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Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Navigating the Cost of Living Crisis in Private Practice, with Miranda Palmer

Is the cost of living crisis making you feel insecure in your private practice? Maybe you worry no one will be able to afford therapy? Or clients are asking to come less frequently?

Perhaps you need to increase your fee in order to manage your own rising expenses, but worry about putting people off?

If so, you are not alone. However, today I have the amazing Miranda Palmer with me talking about thriving, not just surviving: navigating the cost of living crisis in private practice. 

More...

The news is full of worrying reports about the cost of living crisis and how it's impacting us all. This can leave us feeling anxious, insecure and concerned about both our personal finances and running a business in these circumstances.

So today, I am delighted to have guest expert Miranda Palmer with me talking about how you can not just survive, but thrive as you navigate the cost of living crisis in your private practice.

We discuss:

  • The importance of fully recognising and valuing what you do
  • Looking at the bigger picture within your practice so you grow and maintain a business to meet your needs
  • Managing feelings of guilt
  • Keeping yourself emotionally well to avoid burnout
  •  The benefits for you personally and professionally of self-development work

And a reminder that after the last few years, the reality is that there are more people today that need mental healthcare than ever before.

 About Miranda Palmer

Miranda Palmer, LMFT, loves helping therapists bridge the gap between what it takes to be a great therapist who gets great clinical outcomes and what it takes to run a successful therapy practice. She has helped thousands of therapists from around the world make the mindset shifts that allow a more effortless application of marketing strategies that grow a private practice that is not just financially sustainable, but that gets great clinical outcomes.

Miranda and her business partner Kelly Higdon, also a liscenced therapist founded ZynnyMe, to empower private practice owners to serve at their highest and best, improve clinical outcomes through business planning, and to break the statistic that mental health clinicians are the worst paid Masters’ degree.  

Kelly and Miranda provide coaching and training through their Private Practice Community, the Business School Bootcamp for Therapists, and educational webinars, and have helped thousands of clinicians from around the world. 

Links:

Learn more about Business School for Therapists: news.zynnyme.com/business-school/

Website: zynnyme.com

Blog: zynnyme.com/blog

Facebook: facebook.com/kellyandmiranda

Instagram: instagram.com/zynnyme/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/2456942/

Check out more episodes of the Starting a Counseling Practice Success Stories podcast on these platforms:

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Book: Therapist Burnout: Your Guide to Recovery and a Joyful, Sustainable Private Practice

Podcast Transcript

Jane: Hello Miranda. It is absolutely fantastic to have you here. Welcome to the Grow Your Private Practice Show. We are lots of therapists who are all trying to grow their private practice, so it's wonderful having you here.


Miranda: Thanks for having me, Jane. It is such a delightful space that you create here and I feel really welcome and I feel really honoured to be here talking with you and your people.

Jane: Well, you are very welcome. Anyway, so what we're gonna talk about! Well, we could talk about lots of things cuz we could easily get chatting, but one of the things that's around at the moment is
the cost of living crisis, you know, prices are going up, fuel prices are going up, food prices are going up, everything is going up. There's no let up, and then we hear about all these big businesses that are making billions and billions of pounds.

It's crazy and it's horrible as a person, but it's also horrible for somebody who's running a private practice - or anybody that's running a business.
Worrying for lots and lots of different reasons. We worry that people aren't gonna be able to afford therapy and therefore we are gonna go under, we are worried that people are gonna want to go fortnightly. We worried that people are gonna not want to pay us as much and we worry that we're gonna have to ask for more money.

And it's a really, really complex situation, isn't it? That feeling insecure around it. SoI wondered what are your thoughts about the current situation?

