How To Start Your Own Counseling Practice – “If you build it, they will come.” Most of us know about this famous misquote from the movie Field of Dreams (which doubles as “he will come”), in which the voice of the spirit inspires Kay Vin Costner who plays Iowa. A farmer builds a baseball diamond in his corn field. Despite the risk of bankruptcy, Costner continued with this vision, and when he was given the opportunity to reunite with his late father, Costner’s faith was rewarded and legions of fans began to flock to his “Field of Dreams” to watch a baseball game.
This is an attractive and fun idea: give people what they want (or want), follow your dreams, and more will follow. No matter…
- 1 How To Start Your Own Counseling Practice
- 2 What Is Systematic Desensitization Therapy?
- 3 How To Start An Online Mental Health Business
How To Start Your Own Counseling Practice
Remember the dream part? In real life, setting up a small business private consulting service requires a lot of preparation, planning, and ongoing maintenance. Just being a good therapist is not enough. Consultants who have built their own practices say that one of the biggest things you need to succeed in business is skill—and there’s more to it than most of them think.
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How will you market your product? Who will do the planning and payment? Is it keeping records? Is it book balancing? These are just a few questions that consultants should consider when considering creating a private survey.
Counseling Today spoke with four members of the American Counseling Association who have experience in private counseling to share their stories, lessons learned, and advice for others in the industry who may want to start their own business.
Ryan Thomas Neace, licensed clinical counselor (LPC) and founder of Change Inc., a private company based in St. Neace started working in entry-level industries. In his first year of graduate school, he obtained a position in mental health and within eight years gained experience in housing, schools, school, family, university, and community counseling. Along the way, he discovered something important: He was a great healer, but a terrible worker.
“I tend to do it and apologize later, it might be based on what I think the leaders would like because I think my mind is better and I’m not constrained by box thinking,” Ness said. “I think I’m right, but it’s not a good way to save your job.”
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Fortunately, Neace’s entrepreneurial spirit and good connections put him on the path to self-employment. “During that aion (working in many consulting positions), I found a consultant who saw a lot of promise in me and knew that I had a talent for something that he didn’t – business acumen, management skills, etc. He asked me if I wanted to meet him to recommend him to Virginia. We started dating and it happened. He spent about $10,000 on office furniture and technology and we got the space we wanted.”
Ness and his mentor owned and operated the business for a few years, but eventually, they both wanted to move to another part of the country. “I moved back to St. Louis in 2013 and started my own sole proprietorship there,” Neace said. “Five years later, it has two locations, 12 therapists and several sponsors, and we handle about 700 clients a month.”
While Ness’ move was successful, he admitted it took a lot of hard work and planning to get off the ground. “About 18 months before I came back to St. Louis, I started looking online for all the counseling jobs,” he said. “I noticed that in the western areas of the metropolitan region, the housing prices tend to have a large amount, but in the emerging cities that have been renovated and renovated in recent years, there has never been a large accumulation of housing prices. The regional environment is obviously that most of the local economy is found in the community, but I think if I judge our services with sound, there are advantages to being more in the area of the city itself. We can reach residents who are tired of driving to the city. in the district of mental health services, and we can reach those residents of Kaunda who are not satisfied with the therapists who are mainly in their neck of the woods, or [those residents] who work in the city can get an idea of receiving treatment in a beautiful city from the point of view of convenience – – [for example] at lunchtime – or from the point of view of having some distance of space between them and the place of the therapist.”
While searching, Neace also built a website that compliments WordPress. He already knew how to use the site, and anything he didn’t know he found out through online tutorials or support forums. Realizing that an important part of an online presence was showing up in search results, Neace turned to a friend who was a search engine expert (SEO) for help.
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This friend taught Neace how to make Change Inc. come up whenever searching the web for words like “St. John’s.” Louis____ (anxiety, depression, LGBTQ, etc.) Counseling. There are three to six months left before Neace plans to go to St.
Today, Neace’s research continues to focus on SEO, although it also has a number of testimonials from previous clients and local practitioners with whom Neace has established relationships. Change Inc. it also takes a non-traditional approach to marketing.
“Instead of spending money on traditional print or other marketing campaigns, we partner with other small businesses, often non-profits, whose mission we believe supports ours and reaches similar goals to our Community,” Ness said. “We provide financial support to these organizations in exchange for providing amazing marketing opportunities to their target and brand organizations, [such as] events or online advertising where our brand and their brand are displayed together.”
Ness admits that having her own praise can be difficult, but for her it makes her less anxious than trying to work in someone else’s community. “Of course there’s an added pressure to be praised, although I think it’s a kind of pressure,” he said. “Perhaps the most difficult problem with ownership for me was my increasing isolation because no one saw how much risk I was taking, or how much risk I was taking because they were not the owner. risk, or how hard it is… but if you are an entrepreneur like me, it is a labor of love and a reward you far exceed the added stress.
What Is Systematic Desensitization Therapy?
“Also, I am very motivated by my independence and making independent decisions, and every decision I make increases my interests, financially and otherwise. I like to create an environment that prioritizes the things I believe in and most importantly for the change of clinical work. .”
When asked what advice he would give to consultants interested in starting their own services, Ness highlighted the following:
“In my 25 years as a therapist, I’ve been in and out of private practice based on my needs and those of my family,” explains Keri Riggs, LPC, who practices full-time in the Dallas area. “So, I worked full-time as the CEO of a non-profit organization and full-time as a coordinator of critically ill patients at a hospital. I always wanted to continue working in counseling, so I was often against it through the branch or on the floor. The guidance of another therapist, Or treating yourself while still working.”
“I believe that when counselors start out, the decision to plan for each person depends on their income or marriage,” said Riggs. “If you have a stable family income and benefits, your options are different than if you are a single parent or the sole breadwinner in the family.”
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Riggs advises others to seriously consider leaving other income streams while building a reputation. “I regret that I left the department while building my name. I only made $17,000 that year and it was the hardest year for me,” he said.
Riggs uses a variety of methods to attract customers. “I’ve seen a lot of resources on Facebook or online that promise that people can get fully funded, non-insured services that are increasing over the course of a year, but that hasn’t been my experience,” he said. “I think it depends on the needs of the area and whether the counselor wants to accept insurance or employee assistance.”
In Riggs’ experience, it takes two to three years to build a complete project. “I believe there is value in networking and having your own niche, but don’t focus too much on that,” he said.
Riggs recommends, however, that consultants focus on marketing efforts. “Don’t just send papers to front offices
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