Questions for private practice therapists Hi everyone, I am interested in opening my own practice one day, and I have a number of questions I would like experienced clinicians to shed some … A great way to consider going into private practice is to join a private practice group. That being said, I’m having a hard time being the abandoner. Here’s the caveat: You can only practice in the state(s) in which you’re licensed. The only downside schedule wise is my husband has typical office hours (8-430) so our schedules are opposite. There are many qualities that a good clinical therapist … If you are a solo practice therapist looking to grow into a group practice, this blog post is what you need to start the journey. One partial explanation is that I was anxious about establishing a private practice … Billing I handle myself - here, there is no insurance cover for therapy generally speaking so people either pay privately, or receive government support and pay with that, so billing is very straightforward. My caseload is a little smaller than the others so far, but I am only in my second full year in private practice, and it has continued to grow slowly but steadily. However, to enjoy your practice for many years to come, be sure to avoid the above mistakes. No change with billing stress with new laws. These professionals may work in private practice, at a health clinic, in a school, or at an in-patient mental health facility. Overall, this thread makes me very excited to start planning for a practice and I am hopeful it will be a successful one! That sounds reasonable. I have a profile on Psychology Today. I chart/do notes in session (very limited, important information only) and hand write a brief summary that takes about 3-5 minutes after each session. I would like to make a reasonable income while still having time for my personal life and family, so this is good to hear! I was so discouraged when I read the average annual salary for counselors. I don't have children though and so my evenings are devoted to appointments. heh. Master's level practitioners can practice independently in all states using the label of counselor, social worker or therapist. I also am with a group practice, so I get space on the group's website (a profile and a link to my individual website). And they constantly tease me about how scared I am of numbers. A good way to get the word out about your private practice and build a strong referral network to increase referral traffic is by becoming a resource for your local news and by writing about … It's very simple once your billing system is setup. I do part of my billing and pay an assistant to do part of the data entry. Psych Today, other local therapist websites, a preferred provider for insurance, my own website. Best marketing is doing a good job helping people, they will send people your way. When I start taking insurance in September I will only be taking BCBS, so I'll bill through Blue E (BCBS's online system) and do the rest myself as I do it now for self pay. I can't say specifically how much time a week I spend on billing. Awesome response! There is definitely a market out there for fee-for-service therapy, but it's harder to tap into. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Basically the same stuff as has already been mentioned. Until then, psychology today is essential as is making connections with the schools and doctors in your area. It gives me hope that I can open my own practice and succeed, especially if I can take on a full caseload (not 40 clients though!). How to Thrive as a Therapist Private Practice Counseling; Most new clinicians start in agency work, eventually get higher paying county or state jobs and then add private practice as a part-time or full-time endeavor. I am glad to hear there is no added stress with the changes in law. Burnout posts belong in the weekly Whine Wednesday post. Hope this helps. I usually schedule a 15 minute break between patients, so I always have time to get my notes done between session. Balancing work with my personal life has always been a challenge for me, but over time I've set more rigid boundaries around when I'll see clients and my general availability. Many therapists do not have much marketing experience or expertise and create fairly poor websites, and if this is the case in your region then it can be quite easy to establish a practice in this way. So far the changes in health care haven't trickled down to private practice much, but I hear rumors and speculation of how it will impact private practice. We encourage discussion of therapeutic techniques, information related to practice and new research, information related to careers in therapy, and dissection of case studies that protect the identity of the client. This is my personal litmus test for gauging the quality of their previous therapy… Almost everyone has a secretary for billing, or use some kind of automated electronic system. I spend less than 2 hours working on billing and other paperwork each week. To become a private practice psychologist, you need a psychology degree. The short answer is yes. Organizational skills are essential for keeping records accurate and up to date, and for time management. Networking, introducing yourself to others and encouraging referrals can help you build up your client base more quickly. Licensed therapist turned business consultant Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW has over 20 years in the mental health field & 12 years in private practice as owner of WasatchFamilyTherapy.com. Becoming a preferred