Successful private practice

10 Tips for a Successful Private Practice

Perhaps you are fresh out of graduate school and have had a taste of agency life during field experiences or internships. Or maybe youve been working in an agency or a hospital for a while now. Private practice beckons. No staff meetings, less paperwork, more money, and the freedom to work with clients you choose to see. Your thoughts regularly give way to fantasies of the ideal practice.

Or maybe you are already in private practice and the dream isnt living up to the reality. You dont have enough clients. Your schedule is out of control. Managing insurance forms (or paying someone else to manage them) is a continual challenge. Many of your clients owe you money, and you feel awkward about collecting. Managed care companies are calling, requesting a site visit. This isnt at all what you thought you were getting into when you opened your office.

Or maybe you already have a private practice that is doing just fine, thank you. So far youve been able to do the work you love with personal integrity and sufficient financial reward. But you are worried about maintaining your success in the face of increasing pressures from multiple sources. You want to be sure that you have the information and support you need to maintain a work life and lifestyle that you relish.

The dream of a successful private practice doesnt have to be only a dream. Many thousands of therapists are seeing many thousands of clients in private practice settings every day. Most are doing so in ways that they personally define as successful. Whats their secret? Most have consciously or intuitively embraced principles that dramatically increase the odds for success.

1. Go into private practice with a clear vision of its challenges as well as its rewards.

Private practice isnt easier than agency work its different. Understanding the differences and making a clear decision that the differences are worth the effort are the hallmarks of a successful private practitioner.

Its a mistake to underestimate the supports that agencies provide as a matter of course. Agencies supply office space, steady referrals, colleagues and supervision, support services for billing, paperwork, and emergencies, and perhaps the support of a union. In return, you have to meet productivity standards, do things according to agency protocols and guidelines, and punch a time clock. In addition, your potential earning power is limited by the agency budget and, when a union is present, union pay scales.

Private practice means finding and keeping up your own office, developing a referral base, creating your own professional supports and supervision, doing all of your own billing, and managing your own paper trail.

Private practice also means the freedom to set your own hours, define the work you want to do, create your own working environment, and choose your clients and modes of intervention. Any money you make will benefit you directly because you are no longer paying for agency overhead or union activity.

Only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the fact that in private practice you will have to assume responsibility for many of the support services that an agency provides. With that increase in responsibility, though, comes an increase in freedom and earning power.

2. Create a specialty for yourself.

Successful practitioners conduct a careful needs assessment of their communities. Although most psychotherapists like to work as generalists seeing people from many walks of life and with many different problems and diagnoses its also important to find something that you can uniquely offer to your referral sources. What makes you different from the other dozen or so private practitioners that people in your area can choose? Identify an area that you genuinely can commit to and get the training you need to be the local expert. Examples might be pain management, sports psychology, dual diagnosis, children who are developmentally delayed, school problems, family businesses, adolescent anxiety and depression, or elder care. Choose something you can get passionate about! This will become a reliable base for your practice.

(Note: Only a few years ago, specializing in trauma work or substance abuse would define a practice niche. These days, nearly everyone in private practice works with those two issues regularly, so they are no longer available as a specialty that will set you apart from others.)

3. Embrace the business end of the business.

Private practice is most definitely a business and as such requires sound business practices. The business of private practice requires that you learn everything from bookkeeping to basic tax law to marketing strategies to good record keeping. If you decide to accept insurance, youll need to deal with different billing procedures for each carrier. Even if you decide not to accept insurance, you will still need to deal with collecting money and managing a cash flow that can be erratic.

The people who do best in private practice are those who are able to embrace the business end of the business as a challenge or even as a game. They find gratification, even fun, in setting business goals and achieving them. They know that a good rule of thumb for the first two or three years is to plan on an hour of business activity for every hour of clinical activity. With that kind of time requirement, it only makes sense to find a way to enjoy doing it.

4. Take the time for some business training.

Very few social work or psychology graduate programs include courses in practice building and management. Despite the fact that a substantial number of their graduates will be in business for themselves for at least some part of their careers, schools focus solely on turning out good clinicians.

But very good therapists are not necessarily equally good business people. Being in business means being at least passably good at being in business. It wont matter a bit, in terms of your personal income, if you are a brilliant theorist and an even more brilliant healer if you cant bring yourself to charge for your services, to keep good records, or to do the necessary bookkeeping in a timely way. Unless you were reared in a family business or went to social work school after a successful business career, you probably need to give yourself the gift of some additional training training specifically in business management.

Successful private practitioners attend business seminars, read up on business practices, join the Chamber of Commerce, and take up whatever help is offered to hone business skills. is another source of practical business help. Well regularly run articles to keep you in touch with industry trends and provide you with up-to-date information on what you need to do to keep the business end of your business on the cutting edge.

5. Deal with your own issues around money.

Unless you are either independently wealthy or living on someone elses income, private practice is indeed about money. You are engaged in an exchange: you provide help and support, and your client gives you money. This may seem obvious but for many therapists, setting a fee and dealing with clients about payment are the most difficult aspects of the work.

