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Developing or starting your own private practice?

Because I’ve been in private practice for over 30 years (!), I am frequently asked

to advise people who are starting a new practice or trying to further develop their

existing practice. It’s a challenge, no matter where you are in the process. I

always get excited about helping others get going because I remember how lucky

I was to have people extend a helping hand along my path. It makes a difference.

I’m sure we all approach it a little differently. It’s no secret that marketing and

networking are critical to getting a good referral base, and there are many ways

to approach that, too! Luckily, there is a lot of information out there about how to

do that. The “how-to’s” may not be as important as “whats-holding-me-back”.

Our self talk is going to play a major role in our ability to put ourselves out there,

take risks, and stick with it when it get tough. If you feel stuck, maybe you should

review your schema’s and see what might be getting activated. If you are afraid to

fail, you might not take risks; if you have unrelenting standards, you might not

feel you will be able to produce something that’s “good enough”; or maybe you

struggle with sitting down and doing the work—then insufficient self discipline

schema? Think about what the feeling is that you get when you are resisting the

work of promoting your practice, and then where that might be coming from in

your history. Try to access the healthy adult or good parent part of yourself, and

have a talk with yourself about what the need is that has to be met for you to

move forward. Is it self-encouragement, structure, achievable goals? Be your

own best coach and know its not easy for anyone, although it can look that way

from the outside! There will be many times over a career where you’ll have to

harness that inner strength and push through, so it’s a good idea to know which

schemas tend to trip you up, and know how to manage them. Remember that

wonderful expression: You miss out on 100% of the opportunities that you don’t


All the best with growing your practice!

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