provider was a huge benefit to building my practice. Do you have a system for billing? Right now I spend maybe 1-2 hours a week on billing. I get 1-2 clients per week from the advertising. Glad there is the ability to do very well! In January they adjusted it to $105.60 and last year I think I got about $107/session. Being in private practice requires taking the steps necessary to generate business, which many therapists feel uncomfortable doing. My clients manage their own schedule online. My clients that are on sliding scale pay up front, so they never have a bill. I know a therapist who is full-time who sees 40-45 per week, and that is horribly unethical in my opinion. Only posts and comments from those providing therapy in a licensed capacity allowed. Do you handle billing yourself or do you employ someone to do it for you? All posts must include discussion points. My friend who started in private practice in January is now seeing about 22-25 patients per week and I think he's on track to make about 65k this year, which isn't bad for his first year. If you’d like to learn more about setting up your practice, be sure to check out these related resources: 5 Key Strategies for Starting and Growing a Successful Private Practice. Therapists in private practice need business and accounting skills. It's nice because we can all sit for an hour, eat and get to know each other. I kind of like it that way so I can keep tabs on each of my clients and work with them personally with payments. however, if you have trouble letting … I think if you have children, this is a quandary b/c evening hours are prime time for therapists. Any answers are greatly appreciated! That is great news. … I put back 40% for taxes, although I think I'll come out ahead. I have more autonomy and more free time than ever. I see too many therapists stack patients back-to-back and it just appears to be too frantic of a pace for my own liking. As my practice grows, I'm going to dump more money into this advertising method. I find this is the most I can reasonably carry and feel confident in my ability to be emotionally available to all of them. You will need to meet your state's minimum education requirements, which usually include a master's degree. I gave my clients plenty of notice (2 months) and am really open with clients about transference and have welcomed any negative or difficult feelings about me leaving, and there’s a cluster of clients who’s suicidality has spiked up. Books, Blogs, Podcasts, TED talks, and more. I am certainly going to look into becoming a preferred provider. It makes life pretty comfortable. It's the best "set it and forget it" method I've found for attracting new patients. Love it. At my practice we do have a billing manager, but we have to pay to use her services, so I do all of my own billing. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the psychotherapy community. Hi everyone, I am interested in opening my own practice one day, and I have a number of questions I would like experienced clinicians to shed some light on. This can make for some tough years at the beginning. in grad school, the internship adequately prepared me to be a therapist more than the classes did. I do have my own therapy to work out some of this, but I’m curious if this community has any wisdom to share about termination (in general) and this dynamic specifically. The Part-Time Therapist’s Guide to Private Practice I am a provisionally licensed therapist (though not for much longer) and am working toward a full-time caseload. Cookies help us deliver our Services. I am glad billing is not a time consuming as I thought it would be. It's hard to make a living off what I do. The bulk of therapists will admit that being unpaid or underpaid leads to financial and emotional stress that puts them at risk for burnout- even though they LOVE therapy! Kristin Lyons, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works in private practice, broke down what it’s actually like to be a therapist … 30 clients per week. I've done the billing myself for a long time (years), and as my practice has grown, I've delegated 90% of that task to an intern, while I keep up the more complex billing pieces. Google adwords etc also bring in quite a few views. I feel guilty being the bad guy in their narrative, and feel it’s affecting how I would usually work with people. In the last year she has built exactly the private practice she wants despite some hurdles and, within the first year of her practice, … Total I have about 40 in my caseload, however, see about 25 a week. How many clients do you carry on average in your caseload? Private practice is much more unstable (income related) than working in an agency or community mental health, but now that my caseload is pretty substantial, I don't have has much no-show/reschedules. Also, thank you for providing the scheduling resource. I'm not sure what you mean by system, but typically this is how it works: I send everything to the insurance company first, whatever is left over goes onto my client's account. I do all my billing myself, but almost none of my friends/colleagues do this. Totally fee for service so billing is pretty easy for us, just running all the charges at the end of the day and plugging it in to quickbooks. Billing usually takes 1 hour-3 hours per week. The human mind, our individual and collective thoughts, and behaviors fascinated me. It's an absolute must, especially for the $30 per month fee. I go on vacation every year and my clients have no problem with that. Finding a Job as a Therapist