Clinicians in most agencies are protected from having to deal with the financial end of things because a front desk and billing department take care of collecting fees. But in private practice, you are the front desk and billing department something that takes some getting used to.

If you cant get comfortable with being firm and clear about charging and collecting for what you do, you may need to do some of your own therapy around these issues.

6. Invest in yourself with both money and time.

The primary reason a business fails is insufficient capital. Private practice is no different. Many people make the mistake of opening a practice and throwing whatever money comes in at bills, hoping for the best. Successful practitioners take the time to build a budget, save for start-ups costs, and save or take a loan so that they wont be panicked if the first year doesnt bring in the revenue theyd anticipated. You wont be able to draw a reliable salary for at least six months. Factor that into your planning.

The second most common cause for failure is an unrealistic idea about how much time building a practice can take. Generally, it takes three to five years for any business to stabilize. You will see intermediate steps toward your goals, of course, but successful practitioners have a long-term view of where they are going and a realistic idea about how long it will probably take to get there.

7. Remember: Location, Location, Location.

Perhaps part of your private practice dream is to work out of a home office or at least close to home. However, home may not be the best choice for your initial location. Its important to evaluate your competition and to choose a location where you are likely to get referrals.

One very successful practitioner I know works in a community 25 minutes from her home. Why? Because when she looked at the Yellow Pages in her local phone directory, she found that her town already had no less than 42 private practices to serve a community of 20,000 people. Meanwhile, in a small city of 50,000 only 25 minutes away, she found only one other therapist listed in the phone book. She therefore set up her office in the other community, contacted the local schools, and had a thriving practice in a matter of months. She says that she regularly watches new practices in her hometown open and close because there are just too many therapists there. Meanwhile, now that she has a referral base, a legion of satisfied clients, and a good cash flow, she has been able to open her home office two days a week. Clients are willing to drive the 25 minutes to see a therapist they know or have heard about through their friends.

8. Accept that your time isnt really your own.

Many people who leave agency life do so because they believe that they will be able to set their own schedules in private practice. This is usually true – eventually. But part of building a private practice is making yourself available when there is client demand. This often means evening and Saturday hours, at least until you have enough private practice alumni to have word-of-mouth referrals coming in reliably. Figure that for the first year or two, you will need to be maximally flexible.

In the initial years of private practice it is far easier to move clients to a different appointment time once in a while to accommodate going to your childs school event or to take a needed break. You can set your own vacations, holidays, and days off without having to factor in agency needs that have nothing to do with you or your clients.

9. Perfect your paperwork.

Some senior clinicians in private practice long for the old days when a few notes scribbled on a yellow pad was all the record keeping a therapist needed. Accept it. Those days are over! Without the protections of a corporation or agency, the best protection an independent practitioner has is her or his own record keeping. In an increasingly litigious society, not keeping good, accurate records can be professional suicide.

As with any business, the business of private practice requires record keeping and storage that is above reproach. Successful practitioners invest in having standardized forms, using them, and putting them in a good locked file cabinet. (Please note: Its essential that you know your states regulations. Many states still require paper records as well as computer records.)

Membership in will help you with this particular aspect of your business immeasurably. The tools of the Virtual Office will guide you through the professional record keeping process.

10. Develop a marketing plan and revisit it every few months.

Wanting to set up a private practice is a goal, not a marketing plan. Marketing means developing and implementing a strategy for making yourself known to referral sources and for building and maintaining relationships with them. In the initial stages of building a private practice, this is the work that will take the majority of time in your workweek. Every hour that isnt spent on seeing clients or doing collateral client work should be put into meeting referral sources, making yourself visible, and positioning yourself in your community. Dont know how? See Principle #3 take time for training. And do take a look at the companion article on marketing.

Its vitally important not to let this effort lapse as time goes on. Every few months, take a few hours to think about what youve been doing, whether it is working, and what you should do next to keep your place in the minds of your referral sources.

5 Keys for a Successful Therapy Practice → PLUS the Mistakes to Avoid

There's a lot to be said for what makes a private therapy practice successful. And, there's also a lot of noise. Mailing a stack of business cards to a primary care office might have worked in the 90s, but it's not a sustainable strategy in the 21st century. Whether you're building an online counseling business or an in-person therapy practice, I've seen five keys show up again and again in my practice and my work with private practice owners. PLUS, I'll share how these things can show up when mental health providers make mistakes in these areas.

 1) Therapist Money Mindset

When it comes to therapists and money, I've got a lot to say (which is why an entire season of my podcast was dedicated to interviewing therapists about money). Therapists and counselors are told repeatedly that they didn't go into this field to make money, that to be helpful, they have to work for free, and if they really cared about their clients, they'd take crappy insurance. Helping therapists rewrite their money stories is key so they can not only charge sustainable rates in their practice but adhere to them and set financial boundaries with their clients.

Money Mindset Mistakes: Feeling "bad" about charging for services, feeling guilty for raising rates or leaving insurance panels, imposter syndrome around setting up their private practice in a new way, hiding their prices on their website, not adhering to financial boundaries with their clients.

