A common struggle clinicians grapple with is their relationship with money, fees and finances. As helping professionals, we are proud, and should be proud of our dedication to our chosen profession. We chose our profession because we yearn to care for and help others. It is difficult to contemplate that there are other dynamics involved in our relationship with the individuals and people we serve. Yet, to neglect the “what’s in it for me?” factor of the clinical relationship, leads to subpar treatment and an inherently flawed therapeutic process.
It is not uncommon to hear therapists and other helping professionals discount the role of the paycheck in their motivation for employment. Nevertheless, this allusion of complete altruism essentially creates a setting wherein the therapist is viewed as the superior being with inborn expertise in of the world and its workings teaching and directing those less worthy. The therapists’ ability to identify their own needs in the relationship, lends power to the client system.

What about the therapist who is not collecting a paycheck?

The task for those who are not earning via the client-therapist relationship is to figure out what they get out of the relationship; why do they need the client.
Interns need clients for their schooling. Perhaps the independently wealthy therapist is in need to be able to socialize in a work environment? Or, perhaps they are looking for notoriety of being a reputable clinician or to prove their inner self worth?

What are you in it for?