This post might upset you, so if you're easily offended please do not watch or listen to it! Today I want to share my own personal opinion about the biggest obstacle to therapists and coaches actually succeeding in their private practice. Over the years I've created all the free resources you'll ever need to grow your private practice. They're all just one click away: the6figurepractice.com
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!
Free resources to grow and market your counseling private practice or coaching business:
Free 22 minutes crash course - "How to Create a Thriving Counseling / Coaching Private Practice": https://www.the6figurepractice.com/free-22-minute-crash-course
Free resources about marketing for therapists and marketing for coaches: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/blog
Free 30-minutes strategy session with Sasha Raskin: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/schedule-a-free-30-min-strategy-session/
Our accelerator program for creating a 6-figure business:
The 6 Figure Practice Program: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/the-6-figure-practice-program-accelerator/
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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.
Why Therapists And Coaches Struggle To Fill Their Private Practice
Hello. This is Sasha. I hope you're having a good day. I taught two classes this morning at Naropa. They are three years long classes, which is pretty remarkable. I'm very excited to be teaching those. I don't know if teaching is the right word really. Those are small process groups where small groups of counselors are processing their emotions in real time. And then I had a great coaching session with a client who's a little overwhelmed with not making progress.
And I've been thinking a lot about doing this episode. I'm not sure if I want to say it or not, and I think maybe it's okay. And maybe this post might upset you, so a quick disclaimer - if you're easily offended, please do not watch or listen to this episode. Or you can watch and listen and let yourself experience any emotions that you might experience and we might all survive that.
So the topic for today is why, in my opinion, coaches and therapists are really struggling to fill their practices? Why aren't all the therapists and coaches out there in private practice full? It should be a pretty easy process after a while or it kind of makes sense if people get the education and they're able to help people, why some therapists and coaches are full and have waiting lists and some are struggling even after years of opening their private practice?
So again, this is my honest opinion. Take it or leave it, but it might be helpful because I definitely don't see this opinion being shared a lot. And for the sake of being open-minded, sometimes it's helpful for me learning from opinions that I do not agree with as well.
So it all started with missing a question on one of the Facebook groups that I'm a part of. What I try to do is I try to go to Facebook groups for counselors and coaches and answer a few questions to see if there's any insight that I can provide, kind of on a daily, I just put a few minutes into it.
One of the questions that I saw was ... it was something like that, so that's what the person said. I saw another post about a therapist with a waiting list. And I was sadly thinking to myself, "Why am I not one of those therapists?" And first of all, I totally feel it, being there, I definitely felt the same thing. And so I can totally relate.
The thing is that what I answered wasn't the full answer that I wanted to answer, just because I was ... I didn't want to hurt the person's feelings, I didn't really know them fully, I didn't want to get into a long discussion on social media. And I didn't want it to sound like a character judgment statement. So I decided to take this opportunity to take this conversation outside of the realm of just one person, right? And look at what's happening many times for counselors and coaches, and I've spoken to hundreds, right? I've been doing my own research with people's struggles in filling their private practice.
So I'm aware of this yin and yan parts of me, the being and doing, one part wants to just talk about the emotions and how difficult it is and like to empathize and there's the other part which is the doing which is, "Okay, I hear you. And let's do something about it if it causes you ... if you're not happy." So let's start with the first one - it sucks. It sucks that you put in so much time and effort into your helping skills education, whether it's a master's degree or any other trainings that you took to become a better counselor or a coach, training, and then you go out into the world, you opened your private practice and crickets - no one comes or it's like trickle, maybe you have one new client once in a month. And then you're thinking, "Why did I go into this in the first place if I'm not helping people?"
So let's just get that out of the way - it's tough, right? And that's pretty clear and to be to be expected. It's tough to build a business, and if it would be easy everyone else would be doing it. Now it's a different kind of difficult, not that difficult that people who have not ever built a business think of. It's difficult in a way that we'll get to in a moment.
So what did I answer? I just simply gave a link to a training that I recorded where I break down kind of all the different parameters, everything you need to install in your private practice - there are nine areas - in order to actually have a foundation for everything you need in your private practice. If you go to the link in the description below, the6figurepractice.com, it's called the three pillars of a thriving private practice. It's a free training, you can take it.
Now so you can see that I went straight into information, right? In my answer to this person, which is important, right? You don't know what you don't know. You probably haven't been taught at least a lot or enough about running your business and marketing and building your private practice when you were training, right? There was probably 99.9% how to help and some part of it wasn't like even actually helping, it was some theories, which is great but then you kind of left your own devices, right? So it is needed to gain that information in terms of how to build your private practice even though parts of it would ... even with the information would still be some trial and error and experimentation.