2) Set a Sustainable Fee 

Setting private practice fees as a therapist can be challenging. Unless a therapist has worked on their money mindset (see key number 1), it can be hard to charge a sustainable rate. I've talked before about the mistakes therapists and psychiatrists make when setting their fees, but to summarize, most don't know their numbers. To set a sustainable fee to earn a healthy living as a therapist, I recommend all therapists sit down and write out their expenses and financial goals. From there, they can come up with an annual number they need to generate in their private practice, find a schedule that works for them, and reverse-engineer an appropriate fee in their practice.

Sustainable fee mistakes: Not raising rates soon enough or frequently enough, being on too many difficult or low reimbursement insurance panels, sliding scale for everyone, not knowing how much the provider needs to earn to take care of their business and personal needs, not tracking income or expenses.

3) Create a Therapy Niche

A therapy niche is beneficial for the client and the therapist. Too many therapists list their modality as their niche, but it's not the same. A modality (think: CBT, attachment theory, sex therapy) is how you help clients. A therapy niche is the type of clients you are best suited to help (think: teenagers of divorced parents, new working moms, or soon-to-be empty nesters). I have an entire post dedicated to finding a therapy niche, plus a list of therapy niche examples if you'd like to take a deeper dive. In short, without a niche, therapists are bound to see clients that aren't super aligned, are more likely to burn them out, or are ones that they won't have the best outcomes with.  Having a health and wellness niche as a therapist is imperative and a key in having a successful private practice. 

Niching mistakes: Thinking of a modality as a niche, using psychobabble or therapeutic jargon on their websites (think: Jane works from a psychodynamic, humanistic, and eclectic lens to uplift and walk alongside clients rooted in a non-judgmental, curious, and empathic fashion), painting with broad strokes (e. g. "all walks of life" or "treating a broad range of issues and concerns"), starting to niche, then backing out and broadening their niche. 

4) A Hardworking Therapist Website

Have you searched for a therapist, only to land on a webpage that looks like it was created before the dot-com boom? Me too. And let me tell you, that therapist did NOT get my business. Today, potential clients vet their therapists by reviewing their websites. Having a website that is confusing, unaligned, or dated is a sign to potential clients (fair or not) that the therapist behind the website is confusing, unaligned, or out of touch. Monica at Hold Space Creative has some of the best website templates for therapists (the page you are scrolling on resulted from one of her template reframes!). 

Website mistakes: Not having a website and relying only on therapist directories or business cards, not including photos of you, the therapist, having cliche stock photos like a stack of rocks, babbling brook, or an image of a person looking sad or a couple fighting, not making their websites intuitive (e. g., there's nowhere to book an appointment or contact the therapist), looks like it was built before the dot-com boom and bust.

5) SEO for Therapists

SEO for therapists is another key to building and growing a successful private practice. SEO is the thing that allows your website to show up on page 1 of Google when someone types in "anxiety therapist for teens Minnesota" or "psychologist for athletes Texas" or "therapist for multiracial families New Jersey." Therapists have all the skills to write for SEO and make SEO work for them. It involves a little bit of research, following a structure, and creating a plan. SEO, in my experience, is a great passive form of marketing that doesn't rely on the ever-changing algorithms of social media. Good SEO content for therapists helps your ideal clients feel seen, heard, and validated.

SEO mistakes: Writing journal-style blog posts without a strategy in mind, not including images, writing less than 800 words for a blog post, not including the office or therapists location, using a cut-and-paste website or a website that says it has "built-in SEO," thinking SEO is hard or expensive.

5 Keys For a Successful Practice

To recap, here are five keys you need if you want to grow a successful therapy practice. Key 1 is looking at your money mindset, your money stories, and creating a healthy relationship with money. The second key is setting a sustainable fee and adhering to your pricing boundaries. The third key for therapists is having an aligned and specific niche. The fourth and fifth keys intersect. You need to have a beautiful and hardworking website and utilize SEO. 

My group coaching program is specifically built to address all of these mistakes and successes. It's called Grow a Profitable Practice From the Inside Out. Over three months, we'll cover how to rewrite your money story in an aligned way so you can charge a sustainable fee, how to niche down to see great clients and prevent burnout, and making your beautiful and hardworking website supercharged by leveraging SEO.

Learn more about Grow a Profitable Practice From the Inside Out here!

Learn About Inside Out Here

  • In today's podcast/video, if you're watching this on YouTube, I want to share with you the five things I see again and again, when I am working with private practice therapists who have their own practice, the things that I see come up again and again, that kind of define having a successful practice. And these tips can be applied whether your practice is a fully online counseling practice or whether it's an in person practice, let's dive into the five tips of a successful private practice.

