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Harnessing the Winds of Change - Page 10

Reinvention and Self-Renewal

Buddhists maintain that all efforts at changing the world begin with looking inside and changing ourselves. Looking inside is a process we understand, but when faced with the challenge of change ourselves, our first inclination may be to retreat to our teepees instead of facing the fierce, shifting winds. But this isn't a time for inward retreat: it's time to plan and to take action.

We want to hold on to values that define us professionally and ethically, and stay true to our core philosophy to help our clients develop insight and awareness, build skills, solve problems, and change behavior in constructive ways. But being able to continue receiving a fair market value for our services requires a willingness to rethink traditional wisdom, let go of old models, and take big steps to reshape our practices so they can stay strong over time. Some business changes take years to succeed. That's why we need to start now and look ahead. Either we'll be the architects of our own renewal, or we'll feel victimized and "done in" by the marketplace. If we frame this as a time for leadership, we can determine the best outcomes for our private practices and our collective future, benefiting from an observation often attributed to Charles Darwin: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change."

Lynn Grodzki, L.C.S.W., M.C.C., is a psychotherapist and master certified coach in Silver Spring, Maryland. She's the author of four books on practice-building, including Building Your Ideal Private Practice and 12 Months to Your Ideal Private Practice. Contact: Letters to the Editor about this article may be e-mailed to

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