In the summer of 2013, I returned from my trip to England refreshed. I’d attended the IIPA (International Integrative Psychotherapy Association) Conference, a bi-annual — and very international — affair. Here, presentations are translated into four languages (English, French, Italian, and Spanish) and colleagues use hand gestures, hugs, and shoulder shrugs to communicate with one another. But, somehow, as is often the case with counseling and psychotherapy, we are all speaking a language older than words, and my colleagues and I left refreshed and deeply connected.
Coming home to the isolation of my private practice simply wouldn’t do, so I set out to create a group practice with some rather ambitious goals, which I’ll get to in just a moment.
The idea of a group practice had been on my mind for some time. I’d been a private practice therapist for nearly 15 years, and while my case load had been full for some time (something I feel truly fortunate to experience), I was still receiving new client calls. I tried hard to place clients, but between private practitioners who were hard to reach or had equally full schedules, and clients who refused to go back to community mental health due to a bad experience there, I was having a heck of a time placing clients.
Motivated by a desire to help therapists break the isolation we in private practice suffer from, and a desire to help my would-be-clients find relief through skilled psychotherapy, I sat down and made a decision in August of 2013 — to start and build a group practice. But not just any group practice. It was important that we meet certain ideals.
I’ll talk more about those next time.