    So there's a lot to be said for what success looks like and private practice. But these are the things I see show up when we have both sustainable and profitable practices. So sustainable meaning you can continue in your private practice, you're not feeling like you're gonna burn out, you're not feeling like you're working all the time. And the clients that you are seeing are aligned, meaning you're excited to go to work, or at least not dreading it. But the other thing about having a successful practice is that it is bringing in the money you need not to just survive, not just to pay your bills, but to thrive, meaning you have enough money to cover both your business and your living expenses, you're able to afford things like your health insurance, if you're here in the US, you are able to afford things like your monthly massage, if that is a part of your self care routine, you're able to afford investing in your future by saving money for retirement, you're able to save for some of those short term goals like upgrading your furniture in your house or saving up for a down payment for a new apartment or a home. These are things that you define as successful, I'm not the one to say once you do X, Y, and Z, your practice is successful, it's individualized. And you have to know your numbers to get there.

    So that tangent aside, let's get into tip number one, or the thing that I see happen a lot when therapists are successful in their private practice. So the first thing that I see is that they have worked and continue to work on their money mindset. Yeah, no shocker there, you're listening to the Mind Money Balance podcast or again, watching me on YouTube. I talk about money all the time, because this stuff is important. And it matters. When it comes to therapists and money. I obviously have a lot to say, if you want to go back and listen to some interviews from season two of my podcast, it's where I bring on a lot of therapists to share their relationship with money and their money story, because there is no you know, rags to riches or middle class to riches story that defines all of us. We all have a unique relationship with money. And I think that if you hear and see other people's stories, it can be so validating and illuminating. So highly recommend checking out some of those past episodes from my interviews with other therapists. Look, I talk about this stuff, because therapists and counselors are repeatedly told things like you didn't go into this field to make money, you didn't choose this job because money's important to you. And so then it gets into their heads that asking for money for a service with that they are providing value and transformation and outcomes to their clients is bad, and it is not. But in order to work on their money mindset in order to have a healthy relationship with money. It takes work. It means understanding those early money stories and how those impacted you. It means understanding how people in our own field tell us that money is bad and gross and greedy and capitalist which is a sidebar for a different a different conversation for a different day. But they are told that in order to be a good therapist in private practice, you have to take shitty insurance or you have to slide your scale to nothing or you have to see a ton of pro bono clients, which then in turn burns out our, you know, most effective therapists and takes them and kicks them out of the field and it goes somewhere else they retire after five or 10 years from the field of therapy and choose something else entirely. So we have to work on our money mindset. So that means looking at your money stories understanding your financial archetype, understanding how financial anxiety and shame shows up and rewriting it in a way that feels good for you. Okay, so the mistakes I see, when people aren't doing this in a way that feels good for them is it looks like feeling bad about charging for services, it looks like feeling guilty if they raise their rates or leave those shitty insurance panels. It looks like imposter syndrome with their peers, they might go, Oh my gosh, I can't charge this much. When somebody else who's been in the field for 40 years is charging less. It looks like hiding prices on their website or not talking openly and honestly about their fees, their cancellation policies, which then bleeds into having poor financial boundaries in their practice.

    So let's move on to the second thing I see in successful practices. The second thing I see is that they set sustainable fees. And in order to set sustainable fees, I believe you have to work on your money mindset as a private practice therapist. And as I alluded to in tip number one, setting, private practice fees can be challenging, there's so much garbage that goes on. But once they've worked on their money mindset, setting a sustainable fee can be not only an act of self care, but it allows the therapists to show up fully and presently in that therapeutic space, because they're not stressed out or even resentful about the client who's sitting across from them, right. I know so many therapists, myself included, who have taken on clients who are not paying what they are able to pay. And notice what I just said. And what happens is it impacts the therapeutic relationship. So we want to make sure that we are setting a sustainable fee, which means knowing your numbers, knowing how much you need to be bringing in month over month, year over year to not just keep your practice afloat, but to support you. Because as private practice owners, we are business owners, and that business needs to support our lives, right, it needs to support our livelihoods.

    So what I tell people to do, and I have this in a very detailed blog post with a corresponding video that I will link in the show notes or if you're watching on YouTube, it will be in the description box of how to set your fee. But in a nutshell, it's about reverse engineering. It's about going how much money do I need to earn? And how much time do I want to work. And that is both week to week and also over the course of the year. So how many clients do I want to see each week or each day? And how many weeks off do I need to give myself each year? Notice I said weeks off and not days off. From there, you have a formula where you can reverse engineer how much you need to be charging your clients in order to support your lifestyle and make sure that you have all of your expenses met.

