Becoming a Successful Therapist or Counsellor
If you are thinking of becoming a therapist or counsellor, but do not have the time to attend a physical classroom, online learning is a viable alternative. All you will need is a computer and a reliable Internet connection. Classes are flexible and certification requirements can be done at your own pace. But, what happens after you are get your credentials and start working as a therapist or counsellor? How can you become successful at what you are doing? After all, you have invested the time and money, so you probably expect to reap the benefits. We look at the importance of a professional website and practical tips to build your practice.
The guidelines of the National Careers Service in the UK state that there are no set requirements to become a therapist or a counsellor, but prospective employers will expect you to be a member of at least one professional body (BCAP, UKCP and NCS). Training and further education are required before you can join an accredited body. In the case of holistic or alternative therapists, membership to a professional body is also anticipated depending on your field of specialisation. For example, if you intend to become a yoga therapist, you will need a yoga teaching qualification and membership to the British Council for Yoga Therapy (BCYT) among other requirements.
There are certain skills that you will need to have if you want to become a therapist or counsellor. Some of these may have been taught already when you were learning, others might have been picked up along the way or as an experience. These include social & communication skills, the ability to listen & empathise, the capability to build trust and make clients feel at ease and critical thinking.
You can work in different settings whether it is on a paid or voluntary basis. Hospitals, medical centres, healing centres or nursing facilities are some of the places where you can provide your services.
Treating Your Practice as a Business
To become a successful therapist or counsellor, it is essential to consider it as a business activity. Marketing your services and getting your name out there are critical. One of the ways you can do this effectively is to create a website that will promote your qualifications, expertise and services.
Visibility is an influential factor in your success. Using a website will enable you to make your presence known to more than 3 billion Internet users in the world. In addition to face-to-face-sessions, you can also carry out tele-consultations which means that your market potential is huge.
Building a Website
Creating a website can seem daunting at first sight. You do need to register a domain name and find a reliable host provider, but there are several free website builders and tools such as WordPress, Wix or Moonfruit to help you get started. To establish an effective website, publish rich content and useful information. Plus, avoid cluttering your homepage and include only the necessary information. You can also use social media sites to promote your services. Testimonials are welcome features as they provide credibility to your services and positive feedback from clients help attract new customers.
You can even add a section on products for sale that are relevant to your profession such as e-books to enhance income. Joining an affiliate marketing scheme can help boost your revenues with products that are relevant to therapy and counselling such as relaxation materials, massagers, mats and so on.