The Ultimate Checklist for Starting a Private Practice in Counseling

The decision to open a private therapy practice is a big one. On top of the licensing and insurance requirements, you’ll need in your state or country, there are many things to consider when it comes to providing clients with a top-notch therapeutic experience. If you’re a licensed therapist considering opening your own practice, read on for things you’ll want to check off your list before opening your business to initial assessments.

Take steps to make your office space comfortable.


It’s impossible to concentrate on healing when you’re uncomfortable. To fend off Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, do your clients a favor by providing a comfortable environment where they can do their best thinking. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it clear how important proper ventilation is to a healthy office space.

For many new therapists, it’s less expensive to rent out space in an older building. However, to make sure your clients are safe, it’s a good idea to consider upgrades and take steps to improve your business’ HVAC efficiency where you can. Not only will this mean better energy efficiency even in a commercial building, but it could save you money on energy costs by more efficient energy use, too.

Consider remote and digital options.


Covid-19 has also helped health care professionals across the industry to make good use of digital appointments through Telehealth services. Perhaps you or someone you love has attended a virtual speech therapy appointment during Covid-19 and you already see the value in clients being able to meet with clinicians remotely. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to look into ways you can provide those same Telehealth services to your client base. The truth is, in the United States, most people expect to have the option of in-person or remote therapy. You’ll want to be sure you have options for the people you’ll be working for to stay competitive.

Build a social media and comprehensive website presence.


In the same way that it’s important to stay on top of Telehealth and virtual visit trends, you’ll need to brush up on social media and marketing skills to properly promote your business. Consider hiring a website expert or digital marketing team to build you a website that will come up first in Google search engine rankings. Your ability to be seen by potential clients as a great Teletherapy or in-person practice easily will add up to success.

When designing your website, be sure to list the therapy services you offer. Consider hiring content creators to begin a blog on the types of treatment plans and therapeutic modalities you most believe in. Giving potential clients a clear sense of what they’ll be signing up for is important. For example, if your focus will be working with people on the Autism spectrum, it’s a good idea to offer information on Autism Spectrum Disorder and how you work with people on the spectrum to be their best selves.

Your website should also include personal experiences, reviews, any professional affiliations you have, and your licensing credentials. If you’re asking someone to trust you with their hopes and dreams, it’s always a good idea to give them a sense of who you are, where you come from, and why you’re qualified to offer treatment. Pictures will also help potential clients to feel better connected before a first appointment. Lastly, don’t forget to include insurance and financial information to let clients know what your practice accepts and doesn’t.

By the time you’re ready for your first client, if you’ve paid attention to office aesthetics, modern therapy options, and put in the work to advertise your business, you’ll be in great shape to begin a successful private practice. Best of luck to you as you open your small business. Your decision to become a business owner during the Covid-19 pandemic is one you won’t regret down the road.