Elizabeth Forrest had always dreamed of running her own therapy practice, so when her situation changed in 2015, it was the opportunity that she needed to take the leap into self-employment and set up her own business; Forrest Talking Therapies.

Forrest Talking Therapies describes itself as ‘A professional and confidential service in Crosby providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to individuals experiencing anxiety and/or depression.’ As well as this Elizabeth also offers clinical supervision for other practicing CBT therapists. 

Prior to setting up her own business Elizabeth worked for 4 years as a person-centred counsellor in various settings, including the NHS, Age Concern and Sefton Choices where Elizabeth gained experience helping people to overcome a range of problems including bereavement, relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety or sexual abuse. As well as this, from 2006-2010 Elizabeth worked as a Referral Officer for Sefton Council’s Creative 
Alternatives on a prescription programme, providing support for depression and anxiety. 

It was in 2015 when Elizabeth reduced her hours working within the NHS to 4 days per week that she began to think about setting up her own business; ‘I’d had a difficult time in my personal life, and things had also been difficult in my role in the NHS after the service I worked for went through a re-contracting process and my job was put at risk.’

‘This made me realise that I couldn’t 100% rely on this work and a Plan B would help if I ever found myself in this position again.’ But Elizabeth found from reducing her working hours, the extra time that she had to herself was really helpful for her and began to feel she had the energy to take on a new challenge.

‘It was at this time that a colleague, who had set up his own practice, asked me to supervise him. To do this I had to go through the process of getting insurance, so I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to set up my own business.’ 

At this point Elizabeth asked her colleague for advice and also contacted The Women’s Organisation, as well as researching online and reading around the topic of setting up a therapy business. Elizabeth says; ‘I felt slightly daunted by all the work to do but also excited about the new adventure.’ 

Over a period of 6 months Elizabeth worked with Senior Business Adviser; Huda Mamoun on her business plan and was guided along the process of becoming self-employed. ‘The meetings with Huda were really helpful in getting me to focus on what needed to be done and give me set deadlines to work to.’ As well as this, Elizabeth attended our training courses with Bernie; Planning for Success and Building a Social Media Strategy. 

And throughout the process of setting up her business there were many things that Elizabeth had to juggle continuing to work 4 days a week in the NHS and working with 2 colleagues to set up the Liverpool Branch of the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapists which provides networking and training events. 

As well as this when setting up her business and over the last few years in general Elizabeth became very aware of her emotional well being and made sure she was looking after herself. She told us; ‘This is part of what motivates me to have my own business as it gives me control over my workload.’

In fact, having the control, flexibility and independence of being the boss is what Elizabeth enjoys most about being self-employed, as well as the variety that each day offers. ‘It allows me to make time for the things that rejuvenate me such as going to the gym, practicing mindfulness, reading and spending time with my loved ones.’

So far, Elizabeth says that she is happy with the way that Forrest Talking Therapies is going and told us; ‘I have taken on a contract from an organisation that provides CBT online so I’m getting regular work through them. And I’m regularly seeing clients for face to face work and continue to supervise.’

And what advice would Elizabeth give to a woman who was thinking about starting her own business; ‘Contact The Women’s Organisation, this was so valuable to me! Also, make lots of time for planning before you launch as you’ll be surprised how much you need to think about and put into place before you start earning an income.’

‘Allow yourself to dream about where you want to be in 5 years’ time and then start setting yourself small goals to move towards tis. Before you know it you’ll be living your dream!’ 

If you’d like to find out more Forrest Talking Therapies or access the services that Elizabeth offers, you can use the contact details below!

Email: elizabeth@forresttalkingtherapies.co.uk 
Phone Number: 07926 485 362

And if you’ve been inspired by Elizabeth’s story and would like to see how The Women’s Organisation can help you with your business idea, get in touch with us. Email hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111