Touchy subject, money for many counsellors. Yet we need to make a living with our vocation.
Discussing dollars in therapy can bring up stuff for both therapists and clients alike.
In my practice we process the payment up front. Getting the business part out of the way, freeing us up to focus on therapy.
Here’s what I do. After new clients finish the intake paperwork, I usually say something like :
“Lets get all the administration out of the way. How would you like to pay for today’s session?”
Finalizing the invoice, I then give them my client information sheet. Explaining on the first page is the admin side of things and the back page is therapy tips and tools for you to take away and read at your leisure.
It’s a nice exchange.
The feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive. They say it makes sense and feels reliebing getting payment completed.
It’s curious what happens with this routine set from the start. Usually it’s my clients who prompt me to take their payment, pulling out their credit card.
Therapy is an investment in self and it really is a case of backing themselves and their internal worth.
So as a suggestion why not get the charging and business aspects done and dusted at the start.
Notice what happens for you, and for your clients. How does it feel? What are your clients responses.
Experiment with the timing of taking payment. Possibly start with new clients initially and then talk to your existing clients.
For Skype clients I require prepayment via EFT or credit card 24 hours in advance.
Really love to hear what you and your clients responses are.
Please drop a comment in the box below sharing your experience to help others. Thanks!
Gosh for me it wasn’t till I experienced my own Compassion Fatigue last year this stuff got real. Did I notice it, no. My supervision kindly suggested this may be a part of what was happening. She was right when I looked at it.
I was chronically tired, irritable, was going through the motions and felt fatigued. My clients probably got the best of me and my husband the left over. It was like a grey mood a mild depression. With little enthusiasm and joy. It sneaks up on you compassion fatigue (CF).
Looking back it was probably inevitable. I was fitting in clients into my calendar at their schedule, over working and not looking after my physical or emotional health. Collapsing in front of Netflix doesn’t count. Add to that buying, selling and renovating an apartment, no wonder.
According to compassion fatigue expert Francoise Mathieu (2012) between 40% and 85% of “helping professionals” develop vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and/or high rates of traumatic symptoms.
What helped me was getting support from colleagues, supervision, therapy and putting my health and welfare as a priority.
I do my Yoga class today at midday, I don’t put in the client who really likes that time due to the distance they have to travel to see me. She understands – I am modelling good boundaries and self care. We find a time that works for us both. Then I can eat lunch and feel refreshed to see my afternoon clients.
While I do find it necessary to offer after hours appointments I add a small charge to this premium time, like a penalty rate. Just as I would get paid working a Sunday at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC). I joke sayings it’s a disincentive to people wanting those slots. They laugh as they get it. And if this is what they require they pay it.
I made this decision after working for Relationships Australia where client’s were charged extra for out of hours slots but this was not passed on to counsellors. I am not bagging RA here, I love them. I also needed to honour the small resentment setting in. Part of me thought that wasn’t so fair.
I promised myself I would offer these times with a proviso. Background here too I worked at MSIC in Kings Cross 11 years in total for evenings and weekends. I’d had my fair share.
One of the best way’s I get my cup filled is learning and networking with fellow health professionals.
That’s why I am so excited to be training Resource Therapy in Ubud. It’s a holiday of self care while soaking in amazing training.
I recently had a 3 day Advanced Imago Couple Therapy Training. While I loved the training it was hell getting to Balmain. In the 2 hours commute and we were all damp. Soaked with the flooding rains. Wet socks yuk!
At lunch time a dip in the rooftop pool will certainly refresh you for the afternoon session. In the evening after a beautiful meal out with new friends to discuss your learning and kick back you will sleep soundly in crisp hotel sheets. No laundry to wash, you can get it done for you for about $10 Aus. No dinner’s to prepare unless you choose, many stays have a kitchenette and if you are bringing family your partner might be the hunter gatherer in the local food markets.
Join us in Ubud for winter time out. Resource Therapy works in so well with your wonderful tool kit. I use it with EMDR Clients as you really need a Parts Psychology to apply there.
Here’s the training venue in Ubud the Evitel – hurry to book as it’s the high season. Mention you are in Philipa’s group for the best prices.https://ubud.theevitelhotels.com/ Hurry Early bird special finishes friday 14th February.
Love to hear about your experiences, if any with CF. Please comment in the box below any questions send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 0434559011.