Miranda: Yeah, I think, here's where I'd love to start. I started my private practice during the last great recession in the United States, right?
And I started in a time when people were like, wait, you're gonna leave your good paying job with benefits to go and do this private practice, and you're gonna be going out there and being self-employed. This is a really scary time to do that. And I remember feeling like I understand that and I felt really led that that's what I was supposed to do.
And so I did it even though it was and what was really it was a very easy thing for people to say. I imagine there's a lot of people that are listeners right now going, do I just need to go get another job? Like, is running a business actually sustainable? Like maybe I'd be Better off working for this or working for the government or working for these nonprofits.
And then I literally watched all these individuals end up with, um, we call them, do you guys have furlough days there furloughs. Yeah, we would have furlough days and layoffs and all these other things. So it started to impact all of them while my business was actually going well and my income was going up at the same time during this recession.
So I share this all as, say, There's a lot that happens externally in the news that can be impactful to us making decisions about whether something's even worth our energy, and that isn't necessarily actually related to the reality of. Of our life and our business and our capabilities of growing. The reality is that more people today need mental healthcare than ever before.
We actually have more therapists that are leaving the field than entering the. . So the demand for therapy is actually higher with less people available, and you're really valuable right now. And so before we get into like the, the specifics of like the steps to take, can we just like breathe that in and say like, together as like a, as a community, what we do is really valuable, what we did?
It's a absolute necessity. , it's an absolute necessity. It's not something artificial intelligence can do, right? They can give them information, maybe they can maybe give them like a checklist, but what you do. , it's really much more powerful than that. Your ability to just really be present.
Do you like, if you had this experience where you can literally like feel what's happening with your client, like you are exchange, you're having an energy exchange, you're giving them energy, they're giving you energy. Like there's more than just what is said and done in the therapy session.
There is this. Meeting in this community, in this like heart and like just sitting and creating safety for them. Like it's really powerful and there's nobody, like, there's not enough, there's nobody else who can do it the way that you can do it. And so I think even just sitting from that place and getting back into your why and into your heart is the very first step of being able to like, keep your, I don't wanna say keep your blinders on.
Cause we're gonna talk about. , keeping your blinders on versus sticking your head in the sand, right? I actually very specifically recommend right now while there's things happening in the world, not sticking your head in the sand, but also like if we're just distracted by what's happening on the news and all these other things, we can end up feeling like we're spinning around versus going, oh, am I meant to be doing this?
Is this my work and my passion? What do I need to be able to do that? Step one. Step one. And if you can't connect in with that, it, it won't matter what else happens, right?

Jane: absolutely. Thank you so much for reminding the listeners that they're so important and they're so valuable and what they do is so valuable.
Cuz I think so easy. It's so easy, isn't it? To lose sight of that. We sometimes lose sight of that and forget about the value of what we do. So thank you for that.

Miranda: of course. And I think this, the second part, right, is. for most of us as we get into this cost of living crisis, the truth is that most of us were having a cost of living crisis two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago.
Most of us have been in a scenario for a long time, whether we're working for other people, working for ourself, where we have not felt expansive financiall . We haven't felt like, oh, I have a great savings account. I paid off all of my accreditors or my student loans, or whatever your dynamic is. I'm living in a place where I can easily pay my rent and my mortgage, and if something goes wrong, I'm taken care of.
We know that psychology is one of the worst paid master's degrees in the, in the uk. It's one of the worst paid master's degrees. So even before. Right. For, for most of us as counsellors, we've, we're in a cen scenario where when the cost of eggs triples, when gas doubles, when the rent goes up 30%, we didn't have any, we, we were barely making it before that happened.
We were barely making it, or maybe we weren't even making it. Maybe we were just going a little more into debt, into credit card debt every month, feeling guilt or shame that like we weren't managing our money appropriately when in reality some of us have been living behind below the poverty line for a really long time.
So I think that space of looking at the bigger picture and going, oh wow. Look at, look at all that I've been doing for a really not enough income for a really long time. and that, that, that was a beautiful thing. That was an honorable thing, but it didn't give me the privilege. Right now, while other costs are going up, I don't have the privilege of not making a change.
Right now, I don't have the privilege of continuing to charge the same amount or accept the same insurance contracts because if I continue to do that, I'm going to have to close my doors. Yeah, I'm going to have to do something else. I'm gonna have to get a second or a third job.
I'm gonna have to start another business with energy I don't have, or I'm gonna have to see 10 more clients and know that if I'm being honest in my heart of hearts, if I see more clients, everybody's gonna get worse care, because realistically, I only have so much to give and so I have to honor that. It's sort of like, um, you know, if you have this much ice cream , you know, here's your container of ice cream for the week. No matter how you, how you shift it, there's only so much ice cream. If you have 50 people at the party, you have 20 people at the party.
This is the amount of ice cream that's there. Everyone gets a little less, or we cut the cake a little smaller and we don't like to think about it. And I think. We consistently, we just give ourselves less ice cream. We give ourselves less cake, but we've been doing that for so long. It's, we're, we're past that point.
we're past the point where we're, we're emaciated, giving out cake and ice cream

Jane: …and nobody's having my cake!

