My EFT therapist said to me a few months ago, there’s nothing like running your own business to help you with your personal development. And I think this is so true. There’s something about relying on ourselves to earn our own income that really can be terrifying. And one of the things that we learn is how to keep moving forward despite the terror. So one of the things we really need to do when we’re running our private practices is to actually think quite carefully about our beliefs and what our beliefs are telling us about our capacity and our capability.

And this is what the following episode is all about. I hope it encourages you. So here we are. What can stop us? It’s often we think it’s because we don’t know what to say, We don’t know how to say it.

But I think actually what can really stop us is what’s going on inside us. And that it’s not actually about the skill of marketing. It’s about the confidence to do it. It’s about being able to reach out to people because there’s always that possibility when we’re putting ourselves out there that we might be rejected. And inside us, there’s all the we can think of all the reasons why people might not like what we’ve got to say, and it makes it really scary to actually reach out to people.

So what I wanted to talk about today was some of those things that come up for us and really how to overcome them. So I hope you’ll find this useful and I’m just going to run through some points that I’ve got. So let’s have a think about what is holding you back from getting clients. And I think part of it is that you really worry that you’re not good enough. So let’s have a look at that and how you can counteract those feelings of not being good enough.

So first off, let’s acknowledge how much training you’ve already done, how much time you’ve already spent with clients, and anybody who’s setting up in private practice as an ethical practitioner will have already spent at least 100 hours in front of clients, listening to clients, working with clients, reflecting on their client work. You have a lot of practice. You’ve done a lot of training and that’s there to equip you to work with people. And, you know, for many of you, you have many, many, many more hours than that 100 hours. You really have a depth of experience.

And what you have to remember is that that training gives you knowledge and such expertise that everyday people don’t have and don’t get and don’t understand. The fact that you’ve reflected on your own life, worked things out, been willing to face things, had to take difficult decisions, you’ve already been walking a path of understanding that can really be of benefit to your clients. And that’s there. It isn’t something extra that you’ve got to go out and get. You’ve already got it.

So recognize that expertise that you’ve got. Now, Brené Brown says that the first hurdle to overcome is to think that you’re good enough. And then what happens is you get a second objection, which is who do you think you are? So it can be, you know, who do you think you are to call yourself somebody who’s an experienced counsellor? Who do you think you are to charge for your services?

Who do you think you are to set yourself up in private practice? And what I’d really like us all to acknowledge is these impostor syndrome feelings are perfectly normal, and Brené Brown wouldn’t talk about them if most of us didn’t actually experience them. So think about that. Think about the fact that something like 70% of people actually experience impostor syndrome. But when you’re doing something new, that can make it much worse.

It is normal to have doubts. If you didn’t have doubts, if you were super confident, I think that might be a bit of arrogance. So, you know, if you have doubts, acknowledge that this is normal. It is normal to have doubts, but you don’t need to let those doubts stop you. And they’re uncomfortable, but you’re used to sitting with uncomfortable feelings.

So allow that to be there, but also acknowledge that they don’t have to stop you. And let’s move on to the, who do you think you are to think about charging for your services, but you, what you have to remember, try and think about what it’s been like for you to be helped by someone. And most of you who are wanting to be therapists in private practice have usually experienced therapy yourself. So I’d really like you to think about the benefit of that therapy and how it’s helped you because that’s what you’re offering your clients. That’s what you’re gonna be offering your clients.

So your service is really valuable to clients. And then you might think about fees and charging and how can you possibly charge these fees that you’re thinking of charging? And how dare you charge them? Why aren’t you providing this for free? You should provide it for free.

These are all the sort of money mindset hurdles that can come up for us. And I’ve got a whole training on this within the Therapy Growth Group. The thing about your fees is that having a viable private practice where the fees are set at a level that supports you means your practice can grow and means that it’s sustainable in the long term. So, actually, it’s really important for you to charge a reasonable fee. It pays you, and why shouldn’t you be paid?

You’ve got all this expertise. You’ve got all this training. You’ve got all this knowledge. So you deserve to be paid. No ifs or buts about it.

