As a Life Coach, I often see people who tell me they are uncomfortable charging for their healing or spiritual work, or raising their prices to meet what they see their value as. In my work as a Therapist, Psychologist, Yoga Teacher, Healer and Intuitive I have also felt this in the past. I recall the first Hypnotherapy client I had twenty-three years ago, I totally forgot to charge them. Money can make many of us feel uncomfortable, especially those working in either ‘caring and empathic’ professions or roles that society may see as involving special ‘gifts’ like intuitives. Essentially all healers.
If people are happy not charging for their work, their lifestyle can sustain this and things feel balanced for them, then all is well. However some people want to charge or raise prices but are afraid to do so. Making fear based decisions never pans out well. Whatever work we do, we have to make a living. We are existing in a material world with obligations. I have had three children to raise in the context of two divorces and have been the main breadwinner in these relationships.Many of my animals have been rescued and may not have lived had I not taken them on, this costs money. Others have health needs and children with special needs. Life can be expensive.
When we start new services or careers we have to invest both time and money to develop these skills and build these new streams of revenue. When considering our value to set a price point we have to factor in all aspects of the time, money, energy and sacrifices we have made to be able to offer the service we are pricing.There are pragmatic business costs to consider such as the space we use to offer sessions, internet/phone fees, travel costs, technology required and other business tools.
Beyond these outgoings, it is not only the time and energy for the actual sessions we are offering. We have to consider the preparation before and processes after. There is correspondence and bookings. It is never just the time spent with clients. A major aspect, often forgotten, is all the effort time and money dedicated to training and learning new skills to be the best we can when serving clients. When you pay a professional for sessions you are also paying them for their education, experience and overall expertise.
In my professional journey I trained for two years as a Counsellor, three years as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Seven years as a Clinical Psychologist and four years studying Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy. On top of these there has been untold hours of Contuining Professional Development based short courses of therapeutic, psychological, coaching and holistic healing relevance. Then there is paying for supervision to ensure I am working to the best of my ability to be of service to clients. Not to forget the five years of personal psychotherapy to ensure my level of self-awareness is such that I know what I may be bringing to client work that may cloud my judgement.
In my spiritual journey, although I connected with my intuitive abilities at a young age, I have spent the last thirty-two years of my life attending many many hours of training in multiple modalities of healing and psychic courses. Never taking a position of complacency and always wanting to see how others view things and share their knowledge. This is how we develop. We have to invest time in developing ourselves if we want to develop others. Everyone self-develops and invests their time at varying degrees and should be compensated accordingly for this.
These trainings have meant hours away from home and family. That very real struggle of being a mum yet wanting to be of service to the world is ever present. I recall pumping breast milk in the toilets of university having just had my middle daughter when completing my finals in my Psychology degree. I also recall judgements from other mothers expressing their sympathy that I “had” to work, not understanding the concept of wanting to be of value to the world yet still battling with the guilt of this taking time away from family. Also as they said, I ‘had’ to work to look after myself and my children.
The money invested in all of my training would hit way over a hundred thousand pounds over thirty-two years. That doesn’t include the free sessions to gain experience, the volunteer work, and the travelling for miles just to get the right kind of experience. I worked for free as a Counsellor for five years with Victim Support. It can be easy for all of us to forget the sacrifices in the journey and be entirely destination focused.
A really common belief is that anything spiritual should always be offered for free because it is a gift from the Divine. But if we believe this then surely all talents or skills are gifts from the Divine? And yet people don’t generally have the same expectation of free or reduced work from Designers, Teachers, Chefs or their Medical Doctor. We don’t go into a Hairdressers and say can I pay less? We accept the advertised price. Yet so many times, in all of my caring and healing roles, this has been expected of me and I have coached many clients about this issue, who work in similar roles.
I believe a connection to intuition and other dimensions can be developed in all of us. It’s just some of us choose to focus on this and dedicate time to prioritising these skills. Like any other skills we should be compensated if we are offering a service. Money is simply an energy exchange.
Each individual offering healing and caring services is not the only person who does this. So if someone comes to us and sees prices they are not able to afford, there will be someone out there offering similar, at a price they can afford. Setting our prices to match the value of the training experience and sacrifices we have made to offer the services we do, does not withhold treatment from that person it may just mean they can’t access us and will end up working with someone else.
Being uncomfortable with money boundaries is linked to self-esteem. We are all worthy of abundance but may struggle to believe this. If we see people without charging or charging less than we are worth, we are modelling to them that it is okay to devalue yourself. Therefore our exchange of energy with them will somehow also be devalued. Boundaries come from a strong sense of self-worth. If we are not feeling worthy is our cup really full enough to serve others? We all have a right to be compensated for our time and energy and to have free time to do the things we like to do. We need to recharge our own batteries to be fully available to our clients. Undercharging and giving too much time creates imbalance. The less energy we have the less we can help others.
So how do we set our boundaries? We must first think of our priorities. Someone may ask for a free therapy session or psychic reading and when we look at our diary we can see we have a gap to do this. However is it really free time? Is it within the hours we want to work? What does it stop us doing? What about the book you are reading or the podcast you want to listen to? You are equally as worthy as the person asking to take your free time.
For me, if I am not doing things that create an income for my family I want to spend time with them and do other things I’m passionate about like exercising or writing. If we give too much of our time to others, we can quickly hit empty on the fuel tank and be running on fumes.
We can learn to say “no” without seeming mean or having to list our justifications. Healers and carers can want to help everyone and this is once more linked to self-worth. We can link our work to how useful we are to others. If we feel responsible for helping and healing others we are not operating from a place of balance. We have to take care of ourselves first. If we run into a burning building and don’t alert emergency services we may be struck down immediately by a falling beam, and then no one is helped. On a plane we are taught to put our own oxygen mask on first. Everyday life is no different from these emergencies.
When you have a stronger flow of income, you have more to give as well. The money that you spend on other people’s services goes back into the economy, supporting other families. Also, when you have more, you also have more to donate to causes that are important to you. Making money from your services is not bad. You become supported so that you can also support others.
I can recall being afraid that my prices would be too high for people to book. I would believe I should accommodate anyone that wanted a session with the time they wanted it and at a fee they could pay. I would look at the prices of those I perceived as competitors and think I must equal or undercut these. I soon learned that there is no shortage of people needing help and guidance. Each of us is not right for everyone. If we are true to ourselves and practice authentically, pricing ourselves in line with how we see our value, we will attract the clients right for us. We will have a balanced energy exchange.
Our services are unique. When I offer a psychic reading I am bringing twenty-three years of therapeutic and thirty-two years of holistic training into the mix. Since raising prices in all services and setting appropriate value boundaries I have never been busier and have waiting lists, with bookings way ahead of time and advanced payments. We each bring our own fingerprint of training, innate gifts and experience. No one else can be us and not everyone will be right for us. We do not have to blur our boundaries to give everyone the chance to be our client. We have a right to thrive in our own lives.