Miranda: get your hands off my cake! So I, I think there's a space right where we have to like kind of honour and go, oh yeah, like there's some shift in change that we need to.
And then of course, that brings up the guilt, right? Everybody's struggling right now. Everybody's struggling right now. There's a cost of living crisis that's happening. So then I can convince myself that well, I can't make a change now. I can't raise my fee.
I can't say no to that government contract, or I can't say no to that insurance contract when in reality I can't not change. Right? like, I can't, I can't continue. I can't sustain what I've been doing. And so of course then that brings up a lot of feelings.

Jane: Exactly. There are a lot of feelings there. There are a lot of feelings around fear, guilt, and worry.
If I raise my price, is that gonna put people off? But I think something that we forget is that the people that are going to come to private counselling have always needed to have an income. They've always needed to be able to afford it. So this isn't different. in that respect, if that doesn't sound too harsh.
But, you know, I'm not saying only people can afford counselling, can go to counselling, but the bottom line is the only the people that can afford to go to private counselling are people that can afford it. Sadly. I mean, I think everybody should be able to get counselling. Everybody should be able to get counselling for free, but that's not the way things are.
I don’t know if you know Kat Love.

Miranda: Yeah. Yeah. Lovely Kat Love. Yeah, they're amazing.

Jane: And they said ‘just because the system's broken doesn't mean that we have to fix it.’ Yeah.

Miranda: brilliant thing. And I think, and we talk about this, Kelly, my, my partner, my business partner, to be clear, she's married, everyone's always, we thinks that we're married.
But my partner, she talks about this like, you know, here's this gap in this chasm, right? And here are the therapists. Stretching out over the two mountains, like letting, like, walk over me, here's the piece of it. And they're literally like holding on, you know, like taking the weight, um, trying to hold up two mountains, you know, trying to bridge these gaps.
And like, we just cannot, we can't. We physically can't. And I think especially after these last few years, I think it has been problematic for a long time. We've had issues of burnout for decades in this profession. And then you put into it, going through this like, Worldwide global trauma concurrently with our clients.
While we started, you know, well, again, most therapists, they expanded their caseloads during the pandemic. A lot of them did start, their boundaries, started to get funky. A lot of the people pleasers, like when you look at the fight, flight, freeze or fawn, the behaviours that people started popping out in their private practice, connected in with that, right?
So a lot of people were really having a trauma response. So suddenly this people-pleasing, this fawning of scheduling clients every hour of the day. Not saying no, not billing their clients. Like, um, saying yes to clients that they knew were not appropriate, not setting appropriate boundaries in terms of frequency of treatment or when someone was ready to terminate,
like these things came up to the surface in such an impactful way. And then, you know, therapists weren't realizing that it was a trauma response, and this, of course, was leading to them feeling numb, depressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling like, I just don't even know about this profession anymore too.

Jane: I mean, I went through something like that in my business. I'm not counselling anymore, but I was, and have the membership. And when lockdown happened, I just threw myself into it, like to the n’th degree. It wasn't like alcohol that numbed me. It was work.
I was work, work, work. And I was throwing myself into it ended up with burnout and that's what we do sometimes, isn't it? Do you think that is…

