With working quite part-time, I debate about how much time, energy and money to invest in advertising my psychotherapy practice. Typically the bulk of referrals have come via word of mouth, through my social and professional networks. For the most part, I like it that way. Clients arrive at the office door with some confidence that counselling will be a worthwhile experience. Often there is a good fit between their personal issues and my practice style and experience.
A few months ago, I decided to advertise with an Internet service. Within the first week that my practice profile was up, more inquiries for counselling started coming in. My caseload is growing to include lovely, interesting clients who I might never have met through my usual referral networks. However, making a private practice more public has certainly come with hidden costs and considerations.
Screening prospective clients takes more time than I anticipated. An individual cold calling naturally has more questions and concerns than someone who has been referred by someone they trust. They may have preconceived ideas or unrealistic expectations about psychotherapy. They may not be quite ready to open up to a professional about their personal concerns. Some callers are in the throes of a crisis and needing more immediate and direct support than I can possibly offer, or struggling with complex mental health issues or addictions beyond the scope of talk therapy. Getting a sense of where people are coming from over the phone takes some finesse. Continue reading
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA