Private Practice – The Intuitive Decision?

Posted by: Brian Dosenberger on January 26, 2012 10:24 am

 I wanted to start my blog by discussing the question that I and many other counsellors pose to themselves at some point, “Should I start a private practice?” I believe that there are two ways to make any decision, intuition and reasoning.  As a practicing counsellor I realize that I could make my decision by writing out the advantages and disadvantages of starting a private practice or learn to trust my intuition to make my decision based on that feeling.

The decision to enter the private practice counselling is intriguing. There are experienced counsellors that find the thought of entering the world of private practice daunting. At the same time there are novice counsellors that dive head first into private practice. What are factors influence a counsellor’s decision to offer private practice counselling? I can’t speak for everyone, however, maybe by sharing my (a novice counsellor) decision to enter into the world of private practice will allow you to gain some insight into this intriguing question.

I consider myself, and according to the Myers-Briggs test, I am an intuitive person. I made my decision to enter the world of private practice solely based on intuition. Intuition is defined as a direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process.  Thinking rationally as an intuitive person is, well – daunting.  If I had applied a reasoning process to my decision, would I have come to the same conclusion? Intuition is not the absence of truth or fact; rather it is the direct perception of truth. As a counsellor assisting clients struggling with life transitions, experiencing situational depression, and basically any decision I ask my clients to trust their intuition. To apply a reasoning process filled with thoughts of what if, doubts, and insecurities would simply be hypocritical, or would it?

The decision to start a private practice using reasoning would have looked different. I would have had to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, ask the opinion of colleagues, family, and friends, look at the competition, and determine the costs associated with starting a private practice. Would ignoring these important questions in deciding whether to start a private practice in preference to intuition be negligent? If I were assisting a client with a major decision would I really ask them to ignore all reasoning and factual information in favour of their intuition? Yes, let me explain why. True intuition is quick and direct confirmation based on truth and fact. Our intuition is influenced by our factual or truthful perception of reality. Essentially, I believe our intuition is aware of our factual reasoning. Basically, I believe and would hypothesis that with my decision as with my clients decision that trusting intuition would result in the same answer that applying cognitive reasoning. Further, in utilizing reasoning in making a decision, one often defers back to intuition before finalizing that decision.

How did you or do you plan to make you decision to start a private practice?

This opinions expressed in this blog are solely mine and not the opinion of CCPA.

Brian Dosenberger, M.A. Counselling Psychology, R. Psych (Prov.), Canadian Certified Counsellor

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

0 comments on “Private Practice – The Intuitive Decision?”

  1. Brian says:

    Hi Irene, working as a counsellor in a rural community can be very difficult. I would give some thought to counselling online. My website will launch soon and would provide opportunities to extend the reach of your private practice.

  2. Irene Brady says:

    Hi Brian,
    I just graduated in the spring of 2011 with a MC degree in Clinical Psychology. I am a teacher and have been teaching for over 25 years. I originally pursued my graduate degree with the intention of counselling school children. Of course with the economic downturn a counselling position in the schools, which was possible when I started my degree, is no longer available. I have looked into counselling work through Alberta Health Care but it would mean travel back and forth to Alberta since I live in rural BC. The wages would not be very good as a novice counsellor and I would have to consider travel expenses etc. I am currently thinking along the lines of private practice. I have a profound belief in the power of counselling and I am coming to realize that perhaps I need to create my own job if I am to work in the field of counselling, given my geographic location. My sense is ‘I am my own best bet!’ Of course I have much to learn about this process.

    Through the CCPA I found information on workshops offered by Dr. Randy Patterson. These are up and coming in March in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Edmonton. I have ordered his book entitled Private Practice Made Simple. The workshop is a full day workshop and I believe I will access this. Of course there is much to learn and consider but I feel it is a starting point.

    Irene Brady, B.Ed, MC, CCC

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