Being a therapist is hard. Running your own business is hard. Doing both at the same time is….HARD.
Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it reflects your ability to help make change in someone’s life. It’s just all part of the practice of therapy. We don’t start out as amazing therapists, we have to fight tooth and nail to perfect the practice––which will never happen because perfection doesn’t exist and we are ultimately human. We bring our imperfections to the therapist table and help the best we can.
With that said I believe there are several things missing from the discussion of what it means to be a therapist––especially in the beginning.
Here are several things to consider on your journey to becoming a licensed mental health provider.
1.) Money: you will not make six figures starting out. Anyone that says otherwise is lying to you.
2.) You will not have a full caseload off the bat. That’s okay, you are growing!
3.) Marketing will be your best friend and worse nightmare. Polish your online presence now or pay the consequences later. You’d be amazed at how helpful and hurtful your socials can be in helping find clients.
4.) Self-care is a must. I’m not negotiating on this. You need to take care of yourself in order to help others.
5.) Find your Therapist tribe. You’ll need them when things get too hard. With that said…
6.) GO SEE YOUR OWN THERAPIST. I always tell clients, “Never see a therapist that doesn’t see a therapist.” Why are you doing this job if you don’t even believe in your own profession?
7.) Get Licensed and study hard for the test. I’m not negotiating on this either.
8.) Connect with your community. Wherever you live, it’s important to know what’s going on and see if you can fill a need. Trust me, best thing I ever did was connect with lawyers in my area because from those connections I made some friends and met new people who could help me keep growing.
9.) Find a side hustle. In today’s world it’s hard to stand out. Find something that you can use to grow your brand and your practice. I did it with writing, but you can get creative and do it with something that makes your soul sing!
10.) Love yourself. This job is hard and it’ll take a lot out of you, but you’re doing it for a reason. Just don’t forget to love yourself through the process.