My Pay-What-You-Can Counseling Model

As a healer, I’ve never felt comfortable asking for money from people in need, especially if I sense that they would have trouble affording it.

On the other hand, I want to be rich. (At least, that’s what I tell myself. My self-sabotaging parts would probably like a word)

Over time, I’ve reconciled this issue by building a system that allows my clients to pay what they want.

I was lucky enough to have a day job in a completely different field, so I could pursue my hypnotherapy practice without financial pressure. But if I never have to send another invoice to a client ever again, I’ll be fine with that.

I know some therapists have a pay what you can model they apply to certain clients who indicate an issue with affordability. I found it simpler to have that be more core model across the board.

Inspired by Vince Horn of Buddhist Geeks, I set up my own “pay what you want” page on my own website, and simply directed my clients to there in an email when I first onboarded them. I provide a suggested rate, but they were free to enter any amount they wanted and make a payment.

Vince takes the system to another level, where he reports on the exact range of the average donation, as well as the totals he receives for individual programs and timeframes.

Pay Forward What You Can

My idea for Prodana evolved from a year of successfully employing my pay what you want model, along with a desire to improve the system further, for both myself and others:

  • What if I could allow other practitioners access to this same technology I used, even if they weren’t as geeky and tech savvy as Vince or I?
  • What if we framed it as a pay it forward model, where the money they paid would be going towards other people? I personally find that thought quite satisfying (it requires you to learn how to both take and give, either of which can be a challenge)
  • What if we allowed for monthly contributions, allowing for a long-term relationship that helped bring this modality to more people?
  • What if my page was accessible enough that even clients who couldn’t afford to pay now, could still make a contribution later?
  • What if the system was transparent about the amounts raised and the impact it was having? Vince does a great job of this, but I wanted something that automated the process.

So here we are. I’m building this for myself firstly, because I’d like to see these features in my own practice. And it’s one big experiment to see if anyone else would like to use a similar tool.

Here’s to being rich and not thinking about money at the same time.


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