Miranda: gonna be happening now? I think it is happening right now. I think it's been happening for a long time, and I think that, that this is part of the, of the basis of why we have to look at the financial pictures of our business and we need to look at all the aspects of this, right?
And the cost of living or the finances is just one part of it, but we need to really look at, as we're looking at what needs to happen financially. We have to look at, well, what's the gross income that I really need to make to be able to be taken care of? To know that if something happened and there was another pandemic or shut down, or I wasn't able, I wasn't allowed.
I mean, this is the first time that I as a business coach have been in a perspective where somebody wasn't allowed to do their work, right? Like gyms and, and restaurants and all these people, like, they literally were like, your business is now illegal overnight. Yeah. So to create an income that allows us to have some buffer, some options is really important.
And to look at vacation, to look at retirement, to look at sick time, to make sure that if there's an emergency and my laptop broke tomorrow, that I would be able to easily get it and that wouldn't be something where I'd have to choose that I couldn't eat.
And again, really looking at the taxes and our take-home income and currently just to have the same quality of life.
Your take home income has to go up because our costs are going. So you're, it's, it's this place of you're giving yourself a raise just not to take a loss. That's where it is. So we need to get really clear on what's happening financially. And I think a lot of us, again, we kind of were just like, oh gosh, I don't really wanna look at this is an extra a hundred dollars here and $300 there and, and this and that.
And suddenly you realize, that's an extra $15,000 a year, and I barely made it work last year, and I still, I don't have any savings and I don't have any, I didn't take a vacation and all these things like this isn't working. So we need to look at what that financial picture is. And then this is the really scary part.
We need to look at how many clients a week in my current state can I see where the first client of the day and the last client of the day and the first client of the week and the last client of the week get the same energy and attention. And what happened before the pandemic, or five years ago, or 10 years ago, maybe somehow you, you did feel like you could see 25 clients a week.
Maybe it's 15, maybe it's 12, maybe it's eight. What does that look like? Like maybe it's a lot less because you are in the space where you've been pushing yourself for so long that you really need some recovery, because bubble baths are not doing it. Getting a pedicure is not doing it. Taking a vacation is not doing it because we've been living in this unsustainable cycle for so long.
So we have to really look at, okay, how many clients can I really see per week? And then we need to look at the amount of weeks that we can work per year. Time for vacation, time for training. Time for sick time, right? Time for rest. And those three numbers together, right? Here's the gross income that you really need for everything together.
Here's the amount of clients you can see per week, and here's the weeks that per year. That is what informs your hourly rate.

Jane: Yeah, great. So rather than putting your head in the sand and thinking, right, okay, I'll just keep peddling, keep peddling, keep peddling harder. Stop. Take a look around.
Check out your income. Check out your expenditure. Check out what you need, and check out. Have a, have a listen to your body and see how am I feeling? You know, am I managing this or am I actually getting burnt out? Or depressed? Or stressed or, or whatever. And then from that, you can start thinking about, right, what is it that I need to do?

Miranda: Yeah. And really get honest about what needs to happen financially. And so if, for example, let's say you've been, you know, I think, I think there's a space, right? You're in the Cost of Living crisis and you go, if I could just increase my rates by $10, like if I just increase by $10 across the board and I'm seeing 20 clients a week, and that's 50 weeks a year, that would be an extra $10,000 of, uh, of profit.
That's enough - but it may not be enough. Um, and it's a really frustrating thing if you haven't looked at the numbers to really get clear about what is happening. And so really diving into knowing what that number is. . And I think one of the other pieces, which is really interesting, let's say you've been charging 120 Euro, for example, right?
That's been your, your fee. And you like the idea of charging 135 euro, again, it's cost of living crisis. It's going up like people can't afford. They're already asking to come in once a month or fortnightly, whatever, whatever the dynamic is like that doesn't make sense to me. So you're already feeling guilty about.
Moving it from 120 to 135, and then you do the math and it comes back, then it needs to be 150. Mm-hmm. you know, what do you, what do you do with that? And I think what happens is when we can get real about that number, sometimes it can actually be helpful and freeing to do it as a number thing as opposed to an emotional thing.

