Welcome back to my Top 10 Tips! I started this as a single-part blogpost but realized that I simply had too many tips for graduate students in psychology to squeeze into one post. So if you’re wondering why the tips start at #6 below, it’s because the first five tips are in Part 1 of this post. If you’re a future therapist in private practice who wants to lay the groundwork for success today, I hope you enjoy the tips below!
Are you planning to start your private practice
but got discouraged because you don't know where to start?
Many graduate students in fields like clinical or counseling psychology plan to have a private practice one day, but have been discouraged from thinking too much about that exciting part of their professional life till much further down the road. As a clinical psychologist who was able to start a thriving practice within weeks (yes, weeks) of getting my license, I respectfully disagree-
The good news is that there are plenty of smart and relatively simple steps you can take now to be poised for success when the time comes.
One of the biggest fears that graduate students have is how they will get clients, and they are often given very few resources to address this-- probably because their professors aren't necessarily private practice experts and may not really know how to go about it either.
If you're a graduate student wondering how you can sow the seeds for private practice success today, read on for some quick and easy tips!
Handing late cancellation fees
One of the biggest questions that I get from other therapists is how to navigate late cancellation fees.
Many psychologists, social workers, LMFTs, LMHCs, or other therapists find that creating a successful private practice while still working at a clinic, hospital, agency, or some other day job can be a “chicken and egg” problem:
How are you supposed to create your private practice while you’re still occupied with your other work?
I know this dilemma from firsthand experience: I started my private practice while working full time at a demanding (yet wonderful) place where I had earned my licensing hours. A lot of the steps below can be done while you're working a full-time job and building your practice, or even just in anticipation of opening a practice if you're still in graduate school. I laid the groundwork for myself as much as possible so I wouldn't have to worry about all these things upon licensure; when I'd want to just focus on seeing clients as much as possible. It worked out REALLY well.
Here’s how I did it!
Spare yourself from admin work
Did you know that you can use blogs to charm clients?
If you’re like most therapists, you weren’t taught much about marketing in graduate school, especially about online marketing. Online marketing for therapists is an incredibly easy (yes, easy!) and inexpensive way to let your ideal clients know who you are and how you can help them. A super easy and inexpensive form of online marketing is blogging, but there are a few tricks you need to turn a random blog into an online marketing tool. So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in and learn how to do it! By the way: If this seems like a lot of information and you'd like support in the process, please feel free join my program for an extra sense of support!
Afraid to raise your fees?
As a mental health professional, you will need to determine what fees are most appropriate for the services you provide. As your experience and your client base grow, you may be faced with the decision to raise your fees for your own financial benefit; and to improve your space or the amenities you provide to your clients. It’s understandable that there may be some discomfort or fear about how raising your fees might affect your practice and customers. However, through slow and steady increases over time, you will find that many of your customers can absorb these costs and the few that leave will be replaced by new customers.
Expanding Your Practice Virtually Part 2
Let’s go into more detail about how to have a comfortable, successful, and positive experience with teletherapy during a pandemic!
How did this pandemic impact you as a therapist?
We are all being thrown for a loop right now: therapists everywhere are being challenged in more ways than ever before. COVID has caused much harm, but, as with any negative, we have to be able to look for the positives. And as therapists, there are many positives if we look for them!
|This article, which I wrote to help consumers choose a therapist, originally appeared in US News and World Report. This article is also helpful for therapists seeking to attract online clients since it would help them understand what sorts of factors clients might be considering in choosing a therapist.
You may also check out the article here and my author page here.
Snowstorm? No problem! Have the sniffles? Stay in your pajamas.
And do your therapy session from home!
Online therapy offers numerous benefits to clients. It's a convenient way to see a therapist without having to waste a moment of precious time on even a short commute.
- gives clients the ability to connect with therapists who may be too far geographically, even if the client were willing to commute.
- Online therapy also allows clients to have a greater choice in therapists as well as schedules, making therapy more convenient than ever.
- And allows many clients to be more vulnerable and share things they might find more difficult if they were actually sitting in a doctor's office
My office has done online therapy since 2012, and we have a large number of online therapy clients in New York, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as a large number of online coaching clients around the world.