The Art of Practice - An Interview with Gilly Adkins

Apr 01, 2011

By Suzanne LaGrande

Aside from studying and practicing Body Talk, what other things do people need to learn in order to set up a successful BodyTalk practice?

There are many different elements to setting up a Body Talk practice when you first start out:

How do you get experience when you don't have it?

How do you place a value on your services in a way that communicates the value to clients?

If you give away your services for free, it devalues your practice.

To build your credibility, you need to start by creating an illusion of a viable professional practice until you have a viable practice.

How do you do this?

A lot of it is how you schedule. You want to put two appointments back to back – so that clients see someone coming in after them.

Do not be available 24/7. For example, "I'm sorry, I'm full that day. I could see you on this day." This way, you're not like a begging dog wagging your tail hoping for a morsel.

If someone expresses interest, say as little as you need to .. little is better than more. For example, if someone expresses interest you might say, "That's great, I'd love to offer a session. Fascinating energy medicine ... I could talk about this for a long time but I recommend that you come and have a session and feel it." Have the work do the work.

From the minute you take on a client, be aware that everything you say and do is telling a story about you: How you are on the phone, how you fit them in, email, directions, what kind of intake form they fill out.

I very quickly developed a session three package.
In BodyTalk, we do get miracles but that's not the way to build a successful practice. Life just happens. I don't want to put myself or the client in the position of expecting unrealistic results. After three sessions, I expect there's a viable, tangible result. My clients feel the value of what I'm offering. If they don't, I don't want to waste their time or money, or my time if this isn't going to work for them

Logistical, practical things are very important.

When a client is coming to see you, is the space welcoming? Clean? Is it a space you and the client can feel comfortable in?

When you actually meet the client, to me there are certain things like shaking everybody by the hand, looking them in the eyes -- simple bedside manner, such as sitting down eye to eye. Then they're talking, you're listening, not just making notes.

Lastly, you need to decide who you want to work with.

Initially, beggars can't be choosers. Anybody who was willing, I was willing to take: at first you just need bodies. Down the road, I started to realize that I didn't want to work with all of my clients. Some didn't want to get better. I am very grateful to the people I saw at the beginning because I needed the practice. You can't be a good basketball player if you're not out there shooting hoops.

Later, the game changes.

The art of practice is becoming aware of when your game changes so that it stays fresh, stays fun. If business starts to lag, I need to evaluate: what am I doing and why? Do I need to see less people, be more open, put my prices up? Do I need to fire some of my clients? It's all about expansion and contraction. There are certain people I didn't want to go to work to work with then, and to be able to admit that was very freeing. We don't have to be with miserable people. We don't have to take care of everybody. We forget to ask, what do I want? If life's in agreement, it will show up.

What do you do differently now?

The honest truth: I thought I was doing a practice for other people. Now I realize it's more about myself. To run a successful practice it has to nourish me. Many people are drawn into healing because we get something from giving. That's a bit of a fallacy. BodyTalk has taught me to value myself. It made me take a hard look at where I'm not in balance. Valuing myself means not being available to help 24/7. It means taking more time for myself even if it means saying no to clients. When I talk care of myself better, it comes through. It's one of those unspoken, intangible things, there's some energy that people want. If I am not in balance, how can I be helping others? I don't want to see a doctor who's not taking care of himself. BodyTalk is about learning how to practice what I am preaching.

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