So let’s talk about your Therapy Business. You want to reach many people who are in psychological pain and suffering and it somehow feels wrong to charge them. Perhaps you agree preferential rates right at the outset to those who cannot really afford your services. Then one of several things might happen.
The client doesn’t value your work (there’s a lot of research written supporting the idea that “cheap” therapy means “less valuable” therapy.) See what I did there.
The client cancels at the last minute, leading you to cite “cancellation policies” and having to request the client pay for the missed slot. The client either pays or you have to chase for payment. How do you feel? How do you get compensation? What if you have room hire or a waiting list and now you cannot get that time back? Or perhaps you tell yourself (as I often do) “the universe needed me to have this time out”.
Either way you paid thousands for your training, and continue to pay for Supervision, Professional Fees, membership of a counselling network site not to mention normal every day fees and costs. How does that work?
Also if you have several low fee paying clients you may feel you are stretching yourself too thinly and thus this can lead to burnout. If you check out the BACP ethical guidelines, self-care and being safe is a major feature in being an ethical therapist. Listen to your body and do the maths. Now, what would you like to charge? Who would you like to work with?
Practically speaking you will need to detail the following:
- How much does it actually cost to run your business? Include in this absolutely everything you need on a monthly or annual basis.
(i) Training (inc books)
(ii) Room Rental / Electricity / Gas overheads
(iv) Professional Memberships
(v) ICO (database) Membership
(vi) Professional Indemnity Insurance
(vii) Listing in an online directory
(viii) General marketing costs
(ix) Any other associated costs with self-care so you can be a safe therapist
Here are some useful graphics taken from https://www.unk.com/blog which surveyed therapists across the world
At www.unk.com/blog 334 therapists around the world were surveyed about the costs in running their business and how much a session cost.
On average PSYCHOLOGISTS were the busiest and the average number of clients seen PER WEEK is ten. An average of £760 per year is spent on education and training, an average of £250 is spent on licensing and professional memberships. The average cost per session is approximately £76 per session. The survey was carried out in the UK, Republic of Ireland, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other EU countries.
2. Think about the value of what we offer. It costs us thousands each year to remain in private practice and keep safe.
What is it WORTH to a client to get better, rather than what did you PAY to get trained or keep safe?
Cost price versus Value Price.
Also bear in mind other local therapists – so if there is an identical “type” of therapist up the road who charges £60 and you charge £50, consider raising your prices.
For example a psychotherapist up the road from me has twenty years’ experience and charges £50 per 50 minute session.
A hypnotherapist up the road has nine years’ experience and charges £65 per session.
This means as a qualified therapist of ten years experience with psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy, EFT, BWRT, Reiki etc., I would be perfectly placed to charge a minimum of £55 per session. Check me out here. BUT wait there’s more… click here to learn more ways in which you can earn a great living as a therapist, coach or healer.
So in a nutshell if you don’t charge *enough* people may not feel they are making a poor decision and go elsewhere and people often gain better outcomes with higher priced therapy as they are more committed.
There are always people who are not willing to pay the full amount; so make a decision – are these people you want to work with?
Were you to be offered the chance for a speaking gig that carried no fee, consider the length of time it would take you to prepare, travel there and the overhead cost it would take. In that same amount of time how many clients could you have seen for say £50, £55, or £60 per hour? Or the creation of an online product with recurring income?
3. Consider your Marketing Mindset. Are you selling your time, your expertise or an OUTCOME?
Marketeers of all shapes and sizes are selling a product or a service that gives you an OUTCOME. If I said to you “come and process your problems with me” or “gain stress relief in four short sessions” or “lose weight with my guaranteed methods” which would you be more attracted to?
There’s nothing wrong with processing and needing to talk things through, and I offer that a lot in my sessions but if I wanted quality clients with quality results, I would need to focus on the outcomes I deliver. And that comes with confidence (and vice versa for that matter).
4. You don’t need to work with EVERYONE. This is a valuable lesson for all therapists, especially when starting out as you learn what you prefer working with. You will get a far better outcome if you work within your specialised area so don’t be afraid to niche! In fact although it may feel counter intuitive to niche, you become the Go-To person in your area who deals with that particular topic. Make sure you enjoy it!
Are you a healer, counsellor, psychotherapist, coach? Do you occasionally struggle with your money mindset? Are there times when you wait for the next client just so you can pay your bills on time? Worry about room rental fees, tax returns, and just the whole thing about Making a Difference without Worrying about Money? Then this Facebook group.
Share ideas about your practice, gain new ideas and let’s make the World a Happier and more Abundant place! No get rich quick schemes, no shaded scams about making money. Repeat offenders will be banned! MLM firms are considered but no bombarding please. Feel free to promote your business in the group say what you love about it. Let’s make this a genuine place of support so we can continue making a difference in the world!