kicking around ideas

I’ve been working in the mental health sector for almost 4 years now. The last year has seen a lot of change brought about by both the state and federal governments.  None of it has been positive.

The time has come for me to work out where I am headed professionally. The sector is in upheaval and it’s going to take a long long time, if ever, to settle. I have ex colleagues who work across a broad range of services, and we all feel the same way.

My university degree is in counselling. I’d love to start up my own counselling business. The thing is, I have little to no idea how to go about starting my own business. At this stage I have ideas and that is it. My current mental health role sees me visiting clients in their homes or other public places. I think this would be a great idea for a counselling role as well. A friend of mine, who lives in Europe, sees a counsellor in cafes and bars, where ever it suits them. This way things are more relaxed and easier to deal with. Although obviously this is not always ideal.

I’ve been looking around to see what else is out there, it seems there’s not much in the way of outreach counselling services. I also have a spare room here, that I could quite easily turn into some sort of therapeutic space if need be. In the UK a lot of counsellors have this approach. I used to have to see a guy for supervision (when I was studying in the UK) and I’d turn up at his place and sit in his front room, whilst I could hear his wife bustling about in the rear of the flat, cooking and cleaning. It worked well, until he fell down his stairs and broke his leg and couldn’t see me anymore!

It’s a daunting thought, giving up full time work and focusing on your own business. How do you ensure you get enough clients to keep paying the bills? I have no doubt I could put in the leg work, it’s just taking that risk… I don’t know, maybe I am too naive…

All I know is things are going to have to change soon, because I’m deeply unhappy in the industry I am in. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the work I do with my clients, I still love what I get to do with them. It’s the rest of it, the admin and the justification of each breath you take that brings me to tears.

I’m catching up with my psychology mentor at the pub next week, I’m going to pick his brain and see what gems I can unearth. I need to do this, for my own sanity as much as anything.

I think the hardest thing will be coming up with a business name! Aargh.

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~ by Fen on April 11, 2015.

6 Responses to “kicking around ideas”

  1. Tread warily. The last statistic I saw was 80% of businesses fail within the first five years, but then what you are planning is a bit different. I guess you would need a Medicare provider number. Why is the world making it so difficult for people to do jobs they are quite qualified for and competent at?

    • yes, i am very much aware of that statistic, which is why I am super wary of it all. But then I kinda feel like I’m being given no option, because it’s just so difficult otherwise. I can’t get a medicare provider number, counselling isn’t recognised in Australia. Social work yes, psychology yes, but not counselling. Another way to make things difficult.

  2. I talked about this concept with my psychologist when we were exploring possible careers for me. She said there really is not much money in the counselling game these days unless you can bulk bill via medicare. Being a psychologist, she can, but I would have to go to uni for 8 years to be able to do that.

    You, already having one degree, might be in a vastly different situation and that might be worth looking into. 🙂

    • The only way you can bulk bill is with another qualification. Psychologist degrees aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on these days. I never wanted to study psychology, too many stats!!

      I’m not out to make money, I just don’t want to work for someone else.
      There’s a huge need for counselling related stuff out there, it’s just tapping into the market. Society is getting sicker, not more resilient.

  3. Regarding a name for your business, how about Between the Lines? So much of what happens in therapy, for me, is about seeing and articulating what’s between the lines of the stories I usually tell myself about my life.

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