Private Practice: Taking a Risk
Risk taking…we encourage our clients to consider taking a risk, pushing the envelope, being assertive, to think creatively and sometimes to risk failing. Ever said, “When one door closes another one opens”? Wonderful suggestions, but do we take our own advice? How comfortable are we in trying something new, getting outside our comfort zone or seeing failure as acceptable? Sometimes, not so much.
Counselors considering private practice or expanding a limited practice (never say part time, you wouldn’t go to a part time Neurologist) at times can suffer from inertia or anxiety because of the possibility of failure. In our combined 50 years of private practice and 12 years of practice consulting we have experienced many setbacks that gave way to success, but you have to risk the initial setback in order to move forward.
There is an old business joke, “If you had five frogs on a log and three of them decided to jump, how many frogs would you have left on the log?” The common answer is two. However, that answer could be incorrect because there could still be five. There is a big difference between deciding to jump and jumping. Nike had an ad campaign with the slogan, “Just do it”. Sometimes we just need to do it. Failing can be acceptable if you can learn from it and try again.
We like to ask the question, “If you had a product or “widget” that could heal old psychological wounds, help parents and children communicate better, keep a family from breaking up, help someone who is depressed feel that suicide is not their only alternative, that could diagnose anxiety, depression, OCD, and thought disorders or help raise someone’s self-esteem, wouldn’t that product be very valuable?” That product is you. We are some of the most well trained, experienced, dedicated therapists in the mental health field.
Clients cannot benefit from our skills if we don’t put ourselves out there and take the risks associated with developing a dynamic private practice. Sometimes we just need to take our own advice.
Norm Dasenbrook and Bob Walsh are counselors in private practice, consultants, and authors (www.counseling-privatepractice.com)