Sh*t Therapists Say To Avoid Getting Sh*t Done: Part 2

I LOVE helping people make breakthroughs... I truly do... but I'm going to be honest- I have kept myself SUPER stuck more than once in my life. So today, I thought it would be fun to be a little silly and fun and call out what we say that keeps us stuck from moving forward based off some (not all) of the themes we covered in Part 1) 

Therapists Just Aren't Good At... 

I've heard it all before.. math, money, business, planning, writing, speaking, boundary setting... (that last one always cracks me up! We pride ourselves as therapists on having excellent boundaries... when it comes to emotions and relationships... but when it comes to scheduling, money, and business practices our boundaries go out the window!) 

Hear this today: You are not good at things that you don't develop. You've spent lots of time developing certain skills and look at how well you do! Now, it might just be time to flex some new muscles! I haven't met a therapist yet that can't develop more comfort in these areas, do it themselves, and/or develop a great plan for outsourcing! 

Mercury is in retrograde

Are there not just days where EVERYTHING that can go wrong- does?! It is so incredibly frustrating! I have to admit- I think it is a little creepy how many tech things break while mercury is in retrograde... but that doesn't mean we are powerless! It doesn't mean we can't re-assess and re-adjust and get our needs met! 

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is step away and come back to it later. However, you need a plan to come back to it! Or, you need to make an adjustment and allow yourself to make progress in an area of your work that does NOT require any technology! So put a time into the calendar, or take a breath and find a workaround that doesn't require technology. 

People are going to ______ if I _________

We teach our clients to be aware of the impact we have on others, and the impact they have on us. But ultimately, we can't make everybody in the world happy. No matter what we do, or how we do it- some people are going to be unhappy and not get their needs met. In fact, even doing NOTHING can lead others to being unhappy with you! 

Ultimately, realize that people need you and what you provide in the world. Tap into your best self, and the best vision for your life and move towards those things with the best of intentions. Be aware and caring towards others, but trust yourself that you are going to your best, you don't have to be perfect, and ultimately you are meant to do more than hide out because you are scared of the "what ifs!" Fun fact: Did you know that Brené Brown describes having a "vulnerability hangover" and wanting to find and destroy the recording of her know famous and world changing TedTalk? 

_____________ is unethical/illegal 

I started a free online study group for licensing exams back in 2005. One of the most frustrating things for test takers is often identifying the difference between what issues are a matter of law, what is a matter of ethics, etc. And in the moment, I remember it feeling like it really didn't matter to delineate. 

Understanding how to find out what is legal or illegal, and what is ethical or unethical in our profession is an extremely valuable skill! The truth is, laws and ethical codes change over time and often have to adjust to the changing times. Also, there are ethical codes, but then there are the interpretations of those codes- and the laws that may or may not conflict with those codes. I have declined joining certain professional organizations because after reading their ethical codes I felt that it went against some legal requirements of my licensure. 

Just because a lot of people do or do not do something doesn't mean it is or is not ethical. I have heard some doosies out there in regards to marketing, providing clinical services, etc. Before you allow someone to convince you that blogging, giving a presentation, or not offering a sliding scale to every client is unethical- you need to read over your ethical codes and check the laws that apply to your licensure. Get clear about what the truth is- and don't let others opinions of what they feel comfortable with lead down a path to a unsustainable business model. 

I don't have time to... 

We are all busy. There are a lot of things to pull our time and our focus. However, are you being intention to spend your time on the things that matter most? Not just in your business, but in your relationships, with your health? There are a lot of things you don't "have time not to do them." One of the most powerful modules that therapists experience in our Business School Bootcamp for Therapists is the time management. 

We hear over and over again that therapists realize that they've been spending their time in ways that actually creates more work. Setting a solid foundation for your business and your life can actually create MORE freedom and time- not less. Spending an hour thinking about how much you don't want to do a 15 minute task is NO fun... and not a great use of time! 

I Don't Need to Make a Good Income Right Now... 

One of the saddest themes I have seen is therapists discounting their need to make a livable wage while running a psychotherapy practice. Whether they are just starting out, have a spouse who is the primary wage earner, etc. they decide to run a for-profit business with a non-profit mentality. Unfortunately, it almost always ends up in frustration, burn out, regret, etc. 

Also, we have worked with many therapists who had a LOT of clean up and shifts that needed to be made when their spouse was let go, or died. They had to suddenly become the primary income earner and were unprepared. If you are running a private practice- it is ok to treat it like a business even if you don't technically "need" the income. You can give back to your community monetarily, put money away for retirement or what-ifs, you can have more pro-bono or sliding scale slots available. But seriously... don't completely check out from this being a business. 

Nobody Cares What This Therapist Has to Say

You are here for a reason! You have a purpose. Every single therapist on this planet has a unique calling, skill set, and passion that could change this world for the better. You can choose to disagree with me. That is fine... but I truly believe that. 

Think about your own experiences in therapy. How life changing it was. How your therapist would sometimes say something or respond to something in a way that was life changing for you... how that simple act made a huge shift for you. You matter. People care. People need you. Seriously. 

If I really cared about my clients I would never (always)...

I know you care about your clients! You know you care about your clients. The decisions you have to make to have a sustainable business allow you to do great work and be there for the long haul. Sometimes the decisions you need to make are not what works for your colleagues. That is ok. Sometimes the decisions you need to make don't work for every caller, or even for every client you are currently seeing. That is ok. Give yourself permission to look at the big picture and create a life, practice, business, and clinical direction that best serves you and the clients that you can serve. 

The truth is, there are very few absolutes (there are definitely some- don't get me wrong!) A lot of the rest of the "stuff" that is really getting in the way of you running a happy, streamlined, and impactful private practice that is in "the flow" is stuff that is based on a bunch of funkiness! 

So this is where the rubber meets the road? Which of these did you really need to hear today? Write down a new affirmation or statement to help you shift your thinking and get more effective in 2017! 

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!