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Gibbons, L. (2013). The Business of Therapy: How to Run a Successful Private Practice, by Pauline Hodson, McGraw Hill, 2012.. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 3(1):111-113.

(2013). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 3(1):111-113

The Business of Therapy: How to Run a Successful Private Practice, by Pauline Hodson, McGraw Hill, 2012.

Review by:
Laura Gibbons

I come to write this review as someone who has not set up a private practice to date. As a therapist who has continued to work within both organisations within which I have trained, many of the financial, marketing, and administrative aspects of my work have been taken care of by others more qualified than myself to do so. My initial reaction when asked to review this book was that I might be ill-equipped to judge whether the book was useful. But I am also presumably the author's target audience. I decided, before opening its pages, to make a quick list of the questions I felt I would need to answer should I wish to take the step of setting up on my own.

Those reading this book will have their own lists, but briefly, this was mine: will the benefits of leaving an institution outweigh the advantages? Will I cope with “running a business”? How will I market myself, manage referrals, charge and manage fees/finances? What happens when something goes wrong?

Although not intended to be an exhaustive list, for those who choose to pick up this book, a quick look at the index alone will show how woefully inadequate my list was. How much I have not thought of and how much Pauline Hodson has?

Throughout the book, Hodson uses the analogy of the Russian doll, the need for the client to be contained by the therapist and for the therapist in turn to be contained by her own structures, be that supervision, her working environment, an accrediting body, or code of ethics. On reading the book, I felt the analogy also worked for me the reader, as I was aware I felt contained by the author.

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