“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.” - The Talmud
December 10, 2018 - by Dyna Tover
It’s been a year now since I opened my private practice in Modiin. After years of running my private practice out of my home, I decided it was time to take the plunge. It was not an easy decision. In addition to the cost of setting up an official clinic, it meant that I would have to dedicate more time to marketing and networking, neither of which are my natural strengths.
But how could I not challenge myself to overcome my own fears when I spend so much time working with clients to overcome theirs?
And I did it. I closed my eyes and jumped in with both feet. No net.
I have to admit it was a bit scary. But I had the support of my family and friends who urged me along and provided words of encouragement along the way.
The first step was finding the right location for my new clinic. That took a little while, but once we found the right space, I knew it was perfect. I started to get excited about the prospects of having a professional clinic of my own and have to admit now, that I felt a mixture of feelings: excitement, fear, anticipation. This was something new, and new is always exciting because we don’t know what it will bring.
Now that I had this amazing office, it was time to turn it into a clinic. What a crazy hectic time. I spent so much time finding just the right furnishings and setting the right tone to match my therapy style. I was really pleased when we finished putting it all together.
Now I had to get some more clients and I it was time to begin marketing myself. This is something I have never done in my life. I wasn’t even sure where to begin. At the time, I was finishing my EMDR training and CBT certification, while also working at the Women’s Counseling Center in Ramat Gan. But I made the decision to put myself out there and schedule networking time.
I joined a local networking group, a professional networking group and even specialized CBT networking group. This meant speaking in front of complete strangers, introducing myself and talking about what I do and the value of the work I do. As a naturally shy person, here was a completely new challenge. Public speaking. Uh Oh!! I forced myself to go to all the meetings and learn new skills while networking with complete strangers.
And then I entered the world of social media. As a woman in my fifties, I’m what most people would call a casual Facebook users. But now I had to learn to be an active user, connecting with people and sharing my ideas. Knowing that this was not only outside of my comfort zone, but also outside of my abilities and experience, I engaged the help of other professionals from one of my networking groups to guide me through the process.
So now a year later, how do assess the whole experience?
First of all, it was a great experience challenging myself to do something that was difficult to do. We all have things that are hard to do, but we broaden our abilities whenever we challenge ourselves.
Second, I never could have predicted or expected I would make so many new friends. People have been so gracious and generous. People just like me with similar fears and objectives.
Finally, I have learned many things about myself. I learned that I could actually handle technical challenges like posting and blogging. But most importantly, I found my inner voice. I am not going to go on stage and perform on Broadway anytime soon, but I am developing the confidence to speak up and be heard.
Ironically, I set out to open a practice to help other people, and along the way I helped myself. And after all, isn’t that what therapy is all about?