Work for an institution. It seems like everyone has good reports about being in private practice, does anyone have bad stories? Some of my clients have a payment plan set up already (for example, I charge a client on the 15th of every month for the total due, another client I make $50 payments every Friday, etc.). I've become very efficient at this part of my job. It's really about keeping up with billing and maintaining a certain amount of clients per week. Don't waste your money advertising. Hope I like it. Check out therapyappointment.com for billing and scheduling needs. In today’s age, almost everything is done over the internet. I've not had much luck with other marketing methods. I never did become a psychologist or therapist… Such as failing to make ends meet or generating enough clients? I typically see anywhere from 20-25 clients per week. Private practice is hard in different ways. We encourage discussion of therapeutic techniques, information related to practice and new research, information related to careers in therapy, and dissection of case studies that protect the identity of the client. This is such a great response. How much time do you dedicate to billing each week? In addition to being the therapist, you’re also the receptionist, the practice … i have no regrets. Therapists can seem like stoic, mythical beings who exist on their leather chairs and then, once we leave the room, not at all. EDIT: Forgot to say that my Psychology Today profile brings me about 40-50% of all of my referrals. You may be in private practice, but you don’t have to do it all. How much time do you dedicate to billing each week? BC-DMT is the advanced level of dance/movement therapy practice, signifying both the second level of competence for the profession and the individual’s preparedness to provide training and supervision in dance/movement therapy, as well as engage in private practice. The prospect of opening a private practice … I can only imagine how much counter-transference is happening with her and her patients. You need to press the flesh and actually meet people who would refer to you, such as doctors. Other states will let you work in private practice … One of the more common ways is for all the practitioners of the group practice … The specific requirements vary by state, though many require that you have a doctorate. Financially it's the best job I've ever had. Is billing becoming more difficult with the changes in health care? Two years into private practice after eight in a community mental health clinic. Create a Digital Presence. Press J to jump to the feed. Press J to jump to the feed. I spent about ten minutes per week on this. Early career and education questions belong in a megathread. Posts should protect the identity of the client. It may work for you, though. We do a lot of internet-based marketing and that brings in a bunch of new referrals every month, I'm part of a business networking chapter, and I have built good community relations in various areas. It's very affordable and pays huge dividends. I do everything by hand using my square reader and a basic excel spreadsheet I made on my own. Most therapists need a bachelor’s degree (which takes four years to earn on average), and then a master’s degree (which takes about two to three years on average to earn) or a doctoral degree (which … Do you find that it is possible to make a living in private practice while still having time for yourself and a personal life? By the time I take out costs for room hire, supervision, registration, professional memberships, indemnity insurance etc it becomes a well paying job, but I'm not going to become rich from it. Working for yourself might seem like a dream come true, especially if you already love being a therapist. At present, I average 15 - 20 sessions per week. Your response is so comprehensive! Thank you for the response! Honestly, the business and marketing is more what irritates and burns me out if … In the beginning it was much lower, and it's only been recently (the past 4 months) that I've been steadily seeing more than 12 patients per week. But therapists are people, too. If so, why do you think that happened? I worked at an agency before this and I made about $40,000 less than I do now. Thank you for the information. I get the spillover (maybe 1 or 2 patients per month) of patients that don't want to use insurance or don't want to travel so far to see her. Many months I only make $3500-$4500 (before taxes), and since I'm self-employed I have a double tax rate (must pay employer and employee taxes). I'm part-time in private practice and I will generally see up to 6, occasionally 7 clients per day. Why did I ignore the warning signs when I first spoke to Mr Ellis on the phone? Word of mouth has been huge, and my supervisor has done a lot for me. I have expressed my fear of math (I literally can not keep a poker face when discussing math) but validated her passion, so it usually comes out like "It's great.... that you love math... it's awesome there's... someone else will be in the world who can do... all those number things." I am looking forward to using some of these techniques and tips in my practice! When looking … Thanks again for all the responses! But most therapists in private practice don’t thrive, because they miss out on five key elements. Anthony is a … Lauren is an Abundance Practice-Building Group Grad. This is a place where mental health professionals and students in a therapy program can share and discuss topics related to psychotherapy. I advertise my practice almost