    So let's get on to the mistakes that I see happen when people are not doing their fees, right in their practice. They are not raising their rates soon enough or often enough, because again, if you're not raising your rates by two and a half to 3% each year, you are actually losing money due to inflation. Now, that doesn't mean you have to raise your rates each year. But maybe you make a bigger jump every two years or every three years so that you're at least keeping up with the cost of inflation. But we also want to be increasing your rates because most of us if we were traditionally employed wouldn't stay at a job that didn't give us you know, at least annual raises or semi annual raises, right. Other mistakes are being on too many shitty insurance panels or a lot of low reimbursing panels in a shitty insurance panel might pay really well. But they might require a ton of back and forth. You might have to jump through hoops to say yes, this client does need this particular service covered. You might have claims rejected where you have to go back and forth with the insurance panel, even if they're paying you what you deem to be a fair amount or sustainable rate. If you're spending hours fighting tooth and nail to get paid, then that's not a good insurance panel. Other things that I see come up mistakes wise in this field is not setting boundaries when it comes to that sliding scale. Even though I don't personally have the sliding scale in my practice, it doesn't mean I'm opposed to them. However, you need to first determine whether or not you are able to afford offering a sliding scale. So making sure that you're if you have a sliding scale, you have a reason behind it and you are making sure to make the most use of it in that you are giving it to the people who need it the most and that offering a sliding scale isn't going to harm you or your practie financially. The other mistakes I see is not knowing how much money you need to earn and not covering your income and expenses. Let me separate those out. So not knowing how much you need to be earning, right, a lot of people go well, I think I should charge $140 Because that's what other people are charging, but they don't consider if that $140 is actually going to cover their unique needs, then part two of it is not knowing their income and expense needs like not tracking their practice's finances, right, just looking at them around tax time sliding said shoebox of receipts and income and big statements over to your accountant. That is not okay, we need to be engaging with our money in a meaningful way. When it comes to being business owners who are also private practice owners, I think you need to be looking at your money at least monthly. And probably more frequently than that when you're first starting out and getting a handle on your finances.

    The third thing I see that successful private practice owners do is they have a beautiful and specific niche. I know the word niche, when you talk to a therapist is like, you know, there's all sorts of stuff that comes up, all sorts of mindset stuff that comes up around setting a niche, but in my opinion, having a niche is so helpful for both your client, your potential clients. And you here's why. When you set a niche of the types of clients you not only want to work with but you are best called to work with, you are going to bring in the clients that you know you can do your best work with, just because I using my own self as an example, have a certificate and everyday parenting does not mean I'm using my certificate in everyday parenting, right? That's not my jam. Yes, I got certified it was because a previous employer paid me to do it. I'm grateful for that experience. And I'm grateful for that knowledge. But just because I have that certificate does not mean I'm using it and certainly does not mean that I want to be seeing a lot of families who need that specific type of intervention, right? I am using the niche of shame free financial therapy to call in aligned clients so that when I have clients who are wanting to work with me, I know that I can help them, got it? So what happens when you have a beautiful and specific niche is that you are telling specific clients who are struggling with a pain point that you know how to help them, Hey, I am here, I can help you out and I could do a really fucking good job at it. And for you as the therapist, you're not going to get clients in the door that you're secretly hoping will no show. This helps to build out a successful practice. Because you become known as the expert as the specialist in the thing that you are best at. That does a lot of the heavy lifting for you in calling and allied clients and having colleagues who say Oh, Lindsay, she's the go to person for shame free financial therapy, or you know, oh, Julie, that is the person you want to call when you have a three year old throwing fits all the time. She's my go to referral source, right? So a niche is a key in a successful private practice.

    Now, what are the mistakes I see people do when they try and carve out a niche? They make the mistake of thinking their modality is their niche. So they'll say things like I am a CBT or DBT therapist. That's my niche. That's not a niche. Almost everybody uses elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in their practice. Plus, most people don't know what that means. Which leads me into the next mistake, which is using a ton of therapeutic jargon or psychobabble on your website. I'm going to literally read off of a couple of profiles. I googled just before this episode. And don't worry, I'm not naming names. And to be honest, you probably wouldn't know who this is anyway, because it makes no fucking sense. All right, so here is a psychobabble therapeutic jargon that I saw on some folks websites. I'm making up the name Jane. Jane works from a psychodynamic humanistic and eclectic lens to uplift and walk alongside clients rooted in a non judgmental, curious and empathic fashion. I don't know what that means. I don't know who Jane helps. I don't know what she does. I don't know what problem she helps solve. I have no friggin clue because they're using psychobabble jargon. Don't do that. That is a mistake. Other mistakes I see are painting with like way too broad of a brush, right? I'll work with therapists were like oh, I have a niche and I'm like cool. Tell me your niche and it'll sound like this. I work with people from all walks of life. That's not a niche, or I treat them broad range of issues and concerns. Also not a niche or some of my favorites. I work with women's issues. What the heck is a women's issue? I don't know. That is too too broad. And then the other mistake I see here is people who like start to niche. And then they get in their head about it. And they're like, Oh, I can't do it. And they broaden it, right. So they'll tell me, I want to work with postpartum first time moms who are struggling with postpartum depression and identity concerns around maybe not going back to work or maybe not going back to work full time. And I'm like, Yes, that's a good niche, bro. I don't know why I said, bro, I never say bro in my day to day life anyway, but then they start going oh but I really am worried that if I do that, I won't be able to see postpartum among moms who are having anxiety issues, or I'm worried that I'm going to be, you know, not helping second time moms or moms who have adopted or things like that. And I'm like, yo, your niche doesn't mean you only work with that person. record scratch, I'm might actually literally insert a record scratch there. Because I know what I just said sounds so confusing. But here's a little secret. You're your niche on your website, the niche you tell your colleagues about that might not be the entirety of your practice. So for that person who said, I want to work with first time postpartum moms experiencing postpartum depression, and having identity stressors, because they're not sure if they're going to go back to work. That was a beautiful niche, I know exactly who to refer to you. And that person might also see second time moms, they don't have to put it on their website. But if somebody reaches out to them, it's like, look, I didn't get Postpartum Depression with my first kiddo. But I definitely have it this time around, will you work with me, you can still say yes, you don't have to shut those people off, who are going to be good enough client fits in. If that's really confusing, too, don't worry, I go into it in much more depth and my group coaching program Grow a Profitable Practice From the Inside Out, I actually bring on this next person who's gonna help me out with the next success tip to talk about niching more in depth. All right.

