Deborah Wearn is a UKCP regesistered Humanistic Integrative Psychotherapist and Counsellor and is in private practise in East London. Deborah has written this insightful post on her Private Practise journey
Ten years ago I decided to follow my dream and set up a private practice from home. I had so many questions: would people come, could I earn a living, would I really cope? What a learning curve it has been!
The balance has been between ensuring I’m earning a living and looking after a growing practice, with knowing that I can’t say yes to everyone. So, the days of finishing at 10pm and starting again at 8am are long gone. The anxiety I felt initially about people leaving with no-one to replace them made me try to accommodate everyone, but I’ve learned to trust that my practice will continue, which it has, in part due to how mainstream therapy has become, and also to the reach of the internet.
Self-care has been vital in not burning out, and that includes regular breaks (no longer than 12 weeks work without one), and an upper limit on how many people I see, so I now have a good local network of therapists to refer people on to. Part of not feeling isolated also means having a monthly peer supervision group where we present clients and discuss professional issues, all very supportive.
I’ve had people turn up with their children, become ill on the premises, disappear without warning, and talk about me on social media, but holding firm boundaries has been vital – especially when you might then see a client in the local pub! After ten years, my practice is thriving and I feel very lucky to have taken this step.