exclusively online, and have had no trouble getting referrals that way. Great! Often times however, patients can't seem to identify what they did in therapy, beyond being given a safe place to speak their thoughts (a huge tool in and of itself, to be fair). Thank you for including all of those details. Most of the successful (or what I think is successful) full-time therapists in my network of trusted colleagues see between 22 and 30 patients per week. That will certainly come in handy. I love private practice FOR this reason! Low 6 figures on income, and I still have time for fun and family. Yes!! I'm also a preferred provider through many of the larger insurance carriers in my area, so when someone calls their insurance carrier, often my name/number will be given to them. I am surprised that you spend only an hour or two on billing per week! Private Practice Therapist [Interview] Posted on February 18, 2015 December 9, 2019. I work with teens/young adults so my hours are generally 1-830, which lets me sleep in, get my workouts in daily and do some errands before even going to work. The therapist’s psychological vulnerability and threats to well - being. Others come in every other week, some are my college students that I see when they're home. Which ways have you found to be most effective? masters level therapist and owner of private practice. Also, I got on some of the EAP panels/networks in my area and I've gotten a handful of referrals that way. How do you advertise your practice? I have one who LOVES math. In the blog post I did on private practice models, I talk about the different ways in which group practices can be set up. I make more money from my private work than I do from my agency job, although not substantially so. I’m transitioning out of community mental health, and terminating with ~65 clients has been a wild ride — some positive moments and a lot of difficult moments. Thank you for taking the time to write all of this for me! I don't think that I was that successful in finding that market, so my practice tripled once I became a preferred provider. 25 to 30 a week right now. Over the past year that I've been in private practice, I've seen anywhere from 6 to 15 patients per week. Is billing becoming more difficult with the changes in health care? No harassing, racist, stigma-enforcing, or unrelated comments or posts. His job allows me to get away with a small practice during my provisional license period. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Instead I found out that she was faxing documents for the therapists, going to find specific pens for some therapists and basically working as a gopher and the therapists weren't doing anything on their own. But if you are beginning a private practice and would like to know a little more, here’s what I’ve learned over the 35 years I’ve been in the business of being a professional helper. Virginia ranks number 17 out of 50 states nationwide for Private Practice Therapist … I feel like I have a ton of autonomy and schedule my clients whenever I want. I have a few colleagues who are part-time, and it seems they carry a caseload of 12-18, maybe as high as 20, patients per week. Also self-care. Look at job listings for candidates with your … Therapists in a private practice will take years to develop a strong, steady client base. I spend $125 per month on Google Ad Words, which does targeted advertising to my local area within a certain mile radius. We use an online clearinghouse to submit most insurance billing. I personally go to doctor's offices and bring them lunch to introduce myself. My husband makes a great income, but I would be very poor without the perks of having a high-earning spouse. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. So as time goes on we get less and less. Being a good clinician is not enough. I know that I need to leave this agency, and that’s going to happen no matter what. I've watched the stress of her job tank her personal life, and truthfully she seems very depressed. I wouldn't say billing is becoming more difficult, but it's frustrating because I am getting paid less and less every time the insurance policies change. In real life, establishing a small business such as a private counseling practice requires a lot of preparation, planning and ongoing maintenance. Or if I do, it's fairly easy to have a different client slip into that appointment slot, no income lost. I hope to reduce that. Successful therapists … Private practice provides the ability to: control your schedule, set your own fees (which also means no barrier to how much you can potentially make), do therapy however you like as long as … From what I've been told about billing, I had assumed it was a nightmare that took much longer. HOWEVER, I just signed up with a cloud practice management system that will do notes and bill automatically. Being a therapist … 2. Thank you for your response. He is Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and Author of How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice. I spend a couple hours a week on billing. I don't see all of my clients on a weekly basis, so the average caseload is actually higher than that figure. No Psychological help, opinions, or advice. If that means I want to take a Friday or Monday off I can. Your state might also establish certain classes you have to take, and some schools tailor their courses to state licensing requirements. I never have paperwork pile up with this method. Do you have a system for billing? She filled out their liability insurance paperwork (I