PN: What will they learn in the business course?
Cummings: How to balance a budget and maximize their time. Most therapists couldn't balance their checkbook. So they have no way of knowing that all the things they're doing are going to plunge them into the red when they have their quarterly accounting. They need to learn the kind of business discipline that says, "Wait a minute, what is the most effective and efficient treatment I can give this patient?" Most of all, therapists have to finally get over the belief that therapy should take as long as it takes, no matter the cost. We no longer live in a world that permits us to think that way.
Richard Simon, Ph.D., is the editor of the Psychotherapy Networker and author of One on One: Interviews With the Shapers of Family Therapy . Letters to the Editor about this article may be sent to Letters@psychnetworker.org.