Private Practice: Feeling Overwhelmed?
When you’re starting or growing your private practice, there are so many things to consider. Your mind can be whirling with things like writing websites, counselling profiles, contracts and privacy policies – to say nothing of wondering when you’ll get more clients through the door.
It’s very easy to quickly become overwhelmed and begin to think you’ll never manage to make a success of it.
But the road you’re walking is one that many private practitioners have experienced. You are not alone if you’re doubting whether you can do it. You may like to read the thoughts of members of the Therapy Growth Group as they reflected on what was helpful for their private practice growth.
Let Go of Private Practice Perfectionism
One of the things that can leave you feeling stuck when growing your private practice is the need to get it all in place and perfect before you start.
Or once you have started, you can look at what others are doing, compare yourself, and feel bad because you don’t think you’re at the same stage or doing as well.
Remember one of the best ways to learn is through practice. If you never get started you won’t be able to improve. Although it’s scary, remember that everyone has to start somewhere – including the people to whom you’re comparing yourself.
Ask yourself what is the “minimum” you need to do?
For example, if you’re starting a website, one page with a brief description of your service, something about you and (importantly) how to contact you is enough. Once you’ve created and published that, you can build on it in the future.
People in the Therapy Growth Group said it was helpful to:
“Recognise what I have achieved, rather than discounting it”
“Take note of all the things I have done”
“Remember that ‘OK for now’ is good enough”
Don’t criticise yourself for what you haven’t done. Celebrate how far you have already come. It will help you feel better and give you energy and confidence to move forward.
And if you’re looking to start private practice, download my free checklist to help you get set up.
Pace Yourself and Be Realistic
One of the members of the group said they learned:
“it’s not a race, go at my own pace”
When you’re growing your private practice, you may have a list of things you’d like to do. But learning about the type of clients you’ll attract, what works in terms of your advertising and how to do things like set up a website all take time. You can’t possibly do it all at once.
Focusing on one thing at a time rather than trying to multitask (which inevitably leaves you drained and in danger of burnout) is key. People learned that if they expected too much of themselves, they’d beat themselves up for “failing”.
They learned to consolidate what they’d already done – before moving on to the next thing. They still achieved their goal, although it took longer than they anticipated.
You’re doing something new. How can you be expected to know how long it will take? Beating yourself up about your progress just slows you down.
So give yourself permission to go at your own pace and be kind to yourself.
Ask for Help
So many of us have a “Be strong” or “Be perfect” driver. These often get in the way of asking for help and we can be frightened of rejection.
However, people in the group acknowledged that self-care and self-compassion meant reaching out to people and asking for support.
Despite the early messages we may have received, there is no need to feel shame for asking. It’s not a failure. We don’t have to do everything ourselves.
The Therapy Growth Group provides a supportive atmosphere where you can ask questions of other therapists who are just where you are now – trying to make a difference to people’s lives while growing a business. You are not alone. See details below.
The Therapy Growth Group supports therapists as they take steps to build their private practice.
It’s full of people who get what it is like to be working in your own business and taking brave steps into creating a new future. There are regular coaching, networking and peer supervision calls to support you as you grow your practice, all supported by Josephine