So instead of emotionally going, well, what do I think I could charge? What if I just charge a little bit more? What would that feel like? To make it a business decision cause it is. It is a business decision.
And to let them math, like in our business school, we have like a calculator and people just answer a bunch of questions about their expenses and about what they need, their take-home income to be or whatever, and they just answer the question and then literally says, well here's what you need to charge, then this is the piece.
And then they can like change the dynamics. And then it says, okay, if you change that thing, if you do a little bit of this or a little bit more of that, they can see in terms of their expenses, what that really makes sense. Sometimes we get into these places where we're trying to like, if I change my credit card processing and I could change like 0.5%, you know, what does that do?
And then they realize like, thats not gonna change anything. Those little things just. Sometimes they add up and sometimes it's not enough. Mm-hmm. like that doesn't make a lot of sense when, I mean, how many of, your clients I know a lot of my clients love to do sliding scale for people.
They love to kind of monkey around with what their actual fee is for people. And so what, what does that look like if you have your fee is supposed to be, um, again, we like to use this, this math cuz it makes it just super easy. But if you're seeing about 20 clients a week, 50 weeks a year, which is probably too many clients, too often, we want you to take more.
But just for easy math, every $10 on average that your, that your average fee goes down is $10,000 in profit. So if you say your fee is 135 euro, but in reality after sliding for this person and this person is, is gratis and well, this person hasn't paid you in six months or whatever the dynamic is, if what on average what you're actually getting is a hundred euro per session, that's 30,000 euro per year.
That's a lot of money. Yeah, it's a lot of money and it adds up more quickly than people realize. And so, and we just did this, um, this webinar where we had people actually fill out their actual numbers of how many, how often they were going over on session, how many minutes they're going on sessions, how many people, they were not showing no-show rates for not charging late cancellations and stuff, and it was weeks of unpaid labour per year.
For the therapist who filled it ou,t five weeks on average that they were working when they were not getting paid. That's shocking, isn't it? That's shocking. It's like $15,000 Oh, wow. A year and lost things just from no-shows and cancellations. Yeah. Right.
So I think this, this bigger piece, right, when we talk about burnout, we could go to, we could take six months off and we could “heal” but if we went back into the same dynamics that most of us have created within a month or three months or six months, our bodies would be like, Uhuh, yeah, I'm not playing.
We can't heal ourselves. And then go back into the same scenario that broke us in the first place.
And I think even in terms of like, I think there's a certain place, even as we are healed, our bodies get angry. Like they get mad sooner. They're like, didn't you realize, didn't you hear me before? You just brought me back into the same scenario. Like, this isn't any better. Yeah, you just replicated it.
It's not that I just need rest. It's not just that I can take a sabbatical and then I come back. I need to change the foundation.

Jane: like with clients, you know, with a client, you, you might have somebody who goes on antidepressants and they go on antidepressants and they start feeling a bit better.
And then if they come off the antidepressants, but nothing else has changed, then you’re right back at square one, you know, you've got to be doing something different. Sorry, you were saying something that you and Kelly have done

Miranda: well, and even I, I'll stay with this for a second. Cause I think this is really juicy.
Even if they stayed on the antidepressants, But nothing in their scenario changed. What are the odds that over time their body symptomology went up and the antidepressants don't work as well? I've seen that probably happen more than anything else, that they go, oh, this isn't working anymore, because the body's having to speak louder.
Louder. The heart's having to speak louder and louder saying, I told you this doesn't work. It doesn't feel good. Like this doesn't. The banging on the Yes, banging on the glass. And that's what Kelly and I wrote this book, Therapists Burnout. We just published it this last year and it's been really a beautiful thing to line out here is what happens that creates this dynamic and then like, here's the systemic thing that we have to do.
Right? It's systemic change. It's not. I think often in, in our history, I remember people being like, oh, they burned out, or they flamed out, or, oh, they're on emotional leave. Like there was a lot of like kind of judgment or like, it was a lot of like kind of nastiness from supervisors and things like that when those things happened, like there was never a place of like, well, what's been happening in this scenario that.
…more and more people are leaving. They're quitting or they're going on emotional health leave and that they're in the space and there's never a, well, let's change the system. And in our business, a lot of people, we leave systems that you may have been burned out before you started private practice. That might be why you started your private practice.
But then because we don't really understand the pieces of it, we can inadvertently replicate the same dynamics in our private practice. And so we're setting the same foundation, we're just doing it in different way. And then we don't realize like, well, of course we're gonna be burned out. We have to start shifting.

