There’s no i in team

There’s no i in team . . . .

On Monday I asked if now is a good time to start in private practice, and suggested that the vague guidance of ‘sufficient experience’ could be firmed up by considering 4 elements.

Yesterday I talked about Element 1, our personal therapy. And I suggested that to be ready for private practice, 100 hours of personal therapy is a good foundation.

Today I’m going to talk about elements 2 and 3 – bonus time – I want to get all 4 covered so that Friday will be about therapists currently in Private Practice and who are wondering what to do.

And there’s no i in team was a very annoying observation made by a colleague a long, long time ago which popped into my head this morning.

My apologies if it annoys you too.

Element 2 is Supervision, supervision, supervision!!!

I can never have enough supervision, group peer and one to one. I so wish I had more time and more money, and I would have perpetual Supervision – which I wouldn’t because too much is as potential a problem as too little.

When I trained as a Counsellor it was from a background of work in big business and I’d had experience of good – and not so good – managers. And their behaviour completely influenced how I thrived in my job.

Moving into counselling, I assumed – I know, I know – never assume – that Supervision was the same as management.

And I was blown away by my experience of Supervision – being gently challenged and supported and encouraged – well, just an awesome process.

I quickly saw here was a space where Unconditional Positive Regard was modelled in buckets (if you can have buckets of UPR) which informed the safety and effectiveness of my client work, and my growth as a counsellor.

Supervision is a cost and it’s one that we need to invest in when we start in Private Practice.

I think at the beginning of our career, we need one to one supervision at a higher ratio, I do see colleagues who choose peer supervision only and I worry about this.

I wonder if a peer supervision option is driven by cost, it’s very expensive to train and I wonder if colleagues have peer supervision to save money, and I think it’s a false saving – colleagues can invest in themselves with good one to one supervision and I use invest deliberately.

The key thing that keeps us and our clients safe is Supervision – it needs to be robust, independent and frequent.

It could be we need to change or get another Supervisor when we start in Private Practice – I think it is important that our Supervisor is experienced in PP as there are tensions between the business of therapy and therapeutic work that can be lessened with support from experienced Supervisor.

Talking of support,

Element 3 – who’s in your therapy team?

As counsellors in Private Practice we will work alone in the therapy room – and in our PP, who else do we have alongside?

Friends, family, professional support. . . . . . . . .

We seem to expect ourselves to just be able to do private practice– if we’ve had a similar business – great. And the rest of us seem to think we should know how to do it . . . .

I see myself in this – I had so many blindspots with my business and yet I was a business advisor.

I think it’s important to have as a mentor someone further along the road than me. I always have a coach or mentor.

From my realisation when starting my business that some Business Start-Up training might be useful (it was brilliant) and hooking up with my mentor. Through specialist support – Selling with Heart or FaceBook Ads – I have people in my team. Some more or less permanent, others for specific tasks. Liz, the Listening Accountant, is one of the permanent ones.

Once we are clinically ready, have completed our training, then it’s about learning/being in business.

To be in business we need to invest a balance of time and effort and money. We can invest in others to help us – or spend time learning ourselves.

When I began, I had time (ish) and no money, and I found the information and support I needed – eventually. I was often exhausted and confused and frustrated.

If you’re ready to start your private practice who is in your team?

To get hold of the checklist, pop your details here:

And I’ll talk some more about support in the Live at 3:00pm


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