Shame in Private Practice?
Before someone can officially be accepted into our Business School Bootcamp for Therapists, we have to interview them. And, they have to interview us. It is really important to us that people only sign-up if this is the right program for them, and they are someone who we will enjoy working with.
I ask several questions- but one of the most important questions I ask is: If we were to fast-forward to the end of the bootcamp, and you got the perfect outcome- what would it be? (Nothing like sneaking the miracle question into a program for therapists!)
Now, I expected therapists would tell me things like:
"I would have more full-fee clients."
"I will have a great business plan for my private practice."
"I will know how to get the phone ringing."
"I will finally understand how websites work."
And while yes, sometimes people would say these statements- it often was NOT the overarching goal or hope. What they verbalized again and again was that they wanted to feel confident. They wanted to feel connected. They wanted to feel sure of the next steps in their private practice. They wanted to feel validated that they had taken the right step in opening a private practice.
The first time someone said I nodded. It made sense. The second time I heard it... and then the third... and I just kept hearing it.... From therapists who were starting a new private practice, from therapists marketing established private practices, from therapists with no clients, from therapists with tons of clients...
Therapists want to feel confident in private practice.
In so many areas, we get feedback, supervision, consultation- but business building isn't one of them. And the truth is, the business issues of private practice are so tied into clinical effectiveness. Think about it, in the most core way, if our private practice marketing isn't set-up properly- we can't see clients- because we won't have any!
If you have tons of clients, but they aren't paying you well- you also won't be able to keep your doors open.
Shame in Private Practice
Unfortunately, it isn't just that therapists often lack confidence in how to apply business knowledge in a private practice. Therapists can also begin to internalize that the lack of flow or success in their private practice is a reflection of their value as a human! We put so much work, effort, and intensity into being great at our craft. When things aren't flowing in our private practice- it can lead to feeling less than, bad, or even ashamed.
Ditch the Private Practice Shame
Here is the truth, many therapists feel just like you do. You are normal. It is ok. Notice it, and come up with a plan to move away from feeling not good enough, confused, lost, or even ashamed. Learn what you need to learn. Get the support you need to lean on. Learn the skills you need to enjoy running a private practice!
Confidence is something that happens as you grow, learn, and get support. The lack of confidence that you feel today is simply a signal that something needs to shift or change. It is NOT a reflection on you as a human, or on you as a therapist!