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Our vocation has been used and abused for too long, but being despite of this being a psychotherapist still remains a noble vocation. Sadly, we have been groomed by education, state systems and charities, into a flawed mindset that keeps the majority of practitioners in a survival mode. This is contrary to providing an environment that is supportive of the client outcomes.
We must challenge the perceptions of ourselves, and our ways of working in the same way we challenge the perceptions of clients. There is a triad of support to all business that the psychological sector has neglected to teach therapeutic professionals. This triad includes knowledge, team and systems.
In any knowledge-based system, our understanding, and therefore, our capacity to utilise the knowledge, is grown by questioning and knowing the source of that knowledge. For example, knowing that DSM reports are rooted in the pharmaceutical sector, informs us that a report that advocates medicalisation and drug-based interventions could be slightly biased. Or that training providers that have been granted accreditation by one membership organisation that advocate students are best served by that same membership organisation, may, simply be advocating their own preference.
For many students, the training and education provided is focused away from private practice and towards low paying, overstretched work models that have often been proven to fail clients – with little or no business development training included in standard training provision. Many practitioners that enter private practice, have no real understanding of the need to network, be involved in team building, or indeed any business models of success to refer to.
Many therapeutic professionals that succeed in private practice will testify to having developed their own systems and practices. This has been as a direct result of private practice not being given significant focus in the training and education of professionals. This organic evolution has led to vast differences in the therapeutic framework. Which in turn impacts on the wide-ranging experiences of clients.
Psychotherapy is a vocation
Supporting clients is a vocation; supporting ourselves as professionals, is the business of therapy. Therapeutic professionals do not and should never be paid for their capacity to care; they should be paid for their time and knowledge.
For decades therapeutic professionals of all disciplines have been subjected to systemic herding by vested interests. This has segregated and minimalised the benefits of the collective and collaborative nature of our sector. With a growing tide of unhappy professionals being expected to provide best practice for clients, there is a clear disconnect in the framework within the sector.
Trial by public opinion
In the current climate of ‘trial by public opinion‘, it is vital that leaders and those that hold the purse strings, are mindful of the fact that ‘one size fits all’, does not work in the psychological field. With the global pressures on psychological services to respond to the ever growing requirements of those in need, it is vital that practitioners at all levels are able to be recognised for their capacity for self-awareness, personal development, a wide base of theoretical knowledge, but also, appreciating that the wider business practices are just as important.
Psychological professionals provide a service that is based on a vocational focus, but must adapt. From our frameworks and support systems through to our business thinking, must become more aligned with the focus and processes that our clients benefit from. We, as practitioners, must demonstrate congruence in our use of our therapeutic tools. This, above all else, instils in clients a deep-rooted confidence that is near impossible to replicate.
A new approach
In this time of high pressure and increasing discord we, at Ayanay Elevated Membership believe that our whole sector can benefit from a new approach. An approach that is supportive, sustainable and focused on improving the outcomes for clients as well as practitioners. To this end, Ayanay Elevated Membership is offering the only membership, endorsed by the insurance sector to offer accreditation to qualified professionals, those in training, and those professionals on the edge of the profession. Recognising their self-awareness and congruence. The only membership organisation dedicated to:
- Creating: an effective framework for the sustainable and successful development of best practice within the therapeutic community.
- Increasing: the positive awareness and use of therapeutic knowledge.
- Providing: the therapeutic community with an ever-evolving and enhancing level of support.
- Elevating: public confidence in the effectiveness and professionalism of the therapeutic community.
Ayanay Elevated Membership is the breath of fresh air our sector has been asking for. Making the change that makes a difference.
David Sleet is the co-founder of Ayanay. The Ayanay Elevated Learning Retreat provides you with Exceptional CPD with time to relax and get to know peers.
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