Do You Choose To Work For Free, Or For A Fee?
I am passionate about counselling, and that counsellors are valued and paid a fair price.
I am also fully supportive of people making the choice to work for free if that is what they choose to do.
But it’s the word ‘choice’ that I feel is sometimes missing.
Often we work as a volunteer counsellor or therapist, working for free not out of a true choice, but because of necessity – lack of paid employment and lack of business skills or confidence.
So if a therapist makes a free and considered choice to work for a particular charity they support on a voluntary basis then that’s brilliant.
Or if a therapist makes a free and considered choice to allocate 3 sessions for free every week, then that’s brilliant.
And if a therapist makes a free and considered choice to only offer low cost therapy, that’s brilliant.
If a counsellor or therapist feels the only way they can practice to keep their skills sharp is to volunteer, and – as is often the case – they receive no expenses and have to pay their own supervision fees (counsellors)…well, that really isn’t so brilliant is it?
So no, I’m not against people working for free if it’s a choice they make, not at all. What I am against is counsellors and therapists being taken advantage of, as it devalues them personally, devalues the work we do and devalues the profession.
I’ve been a counsellor since 2005, and I have seen the profession lose some really excellent counsellors because they become so disillusioned at not being able to earn an income.
That’s why I set up The Happiness Enabler, offering therapists business coaching to enable them to open or build their own private practice. For some people, 2 paying clients a month is the difference between carrying on and quitting, and if I can work with you to achieve that – and more, then I am a happy puppy.
So what do you choose?