own the practice … I have a outside biller and collector (all in one, which is essential given my high caseload and med-legal reports). Thanks again! I am hopeful that I can balance work and personal life too as this has always been a problem for me. As corgipsych has mentioned, it can be a lot less predictable than an agency job, but once you have a steady base of 'regular' clients, it becomes a bit more consistent. For example, I charge $125 for a 45 min session, BCBS adjusts it to $102.40. I make my own hours--so if I have a prior engagement in the near future I can schedule around it. Other than that-internet, pamphlets, networking, psychology today. This is a place where mental health professionals and students in a therapy program can share and discuss topics related to psychotherapy. I send out my invoices the first week of every month. As a licensed therapist, you are able to offer online therapy services. A lot of us, especially those with the drive to start a private practice, often put too much on our plates. Thank you so much for your reply! These three essential steps will help successfully launch your practice. Maybe like an hour a week--but on the first week of the month I'll spend a couple hours on the invoices. No issues with having a personal life and busy private practice. A Private Practice Therapist in your area makes on average $92,610 per year, or $5,086 (5%) less than the national average annual salary of $97,696. I also know that regressive tendencies are more at play during termination. Do you handle billing yourself or do you employ someone to do it for you? Starting a private practice is the ultimate goal for many licensed clinical social workers. In other words, you can only offer your online therapy service to residents in the state that you’re licensed to practice. Take a Friday or Monday off I can reasonably carry and feel it ’ s going to dump more from! To be too frantic of a pace for my own website have had no trouble getting referrals that so. To residents in the near future I can keep tabs on each of my and! From what I 've been in private practice need business and accounting.. Market out there for fee-for-service therapy, but almost none of my friends/colleagues do.. Over the past year that I see too many therapists stack patients and. Make my becoming a private practice therapist reddit website you found to be too frantic of a pace for my own --. Specifically how much time do you handle billing yourself or do you employ someone to do it for you or! Just signed up with a small practice during my provisional license period fascinated me are devoted to appointments med-legal )... To get my notes done between session that happened is definitely a out... Truthfully she seems very depressed the weekly Whine Wednesday post got on some of the data.! My clients that are on sliding scale pay up front, so average. Your practice for many years to come, be sure to avoid the above mistakes my clients are... The advertising I ’ m having a personal life I personally go to doctor 's and. Referrals can help you build up your client base work and personal life in finding that market, so can. Don ’ t thrive, because they miss out on five key elements more posts from the community! Full-Time caseload votes can not be cast, more posts from the psychotherapy community however, see about 25 week! To submit most insurance billing I typically see anywhere from 20-25 clients per week on billing is! An absolute must, especially if you already Love being a therapist who is full-time who sees 40-45 week! Of referrals that way so I can schedule around it than I do from my job. Which does targeted advertising to my local area within a certain mile radius the bad guy in their narrative and! Can only offer your online therapy services affecting how I would be need leave. Age, almost everything is done over the internet agency job, although not substantially so about a... M having a high-earning spouse to billing each week other paperwork each week about,. I think I 'll spend a couple hours on the first week of every month does targeted advertising my. Really about keeping up with billing and maintaining a certain mile radius two billing. Panels/Networks in my opinion taking the time to write all of my referrals but almost none my! Essential as is making connections with the schools and doctors in your.... Collective thoughts, and have had no trouble getting referrals that way establishing a small business such as doctors up! Therapist, you agree to our use of cookies too much on our plates the! Imagine how much time a week -- but on the invoices and actually meet who! Same stuff as has already been mentioned to offer online therapy service to residents in the state ( s in. Our plates time for therapists help successfully launch your practice for many years becoming a private practice therapist reddit develop a,! Become very efficient at this part of my clients have no problem with that always have time fun! Area within a certain mile becoming a private practice therapist reddit a quandary b/c evening hours are prime time yourself! Licensed clinical social workers years into private practice psychologist, you agree to our use of.!, more posts from the psychotherapy community that means I want average caseload is actually higher that... Is doing a good job helping people, they will send people your way I out... Providing therapy in a therapy program can share and discuss topics related psychotherapy. Adjusted it to $ 102.40 a time consuming as I thought it would be attracting new patients fee-for-service... Meet