Is self-employment right for me?

Many women decide to train as a therapist because they want to help people. Yet many training courses don't cover the business of therapy.

Do I really want to work for myself? 

I’m not sure how many people ask themselves this question before training as a therapist. Or if they do, don’t really give it enough attention.

Over the years I’ve had numerous conversations about becoming a therapist and most focused on the ‘business of therapy’. Some of the areas discussed hadn’t been considered by the therapist.

Unfortunately, many therapy trainings do not go into depth about self-employment and business.

Working for yourself as a therapist.

In the UK, therapies, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, BWRT, massage, havening, EFT, Human Givens, etc., would sit under the umbrella of ‘complementary’ therapies. Practitioners are most likely to be self-employed either on a part-time or full-time basis. Others who trained as counsellors, registered psychotherapists or psychologists will often find employment within the NHS or an organisation.

The good news is that in the UK over half of all self-employed businesses are still going after 5 years* (there aren’t individual figures for the therapy sector). In the US, the average wage for ‘speciality therapists’ in 2017 was $50,019.

What experience do you already have?

You may have been involved in a family-run business or been self-employed in another capacity. Perhaps you held a management position in a company. Or have experience of managing a family.

You will bring with you many skills and abilities. Even with ‘life’ experience, it can be daunting working for yourself.

Go for it!

I’m not saying this to put you off becoming a therapist. Go for it! It’s the best thing in the world to work for yourself helping people change their life for the better. Having said that it is also helpful to be aware of some of the aspects of self-employment that can make people change their minds or only work part-time.

You will grow in confidence as you learn more about the business of therapy. You might find that there are free courses locally that help new start-ups. There are lots of online resources too.

Most therapists I know find their work as a therapist and business owner very rewarding.

  • Yes, it can seem a struggle at times.
  • Sometimes you may feel you aren’t good enough.
  • You will feel frustrated by the length of time it is taking you to get established. 

You are not alone, most therapists felt like this at some time when setting themselves up in business.

Remember your purpose!

Remember your ‘Why’. Keep focused on the small actions that will build over time. And create a supportive network for yourself.

You will get there.