Tag: private practice

It’s The Eurovision…Again!

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.”

Changing channels.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

EFT Video- Calming the Panic Around Change

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.

There’s the anxiety: What is going to happen?chicken

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

Facebook: a good servant or a bad master?

To Facebook or Not to Facebook?
I was at a family function recently at which an argument was raging about Facebook. The pro-camp was strongly in favour, citing the benefits of keeping in touch with family and friends, and being able to share photos and cute and inspirational sayings. The anti-camp were pushing hard, pointing to undesirable posts, such as videos of ISIS going viral and youngsters being exposed to unsuitable material before they were mature enough to handle it.

fireI found myself wondering if the same arguments raged in the aftermath of the discovery of fire. The pro-camp would be extolling the advantages of heating and cooking, the anti-camp talking about the dangers of burning yourself or your cave! Or perhaps when the wheel was invented there were heated debates on the virtues of being able to move your things about more easily against the demons of motorway accidents and runaway trains. 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

New Year Slump? Time to Get Your Affairs in Order!

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, such as losing weight or taking a degree course, but not necessarily going to therapy. 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

What Do Therapy and Criminal Law Have in Common?

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!

scales of justiceI 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

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.


Creating Flyers or Brochures

A common way to promote your practice is to have a flyer or brochure which you can leave in places where potential clients can find them, or which you can give to other professionals who might refer clients to you.

Hopefully, whatever you decide on will serve you for a number of years before needing to be revised, so before committing to the costs of designing and printing, it’s worth giving some thought to the following questions:

  1. Who is your target audience? Who is likely to read it? Who do you hope will read it?brochures
  2. What message are you trying to get across? What information do you want to convey? What do you want them to do as a result of reading it?
  3. How are you planning to use it? Where are you going to leave it or distribute it?

Read more

A Sower Went Out to Sow…

The parable goes something like this…”A sower went out to sow his seed..” You probably know it. Some fell on rocky ground, and died. Some was eaten by the birds. Some fell on barren soil. Some fell on fertile soil…and so on.

seedI was reminded of the parable recently when I spoke to a therapist who was starting out in her practice. She was bemoaning how slowly clients were coming to her. As we discussed what she had so far done in the way of promoting herself, it became clear to both of us, that her work, while fruitful in some respects, could have been more focussed.

She was spreading her seed too widely, and not focussing enough on the fertile soil.

Fertile soil in this context means where clients are likely to come from. In short, some activities work better than others. Read more

Why Did the Therapist Cross the Road?

Some time ago there was a post doing the rounds on Facebook that read “I look forward to a time when a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned.”chicken

Some months ago, a long term client left unexpectedly. I was shocked and saddened. We had had a good relationship (I thought.) Despite asking the client for their reasons, and being told them, I had a nagging feeling that something didn’t add up. I puzzled and wondered about it, and talked to my supervisor, ultimately coming to a place of reluctant resignation. I put it out of my mind and moved on, but not before constructing several stories about why it had occurred, what I’d done wrong, what I could have done or said differently and so on. It happens. It may have happened to you. Read more