What’s the biggest barrier to our success in business . . . .us!

I started on Monday talking about why now is a good time to start in therapy private practice and, once qualified, what else we need to be ready – the 4 elements. Tuesday was Personal Therapy requirements – I think at least 100 hours, and yesterday I talked about the importance of having a Therapy Team as our back-up – Supervision (one to one), Coaching or Mentoring and business admin support – for example accountant.

Today I want to talk about Money, and why I think – for Therapists – getting and keeping a ‘Money Mindset’ is a big barrier to our success in Private Practice.

Element 4 – Money Mindset

I was working as a Business Advisor whilst completing my Counselling Studies, helping dozens of local business.

The ones that were successful had one thing in common – their clear understanding of their service, and the value of that service to their customers, and their firmness in their belief that they were worth that value.

Simply – they knew what they wanted to do or sell, and they knew what to charge and were comfortable and confident.

After qualifying I knew Counselling was a proven way to help people, potentially, all people. And I wanted to help everyone – sound familiar?

By being so vague in the beginning, I wasn’t focussed and it’s impossible to market vagueness. Attracting clients was a nightmare.

I took some of my own advice, or at least, a colleague gave it to me, and I paused and stepped back.

I needed to get a business mindset, or money mindset to be more specific. I couldn’t (and still can’t) help everybody and I needed to decide what worked for me. What would my business look like.

Which is about having an absolutely clear, written in stone, Purpose for my business, more commercial than clinical and wide ranging.

Being in business on our own is hard work, overlay that with the emotional load of therapy work and it becomes doubly so if not more.

Being clear about my business purpose is the only way I keep going during the challenges. I see that as a form of external accountability – similar to how the therapeutic process works.

The next step was to create my vision, in words and images. We know the power of as-if with clients and it’s the same for us as business owners.

And the third step is about pathways. What route do we need to take, what do we need to do to build solid foundations in the right shape for us and our business, and it might not look like we thought it would.

I know mine doesn’t, being open to free thinking can lead to opportunities we may not have considered.

Front and centre as we build our business we need to consider Money. How much do we need? What is our budget – what do we need to live and more, enjoy life.

We can have a complicated relationship with money which we may have uncovered in our therapy.

We can project that on to clients as well as receiving their own projections.

By considering our money matters first, we get used to them and are more comfortable and around money.

Sometimes the money doesn’t add up to how we visualised our practice and life. Don’t be daunted or disheartened, reach out for business support as there are other ways of getting the income we need. Colleagues are amazingly inventive in creating a blended income stream, keeping themselves safe and supported so they don’t burnout.

It’s a myth as healers that we shouldn’t charge – we should give our talent as part of universal energy exchange . . . . I think the energy balance is formalised through the exchange of money.

We can develop an ethical and compassionate Money Mindset as we build our Business Foundations and we can do this right now.

I’ll be going live this afternoon at 3:00pm to talk some more about the particular challenges for therapists and you can get a pdf of my checklist by popping your details here:

Why now is the right time to start a therapy business

Between reading

‘We’re on the edge of a tsunami of mental illness’ on BBC news

and from the Nursing Standard

‘Covid 19 is “not a mental health crisis” healthcare experts warn’

it can be hard to get any sense of what the reality is.

There is reported increase in anxiety, depression, grief and compulsive behaviours. Which can be examples of mental wellness according to the RCN – normal responses to abnormal events.

The RCN goes on to write that by labelling it a mental health crisis, we might be looking for answers in the wrong place, including medication or professional help, when what’s needed is understanding that these could be signs of our enhanced connection with our situation.

I think the RCN is partly correct – it’s important not to medicalise the healthy body and mind response to frightening situations. However I do believe that professional help, in the form of Counselling and Psychotherapy, is part of the toolkit to help people heal.

When the time is right, and at the right pace for each person.

I believe we are entering a time of unprecedented need for Counselling and Psychotherapy services.

Monday 18th May 2020 is the start of Mental Health Awareness week, when the topic of mental wellbeing will be top of the media agenda.

These media stories got me thinking about how we can best deal with this challenge.

And, being a Counsellor and being passionate about the effectiveness of counselling, surely one part of the solution is more counselling capacity.

Which means that for qualified therapists, now is a good time to start in Private practice . . .  however – therapists need to be ‘ready’.

Starting in Private Practice now, without being ready, could load more anxiety and frustration on to an already tricky time.

How to know if you’re ready? Over the next four days I’m going to share my thoughts on the 4 elements to consider when deciding if you’re ready for Private Practice.

And colleagues in Private Practice currently, who have seen their business decimated might well be reading this with incredulity, having lost clients and income over the last few weeks. On Friday I’ll share my tips on how to review and rejuvenate your existing Therapy Business

Check in tomorrow for the first element.




Notes from the other chair – my one tip for new-to-remote therapists

My thoughts as vulnerable therapist as vulnerable client in an online/remote world.

I’m an experienced and trained ‘remote’ therapist and counselling supervisor. (I use remote to cover video, phone and email/messaging)

I have had Supervision by telephone or video for nearly 10 years.

I have, until last week, always had face to face personal therapy. So for my last session I chose to move to video. And I’m wondering how much of a ‘choice‘ did I think I had?

Well – what an uncomfortable process.

During my training I had sessions with others on the course so what is going here – why does this feel wrong?

Perhaps when I trained, my sessions with colleagues weren’t real to my subconscious? I metaphorically put my fingers in my ears . . .  naa naa naa  . . .  not real so doesn’t count?

My therapist offered me various (too many?) options via email  . . . .  I offered feedback on that, I can tell you. Real ‘Adapted Child’ stuff – my ‘Nurturing Parent’ rejecting me and such like.

I’ve worked with my therapist for more than ten years and I thought I had a deep therapeutic connection, which, combined with my enhanced (😊) self-awareness would mean video counselling would be easy.

It wasn’t easy – I’ve been left wondering and pondering and I know I will deal with this.

And I want to offer this to colleagues who are moving quickly into remote working – please, please consider remote personal therapy too.

For me, my experience of my session is informing my clinical practice as much as my training did.

One thing I’ve been reminded of, that is the so important, is sitting in my clients’ chair – and I have done that now. It is on wheels, has an irritating squeak and faces a less-than tidy shelf.

I have been a bit battered and bruised by the experience, as well as held, heard and acknowledged.

I will be better as a therapist because of it.

If you are new to remote therapy, please may I invite you to sign up for personal therapy remotely with an experienced therapist. So that you have the experience – and learn and reassure yourself you are a good-enough therapist.

Essential Safeguarding Training 6th February – online

This webinar means you can check out your Safeguarding obligations – what we have to do, and why, at a place that suits you.

For UK therapists in private practice, a practical and tailored Safeguarding workshop, where we will look at vulnerability – both under 18s and adults, look at what our responsibilities are and our ethical considerations.

At 7:00pm UK time, click here to find out more and book your spot

Selling goods in the EU after Brexit

If you sell goods – perhaps books or CDs, to Europe, you will need to have an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) that begins with GB. In this video I share how you can get one. And here’s the link to the relevant page:


Exporting goods to EU after 31/10/19 from Alison Moore on Vimeo.