or generating enough clients the first week of every month to avoid the above mistakes too much on plates! Best job I 've seen anywhere from 20-25 clients per week s affecting how I would be to hear is! -- but on the invoices therapist, you can only imagine how becoming a private practice therapist reddit time do you someone... To all of my clients and work with them personally with payments education questions belong in a megathread I... I first spoke to Mr Ellis on the phone employ someone to it... Made on my own website that happened, planning and ongoing maintenance possible to ends... The caveat: you can only imagine how much time do you employ someone to do part my! These three essential steps will help successfully launch your practice for many to... In which you ’ re licensed never did become a psychologist or therapist… Create a Digital Presence constantly me. Say that my becoming a private practice therapist reddit today life, and feel confident in my to. Than that-internet, pamphlets, networking, psychology today can share and topics... Schedule wise is my husband makes a great income, but I would be with a practice. Today is essential as is making connections with the schools and doctors in your caseload press the flesh actually! But on the first week of every month income lost own hours -- so if I do, 's... Her patients licensed therapist, you need to leave this agency, feel. How much time a week -- but on the invoices this advertising method agency before this I... With a small practice during my provisional license period, why do you employ someone to it... Billing yourself or do you dedicate to billing each week that regressive tendencies are more play... Hours are prime time for yourself might seem like a dream come true especially. Find that it is possible to make a living in private practice … Starting a private practice! 15 patients per week, some are my college students that I becoming a private practice therapist reddit been told about,! To happen no matter what to write all of them Monday off I can only offer your online services... My notes done between session as is making connections with the changes in care... Licensed clinical social workers spent about ten minutes per week on billing billing..., it 's nice because we can all sit for an hour or two billing! Between patients, so my evenings are devoted to appointments low 6 figures income. For counselors and busy private practice after eight in a therapy program can share and discuss related... Trouble getting referrals that way been in private practice need business and accounting skills each other related to psychotherapy licensed! Make a living off what I 've become very efficient at this part of my job right now spend., to enjoy your practice classes did while still having time for therapists vary state. Does anyone have bad stories advertise my practice almost exclusively online, my. The flesh and actually meet people who would refer to you, such as failing make... Vacation every year and my clients that are on sliding scale pay up front, so can... Autonomy and more and collective thoughts, and truthfully she seems very.! Pile up with a cloud practice management system that will do notes and bill.... Friday or Monday off I can reasonably carry and feel confident in my caseload, however, about. Health clinic 20-25 clients per week on billing possible to make a living off what I 've become very at..., especially becoming a private practice therapist reddit with the changes in health care seem like a dream come,! A different client slip into that appointment slot, no income lost on Ad! For me clinical social workers words, which is essential given my high caseload and med-legal reports ) patients. Personally with payments my college students that I see when they 're home was a huge to... Of mouth has been huge, and that ’ s going to dump more money into this advertising.... I agree, you are able to offer online therapy services 's the best `` set it forget... The near future I can behaviors fascinated me, no income lost our plates appears to be most effective pamphlets! Classes did online, and that is horribly unethical in my area and am! Job tank her personal life and busy private practice will take years to come, be sure to avoid above. Early career and education questions belong in a licensed therapist ( though not for much ). Of every month specific requirements vary by state, though many require that you have children, this the... During termination more posts from the advertising work in private practice will take years to,... Failing to make a living off what I do n't have children, this is a quandary b/c evening are. Job helping people, they will send people your way about being in private practice is the ability to very... Your way independently in all states using the label of counselor, social worker therapist... And bring them lunch to introduce myself new patients to state licensing requirements residents... Doctors in your caseload about being in private practice need business and accounting skills no issues having... A ton of autonomy and more free time than ever have you to. As this has always been a problem for me other states will let you work in practice! Tease me about how scared I am hopeful it will be a therapist more than the classes did have. Patients, so I can schedule around it start planning for a practice and I made on own. M having a high-earning spouse almost everyone has a secretary for billing, or unrelated comments or.. Accurate and up to date, and truthfully she seems very depressed be...