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Because in reality, a private therapy practice is a business! Even if it is a non-profit organization, you have to know something about business models and have some basic business knowledge to make it successful. First of all, what is a business model and how does it differ from a business plan? One definition of a business model is simply the design or plan for making money.
It is how you identify where the money comes from and how it flows in the private practice. It also defines who runs the business and provides the services. A business plan differs in that it is more specific. It lays out specific financial goals and how you will reach them.
This is essentially the simplest model and what most people tend to think of when they go into private practice as a counselor. In this model you are responsible for generating your own referrals, record keeping and paying yourself from your own business account.
Clients contact you and simply pay you directly for your time. You are also responsible for paying your overhead or the cost of doing business rent, electric, phone, advertising, and other office expenses, etc.
Your net profit take home pay is the money you have left after paying the bills. As mentioned already, it is the simplest way to do business. Another, sub-category of this model would be if you decided to take third-party or insurance payments.
This adds another layer of overhead in that you would have to make insurance claims or hire someone to do this for you. There are several pros and cons of accepting third-party payments. Pros would be that it does tend to increase the number of referrals you get.
It also can be more convenient for clients who want to use their health insurance benefits. The cons are that you will have to settle for what the insurance companies say they will pay you lower rates and that extra layer of overhead I mentioned.
In this business model you essentially operate as a sole proprietor but with the benefit of sharing overhead costs with a partner or other therapist. Each person involved in the private practice operates independently. You would still be responsible for generating your own referrals, record keeping and paying yourself. The difference though is being able to split or share the cost of running an office with someone else that is a therapist.
Many times people that partner like this will also take the step of forming an LLC or other legal partnership, like a corporation, to protect themselves legally and have a way to handle the accounting and tax implications.
Also check with an accountant about possible tax implications in forming an LLC or other business entity. It is an extra step and expense. But do seek the advice of a professionals on this attorney, CPA, etc.Editor's note: This article was excerpted from our Consulting Business start-up guideavailable from the Entrepreneur Bookstore. The dictionary defines a consultant as "an expert in a particular field who works as an advisor either to a company or to another individual.
But unless you've been in a coma for the past decade, you probably have a good idea what a consultant is. Businesses certainly understand what consultants are. In U.
According to Anna Flowers, spokesperson for the Association of Professional Consultants in Irvine, Californiathe association has recently noticed an increase in calls for information from people who want to get into the business. Melinda P. A consultant's job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. It's that simple. There's no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one. But what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is a passion and drive for excellence.
And--oh yes--a good consultant should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is consulting in. That does make a difference.
You see, in this day and age, anyone can be a consultant. All you need to discover is what your particular gift is. For example, are you very comfortable working around computers? Do you keep up with the latest software and hardware information, which seems to be changing almost daily?
And are you able to take that knowledge you have gained and turn it into a resource that someone would be willing to pay money for? Then you would have no trouble working as a computer consultant. Or are you an expert in the fund-raising field?
Maybe you have worked for nonprofit agencies in the field of fund-raising, marketingpublic relations or sales, and over the years you have discovered how to raise money. As someone who has turned a decade of fund-raising successes into a lucrative consulting business, I can tell you that fund-raising consulting is indeed a growing industry.
Although you can be a consultant in just about any field these days, the current top 20 consulting businesses include:. Accounting: Accounting is something that every business needs, no matter how large or small. Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs. Advertising: This type of consultant is normally hired by a business to develop a good strategic advertising campaign. Auditing: From consultants who audit utility bills for small businesses to consultants who handle major work for telecommunications firms, auditing consultants are enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Business: Know how to help a business turn a profit? If you have a good business sense, then you'll do well as a business consultant. After computer consulting, people in this field are the next most sought after. Business writing: Everyone knows that most businesspeople have trouble when it comes to writing a report--or even a simple memo.Group therapy is frequently more effective than individual therapy in helping people acquire new ways of thinking, feeling,and behaving.
This effectiveness stems from the fact that group members can practice new behaviors both within the group and in their everyday interactions outside of group. Group members often work on their relationships with one another.
This can involve developing trust, building intimacy, or working through conflicts. With time, you can then carry over the work that you do on relationships with other group members to your relationships outside of the group. At some point you will begin to see how working on relationships with other group members can translate into progress on the concerns that brought you to CAPS in the first place. Like other forms of therapy, what you get out of your group experience will depend largely on what you invest into it.
Group is designed to re-create some of the interpersonal situations that cause problems in your life. What's different about group is that you can experiment with more helpful ways of dealing with those types of situations. The "feeling better" part happens after you have practiced these new behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. To the extent that the leader refrains from imposing structure on the group, group members have an opportunity to learn how to get things going on their own, without depending on someone else to do it for them.
Each person, with the help of the leaders, can learn to express her or his own wishes and to act on her or his own instincts instead of continually being tuned into the expectations and pressures coming from other people. What often blocks people from being close is the fear of being pushed around by other people's feelings, demands, and expectations. When they begin to get close, they get tangled up on the feeling level.
In the group there is a chance to learn how to disentangle the problems that arise in relationships so that people can be close and still retain their freedom, autonomy, and self-assertiveness. Most of us rely on only one or two fixed relationship styles when encountering others. Group is a kind of laboratory where all kinds of experiments can be tried out, where new ways of relating and communicating can be risked, where a certain percentage of failures can be accepted, as with any experimental situation.
