them like this:
• Inspiration: We are inspired to start something, for example, a therapy practice. Fresh from the training process, we are full of enthusiasm for our newly acquired skills, and eager to bring them to the aid of those in need. What better way to do this than through our own practice, where we can shape what and how we offer our services in a way that suits us.
• Visualisation: We begin to imagine what our own practice might look like. We have seen how others have done it, and we know what we like and don’t like. We begin to imagine the location we’d like, the clients we’d like, and how our life will be when all our visions turn to reality. Read more
When I was growing up, a cousin, about four or five years younger than me, asked his mother (in the hearing of several of us older kids) to chew his toffee for him because it was too hard.
He never lived it down.
At the time, I dismissed him as immature and childish. In recent times, I have begun to relate more to where he was at! I have begun to recognise that there’s a part of all of us that doesn’t want to do the dirty work, put out the bins, or have the difficult conversations. Read more
In his famous book, On Becoming a Person, Carl Rogers talks about the “Locus of Evaluation” (or the perceived source of values) from two perspectives, that of the client, and that of the therapist. He supports a view that the therapist’s task is to think and empathise with the client within the client’s own frame of reference, respecting the client’s own valuing process.  This, he says, facilitates the client’s ability to develop their own internal locus of evaluation. This Rogers says is perhaps the most fundamental condition of creativity.
Developing an internal locus of evaluation is an important goal in the psychotherapeutic process, enabling the client to live their life more creatively, as an agent of their own desire for themselves. Read more
Business Dilemmas Peculiar to Therapists
Being a therapist is different from having other jobs. Issues arise in therapy work that would be ignored in other occupations. There can be a belief in therapy circles that these dilemmas can restrict us in seeing a therapy practice as a business. Earning a living is often seen as much less important than the client work and sometimes there can be a negative attitude that suggests that being paid for our services diminishes their worth.
However, for some time now, the profession has been inching towards, well, greater professionalism. There are strict standards of training, the professional bodies have their rules and requirements, state regulation is getting nearer, and still, the perception persists that somehow doing it for free is virtuous while charging a fee is not.
In these articles, I don’t give much space to the clinical side of our work. Lots of more learned and wiser therapists than me do that very well. However, neither do I pretend that the clinical aspects of the work do not impact on the business side, of course they do. And it can be a challenge, to meet the dilemmas peculiar to our work as an opportunity to grow and enhance the lives of ourselves and our clients, rather than seeing them as restrictions and limitations. Read more
I was in my twenties when I first heard the expression “Poverty Consciousness” and I immediately related to it in myself. I understood it then as expressing a presumption that there is a finite amount of resources to go around and so everything I get takes from someone else. It expresses a bias in perception towards “what there is not” or “what is lacking” and away from “what there is.”
Poverty consciousness leads us to hold tight to what we have, in fear that there will be no more. It can lead people to stay in jobs or relationships that no longer serve them, or to collect things that have no meaning or value for them because they fear that nothing will fill the space left by the absence of those things. And it leads to a focus on external reasons for staying stuck, such as, “There’s no point marketing my practice because there aren’t any clients who have money to pay for therapy.”
And for many people, this perspective of the world is their reality. Read more
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.”
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
The Sky is Falling In!!
When setting up a practice for the first time, or when taking some big step in your practice that asks you to move out of your familiar zone and into something different, it is natural that strong feelings can arise.
The self-doubt: Am I going to be or do enough?
The overwhelm: Is this going to be too much for me?
The uncertainty: Will I be okay?
When this happens to me, I’m reminded of the story of Chicken Little, who ran around telling his friends that the sky was falling in. And that’s very much how it can feel, that something catastrophic is going to happen and we’re going to die, or that we’ll be rejected, or judged, or that what we’re going to do will fail. Most of the time, of course, we’re not going to die, even though it feels like that, and most of what we imagine is going to happen (usually bad) will not come to pass at all. Read more