New book addresses the unique challenges therapists face and gives practical guidance to make their businesses bloom
Far too many skilled therapeutic practitioners struggle to build and maintain their businesses.
They may have extensive training in their profession, be driven by the passion to accompany others on a healing journey, and be fully committed to the benefits of their work but still struggle to make ends meet, much less thrive. What they don’t understand is that the very nature of therapeutic business is different from businesses that sell products and services, and demands an approach that aligns with therapeutic goals.
The same skills these practitioners bring to their therapeutic work can propel them to business success, according to a new book titled Elements of a Successful Therapeutic Business, written by Robyn Scherr and Kate Mackinnon. They’ve each honed their craft over two decades in private practice, and share their approach to business in the book.
“Our treatment paradigm is an excellent guide to building a business that adapts and thrives over time,“ explain Scherr, a massage therapist, and Mackinnon, a physical therapist. With a long history of collaboration, Mackinnon and Scherr both specialize in craniosacral therapy and are widely known in their field as skilled practitioners, presenters, and mentors.
They taught a popular online business class to support their fellow manual therapists and created a platform called Touch Matters, which is dedicated to deepening health and connection through skillful and compassionate touch.
“We built our businesses following our therapeutic paradigm to ensure our ventures are client-centered,” they explained. “We track sensations within our bodies to help us be certain that we are making decisions that align with our values. We set measurable goals with built-in accountability so that we can chart our progress and celebrate our success.”
Manual therapists such as massage, occupational, and physical therapists are a natural fit for this material. Acupuncturists, energy workers, hair stylists and estheticians, personal trainers and movement instructors also have successfully used this unique approach. All that is required is a practitioner’s dedication to their own and their clients’ growth and self-awareness, and that they are in private practice, say Scherr and Mackinnon.
“The truth is there’s no one way to do business. But there is a right way for each of us right now,” they said.
Scherr and Mackinnon intend for as many people as possible to have access to highly effective therapeutic work. That means having plenty of successful, highly skilled therapists to serve them. This book is in service of that goal.
The authors explained, “We don’t want practitioners spending the bulk of their time on business details. We want them to be seeing clients who benefit from their work, we want their business to support the meaningful connections they have with their clients, and we want their time away from clients to be truly free. The book is an invitation to delve deeply to discover why you do what you do, who you are meant to serve and how to inspire them, and what makes you unique in your work. Following our Business Paradigm will take you on a courageous journey of discovery and accountability as you build a business that adapts, thrives, and grows with you.”
The business guidelines described in Elements of a Successful Therapeutic Business already have been adapted and implemented by several leading practitioners.
Suzanna Scurlock, founder of Healing from the Core and author of Reclaiming Your Body and Full Body Presence, said, “Finally, a book that provides solid business advice tailored to the therapeutic practitioner! Having taught and mentored thousands of CranioSacral Therapists across the last 33 years, I have seen again and again that being an excellent manual therapist does not always equate to having good business sense. So Robyn's and Kate’s book is a wonderful resource for all of us. They understand not only how to be successful in business, but how to teach it to others in a clear, concise way. And I love that they continually remind each of us to utilize the inner navigational system of our body to guide us in our businesses, so that we are fulfilling and meeting the needs of our clients, even as we build monetary success.”
Jacquelyn Fletcher Johnson of Heartwood Healing called the book a “generous resource.” She said, “ With heart and honesty Robyn and Kate provide a roadmap to creating a business that is both doable and inspirational. Their advice will prompt even the most marketing averse people to grow their client lists in ways that feel authentic and in alignment with their goals. I love so many things about this book but perhaps the most impactful is the way the authors give you permission to build a business that fits you—quirks and all.”