Specializing in vocational rehabilitation and work/life issues, Australian social worker Dawn Vincent has been in the mental health field for 25 years. Like many therapists, she considered opening a private practice, but says she lacked the confidence to actually do it.
Read how one private practice course helped her muster up the courage to open her private practice in Camberwell, Victoria, Australia where she helps clients work toward mental health and well-being and navigate changes and choices in life and in work.
Why did you decide to open a private practice?
I had thought about it for about 10 years, but lacked the confidence to go ahead. After spending over 20 years in vocational rehabilitation I decided to take my long service leave and think about my options. After an overseas trip I came home and enrolled in an Introduction to Private Practice course run by the Australian Association of Social Workers. At that time there were only a small number of Social Workers in private practice and it was still somewhat controversial here in Australia.
The profession has a very strong welfare orientation where most Social Workers are employed by the Commonwealth or State governments or work in hospitals and community based settings. Having worked for a large government bureaucracy myself, I liked the idea of the independence and autonomy private practice seemed to offer. I had been a bit of a workaholic and I wanted to move to a better work/life balance and be able to work my own hours. The course helped me to decide that private practice was what I wanted and I committed to this goal.