    So the fourth thing I see successful private practice owners do is they have a beautiful and hardworking website. Gone are the days where you can just have a therapist directory listing and no website. I know for me, when I was looking for a therapist, I absolutely not only took into account people's word of mouth recommendations, but I also looked at their website. And a good website helps the person who lands on it go, oh, you know, this person can help me. And then also is hard working in that not only does it look really nice, and the words or the on the website, aka the copy are really good. But there's also an easy path for them to connect with you. There's a book now button, there's a Contact Me page, there's a very bold phone number if you go old school, and you'd like people to call you first, but they see themselves on your page, they see you on that page on that website. And they can contact you or book an appointment seamlessly. That's what a beautiful and hardworking website does. Because you can have all of the beautiful fonts and logos and branding and photos. But if a client lands there and can't get in contact with you, your website is not hard working, which is why in my group coaching program Grow a Profitable Practice From the Inside Out, every single person who joins gets one of Monica at Hold Space Creative's, beautiful and hardworking, pre designed website templates that are specifically for therapists and coaches. So she does a lot of that heavy lifting for you. She creates this beautiful path for people who land on your website to learn more about you to understand your services and to be able to seamlessly book or contact do so that's why I love a hard working website.

    So let's talk about website mistakes. I see there are about 1,000,001, but I'm just going to list off a few. Not having a website is a mistake, the end. You can't just mail out business cards anymore. You can't just list yourself on a therapist directory website, you need your own website. Other mistakes I see is not including photos of you, right, just including like random pictures of mountain ranges. Which also brings me to another mistake. Stop using the same stock photos that every other therapist is using. I don't want to see a stack of rocks on anybody's website. I don't want to see a babbling brook on somebody's website. I don't want to see a kid having a temper tantrum or a couple fighting on your website. I don't want to see any of that, I want to see you. And if you use stock photos, there are amazing stock photo databases today, use one It's not of people in pain, but of the outcome that you help people find. So you don't show the pictures of couples fighting, show the pictures of couples engaging. If you do couples work, you get what I'm saying. And those stacked rocks, babbling brooks have to go. Who knew there was so many soap boxes today?

    All right, let's move on to the fifth thing that I see successful private practice owners do. So kind of piggybacking off of the hard working websites, good, successful private practice owners make SEO work for them, aka SEO for therapists. If you don't know what SEO is, that's okay. I'm gonna break it down real real quick here. S E O is search engine optimization. And it is what happens when a beautiful and hardworking website shows up at the top of Google, when somebody types in anxiety for teens in New Jersey, boom, your website, if you've done your search engine optimization, or SEO, well will show up on that first page. Okay? It is the assistant, it is your hype person who is out there promoting you day and night, when you don't have to do it right search engine optimization is yeah, there's a little bit of structure and involves a little bit of research. But in my opinion, it makes such a huge difference and making sure that therapists who genuinely don't like marketing themselves, market themselves without feeling like they have to like do the latest TikTok dance craze, right? Just to give an example, I use Kritie Plantinga of TherapieSEO. Anyway, I worked with her to help me understand how to write content for SEO and how to do keyword research. I'm pretty savvy when it comes to the tech stuff. Not super savvy, but savvy enough where I like writing my own stuff I tried in the past to hire somebody out and it just didn't feel like me, it didn't feel like my voice. I'd like doing my own writing, but doing it in a way where it worked for me. And the difference is that in In January of 2021. I had 1600 People visit my website, and 17% of that was from search. And in July of 2021. I had 5600 People visit my website and 73% of that was from search. What does that mean? It means I don't have to be on Instagram all the time. If I take a break from my podcast, people are still going to find me, it means that more people can find the help that they need without me having to exert my energy 24/7. So good therapists, successful therapists make SEO work for them. And that is why for this cohort of Grow a Profitable Practice From the Inside Out, the one that kicks off on September 13th 2021. Kristie is going to be another guest expert. We have Monica coming on to talk about niching. But Kristie is going to talk to us about how to write content for SEO as a therapist. Yay, super, super exciting.

    If you are a private practice owner, I highly recommend going to and applying, the group is capped at 12 people. It's the last time I'm running it in 2021. And every single time I've run it, this is my fourth cohort, I raise the price. And I don't do this to be like Hurry up you have to come on in. But I ask for feedback of every single group and I improve the program and deliver more value time after time. And to practice what I preach I have to continually make sure that I'm charging in alignment with my needs and my expertise and the value of what the group provides. So again, if you want to apply for this cohort, alright.

