Years ago, there was a man on the committee which hired me in San Antonio. He had worked for the federal government since he returned home from military service in World War II. He was my Dad’s age, he had no kids, and my folks lived in Kansas City, so we became family of choice.
You’d have loved his warm smile and bright eyes flowing from his unselfish personality. You’d have respected how he climbed the ladder of GS ratings through devoted hard work. And, you’d have been heart broken when his kidneys failed.
We hear a lot of bad press about bureaucrats and federal employees pursuing and exercising power for selfish reasons. We need to hear more about people like my adoptive father. When he had to retire after 30 years of service, he had accrued a couple of years of vacation and sick time he had not used over his career. After he stopped working, he continued to receive the salary and benefits he had earned over the decades and made life a little easier on his wife during the treatment years.
I miss him.
I want to continue to work with and for people like him. His vocation was a federal employee, but his passion was this country. He served the nation to continue what was good and to solve bad problems. I want to serve such public servants. Your Blue Cross will pay for your services here.
If you need a counselor who is a preferred and experienced provider with your FEP insurance, no matter where you live (we can use Telehealth).
As Paul Harvey used to say, I’ll tell you the rest of the story: 509-466-6632.
There are at least two theories for entering a swimming pool: slowly ease down into the water in order to gradually adjust to the temperature, or, jump in and be done with it. There are also at least two theories for learning how to swim: slowly with incremental lessons, or, jump in and sink or swim. I heard a comedian say that if your parents threw you out of their boat, they were not trying the second procedure, actually they were trying to drown you!
Entering a private practice has at least two options: jump in alone, or join an existing practice. Both can be started part-time while you have a job at an agency or institution. You can buy a practice from a Baby Boomer who is retiring so that there is already a stream of clients available to serve. You can partner with one or more others ready to start a private practice. You can join an established group that already has momentum in your area.
In Carol Dweck’s Mindset, the differences between the stuck mindset and the growth mindset might help you decide which approach to try first. The fixed mindset cautions us against failure or getting embarrassed, while the growth mindset welcomes failure as a means toward the goal of accomplishment. When we were little, we had the growth mindset for learning to walk and talk, and all of us failed often during walking and talking lessons.
I failed terribly as a boy learning to swim. I jumped into the deep end of a pool, and none of the adults noticed or came to my rescue. I could see the “hill” that led to the shallow end where we had been playing earlier, so I just walked up there. During that short walk, I started a long fear of the water.
My parents were both afraid of drowning and neither knew how to swim. My mom and her friends started a YMCA in our neighborhood, and I remember helping assemble the lockers. We had swimming lessons there and I outgrew the fear of the water. Years later in that YMCA pool I earned the Life Saver merit badge for Scouts.
However you may start a private practice, don’t be foolish and risk drowning (hire a Life Guard), but anticipate and celebrate failures. Mentors and supervisors can help you grow and succeed no matter how slowly or quickly you want to enter the pool.
If you need some encouragement, then please contact me at https://drraysmith.com
One of the many advantages of starting a private practice today is that you do not have to invent anything. Pioneers have gone before you blazing a trail that may be difficult to follow but clearing a way for you that is much more convenient for you than it was for them.
For example, a private practice is a business, similar in many ways to a local coffee stand or an international company like Starbucks. Businesses of every size have to pay taxes. One of the best sources for tax information is the Internal Revenue Service. A private practice may be the first business that you have started, but they have seen many, and although their motives may be self-serving, they do offer help.
The United States Department of the Treasury has a website as well as printed materials. Their Publication 583 is entitled, “Starting a Business and Keeping Records.” You can find it at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p583.pdf
If you are ever overwhelmed by the technicalities of starting your private practice, then recruit local help from your CPA, attorney or bookkeeper (who already uses QuickBooks and knows from other businesses how to help you start yours).
If I can help you with the scary parts, then I would work with you through the course that I taught on Private Practice Pragmatics at Whitworth University. Contact me at https://drraysmith.com/.
The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale used to advise people wanting to succeed to “find a need and fill it,” believing that helping others succeed would help you to become a success. His slogan was a part of his autobiography as a minister and author motivated by helping others who needed to be motivated.
Bill Wilson and the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous admitted their need for sobriety and filled it by starting a program to help other families struggling with addiction.
After seminary, I returned to graduate school for another doctorate, and later started the Christian Counseling Center in my home to integrate my degrees in ministry and counseling.
If you’re open to starting a private practice, then check out your own story. A woman told me once that she was a jerk-magnet. She and I both had failed first marriages and we joked about starting a PPA for recovery (Poor Pickers Anonymous!), which morphed into a divorce recovery group at our church to help other people who also needed to get over their losses.
Whose needs do you see around you? How could you be useful to fulfill their needs?