The latest rule I have learned in private practice is that putting your cell phone on silent for an evening might mean losing out on a new client.
In the past, I used to enjoy having a cell phone-free evening at home or an internet-free weekend; sadly, those times are gone. No longer do I have a specific time that represents the end of my work day when I can ‘unplug’ and ‘disconnect’ from technology. This may change as I build up a practice, but for right now when one of my main goals is to build my client list, I cannot afford to miss a call or ignore my emails for a day or so.
So far, I have missed out on three potential clients who likely contacted a few counsellors at the same time and chose the one who called back first because I turned my phone to silent in order to enjoy an evening. Now, I check my cell phone three to four times a day to see if a new client has tried to contact me. I struggle with this because I have become ‘one of them.’ You know – one of those people who are never without their phone.
I know that it is the judgmental part of me who finds it odd when I see others who seem to focus more on their phone than on the people around them that is causing me my discomfort. Part of what we encourage in counselling is how to be more present and I see regular cell phone checks taking away from this once-healthy boundary that I used to protect. I knew that there would be adjustments when I became a business owner and the benefits greatly outweigh anything else – I am simply grieving my freedom from my cell phone.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA