In this live conversation, I'll share with you my view on when you should start a mental health private practice. A teaser - it's not when everyone else thinks they should start! If you'd like to brainstorm a game plan together for your business you can schedule a quick free strategy call with us here: http://bit.ly/practicegameplan
About the 6-Figure Practice Program:
The Six Figure Practice with Sasha Raskin, is an online program and community for helpers such as counselors and coaches, who are building their private practice. If you’re looking for a clear, step-by-step road map for creating and marketing your private practice, you're at the right place!
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My name is Sasha Raskin. I’m a Number 1 Best Selling Co-Author in 12 Countries, a Doctoral student in Counseling Education and Supervision, a coach, a psychotherapist and an adjunct faculty at a graduate counseling program at Naropa University.
One of the things I’m enjoying the most is helping other therapists and coaches build their successful private practice so that they could actually help the clients they were taught to help, and thrive themselves. I’m almost always fully booked, so my ability to work with individuals is limited. That is why I’ve created this program to deliver powerful results and create a community where you will feel supported by each other!
This program's primary goal is to help you build a thriving private practice, in a fun and authentic way. Counselors and coaches invest an incredible amount of time, money, and effort into building their helping skills. However, when their training ends, they usually find themselves lacking the business skills that are needed to start and run a successful private practice, feel isolated, discouraged and not knowing where to start.
I believe that to be truly helpful to others, therapists and coaches have to learn to thrive themselves and definitely know how to get clients whom they can help.
This is where this program comes in. If you're willing to learn and work hard, a 6-figure private practice is within your reach in a year - 2 years. This program will give you a clear outline, and detailed instructions on how to get there.
A controversial view on when you should start a mental health private practice
Going live from Boulder, Colorado on all the social media channels that probably exist. So today I will have, I hope, a surprising conversation about when you actually need to start your mental health private practice. And I'd love for it to be interactive so if you have any comments or ideas please type them into the chat or in the comments. This conversation would be most helpful for current students of counseling in master's programs and I think even counselors who have been doing it for a while should really pitch in because it's important.
Now the thing is that it's my belief that counselors wait too long to start their private practice. Now I'm going to be sharing my own view on that so I know it's definitely not what the majority of counselors think, and that's why I believe it's so important to share.
First, we actually need to define what starting your private practice means. Many times the mistake that counselors make in thinking about beginning though private practice is that it begins the moment you have your first paid client which cannot be further from the truth. You actually need to set up systems in place for creating those paying clients. And if you wait too long with it, well, guess what? Your private practice will be delayed. That's one thing. In my mind it definitely starts with the marketing and the business foundation part which takes time, by the way, it might take from two months to 12 months to set it all up correctly so you're paying your dues and you have a thriving private practice.
So what that means is that you can totally, and in my mind totally should, start setting it up before you begin to accept clients. What does that mean? That you should start in my opinion if you want to go into private practice working on your private practice and setting everything up in the third year of your master's program. Why? Because it will take you a year while working ... well, working, your internship year is basically like working for free, so you have the internship and you have the third year of your education which requires a lot of time so what can usually be done in two or three months with some guidance, knowing what you need to do like building your website, search engine optimization, writing the right text, etcetera, what can be done in two or three months will probably take you that third year to build.
Now think about it this way - if you are about to graduate in a year from now or a bit less and you want to go into private practice, wouldn't it be nice instead of going into this vacuum of, well, I should start working on my private practice now or just doing the waiting game everything is set up the moment you graduate?
Now this is where it applies to other people as well, other counselors who are thinking about building their private practice, maybe you're working at an agency right now or maybe you're busy with a full-time job and you're thinking about, "Well, maybe I'll start my private practice half a year or a year from now." Guess what? The time to start working on your private practice is today because it would take you that much time to set everything up so that potential clients can actually start finding you.
Now I'll give you one specific example. In search engine optimization, Google, Bing and other search engines they track your website to start ranking it up higher on the search engine results. What you want to create is basically have your website be found on the first page of Google for let's say counselor at your location. And what Google and other search engines look at is the length of time that your website has been published. So guess what? If you've published your website one year prior to you actually opening up you will be ranked higher and ready for that moment when you can create clients.
This illusion that counselors many times have - if I just publish my website people will start calling me and sending me emails and I'll be overwhelmed with potential clients and I'm working right now/working at an agency/on my third year I cannot accept clients. That will not happen. You need to do some work and it takes time to build it all. So my wish for you is if you're thinking about starting your private practice within the next few days up until a year, the best time to start working on everything is right now.
Now a second part about when you should start your mental health private practice is that what I see as an illusion that many counselors have, especially during their third year or right out of school, which is the belief that they need to work at an agency, they're just not ready to have their own private practice. I respect the agencies a lot, they're doing very needed work and I view them as two types of different agencies - agencies that provide services, very much needed services for populations, for very specific populations let's say prisons, and that would be extremely difficult to do on your own, right? So you have the agency's support of actually working with this population. Second type of agencies are very much built as a private practice just that grew and now includes many other counselors.
If you're called to do the first one, that's wonderful, agency is the way to go. So thinking about your intention and motivation - if the only reason that you're thinking about going into agency and you totally would be fine going into a private practice/group practice type of agency there is actually no reason for you not to start your own thing. The reason being is you would be growing your own business versus being paid many times five times less at an agency or a group practice than you would be paid on your own.
The same experience in getting to be a better counselor you will be getting at your own private practice. And probably even more, I really think of it as ... do you remember those those drives when you were just learning how to drive your car with someone else compared to driving on your own? At least for me I have a clear memory of those first drives on my own, I learned so much more than driving with someone else.
So I really think that after hours of internship and practicum and three years of counseling master's program you're more than ready for a private practice on a clinical level. On a business level my wish for you is to take that one year to prepare and build everything you need to be open for business.
So I hope it's been helpful and at least thought provoking to start thinking about a private practice beginning not as beginning to see clients but actually doing all the leg work that you have to do before that, which takes time, right? So when you plan starting your private practice, take into account that the marketing and the business side precedes the working with clients part and it would continue while you grow your client base. So if you want to get ahead of the game start building the marketing and business parts sooner.
And if you are confused or you're just not sure what's the next step to build your private practice, simply reach out. You can comment or text me, message me, I always answer. And ask any questions. Or if you want to know some details about the way we help counselors and coaches in private practice grow and fill their private practice without overwhelm, without guesswork so that you could thrive and help your clients to thrive you can simply message me and I'll send you the details, or you can simply sign up for a call with one of our coaches and they will guide you to build your own game plan. It's a free call. We might help you implement the game plan if it feels like a good fit or you simply can use the game plan that we will create together on your own.
I hope it's been helpful. Please comment and let's have a discussion about when you think people should start their private practice.