    SEO mistakes I see: writing journal style blog post, this is not Live Journal. This is not you know, don't write your journal as your blog post. You know, saying like, I'll just make it up. I'm looking outside of the trees. On a Wednesday morning and August I looked out at the Sun glistening on the leaves outside my window and I knew it was time for me to take a deep breath of gratitude. That is not going to help you with your SEO. So stop doing it or if you want to do it, keep on doing it but it's not going to help you with your search engine optimization. Other SEO mistakes I see Not including images, writing less than 800 words on your blog posts, not including your office location or the therapist location. So, in a world of teletherapy, you want to make sure that people know which state you are providing teletherapy for, that tells people who land on your website and Google who they should be sending to your website. So check your website right now, even if you're doing online therapy, make sure you say, online therapy for residents of Montana, if that's where you practice, okay, that's key. Other mistakes are thinking that SEO is a one and done, buying a website that says it has built in SEO that doesn't exist, or thinking SEO is hard or expensive.

    So to recap, there are five things I see again and again, in successful private practice owners. It is people who have worked and continue to work on their money mindset, therapists who understand the financial side of their practice by charging sustainable fees. It is having a specific niche so they can specialize in their field, having a beautiful and hardworking website and making that website supercharged by making sure you have SEO. All five of these things are things I cover in my group coaching program, Grow a Profitable Practice From the Inside Out, I highly recommend applying if you're on the fence, after you apply, if it seems like you're a good fit, we still have a phone call, it's a no pressure phone call, I'm not asking you to like hurry up and get your credit card out right now. It's a mutual fit phone call, because I want people in the group who are going to contribute to the group. Examples of folks who have not get invited, gotten invited to book a phone call, or people who didn't take time with the application. Right. So on the application, I asked how your practice is set up to support marginalized groups, because that's a value for me. Somebody wrote, I don't discriminate. That to me is not a meaningful answer. You don't have to say I see 100% of BIPOC folks for free. That also isn't, you know, what I'm looking for. What I'm looking for is somebody who says, Look, I talk about identity, gender, race, every single time a new client comes into me, I make sure that I show representation on my website, or I'm providing accessibility to people who are physically disabled by providing teletherapy services. Those are examples of things that I'm looking for. Other examples of responses I've gotten that don't get invited to that phone call are people who say, like, I asked, Why do you want to join this group? Why now? Saying, like, I'm curious about coaching, isn't what I'm looking for. What I'm looking for is somebody who says, Lindsay, I have tried doing this on my own or thought about joining other things, but inside out really speaks to me, because of its small group nature. I've tried doing some money mindset stuff on my own. But I keep getting stuck or have tried raising my rates, but I keep sliding my scale. I want to hear what work you've done, and why you think my program is a good fit for you. So I just wanted to share those tips. In case you were thinking about applying and we're thinking of like, oh, I'll just like submit an application on my lunch break, do it thoughtfully. I curate this group with people who I know are going to bring a lot to the table, because it's not just me talking at you and Grow a Profitable Practice From the Inside Out. It's also your expertise and your peers expertise. I share my knowledge and my gifts, but I also ask you to share your knowledge and your gifts. So I hope that helps. I would love to see your name on the application if it feels like a fit. Again, this is the last time I'm running this group in 2021. And time after time, I've raised my price as I increase the value of the program, so I'll see you right here next week.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

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School of Private Practice

Training for psychologists, psychotherapists and specialists of helping professions who do not like to sell their services

“Build” “They will come” ,0009
- from K / from K / f "Field of Miracles"

This is Olga and Kirill Koshkin. Therapists and coaches to help you attract clients professionally, naturally and ethically.
On this site we publish the latest and most interesting information, which we hope will be useful to you in building a successful private practice.

Courses and tools for the development of practice

online course “How to help practice and launch your online course”

online course from the founders and Kirill Koshkin

Audio course from Kirill Koshkin "Clarity"

Promotion in VKontakte. How a psychologist can attract clients in the most popular social network on the Russian Internet

Mini-course for psychologists, therapists and coaches

Club of Private Practices

Presentation template and script of a selling webinar

School of private practice: from a diploma on the wall to the first money

Self-study course on promoting the services of a psychologist, psychotherapist, coach

Online course "Working with limiting beliefs and inner criticism of the helping practitioner” by Irina Skumina

Mini-course “Congruence. "How to discover your uniqueness and shine with all your colors"

Calendar: 365 topics of posts, stories and live broadcasts on the psychologist's blog.

Add Premade Practitioner Instagram Stories Pack


Bipolar Swings in Private Practice

How to Stay Productive Even on the “Bad Days”

7 Story Templates for the Practitioner’s Blog

In this guide we have prepared a gift for you , which will help the new format of communication, feel it and learn how to create exciting, resonant stories that lead to sales, and without wasting time on “creative agony”

4 myths about social networks that harm private practice

Most therapists do not use the huge potential of social networks because they believe in them

The future. Place of a therapist or instead of a therapist?

