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3 Mistakes to Avoid in Private Practice

1: Overspending on Trainings

We all want to provide the best clinical care to our clients, and trainings are an excellent way to improve our skills. However, spending excess money on trainings and certifications can actually decrease from your overall business productivity and success. Let me explain:

Trainings are an important part of your growth. But relying on a new certificate or certification to build your business is misguided. No matter how well trained you are, you will still have to put in the work to manage your business and market your practice. Make sure to establish trainings as a part of your private practice budget and decide how much you plan to spend on trainings each year. Be sure to stick to that financial goal to avoid overspending.

2: Hiring Associates/Interns Without Thinking It Through

Now hear me out on this one. I completely support taking on interns or associates. While hiring others is an excellent way to give back to the profession, make extra money, and contribute to the growth and development of another therapist, many therapists do it because it is the “next thing” they “should be” doing to earn passive income. What they don’t realize is that taking on a budding therapist requires you to commit time and effort to training that individual. While there are no guarantees that your associate will make money, there are guarantees that your associate will increase liability. I challenge my clients to take on interns and associates firstly because they want to mentor, teach, and grow with a new therapist and secondly because they might make extra money doing so. If you have decided to take on an intern ONLY because you want to make extra money doing so…then I’d challenge you to think about easier forms of passive income.

3. Aligning Yourself with Therapists with Bad Reputations

Let’s face it, not all therapists have a great reputation. One of the most important things you can do is begin to align yourself with therapists who provide excellent care, have exemplary ethical standards, and are kind to other therapists in your community. One of the easiest ways to align yourself with these types of clinicians is to sublet an office in a therapy suite of clinicians who you respect and admire. When you first enter the world of private practice, be sure to keep a watchful eye out for therapists with poor ethics or therapists who appear more focused on superficial relationships than lasting business connections. Surround yourself with clinical and business excellence and you’ll be surprised by the results.

If you found this article useful, consider taking my course The Private Practice Roadmap to access more tips and resources to ensure you are optimizing your private practice potential.

This article was written by Kelley Stevens, LMFT. Kelley is a private practice business coach for therapists. Kelley specializes in helping therapists launch a cash-pay private practice from the ground up. 

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