You are a counselor and you want to go into private practice yet you are scared
and wonder whether or not you can do it? You don’t even know where to start? Well you are in
good company for most of us counsellors were never trained about business in our counselling
programs. Our training focus on healing activities often leaves us unbalanced in our knowledge
and handicapped in the real world of business.
I was 33 years old when I decided to go into private practice, single with no children and one cat. I
was a seasoned counsellor by then. I was very experienced in agencies. I had 5 years of work experience
in non-profits as well as in mental health agencies, all of which had been counselling. Throughout my
9 years of University studying counselling and learning counselling skills, I had wonderful field
placements in shelters for battered women, rape crisis centers, family planning centers, hospitals,
and family counseling agencies. I had been privileged to do my own counselling work for 15 years
with a fabulous woman the place where I think I learned the most about the process of healing. I
worked with outstanding mentors and supervisors who gladly shared their wisdom.
Yet despite all of my formal education, field experience and personal process work, I was scared when
I faced going into private practice. I felt vulnerable without the cloak of an agency. I was scared
that I would make a mistake. I was filled with questions…Where do I practice? How much do I charge?
I felt ‘funny” accepting money at first since I was so used to providing the counselling in an agency
context for free. The first time I signed a lease to rent a space for my very own office I thought
I’d pass out! What a huge financial responsibility?! What if I fail? What if I can’t pay my rent?
My movement into private practice was guided by my mentor Dr. Marie Jose Dhaese, who initially assisted
me to make it real by connecting me with a colleague who had an office to share, referring people to
me and guiding my first fledgling steps. There were no tools to help me at that time. There were no
courses in any of my training to prepare me.
My point? Beginning a private practice can be scary as well as exciting. This course is an accumulation
of my learning designed to guide and support you through the process of setting up a private practice
as a counsellor. If you already have a private practice, this course will give you ideas about how to
connect with clients, how to enhance and amplify what you are doing. It addresses the questions you
have and gives you information to answer the questions that you don’t even know to ask.
My goal as a mentor has always been to support those I teach, supervise and consult with to the point
where they far exceed any success that I have been able to achieve for myself. This is why I wrote
this course, so that you may have easy access to information that took me decades to discover because
I had to learn through experience. I am hopeful that this course can help you learn through my
accumulated decades of experience in private practice and therefore greatly accelerate your journey