Jane: you are in like an employed position or a corporate job and the way that they work is, really hard work and you're praised for long hours and you know, you are, you are kind of told off if you take time off. I guess it stands to reason that when you start in private practice you think that to be successful you've got to be hustling and hustling and getting out there.
And the harder you work, the better it's gonna be. And that is just not the case - for everybody. But it's certainly not the case for counsellors cuz the harder you work, the less you're gonna be available for your clients and the less you're gonna be available for you and your family and your own social life

Miranda: Yeah. No, It's such an important thing for us to take ownership of realizing that our intuition really knows what life should look like, that our body really knows what life should look like and like what you're wanting and desiring.
It's not too much to ask for, there's nothing wrong with you. And it is going to be you creating something that looks and feels very different. You're creating something just as just brand new. And I, and I hope that like, just like listening to podcasts like this, like gives you that space to like tap in, like what is your heart really say?
What are the emotions that come up when you think about your business or when you think about the ways life has been going or your practice has been going? What are the sensations in your body like? What are the actual like physical sensations? Like? It took me a long time to realize that I tend to feel a lot of physical pain.
It's emotional stuff that my body likes to transmute and into physical things. It gives me sensation to say, Hey, you're caring too much. This doesn't feel good. Right. And then of course, like our intuition. There's this great little, I don't know if it's a mantra or something that I heard from somebody that has been really impactful to me, but it said,
Our mind will always try to keep us safe
Our heart knows no depth
Our body always tells the truth
Our intuition is two steps ahead
.
Right? That's amazing. Yeah. And it's just such a beautiful, like, oh, what is my intuition trying to pull me from?
Pull me towards, right. What is my mind trying to like say, oh no, we can't do that. That feels different and safe. What are the emotions that are coming up? And of course this, like, what is my body telling me? And for a lot of us, burnout happens in the body and we, and I think for therapists in particular, and I'm, I'm one of them, we tend to experience the burnout.
We experience it as autoimmune disorder. Before we experience burnout, we say there's something wrong with my physiology. And we go in and we go, oh, you got the Hashimotos, you got the this, you got the Graves disease, you've got celiac. Suddenly when you had it your whole life, you know, all these different pieces start to pop up because our body's trying to give us information and data. Yeah.

Jane: I think so often we don't listen to our intuition. We try to override it. We try to let our brain override it so our intuition and our body is saying something and we just go, no, of course I'm not tired. No, of course I can stay up and do a bit more.
No, of course I can do that thing and do that thing and do that thing, and we sometimes just don't trust ourselves.

Miranda: I think it's a beautiful thing to realise like our mind is just trying to keep us safe. That's it. And we need to have all parts of our body online. We need to have mind and body and heart and intuition.
it's all connected for us to really be living a full conscious life. And if one of those is offline or one of those is like leading the charge without everybody else connected, it's not gonna be, it's not gonna be

Jane: sustainable. Yeah, absolutely.. Can I ask you another, a practical question?
…well, it's not practical actually, but one of the things I know is very difficult is, I think it’s one thing saying, yes, I know I'm worth charging more money. I know that I'm worth it. I have that value. Um, I know that counselling is valuable. I, I know all of that,
but if I put my prices up for current clients when they're struggling themselves, does that make me a bad person? You know? Have you got any tips for dealing kind of guilt?

