It may not be a very common practice today, but the custom of running a therapy business from home is actually an old one. The forefathers of modern psychology like Mahler, Winnicot, Jung and of course, Freud used to treat patients from their home offices a lot of the times. However, there are multiple factors to take into consideration before starting a therapy business at home. While there are obvious financial and practical advantages, there are also privacy and safety concerns that one must prepare for. If you are planning to start treating patients at home, it might be a good idea to go through the following points.
Time and Money
This is the most obvious and the biggest advantage of practicing from home; you don’t have to pay rent and you don’t have to commute. The time you save by not having to travel to your office can be used to give more time to your patients. Also, when you don’t have to drive back home, you can always put in a few extra hours to both help patients and increase your income.
The Location Could Be Perfect
Patients will feel more comfortable to visit you if they don’t have to wait in a busy office building with multiple other people. A residence is by nature a friendlier and calmer environment which is perfect for patients who suffer from anxiety, depression, etc.
Balance between Personal and Professional Life
While a lot of us believe in leaving work at the office before entering our home, it is not always possible and a busy day in office could very well stretch well past the realms of a business day and into personal time territory. Having an office at home lets you stay in close proximity with your family and each time you take a break, you are back at home.
Opening up to a complete stranger without knowing anything about him/her is a hard step for many patients. A home office can help a doubtful patient trust you more as allowing someone entry to your home is seen mostly as a gesture of trust universally. It may help you build rapport with a particularly difficult patient, especially children.
If you are treating patients from your home, you are putting your privacy and confidentiality at stake. It might be particularly hard to keep a purely professional relationship with them which is necessary in treating various types of mental illnesses.
Security and Safety Issues
This is the biggest issue of conducting therapy sessions from home. When a patient steps through your door for the first time, you may not know if that person can be a threat to you and your family’s security. The last thing you would want is for a sociopathic patient to know who you are and where you live.
Keeping children and pets quiet during the hours that you conduct therapy sessions can be difficult. Additionally, your work might be interrupting family schedules and vice versa.
As you can see there are both advantages and disadvantages to running a therapy business from your home and only you can tell which side of the story applies more to your particular situation. Pediatric therapy might be the best idea when your office is at your home as it nullifies most of the safety issues mentioned.