I have been working in mental health for about 12 years. I listen to clients in crisis for many hours a day, providing support, empathy, interpretation and direction. As therapists, we can easily lose track of our own issues, ignore our own problems, and at times have difficulty shutting off the therapeutic processing.
In order to be a good therapist, it is necessary to take care of ourselves — our clients depend on it. Just because we know everything there is to know about stress management doesn’t mean that we are immune from becoming mentally exhausted. If you are feeling detached or apathetic toward your clients, yourself, or your relationships you could be experiencing emotional fatigue.
As therapists, especially those of us who have been practicing for a few years, it’s easy to get into a rut and become less creative than we were as eager, bright-eyed interns. Feeling the need to be more creative in the therapy hour inspired me to reach out to other therapists for ideas and inspiration and start this series about practicing outside of the box.
Because I managed to kill every plant I have ever owned (I have a “black thumb”) and because I have always fantasized about living in New York City, I was intrigued by psychotherapist Janet Zinn, LCSW’s use of “outside the box” strategies to help her clients. Janet found that incorporating nature in the form of a garden in the middle of a New York City practice was a welcome and healing environment for her clients.
Guest post by Liz Lockard, a self-confessed Google Analytics geek who loves helping small businesses get more out of their marketing data.
If you don’t already have it installed, go do that first (check out my mini Google Analytics setup tutorial for that).
Sure Google Analytics can tell me about my website, you say, but what can it tell me about my practice?
You may be surprised to learn that “moderation in all things” applies to moods, too. June Gruber, a professor of psychology at Yale University compares happiness to food. We need it, but too much of it can actually cause problems. While happiness is associated with many positives like a stronger immune response, longer life, and ability to endure painful experiences, it also has a “darker side”.
With a business license, professional license, and big dreams, I opened a private practice ten years ago. Having never taken a business, marketing, or management course, I have learned “on the job” how to be a small business owner. Hopefully, you can learn from what I accidentally did right and intentionally apply them as you build your private practice.
Today marks the 10 years since of the founding of my private practice Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC. I started out as a solo practitioner with big dreams of creating an exceptional therapy clinic that not only provides excellent clinical services, but also provides therapists the opportunity to create their “dream practice” in a nurturing work environment that supports personal growth and strong family relationships.
As I take a step back and reflect on this ten year journey, many tender emotions surface. I am grateful for willing clients who have allowed me to walk with them during life crises and transitions. I am touched by the generosity of the professional relationships that I’ve cultivated during this period of time. I am amazed at the personal and professional growth that I’ve experienced. I’ve learned invaluable lessons about leadership, boundaries, and business. I’ve developed skills in marketing, supervising, web design, social media, mentoring, public relations, human resources, interior decorating, negotiating contracts, consulting…
When I first dreamed of being a therapist, my vision was about helping people, making a difference and feeling good about contributing to the well-being of others.
After 10 years as a therapist, I’ve become acutely aware of the reality of running a business by myself. While I still enjoy the reward of doing all those good things I mentioned, I’m also realistic about what it takes to run a private practice. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that to be a successful therapist in private practice today, you need to be a solopreneur.
I’ve recently blogged about the pros and cons of group practice. Watch next week for more on running a solo practice. Until then, I’m curious how many of you practice in a group practice setting versus a solo practice. Take this poll and please pass it along to colleagues.
In this guest blog Ashley Eder, LPC offers part 2 of “Creating Your Perfect Work Week.” Ashley is a counselor and supervisor who believes we each have the potential to create a more satisfying life. Located in Boulder, CO, she works with clients and therapists through curiosity, self-awareness, and acceptance in order to create lasting change.
In Part I of Creating Your Perfect Work Week, I prompted you to evaluate how well your practice is performing as a non-monetary form of compensation. As a reminder, here are the questions for you to ask yourself to get an idea of how rewarding your private practice work week is for you now:
If you followed through with this exercise, you know that it really is possible to answer “yes” to all of those questions; you are ready to experiment with adding Satisfaction Builders into your week and you have a pretty good idea of where they may need to go.
Below are a handful of suggestions for ways you can re-design your practice to work better for you. Remember, the ideal practice is different for everyone! Use these ideas to get you started, then listen for your own voice to guide you in getting it just right.
Are you unsure about how much to charge for psychotherapy in private practice? I’ve blogged recently about signs it’s time to raise your fees and how to talk to your clients about raising your fees, but what about setting your fees in the first place?
One thing to consider in setting your psychotherapy rates is what other therapists with equal experience and training are charging. While average fees vary greatly depending on your location, your degree, level of experience, and many other factors, I thought it would be fun to poll who read this blog so you can see where you fall on the continuum to give you a general sense of what other therapists are charging.