Miranda: Yeah. So I think the first part is realising that, number one, you're invaluable. You're invaluable as a human. So this is nothing to with value.
This is based on resources. This is just a, a business and a resource decision. It's not based on your value, and it's not based on not loving your clients like, you know, that you would do this for free if you could, if like you were taken care of and your clients were taken care of and everything. If so, if, you know, a Bill Gates just showed up tomorrow and said you could just do this, you'd be like, awesome.
Done. I'm just gonna do it. Like, it would be fine. But that's not the reality of. So when we start to take that off the table and say, okay, this is just the reality of, of running the business. And then we start to look at, so what, what does it mean if I don't do this? How is it gonna impact my client if I don't get what I need to be moving on?
So that means I'm not getting consultation, I'm not getting training. I'm ignoring the burnout. I'm seeing more clients than I can see. I can't remember from session to session. My progress notes are three weeks behind . You know, like whatever the, I'm, I'm freaked out because I have to find a new place to live, or I'm behind on my mortgage or behind on my rent or whatever the dynamic is.
Or I've got six crazy roommates living in my house right now and, and I can't sleep at night. Whatever the dynamic is, how is that gonna impact your clients long? Right. We're not talking about you're making a decision for a week or two. We're talking about like your ongoing business and is this really sustainable?
And so when we look at that, we go, oh, it's actually not kind to my clients to create this outcome. It's it's unkind. So I have to be honest with them. I have to be honest, that's actually like a huge part of therapy is, and it's not that I have to be honest in saying, Hey, financially I've been floating this for a long time, or, you know, I'm not putting my stuff on them.
But if I'm in a place where I'm burnt out or I'm resentful, I might be saying all the right things, but like physiologically, it's not connected. That's like what? This is what they brought from their family of origin - Mom's saying this, but she's feeling that.
And now we've got all this transference and counter transference bullshit like we're supposed to have a reparative environment. Y'all we're supposed to not be replicating all the bullshit from the end. So we're gonna be honest and say, Hey, here's the dynamic.
And when they say, well, what if I just come in once a month? They then we're gonna hold the frame of I hear you and you actually need every week, and here's why. So what's your budget for therapy? And let me refer you out. Yes. That can feel really scary for sure. But the, the aspect of you having a full practice is a marketing issue. It's not a pricing issue.
If people were coming to you just based on price, there are people doing counseling for $5, there are people doing counselling for free. They're coming to you because they're looking for a particular outcome. They're coming to you because they feel that you can really help them heal and solve their pain. And if we are holding to the value and we're really like con, we're like fully present in that, we're gonna be more likely to give people the clinical outcomes that they need.
We're gonna be checking in on is this working? What do we need to shift? And. . I remember during the great recession having a couple call me to do couples counseling and they're both out of work and they were trying to schedule and I said, you can't afford this. You need to go over here. And they said, no, we've read your website.
You're the person for us. We need to do this. I'm like, it's really expensive, right? I'm trying to talk them out of it. And they said, look, we're living with our, you know, one of their parents right now. . If we don't figure out our marriage, it's going to cost us more than anything that's here. We've already been to other counselling nonprofits.
We believe this is important for us to invest in. We don't have rent. We're gonna invest in our marriage. You're our person, right? Like I had to just own that and go. Yeah. I'm their person and I'm going to dig in and I'm gonna get out of the way of trying to decide how other people should invest their money.
Yeah. That is such, and realize what I do is powerful.

Jane: Yeah. Sometimes we get caught up in the fact that we think that people can't afford us. But we don't know what people can afford. We don't know what their expenses are like people sometimes want to pay for something because it represents them taking care of themselves.
That's a great story. That's a great story. I can remember when I went to counselling the first time, I had no money. I can remember at the time I was earning £400 a month. And my counselling was £80 pounds a month, and that was a huge amount, and I had to get a lodger in. I'm an introvert - I didn't want a lodger!
I had to pay for it, and I paid for it because me helping myself was so important. That's what we sometimes forget with clients. They are ready to take that step because it's so important to them. To feel better, to get a better life, to feel more fulfilled, whatever it is that they want. And they're prepared to pay for it because it's so important and they know the value of it.

Miranda: Yeah. Yeah. With our clients there's thousands of stories like that, but I think that space of understanding this is the cost of doing. Let's really connect here. And I have lots of stories of counsellors, of therapists that are in our business school thing, and they'd be like, I raised my fees and now no one's calling.
And my first question was always, did you put it on your website yet? No. Well then how could your raise fee have anything to do with whether they're calling you? The amount of times they were like, oh yeah, wait. Oh, that's me. I'm scared of marketing myself because I'm turning this into a value issue because I've actually told myself already that no one will pay this fee.
I've already created this outcome and now I'm doing behaviour, not marketing, to reinforce this outcome, right? Mm-hmm, I'm keeping myself safe from having change versus, well, what does it really mean to make a shift and a change?

Jane: I don’t know about you, but I've got loads of anecdotal evidence of people when they put the price up, they get far more clients.
The number of people contacting them really goes up and they're like, I can't believe it!

