Many people around the world want to become a therapist, especially after the year we’ve had. This isn’t just an incredibly rewarding career, but it is also one of the few sectors that have thrived during the pandemic due to rising mental health issues and are providing greater job security than ever before, something many of us seek.
Becoming a therapist is a huge commitment, it takes years of training and a substantial cost to become fully qualified. This is why any decision to pursue a career as a therapist should be done with careful consideration, otherwise, the investment could be wasted. There are many questions an aspiring therapist may have, such as how much will I earn becoming a therapist, is a psychology degree the only way you can become a therapist or how many hours will I have to work?
While there are some personality traits that make someone a suitable candidate for the role, such as a thick-skinned, good listener who can empathise with others, but also with the ability to analyse and critically think; there is also another element that is crucial to the success of a therapist and their practice-great customer service.
Anyone who has worked in a client-facing role knows that there are challenging times working alongside customers, but a professional and positive attitude, along with a polite but fair nature is essential. It is no different for therapists, they are offering a service and need to make sure that this service is top-quality in every aspect.
While it is true, every person who visits for treatment is technically a customer. After all, they are paying for a service that is being provided from a private business.
But thinking of them as ‘customers’ can be very impersonal, the relationship between a therapist and their client is so much more than that. These people are here to tell their most personal stories, worries and experiences and being met with a therapist who sees them as just another invoice can completely ruin the experience.
The very basis of a successful therapist is being able to build a rapport with their clients and make them feel comfortable to open up, while still remaining professional.
It happens in every industry, clients will not show up to an appointment and will not have given any notification of this happening, or perhaps cancel with only minutes to spare.
While it can be incredibly frustrating for a practising therapist, not to mention a loss of revenue for an empty slot. Many businesses will take this opportunity to charge their clients a late cancellation fee, or even refuse service at a later date due to loss of time.
However, these must be handled very carefully when it comes to those who are suffering from their mental health. The ‘blame game’ can’t be played, next time the client is seen, a therapist needs to find out why they couldn’t attend and why they were unable to notify them.
This needs to be done in a gentle manner, showing concern for their absence, not anger. Not only does this provide a more positive environment for the client, but they will also be more likely to provide notice should they need to cancel again.
A great way to manage this is to provide a form of automated service for cancellation, many clients suffer from anxiety and the idea of calling to cancel can seem like an impossible task.
Automated phone lines, emails or website options to cancel can not only give a client the best method to cancel but also save a practice for numerous last-minute cancellations.
Be Clear With The Service
Making the decision to visit a therapist can be daunting, but also incredibly brave of individuals. For those who have not attended sessions before, the idea of doing so can create extreme anxiety and stress.
Let them know in advance how things work, send them leaflets, emails, videos or any other resource that may help. This means they know what to expect, how a therapist works and what can be expected.
Therapists are a lifeline to so many people and often the only person they feel they can really trust and have faith in during a difficult period. Being late isn’t only unprofessional, but can have a negative impact on a client.
While 5 minutes may not seem like much, to someone who is suffering and needs that all-important session to progress with their treatment, it can make them feel isolated and even uncared for. Every therapist should be able to provide a service to all clients that makes them feel important.
At the end of the day, just like any good service provider, every client should be treated with the utmost respect and care and made to feel welcome and comfortable at all times. It is even more important in this industry as a negative experience from the person or persons they are meant to rely on could lead to a worsening of mental health and a longer recovery period.