If you ask a counsellor 'what do you do for a living?' they'll probably tell you ‘I'm a counsellor’. I once heard somebody then reply, ‘Labour or Conservative?’. With 30,000 therapists working in private practice, it's important to be clear about what you're offering to clients.
Taking a niche approach has helped me to develop a private practice that allows me to work in the area I'm passionate about, anger management - with often challenging clients I enjoy working with. If you were to ask me what I do for a living I'm likely to say, "I help people find a less-angry lifestyle when anger is getting in the way of what they really want in life."
In my 16 years in private practice, I've developed resources, articles, podcasts, videos, online trainings and delivered CPD events around anger management. It seems to me that when you're working in an area of counselling you enjoy, with people you enjoy working with, your work/life balance can be good and financially rewarding too. It’s good to know I can help to make a difference in people’s lives.
Private practice doesn’t have to be a struggle for survival. I suggest building a practice that you can manage rather than enduring a private practice that manages you and wears you out.
The Private practice toolkit provides resources developed by established therapists working in private practice who are keen to help you develop your practice as well as continually developing their own.
I've recently contributed a resource for the toolkit all about websites and blogging, which I hope you'll find useful. It includes information on:
- the two ideal types of blog post that your website should feature
- how to select the right domain name
- key considerations for you and/or your web developer to consider
- how to blog
- ten ideas for making blog content engaging
Blogging is a simple, cost-effective way for counsellors in private practice to stand out and reach an audience of prospective clients. Blogging allows us to set out our stall of services and communicate who we are and what we can offer.
I hope this resource and the many others included in the toolkit will give you the confidence and knowledge to build a thriving, successful and rewarding private practice.
BACP Private Practice division
BACP Private Practice supports members who work in, or are about to embark upon, counselling or psychotherapy in private practice.
For counsellors and psychotherapists in private practice. The quarterly professional journal of BACP Private Practice division.
Private practice toolkit
Whether you're seeking support on managing your current practice, looking to develop your business, or thinking about starting out on your own, this toolkit aims to help you on your private practice journey.
Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.