Anti-Racism Resources for Therapists- Part 3: Integrating Your Values Within Your Business
You’ve read a lot of books. Done a lot of inner work in therapy. Engaged in training and clinical consultation, and discovered how amazing Queen Sugar is.
Is that all?
Not by far, my friend.
There are many ways in which how you run your business can reflect your values.
So often we as private practice owners want to pretend that our little ol’ practice isn’t really a business. It’s just a thing we do that requires us to pay the IRS quarterly taxes.
Yet, that’s just another way to engage in avoidance par excellence.
Part of being an ethical, responsible business owner is to invest in integrating our values into how we run our business.
There is a lot in owning a business, isn’t there?
As my business has grown, I’ve begun to consider how I want my business to expand and grow with me.
And it's become glaringly apparent that I need help making sure I do so in a way that aligns with the values I want my business to embody.
One of my next big business goals is to hire a DEI consultant.
A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant can aid me in creating a strategic plan to create concrete goals and accountability measures and ensure that both of my businesses reflect my values.
I know a lot of therapists are not yet in the position to hire a DEI consultant–yet.
But, there are still a lot of ways that you can work to integrate your values into your business, and it begins by investing in your business.
Below, I’m sharing some ideas to get you started on integrating your values into your business practices.
1. Support Businesses Aligned With Your Values.
There are so many things to invest in as you begin (or maintain) your practice: hiring a clinical consultant, choosing an EHR, deciding on what therapy directory profile you want to advertise yourself in…
The list could go on and on.
One simple (albeit not necessarily easy) step you can take is to spend money (as much as you are able) with businesses that share your values.
Though many integrate their values more subtly, ideally you can align with businesses who explicitly share their values.
There isn’t always a good, easy choice to make, but commit to making time annually (at least) to review where and how you spend money in your business.
And then research if there are better options to support businesses that align with your values.
2. Integrate Your Value by Expanding Your Referral Network.
It’s easy to spend time with people who look and practice like us.
Particularly in a field where most psychotherapists fit into the “White” and “female” demographics.
For those of us who are White, it’s essential that as you build relationships and engage in networking, you spend time with people who aren’t like you.
(And not in a tokenized way.)
We need to embrace diversity of thought and experience in the relationships we nurture.
3. Hire With an Eye To Diversity.
We all hire people in our business.
Just because you’re not hiring W2 employees, doesn’t mean you don’t hire a variety of professional consultants, as well as potential administrative or technical help.
When you’re seeking to hire someone new, take some time to reflect on:
- which qualities you’re searching for
- the culture you're trying to create
- perhaps a tendency to hire someone who looks and thinks like you.
Spend some time exploring your implicit biases and how they may play out in the hiring process.
And when/if you expand your practice–either to start a group practice or to add additional offerings, I’d encourage you to hire a DEI consultant.
They will be able to help you craft a strategy to make certain that your hiring practices are grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion from the get-go.
4. Infuse Your Values in Your Marketing.
Ah, here we come to my favorite part: how you can start to infuse everything we’ve been talking about into how you and your business show up in the world.
Infusing your values into your marketing is both simple and complex.
It’s simple in that there are easy, concrete ways you can share your values in congruent and effective ways into every arena of your marketing.
And it’s complex because the only ethical way to do that is if you’ve first done the work to integrate your values into yourself, your clinical work, and your business structure and practices.
You and I have started on the journey to do the more complex work here through this guide-and I’m certain that you, like me, have a long way to go.
The good news is infusing your values into your marketing doesn’t require perfect action in that complex work, it just requires consistent action.
This month (and in future months) I'll be talking about integrating your values within your business to my email list and on Instagram.
I'd love for you to join me there.
And truly, thank you for being here, and thank you for doing the work needed to change the system.
Additional anti-racism posts in this series:
- An Open Letter: Anti-Racism Resources for Therapists
- Part 1: Deepen Your Self-Awareness
- Part 2: Investing in Your Clinical Insight
And if there are any resources you’d like to suggest, please email them to jenn (at) athinkersguide (dot) com.