Therapists and psychologists, in the UK at least, are notoriously poor at recognising the value of their services to their client group. This may, in part, be rooted in the environment in which many have trained, a public sector service where treatment is free at the point of delivery, or perhaps, more significantly, many therapists come into this line of work because they want to help people in need, and the idea of charging people when they are in distress “feels” wrong.

This is a mindset that is understandable, to an extent, but it is one that is unlikely to lead to you creating a successful business that pays its way and meets your requirements. You enter private practice to earn a living, and believe it or not, when clients come to see you as a private therapist, they expect to pay for your services.

Think about it: when was the last time you called a plumber to your home to fix a leak, brought your car to the garage to have a service or even visited your dentist? When the job was done, what did you expect the Plumber Leumeah , mechanic or dentist to do? You were anticipating the bill, were you not? It really was never in question; it was just a matter of whether s/he wanted cash or a cheque. So why should your service be any different? And why would your clients expect to be dealt with any differently? They are buying a service, and when you buy something, you expect to pay for it!

And what are your clients paying for?

They have come to you for help with an issue that is troubling them. They have found that they cannot deal with it themselves, and talking to family and friends has not been a route they felt they could take or would be helpful. They have chosen you because you have an expertise in helping people address their problems and overcome them, so that they can go forward better able to cope with their lives and be more productive. Is that not worth something? Clients clearly value this, or they would not look for therapy, so when are you going to value your skills too?

Most psychotherapists and psychologists have spent many years training to acquire the skills needed to be able to do the work they do. They continue training and learning after qualifying to ensure that they keep their skills up-to-date and to get even better at providing the therapy that their clients will benefit from. This training and experience has a cost and a value. The work you put into training, you then make available to your clients so that they get a better service from you. Who would not be willing to pay for access to such highly qualified and experienced skilled practitioners?

Add to this the fact that, as someone who has been drawn to the helping professions, you enter into your relationship with your client with the express intention of helping them feel better. And you put all your energies into finding the best way to achieve this for them.

Clients of psychotherapists and psychologists generally experience the therapeutic session as intense and focussed on them and their needs. They get around an hour of your dedicated attention and expertise with the sole intention of helping them feel better. This is not some cosy chat with an acquaintance: this is an expert at work, bringing all the skills within their therapeutic armoury to bear on the client’s problem. That is what your client is paying for, and that is what you need to learn to value as you wrestle with the dilemma you face over charging.

Are you worth someone’s hard-earned cash?

When you put what you do and how you do it into context, taking into account all your training, your experience, the focus you give to your clients when you work with them and the results you work to achieve for their benefit, I think you know the answer. Go on, value what you do, charge properly for your services: you know you are worth it.


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