How Kiku came into being
We've drawn upon our many years of experience running private counselling services to create a client centred practice management platform especially for counsellors.
Here's our journey so far...
Setting up in private practice
Our story begins in Newcastle upon Tyne back in 2011. Here counselling psychologist, Dr Rhian Lewis, set up her private practice.
With little guidance available at the time she found herself making a lot of it up as she went along, learning lessons the hard way through trial and error and a fair few mistakes.
Something she was doing struck a chord though and within 6 months she was able to bring other therapists onto the team, gradually growing her practice over the next 7 years to become 14 therapist strong and one of the leading services in the area.
The importance of being client centred
Along her way she found that a successful business is all about good relationships and for this, good, client-centred administration is fundamental.
As the practice got busier and the team began to grow, staying client centred in its administration became more challenging as it got increasingly more difficult for Rhian to keep track of each client's experience within the service.
On top of this, she also started to feel the pressure of all of the plates she had to spin. Surely, there had to be an easier way that didn't involve so much time, stress and self-sacrifice? And so an idea began to form...
What if we could design a practice management system specifically shaped to the business of counselling?
Something that would take the bulk of administration off a therapist's shoulders, running their service with efficiency, transparency and the softness and warmth we need in our sector, and thereby keeping the clients' needs at the heart of the process.
What I really like about this system is the security of it all! No files getting larger and initials to try and remember. When I've needed to find emergency contact details fast or clients have asked for letters and their date of starting therapy, everything is securely accessible at the click of a button. Clients I've worked with also tell me that they like the reminders they are sent and how they can quickly pay by card. I can confidently recommend Kiku.
In 2018, Rhian embarked on the process of designing Kiku.
She enlisted the help of local developers and with their support Kiku began to take shape, growing more multi-faceted as we incorporated the requests of other therapists into the project.
Her desire to be of service to the counselling field was so strong that she almost entirely self-funded the build with just a little (but hugely appreciated) help from local grant providers.
After many drafts, re-drafts and a fair few all nighters, Rhian entered 2020 full of excitement and enthusiasm about what the year was going to bring. Kiku. Was. Ready...
COVID-19: Thank God for Kiku
Kiku 1.0 was launched in mid February 2020 and 6 weeks later the nation went into lockdown.
In response to this we made the platform subscription free to help counsellors to run their services effectively from home.
Although pretty bad timing when trying to get a one woman start up off the ground, having Kiku ready and available for her private practice was a godsend.
With Kiku's help she was able to quickly switch all 14 therapists to home working and help the admin team to manage the diaries remotely. 12 months of live testing ensued, providing much inspiration for new developments to improve the site and make the platform even more powerful for our users.
2021: Bringing our mission into focus
Although Kiku started life as both a directory and a practice management platform, it became apparent that our practice management features were where the real gold lay for our users.
Kiku 2.0 was built on this, drawing from feedback from our current subscribers to enhance and improve our offering and create software that covers all of the essential bases for counsellors in private practice.
Creating a supportive Hub for counsellors
In 2021 we expanded the Kiku family, bringing in more therapists with many years of both clinical and private practice experience to support our users.
They'll be helping us to continue developing the Kiku platform and to keep building our resource and article hub for therapists.
We are here for you.
We've created Kiku to help you in your counselling business.Start your free trial