Let me tell you the way I see things.
If I was to go and see a therapist for health reasons, I would spend my bucks on the pricey guy. In fact, the last time I wanted health advice I spent over £400 for an hour (in fact I think it was closer to £600) with top Canadian health guru and strength Coach Charles Poliquin for his time. Why?
Because I wanted the best advice, from someone who walks the talk, continually educates himself, has experience, and knows more than I do :-). I considered this money well spent; I received top class information. Personally, to see Charles in this capacity was slightly challenging to me, as being a therapist myself I felt that I should have all the answers. However as Charles accurately pointed out; everyone needs a go to person, no matter how highly qualified or experienced they are. In fact to not do so is silly, and he is correct. I learnt all about just how tricky it is to take charge of your own health when I had chronic fatigue back in 2008. With no doctors around that had a clue how to treat my symptoms, I was left to deal with it alone. Ironic eh, considering I am a specialist in this field! And it demonstrated Charles’ point clearly; we do indeed all need a go to person.
Too often patients seek therapists based on cost; or strike off a therapist based on the belief that they are too pricey. Too expensive for what? Do you not value your health? Is your health not an absolute priority for you above all? Do you not want to get the biggest health bang back from your invested hard-earned buck? It makes no sense to me to scrimp on investing in your health. In my professional opinion, you want the guy or gal that has invested the time in their education, and vast amounts of money in their continuing education, and has the self-belief to know what they are worth to get results. This means that they will charge you for their service and not just for their time, and they will give you the very best advice and support back in return (at least they should in the ideal world).
My sojourn with chronic fatigue back in 2008, taught me some valuable lessons.
* Firstly, it utterly sucks to suffer with chronic fatigue (if you do, I truly understand just what ‘that tiredness’ feels like).
* Secondly, I know how terrifying it is to be ill when you are self-employed and rely on your health to generate income. (Or just how uncertain things must feel if you are a Mum or Dad with the demands of a family and work to juggle when your health is challenged).
* Thirdly, I know just how awful the experience can be in the conventional medical healthcare system. As soon as I heard stories of cancer and lumber punctures and how it “must be all in your head”, I was out of there. I knew deep down what I had to do.
In many ways the medical system in this country can be thought of as the big bad wolf and it didn’t take long before I was ‘out of there’ and realised I was going to have to be my own patient and get myself better on my own. And so I did.
It deeply saddens me that so many patients come to see me as the last and final resort. At this point patients are at the end of their tether (and financial resources), are starting to question is it indeed all in their head, be considering is this what is now considered normal health (when the GP and specialists can find nothing wrong with them in many cases)? This may sound like you. Yet you KNOW deep down something isn’t right, and so you may have embarked on several therapies unsuccessfully or only partially successfully; you may have seen several doctors or specialists with no satisfactory diagnosis, treatment, or improvement to your health; or you may have been told this is as good as it gets, and to basically get used to it.
The reason that you haven’t yet given up the fight, nor should you, is because you know there is a way out of this.
One of the biggest challenges in my professional career to date is facing the money issues and being able to charge the fee that I am worth. This may come as a surprise to many; when I am considered to be one of the best in the country at what I do. I have qualifications that span the medical and health industries, experience that bridges healing and the mind-body with both conventional and holistic approaches, I have worked with many of Ireland’s top athletes and I have great success with all my clients. For those that know me, I live and breathe my work, for me it is more than a dedication, it comes from my heart. Every ounce of my being is absorbed by my journey to understand what it means to be truly healthy, how to get there and based on my learning and experience to then translate this into teaching, educating, inspiring, and transforming life for others.
I have a great reputation within Ireland and Internationally for being a leader in the field; and yet like many therapists it feels terribly uncomfortable to even write these descriptions about myself as deep down I wonder am I a fraud when in my heart I am more aware of what I don’t know than what I do know. I see that every month I know more than I did the month before and I continually self-assess whether I did the best job at the time for each and every patient.
For I, like many therapists, play the tug of war with what I believe I am worth and what I KNOW I should be charging for the value of my experience. It is nice to know how modest many therapists are, however for a therapist to not command their worth is a great disservice to all their patients and clients for reasons I will explain below.
Many therapists grossly underrate their ability and feel that they are not worthy of a decent wage, have limiting beliefs in their ability, hold themselves back perpetuating these beliefs and often end up bust or barely cutting it even as a result of not charging a sufficient rate for their time.
You the client want to see a therapist that is both confident in their ability yet compassionate; one that respects their knowledge as well as you their client; one that values their time as well as appreciates and is grateful for yours; in summary a therapist that is not afraid to charge a decent rate for the time that you spend in their care. Otherwise I would question their understanding of the value of time and presence. And this is an important concept for us as therapists to then instil in you: self-worth. A therapist must walk the talk. And I have to admit that this is one of the hardest lessons for most therapists to learn. And what differentiates exceptional therapists from the mediocre. I have the utmost respect for the therapists that command their true price when I know that they choose to then wisely reinvest their income in self-development and education and trust me this doesn’t come cheap.
So what are you paying for when you go to a therapist and why is it important that they charge a rate that reflects their capacity?
Firstly you are paying for their conventional education: school, college, university, etc. Often this has been at great sacrifice to them or their parents.
My parents put everything into our education as children. Without my parents’ financial investment in me, I never would have been gifted with a degree in pharmacy from one of the top schools in pharmacy. This degree has given me a strong scientific and medical background to the work that I currently do in health and healing.
