The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to move through and many of us are adjusting to a temporary, new normal. As the weeks roll by, I have heard more and more from practitioners who are either in the dreaming or launching stages, or had recently ventured into part or full-time private practice talk about how they are now delaying or postponing their plans to launch or grow their practices.
If you had plans to launch your practice this spring or summer, or have just made the leap into private practice (either full or part-time), I want to assure you that NOW is the absolute perfect time to be going into private practice!
Over the past few weeks, many people (not just in the mental health industry) have seen their business take a nosedive. When we first heard the news of the pandemic, the majority went into “panic” or “crisis-mode” – retreating to our homes, overbuying/stocking up on things, withdrawing from social engagements, travel, and spending unnecessarily. Many people have had their incomes impacted and have been operating from anxiety and fear. All of this causes us to pull away – from each other, from society, and from doing anything really that helps the economy to grow.
So, why is now the perfect time to launch or grow a private practice?
Because right now, is not a few weeks ago. And in a month or two (or three or six) from now, we are going to be in a very different world. Although the effects of this pandemic will continue to ripple for some time to come, we are not going to be socially isolated and businesses are not going to be closed forever. Sometime in the next few months, the stay-at-home orders will start to be reversed (albeit slowly) and people will start to re-emerge from their homes and back into their daily lives.
Things, however, will not be the same. Many people right now are being faced with mild to severe mental and emotional challenges. Quarantining at home, either alone or with family, will have brought about a host of issues for many people. In the coming months, we can expect to see a significant increase in the number of people seeking support for mental health issues they had previously dealt with but have resurfaced. People experiencing generalized anxiety, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviours and depression, all triggered by the impact of COVID-19. Others will be experiencing grief and loss (of loved ones, of their jobs, or life as they knew it). For many people, the stay-at-home orders will have brought relationship issues to surface. All of this, without even mentioning the first responders and people who are on the front lines including health care workers, and employees in essential services.
We can expect that in the coming months, the mental health industry will be flooded with people who, because of the impact of COVID-19, will be seeking out individual, couples and/or family therapy. Not to mention the number of people who stopped therapy, or were considering beginning therapy when all of this started, but delayed it. Additionally, views around working and meeting online, including teletherapy, have shifted dramatically in the past few months. Therapists and clients alike, who previously may not have considered online therapy may be much more open to it, increasing the pool of clientele you can reach with your services.
For the remainder of 2020, we can expect to see one of the largest influxes of people seeking counselling and therapy that we have possibly ever seen. Now is not the time to shy away from launching or growing your private practice. Now is possibly the best time you could make the leap.
For those of us who already in the industry, or have the capacity to provide support right now, we are the practitioners who have the capacity to make the most positive impact. For clients currently in therapy, and for the few who are reaching out in the midst of this, those of us that are available and able to help will be the ones that our clients are speaking about, and referring to their family and friends.
Many of us have been offering free resources and support during this time including writing articles and vlogs, leading mini-group sessions, or giving free webinars. Finding ways to be of service right now, is going to have a lasting impact on your business.
Getting your name out there now, finding ways to create connections, build trust, and support your clientele right now, will only serve you in the coming months as your clientele and the people they are connected with begin to seek out counselling and therapy.
If you are thinking about launching your private practice in the coming months, I invite you to check out the 8-week Build Your Private Practice Mastermind Course that begins May 4th.
If you are already in private practice and would like support to understand how to best be of service to your clients and grow your business in the coming months, I invite you to book a free, 20-minute Business Mentorship Consultation.