What trends will affect helping professionals in the future, how to learn to anticipate and use them

What to write about in VK? 24 ideas for a psychologist public

The hottest topics with examples and caveats

How can a psychologist get rid of the fear of self-promotion?

Many therapists shudder at the thought of publicity and self-promotion. If you are one of them, here are five tips that helped us get through this

How to use Instagram to grow your private practice

And why the number of followers doesn't matter

How to be in demand

The opinion of nine professionals in the helping professions

Writing for fellow psychologists? Clients won't come.

“I blog almost every day and still no clients!” Why is this happening and what to do about it?

Why does a psychologist need a blog?

And how to use it to expand your private practice, find out what clients really want, and take a fresh look at your life and profession

Your brand

learn to speak brightly about services and become a favorite expert of journalists

Top 10 ways to find more time during the day and not go crazy with stress

Time management for private psychologists and psychotherapists

Ethics of a psychotherapist

Is it ethical for a psychotherapist to advertise his services?

Evgenia Rasskazova: psychotherapy at the level of physiological need

Successful psychologists about private practice

How a psychotherapist can fill his practice with simple interactive public speaking

Where to speak. What to talk about. How to deal with fear and get people to sign up for consultations with you after every talk

Successful psychologists about private practice

Vladimir Kuznetsov: to get started - you just need to start

8 facts about the promotion of psychological services that will help you take your practice to a new level

The article will help a private practitioner to consider important conditions for successful promotion of services

How not to go rotten and start a dragon

The Therapist's Guide to Finding Compliance Between Wants and Musts

A Toolbox of Useful Resources for Your Private Practice

Here are collected online services, websites and books recommended by the School of Private Practice for psychologists who are working on self-promotion

Networking for psychologists and psychotherapists

How to grow practice with the help of "right" acquaintances, without resorting to "nepotism" and manipulation

Everything a psychotherapist needs to know to create a good website

From sketch to content. Step-by-step instructions and inspirational examples

Make friends with money

How to get rid of limiting beliefs, build relationships with money and earn decent money by helping people

Blue ocean strategy for psychologists and psychotherapists

How to stop competing and find your unique place in the profession

How much is your knowledge really worth

About investments, losses and gains in psychotherapeutic practice

What do clients want from you?

How clients talk about their problems, how therapists describe their solution, why they can't meet, and whether "it really can't be helped"

The Demonology of Private Practice

About the Inner Demons that Beset the Psychotherapist on the Path to Success

15 Things You Can Do to Grow Your Private Practice

A Buffet of Ideas for Psychologists and Psychotherapists without”

Legal support for the private practice of a psychologist, psychotherapist, coach

Will the client come? What if you put up a sign?

Is the marketing of psychotherapy services justified, and how can a beginner attract clients to his practice

A simple financial plan for psychologists and psychotherapists

How to stop worrying and start living through simple manipulations with numbers

The path of a psychologist

The path of a psychologist.
From zero to full client record

Recording of a master class for psychologists and coaches on how to make their practice successful. Independently and without huge budgets

Buy record

Katya Solovieva

Psychologist, 4 years and 4,500 hours of private practice. Certified Gestalt Therapist (CGI),
CBT Oriented Therapist (CBT), Master in Educational Development (Lund, Sweden).

It will suit you if you:

- Don't know how to make yourself known as a psychologist

- Have a degree, but are afraid to start working with clients

- Already practicing, but stuck with 1-2 clients

- Don't understand why the client leaves after the first sessions

- Not always sure about the effectiveness of your work, afraid of harming clients

- You feel emotional burnout from excessive involvement in clients' situations

- You find it difficult to balance your relationship with your client and your personal boundaries

This workshop is for:

- Psychologists

- Psychotherapists

- Coaches

- Psychology students and programs


wishing to go "free floating"

Why do I have something to share

  • Less than 2 years have passed from my session with the first client to a fully scheduled calendar
  • My standard workload is 25 people per week + a waiting list for half a year in advance
  • 90% of clients work with me in long-term therapy (from 1 year)
  • 10 years in psychotherapy, using a synthesis of methods from the most effective directions
  • I built my practice on my own, without the help of the psychological community, marketers and branding specialists

I went all the way from the fear of the first client, professional burnout to a successful practice. Combining work with motherhood, husband and travel)

What will happen at the master class

  • How to position yourself and find your client?
  • What do you need to start your practice and continue successfully?
  • Why do some psychologists have successful private practices, while others don't keep clients?
  • How to organize work with a client, what the therapy process consists of
  • The main mistakes that lead to burnout and loss of clients

All my way from zero to in-demand specialist in 3 hours and Q&A session

  • Short-term and long-term methods: what to choose and where to study?
  • How to manage clients in long-term therapy?
  • Marketing and therapy: how to find an ethical balance
  • Legal aspects of the work of a psychologist. Agreement. Accepting payments

Choose your tariff


  • Template of the Agreement for the work of a psychologist with a client

Some of my diplomas.

Learn more