Background and Approach
Setting up and growing your own private practice doesn’t have to be so hard!
I have spent years watching incredible therapists struggling to fill their practices and feeling like they are floundering in business.
Because setting up and maintaining a successful practice requires a very different set of skills than being an effective therapist.
(And they don’t teach you this stuff in grad school!)
When I was 14 (which also happened to be the year I decided I wanted to become a therapist) my father taught me how to manage the books for our family business. It turned out that I was equally as fascinated with all the ins and outs of running a small business as I was with understanding the people around me.
After I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Victoria, I took the advice of a professor who adamantly told me to “Go live and play a little. Get a real job, get your heart broken, and see the world before you settle into a career”. (For context – I graduated at 21. His advice was sound.)
A lot got packed into those following years…
Play consisted of living and working in three different continents, with extended travels to 11 different countries. Work involved becoming the Assistant Branch Manager in charge of Internal Audit Compliance and Training at a bank, as well as Accounts Payable Supervisor for North America for an international corporation.
Although that time helped me discover who I was outside of being a student – my heart always brought me back to counselling and coaching.
When the time was right, I attended Adler University and received my Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. Right from the beginning, I tailored my experience towards starting my own practice, and the clients I wanted to work with. While taking multiple training workshops and certifications in the community to specialize my counselling skills, I also did a double practicum totalling 1100 hrs – one as an Associate in a private practice agency, and one as a Counsellor-on-staff at an in-patient addictions treatment centre. Once my practicums were complete, I continued working at both sites.
Within two months of graduating, I also opened the doors of my own private practice. At that time, I was specializing in Relationships, Sex Therapy and Addictions with specific focus in working with Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA). Within six months, I moved into my own full-time space and my practice was filled to capacity.
I took everything I had learned through years of exposure to small business and working in the corporate world, gathered my support team, and tailored it all for a therapy private practice.
Private Practice allows me to combine my two loves – business and therapy – all in one place. Although many business principles are universal, due to ethical considerations, there are certain adjustments that need to be made for therapeutic work. I am incredibly passionate about these skills being shared within the therapeutic community.
Once my own practice was established, I began coaching and mentoring other colleagues as they began setting up their practices. Often a simple change in process or mindset can be the difference between launching with a bang or a fizzle. Here those tips, tool and techniques are available to you too.
I want to empower you to do authentic work that fulfills you, while making a living that actually sustains you. In turn, you work with more clients, who then go out and make their mark in the world. It’s a win-win all around.
In addition to my clinical practice and The Business of Helping, I am on the Research Ethics Board for Adler University, on the Board of Directors for the Technology in Counselling Chapter of the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association, Chairperson for the Communications Committee and member of the Advisory Council for the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, and Co-Founder of the award-winning Westland Academy of Clinical Sex Therapy.
In my private practice, I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor and BCACC Approved Clinical Supervisor, Canadian Certified Counsellor, EMDRIA EMDR Certified Therapist, Certified LENS Neurofeedback and Clinical HeartMath Practitioner, Certified Dare to Lead and Trauma of Money Facilitator. I currently work predominantly online as a Psychotherapist and Peak Performance Leadership Coach with Leaders in High-Pressure Industries through EMDR Intensives.
If you’ve made it this far, I will answer the questions that are probably burning in your brain – yes I do sleep, and yes I do have a life outside of work (and if we work together, you will too!) My latest loves include competitive yacht racing, scuba diving, and traveling the globe.
You can reach me fastest by email me at email@example.com if you want to discuss options for creating your dream practice today.