Secondly you are paying for a life-time of continuing education; conferences, online learning, journal and webinar subscriptions, books, e-books, etc. This adds to the thousands, yearly! Trust me I know as I spend close to hundreds monthly on books, journals and subscriptions and travel yearly when I can to the USA or UK to experience quality training.
Thirdly it takes significant time and effort for a therapist to build up a professional network of learning with fellow professionals. As one of few here in Ireland I must seek this network internationally.
Finally leaders in the field spend years of their life reading, researching, learning from experts, and reflecting. Weeks and hours are spent writing their healing programmes, developing systems, tweaking and improving their recommendations, investigating various procedures, products and therapies, and also investing time in building up a trusted network of therapists trained in other specialist areas so as to provide the very best healing journey for their patient. It is a non-stop journey. The sign of a good therapist is one that frequently advances their beliefs; be wary of the therapist that stays stuck in what they know. What we know in the realm of quantum field energy and the body electric, and medicine and healthcare in the complete sense of the word is advancing at a breath taking rate.
Quite simply, you are paying the therapist for a life-time of learning, education, and experience. When you walk in the door it is not an hour that you are getting; it is every moment of their life thus far. Believe me, if some of the leading professionals in their field charged their true worth, most of us would not be able to afford them. Aren’t we lucky that we can!
So when you come in my door, you are paying me for a life-time of my experience.
Every client that comes through the door is unique to me and different in their needs. Before you see me I have spent approximately an hour reviewing your questionnaire, medical records (when sent) and blood tests, and for many I will meditate on what other pieces of information may come to me. Often this astounds clients, for me I am ever grateful for the healing forces that support the whole process. Then we sit down together for our first consultation; I don’t watch the clock as I have learnt now that it is best to just go with the flow and give you whatever time you need. After you leave I then reflect. If I need to do a little more research above and beyond what knowledge I have drawn on while with you I will do so, if I need to consult with other healers and experts in the field then I will. I spend as much time as I need intuitively reflecting on you, your symptoms, their causes, potential courses of action, and then draw up what I feel in my experience is the best course of action for you; based on your goals.
This all takes time.
It is becoming clearer to me lately, that the fee charged must cover this time in addition to our time spent together in the consultation, so that I can give you the best of my ability. For me to provide this much time to most of my clients makes little financial sense if I fail to charge appropriately; especially when working this way is so intense physically and emotionally. Unlike the doctors, a therapist cannot ‘pack them in’ when working this way as it is crucial for us to re-ground ourselves in between clients and also consider the time given to each patient, there are only 24 hours in the day! I do see this as money invested wisely, provided that you follow the recommendations given, and work with me your therapist, especially as you may hit road bumps and obstacles along your way and I can only support you if you keep in contact with me. Unlike the doctors surgery where you get a set amount of time (usually short!), you are paying me for a service, so I am here for you; within reason as some have been known to push this beyond an acceptable level which then eats up into other patients time.
I am truly there for you, as returning you to a place of complete health is my goal and being a competitive person, I don’t like to be beaten on this. This is of course provided that you too want to heal yourself and this is something that we will examine; sometimes it is a little scary to move forward. A good therapist is there unconditionally to get you better and as best we can to come from a place of no ego. Qualifications mean that we have ‘tools’ not that we only have a nice plaque on the door or certificates on the wall.
I will finish here with some important words of advice. When choosing a therapist, doctor or counsellor, please go with your gut. There are many masters out there, and it is important to choose the one that feels like the best fit for you. A true master sees the limitation of their knowledge, strives for excellence, continually seeks to further educate themselves, and above all trusts their intuitive healing gifts to make the right choices for you. A truly gifted therapist will go with the universal flow; you will feel calm, grounded and safe in their presence. Watch out for words such as “I feel”, “I sense”, “I can see”, “I understand”, “Let’s talk more about you and your life”, “what do you feel your body is saying”, “how has life been for you the past months”, “Tell me more about your childhood”, “How do you feel about____”, I was reflecting / meditating on___”, I am sending healing”, “I am drawn to”, etc. These are an example of words that a therapist that is being guided to embrace all aspects of your wellbeing may choose to use, when appropriate. A caring therapist will address all aspects of your health from a medical-emotional, energetic, scientific and holistic medicine point of view in addition to dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.
You should feel that ALL of you is getting attention on multiple levels and above all, you should feel “SAFE” and a sense of trust in the therapist in the office sitting across from you. The therapist should instil a realistic sense of belief within your core, that you will self-heal as best your body can in your current situation. An open therapist will also provide helpful referrals, reading material, and supportive recommendations to guide you along your path.
Understand, however, that although your therapist would like to be there 24/7 they cannot, and part of your journey, with their guidance, is to be owned and embraced by you.
As you have read from the above, there are therapists out there that will go to the earth and back to support you on your healing path to complete health. This WILL be a financial investment for you, in yourself. At the outset it is important to figure out what it is that you are seeking in a therapist, how much work you are prepared to put in, and at what financial cost. The next box to tick is do you like the therapist when you do find someone that meets your criteria; because you may have to share deep secrets about your life with them to help them help you.
Some of us are in a very bad place with our health and need the full package; for others you may not require this level of time and investment; I encourage you to speak with your chosen therapist about your needs and finances. There is usually a way forward, which brings me back to an important point about why it is so important that therapists charge their worth, because when we do, we can then pay it forward into the system and do charitable or reduced fee work for clients in need yet unable to afford the service. And this is what it is all about….giving something back.
I wish you luck in your journey.
“You are the author of your own story. You have mysteriously been given the incredible gift of life. You have free will, to choose your attitude, mood and activity level. There’s no force or reason in the world powerful enough to prevent you from being your full self. If you want it.” Penney Peirce.