For many therapists, starting or building their own private practice can be daunting. How do you get referrals? Do you need a website? How do you differentiate yourself from other therapists? How much should you charge?
Few graduate programs offer training in business marketing, software tools, branding or referral networks, leaving therapists to feel confused and overwhelmed.
This book aims to address these deficits, guiding and supporting therapists through the process of building their therapy practice.
I discuss the necessity of mentioning the fact that you are a therapist to as many people as you can. The confident therapist has a full calendar!
A Brief Guide To Building Your Therapy Practice
I have an internal rule: If I say the word “psychologist” while talking to someone, I must give them my business card. It does not matter with whom I’m talking, I always give out a card. This includes bank tellers, neighbors, and people at dinner parties. People are often intrigued to learn that I am a psychologist and our conversations often steer towards issues that they suffer from or people they know who need help. This is the perfect opportunity to pull out your card and say, “Feel free to tell your aunt to give me a call, if she needs help.” This is especially true when talking to someone who interacts with the public on a regular basis. When my wife and I were selling our house, I found an opportunity to give our real estate agent my card because I knew he regularly interacted with my potential clientele. The same is true for my hair stylist or when I visit a doctor’s office; I make sure to have a card ready so that I can get on their radar. Some people are known as “hubs”: they frequently interact with dozens or even hundreds of people on a regular basis. They are well connected, friendly and they strive to build their social networks. If someone is in a job where they interact with people often, find a way to mention your profession and give them a card. They are generally happy to receive it. Worst-case scenario, they ignore the card. However, the potential gain is meaningful, as word-of-mouth will be one of your most important means of building your practice and having a well-connected person refer to you is a powerful endorsement.