Where do we need to speak more truth to power as psychologists in private practice? Here’s the thing about private practice as a #psychologist, especially in the area of mental health care and especially having come from the NHS. Practitioners can get to a place of feeling as though they shouldn’t be charging or earning sufficient money from private practice because they should be supporting the aims of the NHS, which is for freely accessible universal health care. I wholeheartedly support the NHS and think it’s one of the finest humanitarian organisations on the planet. However, a lot of aspects of working within that system are not working currently, and also, maybe in the long run there ought to be a diversity of provision in order to have an overall sustainable system. Also, as coaching psychologists and psychologists supporting people who are reaching out for a better life such as counselling psychologists or sports psychologists, there can be a similar sense of value clash. How can we grow a valuable private practice, create value for ourselves and our families, create a sustainable lifestyle and practice, and also still continue to serve these values and ideals?
The importance of the sense of contribution and value creation, and the reality of how we implement this in private practices, was brought home to me when I ran the first Psychology Practice Accelerator program in the first half of 2018. I knew that sustainability and contribution were important but as we explored this as a group of practitioners, I realised its importance in the ‘grander scheme’ of psychology practice.
Private Psychology Practices Based on Contribution and Value Creation.
The beauty of running a private practice that is also based on contribution and value creation is that it offers us the opportunity to create alignment between our own strengths and the needs of those we love to serve. The other opportunity is that we have the power to be change makers and to raise our voices and be activists, especially when we raise our voices together. The third opportunity is that we learn, through private practice, that we can empower ourselves to do this through learning and connecting with others who share our passions and vision. We don’t need an organisation or a Government to do this for us. As Luvvie Ajayi says, we can be the ‘professional trouble makers’ and speak truth to power.
I think that one of the most limiting mindsets we can bring to private practice as psychologists is one where we take the leap to self employment and create a job for ourselves but don’t go much further than that. We focus on getting clients through the door, creating safe and secure systems and serving those people who want to work with us in a way that is as accessible as we can afford. But we don’t always connect that to something bigger than us in society and, especially, we often don’t seem to realise the power we hold within society. I was struck by Luvvie Ajayi’s comment in this TED talk about walking into a room and realising that we might be the most powerful person there. That is a reality and I was left wondering about myself how often I do not pay attention to this. How often we perhaps don’t realise this as psychologists in private practice.
Masterclass in Creating Valuable Psychology Practices.
I decided that the coming iteration of The Psychology Practice Accelerator will be focused on this realisation – that Contribution and Value Creation go deeper and wider than we might currently imagine. And on that topic of Contribution and Value Creation, I ran a free Masterclass in Creating Valuable Psychology Practices last week. This class was recorded and is going to remain available for practitioners, is accompanied by a workbook and also details of a free support group for creating valuable psychology practices that contribute to these bigger ideas. The details for getting hold of this resource are below.
I would love to hear about your experiences of being ‘the first domino to fall’ as Ajayi describes in her TED talk.
Where do we need to speak more truth to power as psychologists in private practice?