What advice would you give to a new therapist just starting practice

How do they start treating clients and what should they look out for regarding other therapists
Asked by andys

4 answers

Top answer
Find your USP and shout it out loud
If you don't find one you'll always endure an uphill struggle as an independant therapist
Finding 'it' isn't easy - in fact your clients will most probably tell you 'it' (but don't ask them!!)
When you become aware of 'it' - look for twists to make 'it' even more unique to you (locally)
When you know what 'it' is ensure you 'shout it out loud' but in the simplest of terms
Better still ... use one short sentance that sums up your USP and use it within your logo/brand
See yourself a celebrity within your own right (within your profession) and you will become one
Learn from your own/other professionals mistakes (www), network regularly, CPD frequently
I could go on and on but, looking back over 23 years ... these elements are crucial to longevity
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Start treating clients with respect and then they might respect you.
Look out for the ways that other therapists treat their clients

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.
A new therapist who wants to start treating clients will first need to find some clients. Whatever therapy you practice, if you want to give it your full attention and develop your skills as far as possible, then you will need to make a living from it , and earn sufficient to support yourself to go on to do more training (Continuous Professional Development).
I'd advise any new therapist to be cautious about spending on advertising - often business cards to hand out, flyers to leave in surgeries etc will work better and be much more cost effective. You will need to learn some marketing skills though, plus web site building, decide how people will pay you (card vs cash) and generally work out your unique selling point.
It is a lot of work, but if you get to do what you are best at - a thing you truly love doing, then it will be a labour of love and each step forward will spur you on.
When it comes to seeing your first clients, remember how hard you worked to qualify, stick to the basics and simply do you best. Make sure you remember to enjoy it - that's why you trained, isn't it?
As for other therapists, it is nice to network, but what is there to look out for? Just do what you do best - do your thing and leave everyone else to get on with theirs!