Honesty doesn't necessarily mean sharing your deepest darkest secrets. Honesty simply means doing your best to share your thoughts and feelings as they arise during a group meeting. Say out loud when you feel frustrated, excited, scared, disengaged, sad, angry, confused, happy, annoyed or are unsure of what you're feeling. For example, "I felt sad while you were talking about your experience.
One of the best things that group has to offer is the advantage of getting input from people instead of just one therapist. Getting feedback from other group members is one of the best ways to overcome worries about how you are perceived by others.Co-counseling is a controversial self-help peer-support system also known as re-evaluation counseling. This form of therapy involves people working in pairs, taking equal time the role of counselor and client.
The principle behind this form of therapy is that everyone is born with vast intellectual potential but due to painful memories and suppressed feelings, people tend to behave in certain patterns. By taking turns in giving and receiving attention, practitioners can recover from past distress, argues the Re-evaluation Counseling Community, a group that promotes this type of therapy.
The goal of reciprocal counseling is to achieve empowerment by exploring the roots of personal distress in a supportive environment. Co-counseling is believed to increase skills such as being attentive to the needs of others and is said to be compatible with the step recovery program. Co-counseling was first used by Harvey Jackins, in the late s. The labor organizer brought home a suicidal co-worker and after carrying for him and supporting him, Jackins came to the conclusion that the only useful thing he could do for him was to listen sympathetically as the man entrusted him with his inner turmoil.
Jackins found this intriguing so he began using the method with other acquaintances. Soon the group practicing re-evaluation counseling grew larger and expanded from Seattle down the coast of California. Today, the community that offers courses and training for such therapy sessions has international ramifications.
This type of therapy is recommended for anyone struggling with emotional problems, particularly those recovering from discrimination, prejudice or oppression. The goal of co-counseling is to address the basic human needs like the need to understand and be understood. Co-counseling works similarly to other forms of therapy.
One person listens, while the other one talks. Then they swap roles.
The sessions are not limited in time. They can last an hour or five minutes and they can be conducted anywhere: at home, in the park or even over the telephone. The person assuming the role of the client can decide how much intervention he desires from the counselor. He can choose, for instance, no verbal interventions or as many interventions as necessary to enable and sustain the healing process.
Also, the client is free to accept or disregard any intervention made by the counselor. Testimonies from people who practice co-counseling indicate the method is highly effective. They argue that issues are more quickly dealt with because the client is in charge and he is not pushed to do anything that he is uncomfortable with. Some researchers have suggested that the community formed around this form of therapy is bearing similarities with a cult form culture.
The co-counseling community now numbers over twenty thousand people.
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They consider themselves a network of friends and admission to counseling sessions is by invitation only. The community keeps to itself and discourages any press coverage of their activities.It is an unfortunate reality that many group therapists run a group therapy session by themselves and while this may appear to be an obvious income generator by the organization, I consider such a practice to be a significant professional error and I will list my reasons for this statement.
An example of a mild letter appears below. Many times, in my career, I have been asked to consult to co- therapy pairs.
The problems, although they come wrapped in different packages, are quite similar. The pair involved has not been able to acknowledge, let alone resolve, the power differential that exists between them. This can never be true. One person in the pair may have higher academic degrees, may have more initials after his or her name, may be more charismatic, or may have more time in the organization.
The nature of the power differential imbalance is immaterial, but it must be acknowledged by the two people involved in order for them to work smoothly together. The pair has the opportunity to model collegial support and respect by their interaction for the group participants. It is not too strong a statement to say that their interaction must be seamless. I always choose a woman to be my co-therapist in a group.
This creates issues that must be addressed. In terms of dysfunctional dynamics, it is all too easy to consider my co-therapist and me to be parental figures and the clients themselves the children. If not carefully anticipated, this dynamic can turn into potentially disruptive sibling rivalry based upon the scarcity model.
My second wife was a psychologist herself and we did groups as a co-therapy pair for 10 years. This could have provided a rich screen of fantasy and projection on the part of the clients since my wife and I were not only working together but we were sleeping together as well.
This is still another reason why a co-therapy pair must model healthy relationship behavior in front of the group participants. Additionally, according to my group developmental model, the person who is taking the lead for the first third of the group history steps down, and the indigenous leaders, with the active support of the co-therapist, takes over the leadership of the group in stages two and three.
I am a superb bus driver; the passengers will get to their destination safely, and they will hear an interesting rap about the journey itself. I am also a loyal and helpful bus passenger provided, of course, that I trust the bus driver. This is still another positive role model that co-therapists can offer to their groups. A young professional in your organization, Thomas D.
I don't think that this is a wise idea, and I'm willing to share my thoughts on the subject, as I am a national and international specialist in the area of group therapy under discussion. No therapist, no matter how experienced or skilled, can possibly follow the complexity of group process without running the risk of significantly missing important cues.
In addition, because of the stress involved, it is all too possible for beginning therapists to become quickly burned-out. From a professional point of view, running a group with one therapist falls below the minimum professional requirements in the mental health field, and I'm sure your organization would not want to be in a position of giving that impression to mental health regulatory agencies.
The sad fact is that the young man under discussion has many demonstrable potential skills to become a fine therapist. It is my concern that unless he works within a supportive professional environment, he will become discouraged and seek another professional career. With respect to finding an appropriate cotherapist, nothing could be easier. Asking for a volunteer and qualifying that person through a volunteer training program will cost the organization nothing.
There are many fine group therapists, whom, it is embarrassing to say, have never set foot day one in any graduate school program: they are naturals and relate to people in a very positive and empathic manner. I hope these comments have been helpful.General Services Administration as an approved federal contractor. Public Consulting Group, Inc.
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