Now I have a confession to make here.  I am writing this Blog as part of my distraction activity instead of completing my self-assessment tax return....

The online Advanced Certificate in Life Coaching includes an exercise in self-assessment which makes me smile every single time I read it.

Self assessment in terms of working as a coach or therapist, of course refers to that ongoing process of review and assessment as part of our own personal and professional development.

But obviously for a lot of us out there it also has that other meaning of the annual HMRC tax return.

Sometimes the element of self assessment and personal process can feel daunting and be a surprise to students who are new to therapeutic work or have little or no prior personal experience of it.

But it’s essential.

Whether it’s within a peer group, supervision setting, personal therapy or cultivating those inner processes for ourselves, therapists need to find a way of working with those elements of personal care and development.

The HMRC tax return obviously is a rather glorified income and expenditure sheet.  Clicking “calculate” online will result in a figure that they owe me (rarely!) or that I owe them (nearly always!).

A self-assessment review as a therapist should review skills and knowledge, but certainly continuing training and development and specific goals we may set in a professional business.  Spending time on that review will result in identifying what we owe to ourselves and clients to engage more in, and what the work has taught us and grown in us over the past year or so.

A personal self assessment may be seen only by a supervisor and myself.  But the evidence of it will be experienced by clients.

My tax return will obviously be submitted to HMRC, but that will also show evidence of the positive income effects from targets and goals achieved, training undertaken and business and employment development.

So self assessment, from whatever angle, is essential all round.

Now where did I put those account log-on details?....