Axioms for the Therapist as Successful Business Manager


Jennifer L. Jay


Are there common characteristics or traits of therapists which attract them to the 'helping profession'? Are those same characteristics a liability when it comes to effectively managing and running the business side of a practice—namely setting fees, consistently collecting co-pays and self-pay fees, utilizing collection agencies, charging late fees, and decisions about when to reduce fees? What are the beliefs and values surrounding money issues among therapists and how do those drive their ability in managing business aspects? What can therapists do to increase their skills in this area when needed? Literature and Research Findings. There is no research which posits that therapists or "helping professionals" are attracted to the field because of common inherent personality characteristics or traits. Research to support that therapists score similarly on personality or character trait assessments, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the 16 Personality Factors (16PF), the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis (T-JTA), the DISC assessment, the Big Five Factors, or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is absent. There is no particular trend that therapists as a whole are more introverted than extroverted, more concrete than abstract, more sympathetic than indifferent, more thinking than feeling or vice versa. The helping profession attracts a wide variety of individuals with varied personalities and traits based on their biology and their experience. It is an eclectic and well-rounded group of professionals with a variety of skill sets -- therapeutically and financially. Therefore, no common Achilles heel is identified in research to support the myth that therapists are poor business managers.

Published: Nov/Dec 2009

Source Publication: Family Therapy Magazine, Vol. 8 Number 6


Audience: Therapists

Product Type: Article

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