I am excited to share the first post of a new blog series entitled “The Business of Practice”. Over the next several weeks I will be sharing the story of my own private practice development. I will also be sharing and offering additional resources to help you in your own practice development journey. Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to helping you turn your practice development dreams in the business reality.
The truth is my practice development story isn’t anything glamorous. However, it’s mine and in its own way quite amazing. I think what amazes me most is how the pieces fit together and how the process moved so quickly. From my decision to start a practice until I opened doors, took about 90 days. I did it while working full-time as an assistant program director for a non-profit community-based program. I provided administrative support, supervision, and kept a small case-load while building my practice. I nurtured relationships, socialized and engaged in volunteer activities with my church while building my practice. I think the most important thing I did was simply making the decision to start. Not making the decision to “think” about starting, but actually starting and taking action on this choice. There was no magic, simply a lot of hard work and a belief that this was something I was meant to do.
I remember when I made the decision. I was in my office when I was suddenly struck by the realization that I had reached the glass ceiling at my current job. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the work I was doing. I know I was impacting people’s lives and doing work that mattered. I had a wonderful boss and awesome coworkers and was still finding ways to grow my professional skills. That said, I saw my ceiling and it was coming fast. When I looked at possible professional options in my current organization, none of them appealed to me. I wholeheartedly believed in the mission of the organization, but something else was calling me. I felt that I was meant to make an impact in a different way.
Now let me back up just a bit. This was not my first time thinking about private practice. I remember being aware of it as an option when I first returned to school for my counseling degree. At that time however, I couldn’t honestly tell you I understood just what it meant. Private practice came-up again during my last year of grad school, when I was able to intern at a private practice in Virginia. I had the most amazing supervisor whose guidance was critical in helping me grow as a clinician and in understanding what it was like to be in private practice. She didn’t coddle me. The work was hard. I had no idea how to market, yet she put me out there and gave me some tools to start to market myself and my services. I was able to experience providing distance counseling, groups, creating forms and collecting payments. I was also able to see how a group practice can run. As challenging as the experience was I remember thinking, “one day I’m going to open-up a practice just like this in Maryland.” While my path hasn’t led me to open-up a group practice yet, I’m open to it if this is where the journey leads.
Ways to Connect
If you would like to make sure that don’t miss a thing and get the latest news and resources to support you in your practice development journey, I invite you to sign-up to receive The Business of Practice series & other news sent straight to your inbox.
I will also also be hosting a free Private Practice Development Q & A tele-seminar on April 17, 2015 from 12-1 PM (ET), in order to answer your questions about how to get started in private practice. Please click here to RSVP for the call. A recording of the call will be emailed to all participants after the event, so that you will be able to listen again and access the information if you are not able to attend the call live.
Don’t forget to come back again next week, where I will continue to share my practice development story.