It’s that time again where we catch up with a 54 St James Street tenant! Next up in the five minutes with series is clinical psychologist and our tenant, Dr Miguel Montenegro from Dynamic Neuropsychology Ltd.
Alongside running his business, Miguel is currently under-taking post-doctoral training in Clinical Neuropsychology. We sat down with him to hear a little but more about his business.
Tell us about your business…
Dynamic Neuropsychology Ltd is all about making clinical psychology and neuropsychology services accessible to people across Liverpool, in particular those from BME communities and people with disabilities.
We offer specialist assessments and therapy for people who may be struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, relationship problems, memory concerns, or other noticeable cognitive changes. We also work with employers to improve employee psychological well-being and even pre-employment suitability assessments. Our work as being very dynamic so we’re always willing to explore new ways of supporting people.
I started the business in April, after many years of playing with the idea, planning and preparing my skills to be able to meet the challenge. I had noticed that people’s struggle to access to psychology and neuropsychology services was mostly due to a clunky referral process from GPs. Plus NHS resources are very limited and services are provided based on very specific inclusion criteria. I would hear people complaining that they would not meet criteria to be seen by specialists. People would often be dropped by services if they did not meet the criteria or if they “didn’t engage”, and this was particularly true for people from certain minorities, people whose English is not their first language, or whose cultural background deters them from being fully open with a GP or with NHS professionals.
What’s on the agenda for the future?
I would like to eventually expand and be able to work alongside other like-minded professionals to offer a more inclusive service. Ultimately, in the next 5 years I would like to go international, and start offering services in Portuguese speaking countries and in particular those countries where neuropsychology and clinical psychology are not well developed, to the detriment of people’s well-being.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My days tend to vary a lot. I am always flexible depending on my clients’ needs. Typically, I start my day very early, because my dog is my first client! Then at around 8.30 am, I start preparing for my first appointment of the day. Each appointment lasts about an hour, but sometimes it can last longer. I usually leave a small gap between appointments for sessions that need a bit longer, to write important case notes and prepare for my next session.
On certain days I may offer up to 2 hours clinical supervision to colleagues, or attend my own supervision meeting. Between 3.30 and 5.30pm I may do some outreach work for people who may not be able to travel to my base, or I will be reading professional articles or preparing research documents for publication or present in conferences. But my job does not end then… when I go home, I still have to do extra work around reports on client sessions, reading, studying, and work more on marketing initiatives.
Why did you choose 54 St. James Street? (Have you got a special relationship with the building or The Women’s Organisation?)
I chose 54 St James Street for a number of reasons. I’m a great believer in supporting local organisations like The Women’s Organisation which are aimed at helping people and promoting positive social ideas. I got involved with The Women’s Organisation from the very start of my business, receiving business advice through the Enterprise Hub programme. This experience has enhanced my sense of loyalty to 54 St James Street and I’m pleased to be part of the family.
Not only that, 54 St James Street is close to city centre and is easily accessible for my clients. The building and the staff are very friendly, welcoming and professional. I can feel assured that any client coming to see me will feel reassured their privacy will be respected. Most importantly they can relax in the friendly sitting area or cafe while they wait for their appointment. The building is trendy, relaxing, non-threatening, private, and most of all light and spacious.
What would be your top tips for anyone looking to start a business?
Take the first step, even if it is scary at first, things get easier! Getting in touch with an organisation like The Women’s Organisation can help you understand the start-up process. They may even be able to set you up with a free business advisor.
Put a business plan in place, research the market and identify the gaps and trends. Be open to pitfalls and potential problems. Most importantly, don’t give up! Even if the idea has been brewing for a long time, it could be worth reviving it. Have a back-up plan and be prepared to meet your financial needs via an alternative income source since new businesses can take a while to take off and become financially viable as a sole source of income.
What’s on your reading or watch list at the moment?
Most of my reading is around related topics to the work I do. Occasionally I can squeeze interesting literature. At the moment I am in a spree of reading books on history, biographies, or apocalyptic and Sci-Fi literature.
My favourite book so far is “Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up!”, by Tom Philips. This book is a brief reminder of our human heritage, achievements, and history. But its also a warning against dangerous patterns of past human behaviour. It’s a psychological book based on the theory that human learning and social memories only last a few generations. As a species we often make the same cyclic mistakes.
To find out more about using any of 54 St James Street’s facilities click here. For more information you can call 0151 706 8100 or email email@example.com.
If you are a tenant and you would like to feature in the #5MinutesWith series, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.