This has always been a tricky area of private practice for me. How can we balance Professional Self Care with respect and care for our clients? How do we manage exceptional circumstances? How do we look after our own business needs whilst addressing our industry-wide aversion to all things money related?
Considering what a cancellation policy is and what it should contain can give us ideas about how to write our policy wording.
Death is an uncomfortable subject for many of us. Some of us avoid thinking about it and some joke or make light of it. Very few of us plan how we would like our lives concluded.
And yet, it is a certainty, and one which we can prepare for if we want to be supportive to those close to us.
We are so lucky in the United Kingdom that we do not live in a litigious society. That is to say that our American counterparts, heavily licensed and monitored, usually have more fear of complaints, reports to licensing boards and even unfavourable online reviews. Being clear in their intake paperwork, their contracts, release forms and informed consent, protects them against complaints by collecting the agreement of their clients in writing so they can all refer back later.
Have you considered raising your fees in the New Year?
My therapy agreement states that I raise my fees on an annual basis. In the past, I raised my fees one year after clients started with me, however, this leads to different clients having different rates and fee raises at different times and is tricky to keep track of. I give two to three months’ notice in writing to remind clients of my annual increase, and invite them to process with me in session.
I send an email similar to this:
On the morning of Jane’s webinar, I opened my bleary eyes one at a time, unsure whether I had even managed to sleep after working on the webinar PowerPoint until… 3? 4am? Who knows! I rattled around, inhaling cups of tea and gathering my printouts of BACP ethical guideline quotes. I nonchalantly switched on my hair curlers so I could create an illusion of effortless volume and half way through my stylistic venture, burned my left shoulder. With minutes to spare, I grabbed a mini ice block from my freezer (a must-have for anyone clumsy and tired), shoved it in my sweater and pressed back on it for the duration of the webinar. And so I learned a valuable lesson, which I repeat often in online threads and coaching: do not use a hair curling wand in the five minutes before working online.
Wrapping up the year can be challenging for clients and therapists. Many of us are tidying up finances, organising schedules and catching up on paperwork. Clients may be particularly concerned about family interactions at Christmas or depleted from the abundant darkness since Daylight Saving Time ended three months ago.
The Counselling Contract. Terms and Conditions. Psychotherapy Notice. Process Contract. These are all terms I hear used to describe the agreement between a client and therapist. In some countries, such as the United States, the term “Informed Consent” is used.
Whichever term you use, the agreement serves as a legal contract between a client and therapist.
It is that time of year when the world becomes shiny and illuminated. Many therapists feel like throwing a bit of tinsel along a door frame, adding a sprig or bough of something festive to a windowsill or adding a wreath beneath our name plaques.
It is also famously one of the busier times of the year for many therapists.
For many of us, this time of year brings a specific question for us in the area of cancellation: Snow Days.
In some parts of the world like Canada and the United States, entire school districts shut down due to inclement weather such as winds, huge amounts of snow and floods. In the UK, we often hear the familiar lament of “leaves on the tracks” preventing trains from running. In Paris, even the RER trains have Snow Days in the winter, running infrequently or not at all for days at a time.
Coughs, sniffles, ‘flu, headaches, period pain, viruses… all non-lethal physical ailments that affect us to varying degrees. So how do you decide whether you are well enough to work and how do you deal with scheduling issues that follow if you don’t?
If you are setting up your counselling or psychotherapy practice, or taking some time in your practice to update your intake procedures, you are likely to need a few specific contracts, forms and policies. In this short introduction to PPP Essentials, we will look at what the necessary private practice startup paperwork is for setting up a counselling or psychotherapy practice.