Tag Archives: Private Practice

How to Cope When You (Really) Screw Up

Photo Credit – greg westfall on Flickr

I never saw her again.

And although I no longer remember her name, I’ve never forgotten her.

I’d only been in private practice for a little while, though I’d worked in mental health for a long time. Back then, I did a lot of counseling around trauma, abuse and domestic violence.

I already had a ton of experience; (I thought) I knew what I was doing.

One evening, at the end of a long day, I did an initial consult with a woman who’d finally gathered her nerve to seek help. She was living with severe domestic violence, married to a man who sounded like he could kill her one day if she didn’t get out.

I was immensely proud of her for having the courage to come in, and I understood her situation immediately. After hearing her story, I felt crystal clear on the level of danger she was in. I knew what she needed to do to get out.

So I laid it all out for her.

With the kind of excitement that comes with clarity, I explained how to put a safety plan in place, what to say to him (and what not to), how to handle her employer, how to seek legal help, how to move out, all of it.

She listened politely as I gave her every idea I could think of. Then she thanked me, and left. I felt great — I knew I could help her!

But she never came back.

To this day, I don’t know what happened. It may be that she found a way out, that she went to another counselor, that she was just fine. I certainly hope so.

But I think I made a mistake that night – and it was a big one.
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Top 10 Ways to Escape the “Gray Zone”

Are you living in the gray zone?”

That’s what my coach asked at a training last year. “That’s when you’re not really working, but you’re not really resting, either,” she explained.

Oh. That. Well – yes – perhaps…. now that you mention it, I thought.

So many entrepreneurs begin with fantasies of freedom from the corporate clock. I still remember way back when I was driving a 100 mile loop every day, working 2 jobs, going to school, and generally burning the candle at every possible end.

When I have my own practice, I’d tell myself, I’m not even going to START until 9 o’clock!  

Such is the rebellious cry of the hopeful entrepreneur.

Only, that’s not really how it works, does it?
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5 Ways to Bounce Back from Rejection to Resilience

rejection-resilienceI need you to help me learn how to handle rejection,” she said.

She wasn’t talking about being snubbed by a boyfriend or turned down for a job. She was talking about losing a customer. Even though she’d had a long and (very) successful career in real estate, the truth was that it still stung when she lost a listing.

How can I handle that when that happens? I feel terrible!” she said.

Great question, I told her.

Just thinking about it makes you want to hang your head, doesn’t it? Rejection is a strong word, and one to which we can have a very emotional, very personal, reaction.

But what feels like rejection is really something else.
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The Blog Blitz: Your Questions Answered About Life in Private Practice

Keyboard 2 - John WardIs it true that you have to take a pay cut?

That was just one of the questions that popped up yesterday as I taught one of my more popular programs, “Getting Back to What You Love: How to Design a Private Practice that Serves the World, Feeds Your Family and your Soul”.

As I’ve taught this workshop across the state, certain themes keep coming up. I thought I’d address some of them here for all of you.

And although I’ve been speaking specifically to psychotherapists, you’ll find that their questions apply to almost any type of professional practice, and, indeed, most small businesses.

So there will be a few gems here for you, too.

Let’s see what we’ve got, shall we?
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