Ever considered working from home? When weighing up the pros and cons of taking clients into your own house, the following points are worth considering...
FOR : It's not just the cost of the room hire you're saving if you work from home. You will most likely also have to spend on travel, parking, and if you're not conscientious about your timing, parking fines. These costs are diminished if your workplace is in the home. You will also be able to deduct a number of (reasonable)expenses from your tax bill, from carpet cleaning to toilet roll, coffee and furniture used in your office. A percentage of other household overheads may also be offset against your tax, such as heating, lighting, etc.
AGAINST : Insurance : if you normally hire a room, you will require your professional indemnity only. Using your home as a place of work, especially one in which there may be a perceived element of risk, will likely affect your home insurance. It is also advisable to take out public liability insurance to protect your client from any injury sustained on the premises.
Consider also your clientbase : how will they feel about seeing a therapist in their own home? You may find that clients prefer the neutrality of a Therapy room themselves
FOR : If you think about it, both you and your client are travelling to a set meeting place when a room is hired. By working from home, you are cutting out your part of the travelling. Also, the need to diarise a large number of clients on one day to save on travelling is diminished. Working from home would allow you to separate your work time into smaller but regular segments, such as Mon-Fri, 9 - 12, for example.
AGAINST : The separation of home from a place of work has many advantages - not least that there is a disconnection from work as you shut the therapy room door. Further, if you're not the tidiest of people, there is a need to ensure that your home is ready to receive your clients, that your grass is cut, your windows are clean etc.
FOR : There is a trust which is implied by inviting a client into your house. If you were in any way wary of a client, you would obviously continue to meet up in a neutral place. This may provide a good environment in which the therapeutic alliance can grow.
AGAINST : Home is a personal place, and it may be more difficult to keep your personal life outside your room; the effects of transference may cause undue strain on the client/therapist relationship.
Safety is the most obvious element of working from home. Often, Therapists will meet in a rented/hired room prior to deciding whether they wish to continue seeing he person in their home. There is however, always an increased risk of clients or others finding your office, when you advertise your own address as a self employed therapist.