Category Archives: Sheffield Counselling

Counselling private practice – Love what you do.

Reflections on starting my own counselling private practice

My decision to starting my own counselling practice was based on two reasons.  Firstly, I loved being a counsellor and secondly, I really wanted to be independent.  

You simply have to enjoy being self-employed and love counselling.

You also need to be prepared to work at being successful. The reality is that it is more likely that you will not make much money at the beginning of starting your counselling practice or be inundated with clients. There is a lot of counsellors out there and plenty of competition. Every day I see a new counsellor going into counselling private practice. It is no longer difficult for someone seeking help privately to find a counsellor.

The question therefore to ask yourself, ‘why would someone choose YOU instead of another counsellor?’

Be different in your counselling practice.

You need to be different and stand out from the crowd or be doing things in a different way. This is what will make you unique. Reflect on what niche you want to focus on, for example, trauma therapist and think how you can make yourself stand out. If you say you can do all types of counselling, does this make you any different from anyone else?

Do not be afraid of competition.

The sad reality is that many people are suffering from a wide range of mental health issues. This means there is demand for counselling. Networking with other counsellors and embracing the competition is a positive way forward. I recently remember a new potential client ringing me up for a session when I was full and could not take on more clients. Rather than put him on a waiting list, I recommended another counsellor who practices nearby. The client seemed surprised another counsellor would recommend a nearby counsellor. 

However, I see it as business sense. If you remember there is enough for everyone and keep self-belief, then you stop feeling threatened by competition. Recommending someone else, not only helps the potential client out, but it shows kindness. Kindness can go a long way. It is not forgotten. When I started up, various people helped me in different kinds of way, so I am only too happy to help others. What goes around, comes around.

Be patient

It does take time to build up your practice. Once it is built you will get recommendations and people will come to you. Do not expect results overnight. It can take time. Patience is key. I never stopped believing in myself. I know that one day I would have a full client load.

Always remember you are a business

You need to put a business hat on. You have all the essential counselling qualifications and skills. So, what will make you look professional? Some helpful first steps are:

  • Find a venue to hold your counselling. You may choose your home or prefer to rent a room. I’d recommend started renting a room which you can rent ad hoc. This means you have less costs to worry about.
  • Take out liability insurance. Popular companies who provide insurance for counsellors are  Balens and Towergate.
  • Design a counselling contract and privacy statement.
  • Decide where you will advertise and who you want to attract. More information about that later on. You may find it helpful to devise a one year strategy on how your business will grow.

What do you charge?

One of the most common questions asked by people setting up private practice is how much do I charge as a counsellor?  You need to think about covering your costs (membership fees, room rent, insurance etc). Remember to be successful, you need to make a small profit as well as a wage. The more skilled you become the more your wage should increase just due to the fact that not everyone has the same skills and experience as you.

Give yourself an identity

The final, yet most important step, is that your business needs an identity and you need to think how you will advertise. You will not get any clients unless people know that you exist.

Some ways to advertise are:

  • There are a few counselling directories that specially for counselling. Counselling Directory, Welldoing.org and Psychology Today are a few worth looking at.
  • Social media–  Facebook is an active way to advertise your business. You can pay to boost a post. I suggest you only pay £2 at a time or the charges will run away from you. I also share my page to different groups. You must limit this, or Facebook will think you are spamming and will ban you for 30 days. Don’t forget to have a social media policy if you use it. You need to protect your client’s confidentiality 
  • Website –I started using WordPress. You can get a page for free. However, many domain names are not that expensive. I have my own domain name through 1 and 1 and have never had any problems with it. I pay less than £10 a month. I have found blogging is the way to finding my way up the google rankings. More information can be found here.
  • Google –Once you have found a venue, subscribe to google maps. This will get your business onto google maps.

There is much more to starting up a counselling practice. If you want more information, there are a few books which may help you. In the meantime the above basic steps will get you started.

Remember network.

Do not fear competition.

And never stop believing in yourself.

 

 

 

 

8 helpful ways to deal with stress

Do you find you often feel stressed?

Are your nights disrupted with poor sleep?

Is your mind often thinking about too many things.

Then STOP.

It sounds as though you are stressed. 

Below are eight helpful ways of dealing with stress. Active change can help you build a happier life for yourself. Continue reading

Therapeutic Journal – Journey to knowing yourself

Why write a therapeutic journal?

Therapeutic journal

 

Therapeutic journal is aimed at helping you, the writer, to understand yourself better. It can take you on a journey where you discover the ‘real’ you. It can help you to start understand how your think. It can help you learn to feel your emotions. It can help you unpick your problems. Through your therapeutic journey you can learn how to tackle your issues head-one. Continue reading

6 ways to move on from bad news

6 ways to move on from bad newsWe’ve all been there. Being let down at the last minute or receiving news that is upsetting. How do you cope and move on from bad news?

I thought I would use my recent example of being let down by our builder to show you useful ways of moving on. Continue reading

Counselling and Psychotherapy Blogs 2018

Counselling Blogs 2018

Blogging has become a way for counsellors to share their thoughts, reflections and knowledge of their profession. Counselling blogs are also becoming a useful way for counsellors to market themselves. It makes them stand out. It allows counsellors to share their reflections on different counselling issues.

Starting a blog needs careful consideration by therapists. It needs to be ethical, Continue reading

Therapist at Sheffield Refugee Council

New Opportunity…. Therapist at Sheffield Refugee Council

 A blast from the past

A few months ago, I visited my local walk-in clinic and was seen by a nurse who was born and bred in Kosovo. It was a delight to chat to her about her home country, the places I had visited and the growth of Kosovo over the last decade. I came home and said to my husband that there were parts of me that missed living and working with different cultures, and working as a humanitarian worker. The values and passion to working as an aid worker hadn’t died, they are just buried inside me.

The following week, an advert for a sessional therapist at the Refugee Council Continue reading

Walk Talk Therapy in Sheffield

Walk talk sheffieldA few years ago, I came across a book called ‘Working it out: Using exercise in Psychotherapy’.  This book highlights that walking during counselling or therapy:

  • Encourages a client to be more physical active
  • Helps a client get ‘unstuck’ when talking about difficult issues
  • Physical activity increases creative and deeper thinking

Continue reading

Counselling in Sheffield

counselling in sheffieldFinding the right counsellor for you.

We can find a lot of information about counselling and the service that counsellor’s offer in Sheffield and worldwide. Committing to counselling can be a difficult decision and often an intimidating one. It is often not easy to admit that are you feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. You want to find a counsellor that you trust and one that works to a high standard. But then you have a difficult dilemma of finding a counsellor. If you look at the Counselling directory you will see there are over 1200 counsellors with just over 100 counsellors in Sheffield alone. I am sure if you are considering counselling this can make you feel confused. What is counselling all about? Who and what counsellor do you choose? It’s a tricky choice and decision. Continue reading

What is Counselling?

what is counselling?

what is counselling?

Help! I’m feeling low.

Mental ill-health can happen to anyone. Perhaps you are faced with a difficult situation that you feel unable to resolve yourself. You might have had opportunities to talk with friends, but somehow it hasn’t quite worked. Or maybe it’s just too personal. Sometimes friends or family are unable to help us Continue reading