Tag: therapy supervision

Minding Your Business of Therapy

Over the last week, I’ve been making suggestions about how you might use the Therapy Practice Business Assessment as the basis for making some changes to your therapy or counselling practice in 2016. So far, we’ve looked at three areas: Knowing Your Practice, Growing Your Practice and Valuing Your Practice. (You can read the blog posts in which I made suggestions in those areas by clicking on the links.)

Today we’re going to look at the fourth pillar of a successful practice, Minding Your Practice.

When they hear that phrase, most people think first about the practical steps of insurance and safety, and these are Therapy_1indeed important. Another important area in minding your practice is self-care, and one that is often overlooked is provision for the future. What steps could you take in 2016 to mind your therapy practice, to make it more robust, and to help create a buffer against the vagaries of life? Here are some ideas…

Hang on, you haven’t read the ideas yet!

The Challenges of Working In A Rural Practice

One of the questions that comes up for counsellors and therapists is where to base their practice, and one of the options is to live and work in the countryside rather than the town or city.

IMG_1587Being one of few or perhaps the only practitioner in a rural area has its advantages, mainly that there isn’t much in the way of competition, as doctors or other referrers will have just a small handful of choices when it comes to referring clients. Often, the location can enhance the environment in which the work takes place, especially when it is in a scenic area.

However, rural practice also comes with its challenges. Top of the list might be the thin spread of population. Potential clients may have some distance to travel. While this might be an advantage on a bright summer’s evening, when the scenery makes the drive a beautiful transitional space, and a pleasure to experience, it may not be so in the dark winter months when adverse weather conditions make the going tough.
Read on

The Value of Peer Support

It can be a lonely enough profession, this business of therapy, can’t it? Where friends who work for banks, or semi state organisations, or the corner shop can moan and groan about their work, we can’t reciprocate can we? And even if we did, there’s that sense that nobody except another therapist really gets it, so they probably would have no idea what we’re talking about, even if we told them!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAFor many of us, there are few opportunities to interact with colleagues unless we make a point of doing so, but it seems to me that that interaction is hugely important.

More to come here

Cancellations

A reader asked me how he could engage with people who regularly cancel their sessions.

stop handCancellations can be a pain in the neck. You need your income and also want to work in a satisfactory way with clients. Cancellations can interrupt both. I won’t go into all the issues that could be giving rise to the client cancelling. Sometimes the cancellation is a sign of an underlying issue that can be explored between you, but bear in mind that it may not always be an avoidance or a sign of lack of commitment. It is possible that it is genuinely not a good time for the client to do the work, because of other issues that are going on in their life. Perhaps, it might be as well to acknowledge this, and give the client the option of re-engaging when the time suits better. Read more

The Value of a Good Supervisor

Photo no (1)Supervisors matter. In fact, a fledgling therapist can be taken to an unimaginable level based solely on the supervisor they have. Supervisors serve many roles for the practicing therapist:

  1. They see the big picture. I can only see what I am doing from my own limited perspective. I’m too close to the action I’m involved in, to the nitty-gritty of the engagement with the client. As I talk about my work, and my supervisor reflects back what he’s seeing and hearing, and the impact it has on him, I get a different perspective, which allows me to sort the significant from the irrelevant.
  2. They have the wisdom of experience. The average supervisor has lived through many more therapy sessions than the average therapist, and they’ve seen things that some novices have never seen or dreamt of. They bring that experience to the supervision
  3. They are invested in the relationship with the therapist, but also hold the client’s best interest too. Just as kids can’t see past the end of the school year, sometimes I can’t see beyond the current situation or dilemma. The supervisor holds the truth there is always more.
  4. They inspire. Because they care deeply about their supervisees, and their development, they are able to connect with the therapist in a way outsiders cannot. I can remember a live supervision session at a workshop in which the supervisor said at the beginning of the session, “I’m here to support you.” She meant it. I’d never really understood that before, and I felt both challenged and overwhelmed by it.
  5. They keep you honest. No one WANTS to be vulnerable, to admit their mistakes, to hear that there’s another more obvious interpretation of what’s happening with the client, but the supervisor knows that these unsavory experiences are what’s needed for me and for my client.

Just as you’ve never seen a winning football team without a coach, you’d be hard-pressed to find a successful therapist without a good supervisor. The best supervisors get personal satisfaction in helping you be the best therapist you can be, so choose wisely.

Therapists go to supervision to talk about their work with clients, however, we cannot completely separate our work from what’s happening in our lives. Some supervisors will also work with the therapist’s process. And some will work with the business aspects of running a practice.

Decide what you want from your supervision, and not just what you need to do to fulfill the requirements for accreditation. Think hard about the balance between support and challenge. Ask around for recommendations; the best candidates come from word of mouth referrals. Go meet a few supervisors before you make your choice. It’s an important relationship, and you deserve to get someone that’s a really good fit for you where you are right now.

If I can help you with any aspect of your practice, please contact me to make an appointment. I offer a free 20 minute consultation.

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