From Startup to Success: An interview with a Baobab Marketing client

Sally Taylor is a MBACP Registered Counsellor, specialising in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy.

What inspired you to go into counselling and when did you first set up your practice?

I began my counselling training in 2010. After going through a difficult period in my own life, I was recommended to look into it. Initially I went for my own reasons, but then after I began with some basic counselling skills, I realised I was drawn to it. I began studying at the University of East Anglia, where I did person centred training and then went on to get my degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy with Middlesex University.

What do you specialise in?

I specialise in borderline personality disorder, trauma, substance misuse, ADHD, bipolar disorder, emotional sensitivity and adult attachment issues.

What made you decide to open your own business?

Initially it was a bit scary and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduating. I had an interest in working with offenders and addressing their mental health issues and gained valuable experience working in a prison setting, resulting in a psychological intervention role within Integrated Offender Management IOM, 180 Scheme and funded by the PCC. My interest was in what made them offend and reoffend? I became increasingly aware it was often stemming from earlier trauma or addiction issues. It was a great position- I was given the opportunity to develop a therapeutic model which would be looking at extending this psychotherapeutic model across the country to other police forces. 

The work was extremely rewarding and after my 3-year contract ended, I felt more confident, pleased that I could contribute to the community in a positive way. 

I wanted to start my own practice, so that I could focus on the counselling I enjoyed. I wanted the freedom to have a counselling ‘niche’ and since starting my business, I would confidently say that I have established that.

How long has your business been in operation and what challenges did you face when first running your practice?

The practice opened on the 8th October 2019. A major challenge was how to spread the word and let people know about my specialist services.  I was introduced to Caron from Baobab Marketing and she took the reins straight away, helping to spread the word and get my name out there!

How did your practice adapt during the Covid19 pandemic?

I believe in working with clients face to face and during the initial pandemic, I was able to continue helping clients via Zoom (during what I call “Zoom Tuesday”). 

I’m not a fan of doing therapy over the phone, so Zoom and Facetime have allowed me to maintain that relationship with my clients, allowing us to maintain continuity even if we weren’t able to be in the same room together.

How did Baobab Marketing help promote your business?

Caron took a lot of the stress away. Baobab Marketing built our website, produced our promotional material and helped with copywriting, she also taught me how to market my business. 

This is an area I have had to work on and Baobab Marketing remains a crucial element of my practice, allowing me to focus on my clients.

How has your practice grown since you started?

It really has grown! I now have a waiting list, something I never expected when we first started. I’m working harder than I ever have, because I try not to keep people waiting.

I have seen excellent results in my clients and the feedback is positive. This means that my business is making a real difference in the lives of my clients and it’s this positive feedback that results in word of mouth referrals.

My practice definitely has a competitive edge and that is that it offers a niche service – The treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, which often stems from a disorganised attachment, however, there are many contributing factors that can lead to other complex mental health issues, such as, self-harm, substance misuse, or more risk-taking behaviour, emotional dysregulation.  As a therapist I am committed to working with people to address these issues and help them find methods and techniques of coping in a more positive way. The therapeutic relationship I build with my clients is the essential ingredient to the success of therapy! 

What are your next goals and where do you see your business in the next three years?

Currently I am running my business alongside other practitioners, so I am looking to move into my own premises soon, in order to accommodate my increased demand. With that in mind, I am also considering taking on another practitioner, who specialises in specific mental health disorders.

At the moment, it feels like there is a real need for more specialists in borderline personality and attachment issues, so it is important that anyone working in this field has an understanding of this and how crucial addressing these issues are in terms of mental wellbeing and helping people move forward in their lives.

In terms of my personal future, I hope to see the practice continue to grow from strength to strength. I am passionate about the therapy I offer and believe that is important for both men and women, in particular with borderline personality disorder and attachment issues to be able to open up, so that they can address issues and make it easier for them to cope in their day to day lives.

For more information on Sally Taylor’s work and how you can benefit from Counselling In Action’s services, go to https://www.counsellinginaction.co.uk/ today.

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