The opening of a consultation in psychology is one of the preferred career paths of many psychologists oriented towards intervention in mental health or education. Those who choose to offer their services independently often do so because they are not subject to the boundaries of working in a highly hierarchical structure in which there is little control over decisions.
But freeing oneself also requires knowing how to manage other pressures, in particular linked to the initial scarcity of resources on the one hand and to the competitiveness of the market on the other.
In the following lines we will see some basic ideas on how to open a psychology consultation in the best possible way.
How to open a psychology consultation, step by step
It must be clear that any project related to starting a business will require us time, effort and a minimum of money. However, the risks and costs of starting your own business are less if you have basic ideas of what to do, information that allows us to rectify the situation to overcome additional problems that may arise if we do not. not know very well. the steps to follow.
In short, knowing how to open a psychology consultation does not mean opening it and starting to earn moneyBut lose as little as possible along the way and do everything in our power not to create undesirable situations with capital, with laws or with clients.
In addition, it should be clear that no matter how we do it, whether or not the project thrives depends a lot on factors that we cannot directly control, such as the economic and social ups and downs that a country has experienced. is submitted. Fortunately, it is not uncommon for these to occur suddenly, so if we consolidate the timely psychology consultation and do not make the situation chronic deficit, be aware of what is happening in the present before doing the first few steps will eliminate the good part. of these risks.
1. Define your project
When doing business in psychology, it is necessary to follow the same fundamental rules that must support any entrepreneurial project, and one of them is to have the idea first and to take the first steps later. This has to be so, among other things, because in a time of vulnerability such as the first stage of starting a business, it is very likely that we cannot afford to completely change our business model in about a few weeks. . when it is still in deficit or has very recently crossed the profitability line.
The first thing to do is therefore a market study, however small. Studying the competition is essential, and you should keep in mind that while your services include online therapy, it is not limited to other psychology consultations in your neighborhood.
With this information, raises the different types of services you can offer and how you would market them, Value the advantages and disadvantages of each. In the case of a psychological intervention, try to define as precisely as possible in which type of services you will focus on each of these options to choose from.
In this way, it is easier for you to be right in choosing which niche market you want to occupy, knowing whether there is a lot or little competition in that service, 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 specializing in pediatric and other therapy, intervention in childhood and adolescence is unlikely to be the most important trajectory. so it would be better to either focus on working on another department or change the location where you want to work.
2. Define your work philosophy and your business plan
Once you have passed the previous step, the next step in 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: will you rely on collaborations with other professionals, or will you support yourself almost exclusively in your work and experience? Do you want to offer a very specialized service, or one in which it is an image of versatility? Will your communication style be very neutral and institutional, or will you focus on creating a very personal branding image that blends to some extent with your way of being in spontaneous conversations?
The downside of creating a business plan is that since every professionalization initiative is different, there is no rigid and predefined scheme to keep in mind that with this information there will be no more ambiguities or situations. unforeseen in the future. However, you can support the idea that you need to develop three key aspects of your project:
This is what you usually call the combination of vision and mission. In this section, it is necessary to specify which needs will be covered by the psychology consultation and with what type of strategies.
Here you can specify the number of resources available during the first stage of project development.
His work philosophy
This section includes the most abstract ideas about the properties that the business will have. This must be explained in advance by have defined certain margins that in the event of transfer, they indicate to us that we are moving away a lot from the initial approaches which allowed us to give shape to the project and to make it form a coherent unit.
3. Continue to define your target
The target audience is the “target” you impacted with your strategies to move the initiative forward and thrive. It is very important to be very clear about your profile, because having one type of person in mind can lead to huge variations in the success of your communication and work policies. Economic, social and psychological differences they explain 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 not to have gone to college, it doesn’t make sense for you to use a communication style full of technical details. If you’re characterized by a senior or middle-aged person, it’s probably not a good idea to bet on a strong social media presence with a very young user base, like Instagram.
4. Set your prices
With the information that has already been specified so far, you can now define your rates. It is important that you devote time to this step, as not paying much attention to it can lead to constantly changing rates, and this is not at all positive from a marketing standpoint; it generates an image of unpredictability and instability which fuels mistrust.
5. Specify your communication tone
Beyond the choice of communication channels through which you will publicize your psychology consultation, it is important to definitively specify what the tone of your communication will be, both verbally and visually. It is important that you have a graphic style manual, however simple, in which they are listed. the usual shapes and colors you will use both on your website and in your query, as well as in other marketing elements such as business cards. Not keeping a certain consistency in this aspect gives an image of unprofessionalism.
6. Consult legal advice
At least in Spain, psychology is a sector that suffers from some deregulation, so it is easy to find doubts and ambiguities. That is why it is worth consulting a lawyer. A small investment that will keep us out of trouble in the future.