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.


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!

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!

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Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."