Education, study and knowledge

6 steps to open a psychology consultation

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Opening a psychology practice is one of the career paths preferred by many psychologists oriented toward intervention in mental health or education. Those who choose to offer their services independently often do so so as not to be subject to the limitations of working in a highly hierarchical structure in which you have little control over the decisions.

However, when going on your own, you also have to know how to manage other pressures, especially related to the initial scarcity of resources, on the one hand, and to the competitiveness of the market, for the other.

In the following lines we will see some basic ideas to know how to open a psychology consultation in the best possible way.

  • Related article: "7 keys of Psychology applied to Marketing and Advertising"

How to open a psychology consultation, step by step

It must be clear that any project that has to do with starting a business will require time, effort and a minimum amount of money from us. However, the risks and costs of running your own business are lower if you have some basic ideas about what to do, information that allows us to straighten out the situation to overcome the extra problems that may appear if we do not know very well what the steps are to continue.

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Definitely, knowing how to open a psychology consultation does not mean opening it and starting to earn money, but lose as little as possible along the way and do everything in our power to avoid generating unwanted situations with capital, with the laws or with customers.

In addition, it must be clear that no matter how well we do it, whether the project prospers or not depends a lot on factors that we cannot directly control, such as the economic and social ups and downs to which any country It is subject. Fortunately, it is not usual for these to occur abruptly, so if we consolidate the psychology consultation at an appropriate time and do not make the deficit situation becomes chronic, being attentive to what is happening in the present before making the first movements will eliminate a good part of those risks.

1. Define your project

When undertaking psychology, you must follow the same fundamental rules that must be upheld any entrepreneurial project, and one of them is to have the idea first and make the first moves after. This must be the case, among other things, because in a moment of vulnerability such as the first stage of creating a business, it is it is very likely that we will not be able to afford to totally change the business model a few weeks or months after having started, when it is still in deficit or it has been very recently that the profitability line has been crossed.

So the first thing to do is market research, however modest it may be. Studying the competition is essential, and you must bear in mind that if your services include find online therapy, this is not limited to the rest of the psychology consultations that are in your neighborhood.

With this information, raises the different types of services you can offer and the way in which you would market them, assessing the advantages and disadvantages of each one. In the case of psychological intervention, try to define as specifically as possible what type of services you will emphasize on each of these options to choose from.

In this way, it is easier for you to be correct when choosing which market niche you want to occupy, being aware of whether in this service there is a lot or little competition, a lot or little potential demand, etc. For example, if there is a large aging population in your area and there is already a center that specializes in child therapy and the like, intervention in childhood and adolescence will surely not be the most important trajectory, so it would be better either to focus the work on another service, or to change the location where you want to work.

  • You may be interested: "Types of psychological therapies"

2. Define your work philosophy and business plan

Once the previous stage has been overcome, the next step when opening a psychology consultation is to go to the concrete and leave established in a more systematic and predefined way how you are going to work and what ideas and values ​​you are going to base yourself on. For example: are you going to support yourself in collaborations with other professionals, or will you rely almost exclusively on your work and your experience? Do you want to offer a very specialized service, or one in which an image of versatility? Will your communication style be very neutral and institutional, or will you focus on creating an image of very personal brand that blends to a certain extent with your way of being in conversations spontaneous?

The disadvantage of creating a business plan is that as each professionalization initiative is different, there is no rigid scheme and predefined to continue to be clear that with this information ambiguities or unforeseen situations will no longer appear in the future. However, you can lean on the idea that you should develop three fundamental aspects about your project:

His objectives

It is what is usually known as the combination of vision and mission. In this section, it is necessary to specify what needs will be covered by the psychology consultation, and with what kind of strategies.

Your means

Here you can specify how much resources will be available during the first stage of project development.

His work philosophy

This section includes the most abstract ideas about the properties that the company will have. You need to explain this in advance to have certain margins defined that, in case of being transferred, they indicate to us that we are moving far away from the initial approaches that allowed us to give shape to the project and make it form a coherent unit.

3. Keep defining your target

The target is the "target" public in which you must impact with your strategies to make the initiative advance and prosper. It is very important to be very clear about your profile, since having one or another type of person in mind can lead to enormous variations in the success of your communication and work policies. Economic, social and psychological differences they realize why different people behave in a characteristic way.

For example, if the people you want to reach are defined as having relatively few resources and tend unless you have undergone university training, it does not make sense for you to use a communicative style full of technicalities. If they are characterized by being elderly or middle-aged, it is probably not a good idea to gamble for having a lot of presence in social networks with a very young user base, such as Instagram.

4. Set your prices

With the information that has already been specified so far, you can now set your rates. It is important that you dedicate time to this step, as not paying much attention to it can lead to be constantly changing rates, and that is nothing positive from the point of view of the marketing; generates an image of unpredictability and instability that fuels mistrust.

5. Specify your communicative tone

Beyond choosing the communication channels through which you are going to publicize your psychology consultation, it is It is important to define in a definitive way what will be the tone of your communication, both in the text and in the visual. It is important that you have a graphic style manual, no matter how simple, in which they appear the usual shapes and colors you are going to use both on your website and in your query, as well as in other marketing elements such as business cards. Not keeping a certain coherence in this aspect gives an image of unprofessionalism.

6. Go through legal advice

At least in Spain, psychology is a sector that suffers a certain deregulation, so it is easy to find doubts and ambiguities. Therefore, it is worth going through legal advice. A small investment that will save us problems in the future.

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