Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

For Therapists Struggling in Private Practice

This essay is intended for the therapist in private practice who are struggling.


Therapists who deeply wanted to do it their own way by building a private practice, but now feel emotionally exhausted by trying to make it all work.


Who feel like it’s not enough money for all of the hours they pour in.


Who want to raise their rates and see less clients, but are scared to do it.


I was in the same place. I wrote a journal entry on May 17, 2021 about how hard it felt.


I forget sometimes because I’m not in that place anymore. My business and my life are radically different.


It has not been a smooth, direct path to get where I am. I don’t want my current “success” to occlude the very real realities of building a private practice that is emotionally, mentally, and financially sustainable.


I’m sharing this journal entry as a love letter to therapists who are struggling. Who are in it RIGHT NOW. To let you know that I also struggled. I also felt incredibly low and incredibly humbled.

 

May 17, 2021


When I set out into private practice, I thought, “Look at me, I’m not settling for being overworked, exhausted, or undercompensated.”


So I thought a schedule of 5 clients a day was reasonable - even freeing. And that $75/hr was a lot of money.


Until I lived it. And became exhausted. And realized it was too many clients. And not enough money.


It’s not that I need more downtime to restore. No, it’s that I simply need less of this in one day.


That’s a difficult realization to make. And then to admit I’m no longer building or growing my business.


A black and white mixed media collage of two women, a man, a bear, an elephant, and a rabbit who are in distress
"Struggling" Mixed Media Collage by Jackie Schuld

I’ve been willing to accept so little for so much. I have replicated the very systems I was used to. I thought I had it all figured out. But now I’m seeing there’s even more I don’t know. And different ways of being.


I only want to see 2-3 clients a day. And I want to charge $200/hr.


And I’m doing the work to be right with that in my own body.


I cannot oppress myself to liberate others. Well, I can, and I am, but it’s not going well.


I resent my clients. I don’t enjoy therapy as much - it’s like I have to give myself pep talks to get through.


When we talk about self-care, why don’t we look at the demands we put on ourselves? At reducing the work hours and other obligations?


Instead, it’s about fitting in another thing to make time for. That’s ridiculous.


It’s not about “take time for you” It’s about, “Scrape some of that god damn shit off.” SCRAPE IT OFF.


As I do this, make these changes, I see why it’s so hard.


I don’t know anyone else doing it. I joined a paid group just so I could interact with others doing it. And I’m still scared.


But I’ve been the one oppressing myself. No one can free me from that, but me.


I’ve got to show up for myself and liberate myself.

 

I provide consultation for therapists who want their private practices

to meet their needs


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