Miranda: It's really fascinating. It's, there's a lot energetically that happens in all the different ways, but I think the biggest thing that I could say is when you are starting your practice or growing your practice, it is the biggest self-development work you'll ever do.
All the stuff that you've been working on in your personal therapy for years or decades about not feeling good enough about wondering if you're, am I really of value? Do people really love me? All of that stuff. You know, I struggle with setting boundaries. It's going to get pulled to the surface and it's actually really beautiful.
It's, you know, back in, right back in the old days, right? It's grist for the mill. Right? Do you remember, I don't know if that's big in, in counselling programs in the uk, but there it was like, oh, that's grist for the mill. Like, let it come up so that we can like work it through, you know, like that's the piece of it.
Like let it come up, let it come to the surface as. As we don't dive in and kind of like again, stick at our head in the sand and we can allow it to come up and out, it's a beautiful way for us to work through it. And when you work through those value issues, those worth issues, those boundary setting issues in your business, guess what?
it starts to happen in your romantic relationships and your friendships with your children, with your parents. Like this is a just as valuable as a way for you to do your work as going in and talking to therapists. And in fact, if you've been in counseling for a long time and you're kind of spinning your wheels in terms of this work and you feel like you haven't made progress, maybe diving into your business would be a way for you to actually make some significant growth.
Maybe business coaching with Jane or, you know, whatever the thing is. Maybe you'll find that like, oh wait, this is another way in to do the work.

Jane: I couldn’t agree more. I think that, One of the fantastic things about running your own business is that you get so you, you can do so much personal development work. How you do business is how you do life, and you know it’s exactly like you say, what you are gonna be learning about yourself in business transfers out to all the rest of your life.
And it is just so valuable. I think it's fantastic.

Miranda, thank you so much for coming! So if we just think about what you've talked about, you've talked about.
Do not forget how valuable, how valuable you are,
How invaluable you are,
How important you are, in what you do, and just for being there anyway.
That the cost of living crisis isn't new. We, we've never got enough money, have we? We've never got enough money. We're always hard up and we always want more money. So the fact that we are in a state where we're, that's the state now, isn't it? Never got enough. We haven't got enough money.
It's not that different to how we've lived our lives so far. But it's a chance for you to. Stop, take check. Take to stop and check out what is going on for you. How's your business? Wha does your business looking like? Are you earning enough? Are you giving yourself enough time?
Are you looking after yourself?
Are you earning enough?
Are you being too people pleaserey - if that's a word!, two much of a people pleaser. And just to sort of peep your head out above the parapet and just have a look and say, right, you know what is happening. So this can, if you let it be a really good chance to just stop and take stock.
And then from that, have a look with a Business mindset rather than an emotional mindset to be able to say, right, I need to earn X amount of money and I need to only work X amount of hours. You know, it's not always about I need more money than I need more clients. Sometimes it's about I need to earn more money, but I can't see more clients, so I need to put my prices up.
Keep doing the work on yourself.
Think about your own money mindset.
Think about your own self-care.
Think about your own burnout, and prioritize yourself and listen to your intuition.
Yeah, you covered quite a lot there, didn't you?

Miranda: We did!
It was a juicy conversation. It was Well, it always is

Jane: fantastic. Now, Miranda, just before we finish, I wonder if you could just tell us, Where's the best place for people to find you now? I am gonna put all of the links in the show notes. But do you just want to tell us, you know, how people can find you and, and just remind us what your book's called?

Miranda: Yeah, so Zynnyme.com.
Our, our book, which is available on Amazon is Therapist Burnout, your Guide to Recovery and a Joyful, sustainable Private Practice. Fantastic. And I have to actually look it up to make sure I say the, the name the right way.
We actually have two podcasts - starting accounting practice, which is therapists from around the world shared their stories of starting and growing solo and group practices. And it's, it's really, it's a lot of storytelling and just. Kind of advice, but it's really from more people sharing their particular journey so you get a real sense of how long things take and all the different ways that you could be successful.
And then we have another one that's a little bit more nuts and bolts called ‘Starting a Private Practice’. And it's like a step-by-step. Here's the, here's the first step. Here are some frequently asked questions, and then we do a coaching session with somebody on that step and we kind of take you, um, Through each of them, and you can find it alln Zynnyme.com
We also have free trainings and all kinds of cool stuff.

Jane: You have a ton of free trainings, you have got a shedload of free trainings, so I will put all of the details in the show notes.
So guys, go and have a checkout of that and have a look at what's there.

Miranda, thank you so much. It's absolutely been a delight having you here and I know that my listeners are gonna absolutely love what you've said.
So I'm goning to thank you on their behalf and thank you on my behalf, and it's just been an absolute pleasure.

Miranda: Same. Same. Thank you.

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Jane


Jane lives in beautiful Lincoln with her 2 boys and rescue dog. When she's not talking about herself in the third person, she's usually found with her feet up and eating Maltesers. Sometimes she even shares them with friends.