Dear Thriveworks,

I am a dually-licensed mental health practitioner living in Hastings, Nebraska. I received my LMHP and LADC working for four years for a residential women’s treatment facility here in Hastings. I also spent the past 9 months working with another practitioner to deliver therapy to people in nursing homes and rural communities who did not have access to transportation. I would love to open my own practice, but I am hesitant because I don’t have the information I need to get started. In addition, I currently work as a grant director for an organization that pays very well and offers great benefits. I don’t want to end up regretting my decision. Do you offer help in this area? It seems at some point I had seen that you consult with practitioners to help them start a practice. Please advise – thank you.

RD

Dear RD,

Thank you for your question. It sounds like you have been doing good work in the field for a long time. From the small amount of information I have, I’m not sure whether you should open a private counseling practice of not. Opening a business does involve some risk, and the role of running a therapy business is a lot different than the technical work of counseling. While I now know that you want to open a counseling practice, I don’t yet know exactly WHY you want to own a practice.

Do you want to focus more on administrative duties or clinical duties? Do you have some savings that you have on hand to get a practice off the ground? Have you crunched the numbers and determined that a private or group practice of your own would compensate you better than your grant writing job?

Have you been able to measure the costs and benefits? –There are a lot of questions. I am happy to talk with you about these things, but Thriveworks also have some resources for you. The first is our course book on starting a practice. It covers much of what you need to know to start a practice and  will also help you to determine if private practice is something that you’d like to pursue. You can get the book here: Counseling Private Practice Book.

In addition to the book, Thriveworks is now franchising! A franchise is a turn-key private practice, and might be exactly what you need to pursue owning the practice you’ve always wanted. You can find more information here: Mental Health Franchise.

I hope this help!

Sincerely,
Anthony Centore Ph.D.

Final Response:

I want to have my own practice because I have a passion for working in the mental health field and it would offer me some freedom, flexibility, as well as a better salary than I would get working for an organization in Hastings. I have been in my current position as grant director for 10 years and, while it is a good job, it no longer makes me feel fulfilled. I do have savings to help me get started. However, I do not know if the compensation would be adequate as I don’t know how many clients I would be seeing.

I like the idea of a franchise and will definitely check it out. Thank you for your prompt response!

Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore Ph.D. is Founder and CEO at Thriveworks--a counseling practice, focused on premium client care, with 80+ locations across the USA. 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. Anthony is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

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