Hi there! My name is Jenny and I own CTRN Training, Chelmsford Therapy Rooms and my private practice Cloud9 Therapy. As you’re looking at this website and pondering whether to attend one of our events or purchase a training course, I thought I’d give you a little info about me!
About 14 years ago I suffered from very serious GAD and a panic disorder. I got therapy (privately) and as a result decided that my current advertising job wasn’t for me. I realised that my calling in life was to help people and so I decided to become a therapist. I trained and qualified originally as a Hypnotherapist and then went on to achieve a diploma and advanced diploma in counselling and psychotherapy. I set up my therapy business in 2011, and have worked in private practice in both Chelmsford and London. As well as having my own practice I was approached by Essex Mediation a few years ago to offer counselling services on their behalf, and although they have now closed I enjoyed my time with them working for a great organisation!
My Private Practice Journey
I always wanted to go into private practice. I love owning my own business and the freedoms it gives me. Luckily the training I received encouraged me to stand on my own two feet, to get out there and find the clients! So, I set up in private practice originally from home, then as my business grew I rented a room at a business centre. When the business centre closed, a colleague who also worked there, literally collared me (outside the ladies loos of all places!) and said “Hey, wanna share a therapy space?” and I replied “Yes, that would be great!” and so we moved to Perception House.
Originally we had the room on the first floor. After a year or so my colleague moved on, but I was still getting enquiries about renting room space from ex-colleagues at the business centre. So, I approached my commercial landlord and explained to him my business idea to move downstairs (as the room would be much more accessible) and open up an ad-hoc room rental service to therapists. Being an entrepreneur himself, I think he liked my idea and my passion and so the downstairs reception area that had been converted into another room became Chelmsford Therapy Rooms!
Chelmsford Therapy Rooms
I set up Chelmsford Therapy Rooms as a membership organisation because I wanted to ensure that those using the room were qualified, insured and followed the ethical guidelines of a professional body. All therapists are vetted and asked to provide copies proof and copies of their MB accreditation, insurance and qualifications. My background is in advertising, so I also set up an Advertising Platform on the website. Being a membership organisation also meant that the people who were looking for, and contacting members of, Chelmsford Therapy Rooms were safe in the knowledge their therapist had been vetted and provided proof of their qualifications. 2019 was a bit of a whirlwind – Chelmsford Therapy Rooms was awarded two awards from Global Health and Pharma – the GHP Excellence Award in Outstanding Mental Health Services for Essex and Best Private Hypnotherapy Clinic Essex. It feels amazing to be recognised by such a large and well known platform, we set out to help people and in return have been nominated and won these awards. We’re incredibly grateful and humbled! But the journey was about to kick up a notch….
In November 2019 Chelmsford Therapy Rooms had become so busy that we had to expand, and so we moved to 212A Baddow Road – just off the Army and Navy roundabout in Chelmsford. The new premises has a waiting room and a powerful WIFI system so therapists can quickly and easily book the rooms they want on site with their client. We started off with two rooms, but one of the reasons I chose this property was the ability to expand the business further. We have capacity to expand to up to five rooms, including a self contained training room. The space for a training room is another reason I made CTR a membership organisation. We have different levels of membership that suit therapists depending on their needs. This includes any need for business training, be that group networking and training, or one to one.
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic that started in early 2020, we have been unable to expand any further as of September 2020. However, we did win another award! This year we won the GHP Excellence Award for Exceptional Mental Health Services – Essex. Of course we are absolutely delighted – we’ve worked hard to be as accommodating and helpful to the therapists at CTR and our clients throughout the pandemic so this recognition is absolutely wonderful and we are very grateful!
In addition to this, my own private practice Cloud9 Therapy, also received two awards this year. Cloud9 Therapy won Best Private Practice 2020 for Essex at the UK Enterprise Awards and Leading Providers of Mnemodynamic Therapy – Essex at the Global Health and Pharma Awards. I may be running two other businesses but that doesn’t mean my private practice isn’t just as important to me. Again I am humbled and grateful for these awards. The nominations are confidential, so I don’t know who nominated CTR or Cloud9, but I’m so very happy and grateful for the recognition!
Networking and Training
As I started meeting therapists who were signing up to use the room, I quickly realised that most of them felt they lacked the business skills and knowledge that compliment their therapeutic training in order to set up a successful private practice. Personally I have been surrounded by Entrepreneurs all of my life (my Grandad, my dad, my last boss, previous colleagues at the business centre, even my commercial landlord!). So, I had the luxury of always having someone to go to for advice (or a good telling off if I did something completely dim – we all have to start somewhere!). I set up Chelmsford Therapy Rooms Networking (or CTRN), running networking meetings in Chelmsford originally for members of CTR, thinking I could give advice at these meetings to struggling members. As members started inviting fellow colleagues I realised that there were so many more therapists that wanted and needed help in many areas of business. So I expanded the networking so that we could accommodate for more people.
Now we’re at the Baddow Road premises I can hold group meetings in the comfort of our own premises. Although I hold these meetings myself sometimes I might invite guest speakers to talk about the different areas of concern to fellow therapists in private practice – including legal business structures, how to set up as a business, paying your tax bill, attracting clients, how mindset can affect your business and many other issues affecting you and your private practice. See our events page for more info on the next open networking date and to sign up to receive information on tickets and future events.
Of course since the pandemic we haven’t been able to hold networking meetings in person, so I now hold online zoom training sessions. I’m going to keep these going into the future because we can cater for many more therapists all over the country! I love teaching, seeing the look on a students face when they understand something or something clicks is the best feeling ever. I have now expanded the training to cover other areas of interest to therapists, including Imposter Syndrome, Anxiety and Narcissism. I’ll add to these courses in the future so if you have any requests please let me know!
Business training for Therapists
When we train we’re in the education system. A system that is straight forward, structured, with a logical make-up that offers additional resources and support. It was this type of business training, but specifically for therapists, that I decided to develop to teach those who feel they need the training in setting up, or running, their private practice.
And so CTRN Training was born! I have written these courses and worked with a producer in a recording studio to ensure that they are of a high standard. The courses cover everything from Business Basics, Marketing Your Business to Maintaining Your Private Practice. The Business Basics course is currently available for purchase. The website will be updated as new courses are released, including live Zoom training, so keep your eyes peeled!
To keep up to date with the latest events and training news you can join the “CTR Networking and Training group” on Facebook CLICK HERE
Just one last thing….
The biggest issue anyone ever has about setting up, and maintaining, a business is self belief. You’re going to have days where you wonder if it’s all worth it, maybe some of your clients haven’t paid you or your clients have dropped off the face of the planet for no apparent reason and the panic sets in (even if you’ve saved your butt off planning for this instance you are still human). But at the end of the day, remember this:
The universe wants you to succeed. The question is: do you want you to succeed?
Believe not only in yourself as a therapist but in your business. Your business is an extension of you: Have you weathered storms in your life? Overcome a trauma? Gotten through tough times and now you look back and go “holy cow, how did I do that and retain a modicum of sanity?” – if you can do it, your business can do it too and you’ll look back on the most difficult days/weeks/months of your private practice career and say:
I did it.
So get yourself out there! So many people right now need not only a therapist, but YOU as a therapist. You are the hero of your own story.
YOU GOT THIS!