You deserve to be paid. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are. Let’s face it. Counselling training is one of the most demanding trainings that you can go through. It turns you inside out.

You go through all this stuff that you go through reflecting, doing process groups, growing, developing. You deserve to be paid. And as someone says, you know, you’re not getting paid for the hour, you’re getting paid for the years. And you have done years, and that’s what you’re getting paid for. Now another thing that can get in the way is we think that people won’t be able to afford our prices, and we think there aren’t enough people around to afford our prices.

And we think that everyone else is better than us. So other people’s clients will go to other people. And that’s really a scarcity mindset. It’s thinking that there’s not enough to go around. And I think as therapists, many of us can actually be in this place where we have a scarcity mindset because many of us have suffered and have grown up in an atmosphere of fear.

And scarcity, essentially, is about fear. It’s about pessimism. It’s about not believing that there’s enough available for you. And we have to, in a sense, attend to those thoughts and notice them and challenge them. Because the amazing thing is when you start having more of an abundance mindset, when you actually think there’s going to be out there, it makes you look for those opportunities.

And then you find them because there are lots and lots of opportunities out there. And you just do things often at the right time or you bump into someone and you’re not too shy about talking about something because you have a sort of I’m okay, you’re okay type type attitude. So having this abundance mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset can really help you. And, again, this is something that we talk about in therapy growth group. And finally, what I’d really like you to take away today is, you know, one of the things that we tend to think about.

So we feel really uncomfortable about selling ourselves. Even saying selling ourselves, it sort of sounds rather seedy, doesn’t it? And people who have done marketing tell me that it’s much harder to actually sell your services as a counsellor than it is to do other forms of marketing because, you know, we’re very vulnerable. We’re making ourselves very vulnerable when we put ourselves out there. You know, we’re sort of saying, here I am, I am good enough.

And then it can feel really vulnerable if people don’t come forward. And, you know, we think that selling is sort of like a dirty word. It’s often seen as a dirty word, you know, sales, advertising, you know, it’s sort of seen as something that’s a bit shady or seedy. And, you know, we’re ethical practitioners. We don’t want to persuade people to work with us.

We want people to choose to work with us. And so I think it’s really important to have a reframe. And the reframe is about seeing what marketing is about. Marketing is not this sleazy selling. It’s actually allowing the client to have a choice.

Because clients need to know about you so that they can work out whether the counselling is the right thing for them and whether you’re the right counsellor for them too. And unless you tell them about yourself, how are they gonna make that decision? How are they gonna know that this possibility exists that you could work with them? And you’ve got your own unique skills and talents, your own life experience. No one else has got your talents, your skills, and your life experience in the mix that you’ve got them.

And that mix might be just what someone else is looking for. So if you keep quiet and you hide away, you’re actually preventing people from finding out about you. And that’s why it’s really good to see marketing as a service rather than selling. You’re actually helping people to find you. So if you can tell yourself that and look back over what I’ve talked about now, I think you might find it really helpful to sort of think about those different points to recognise that you’ve got a lot of training and expertise that you’ve built up over the years and that that is valuable to clients.

And it means that you can charge your worth. Remember about marketing as a service, and that there are plenty of people out there, and if you’re willing to look, you’ll be able to find them. So now you’ve listened to this episode, I’d love for you to take a moment and just to pause and think to yourself, what are my assumptions about my capacity and capability? How can I reframe some of the things that I’ve believed? How could I look at them differently?

And you may like to even go away and journal on this, and perhaps even take it to supervision. And I’ve got a whole lot of resources to support you in my Therapy Growth Group, and it’s something that we talk about every month because we have what we call a connections call, where we are able to share in small groups some of the things that are coming up for us, some of the things that are getting in the way, and share possible ways to get around those thoughts. Thanks for listening. Do come and join my Facebook community, Good Enough Counsellors. And for more information about how I can help you develop your private practice, please visit my website,

If you found this episode helpful, I’d love it if you could share it with a fellow therapist or leave a review on your podcast app. And in closing, I’d love to remind you that every single step you make gets you closer to your dream. I really believe you can do it.