And this is super important. Everyone I interviewed for my podcast, the 6 figure practice, you can find it on Spotify or on Apple, wherever you listen to your podcast, everyone had at least a mentor or a coaching program or a private practice accelerator just like the 6 figure practice program to help them grow faster, right? So I noticed that that's been a parallel between everyone I interviewed who grew fast, within a year fill their practice or two years maximum, and is very happy with the way it is. And it's stable, right? It's not enough to fill your practice. You want it to be consistent because you have systems in place to predictably constantly create new clients. So information is super important and guidance is extremely important and having a relationship with someone that can help you is extremely helpful as well.
So let's get to the part that I didn't feel comfortable saying in my answer. And what I wanted to say is that the equation to success in your private practice is pretty simple - the amount of clients that you will have in your private practice is a function of the amount of hours you put into building your private practice. Just going to repeat it again. The amount of clients that you will have or have currently in your private practice is a function of the amount of hours you put into building your private practice.
So what I'm talking about right now is personal responsibility and ownership. If I don't have enough clients in my private practice there was a big chance that I didn't put enough effort into it.
Now it's pretty much clear that it takes time, and it's a journey so it's very difficult to expect to fill your practice in two or three months even though we have members in our private practice accelerator that did that, but those are the exceptions to the rule. You can totally get to full practice in, and I mean 20 clients, in a year's time if you're starting from scratch. That's beyond doable if you have some guidance. But you definitely need to put in the work. And of course, you need to apply the right strategies at the right moment in your private practice because those differ as you grow.
So the speed of your growth would definitely be based on your investment in your private practice. Now when I say investment I don't just mean time. You can invest in your private practice in three ways - one, you can invest time, basically the time that you're putting into building your website, writing a good copy that actually works, learning about what needs to be done, maybe learning Google ads, maybe writing a few blog posts and whatnot, there's an infinite amount of strategies that you could be doing - they all take time and effort though and consistency.
Second way you can invest in your private practice is money, right? A lot of it or pretty much everything can be outsourced so you can have other people do that, either on their own or do it with you. And of course, investing in your business education if you're missing that.
Or the third way of investing in your private practice is a combination of time and money. For example, right now I'm enrolled in two different coaching programs for my other projects, and they don't do the work for me but I'm investing my money and time with them and then I do part of the work and I pay other people to do part of the work as well. So that's a combination of.
So the truth is you have to pay your dues. If you want to have a full private practice, you have to pay your dues and it doesn't mean only learning how to help people, and it doesn't mean even the hundreds of hours that you put into your internship and practicum. On top of it, you actually need to create a structure where you have potential clients finding you and then you taking them through all the steps, a lot of it by even not being there, right? Just creating automated systems that bring potential clients to you so you could actually be helping people, right? Because if you miss that part it's just not going to happen.
There are very few therapists from everyone I interviewed that say that they built their practice just on Psychology Today. Usually that's not the case. It's not enough to write three paragraphs and expect your practice to be full.
So that's the inconvenient truth. I cannot feel entitled to have a full private practice just because I studied the profession. I have to do the work to actually create those clients. And I have to do it consistently.
So the question is what if I don't have time, what if I'm working full time, what if I'm a parent and all the other circumstances that do not allow you to invest all the time that you have in building your private practice? Well, the good news is that it's not a quantity game, it's a consistency game. So it's not about finding that four hours chunk in the weekend to finish your website or to add three services pages to your website because you know they're missing and they should be there but they're just not. It's about finding the minimum amount of time that you can invest into it on a daily basis.
So for example, if I have half an hour daily to invest in building my private practice, it accumulates and it creates momentum and a snowball effect. And in my mind, it's way more efficient to put half an hour every day into doing what you know you need to be doing for creating your clients. And if you don't know what you should be doing, go to the6figurepractice.com. I created infinite amount of free resources. And put in that work, right? And if it's only 15 minutes, way better than trying to find a big chunk on the weekend because on the weekend you want to rest. And that big chunk can definitely be a bonus if you can do that as well.
So more good news is that you pay your dues first. You definitely work way more on building your private practice at the beginning than actually helping your clients, but with time it drops and at some point it will actually flip. After a while you'll see that you're kind of doing half-half. Half of the time you're putting into working on your private practice and half of the time you're seeing clients. And if you create automated systems to clients continuously finding you on their own without you putting in the manual labor forever, you will find yourself mostly only working with clients, right? So you put in the work first and then you reap the benefits later. And it's so worth it, right? Because you could be helping so many people on your own terms, and I think at least for me the word freedom comes to mind - clinical freedom, time freedom, money freedom. I can choose my schedule, when and how much I see my clients, clinical freedom, I decide how to work with clients, etcetera.
And I think the entrepreneur spirit for people who go into starting their own business as therapists or coaches one of the big motivating, folks, I'm curious if it's the same way for you, is having that freedom - creating something of your own that you can control and decide for yourself. And when you put all this effort into growing a business, why not, at least for me, grow my own business versus growing someone else's business?
So I hope it's been helpful. Feel free to comment or message me. I definitely want to hear what you're thinking. And have a wonderful day.