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The Practice of Therapy Podcast ( helps therapists, counselors, and other mental health clinicians start, build and grow in their private practices.  Whether you are just starting into private practice or have been in it a while, The Practice of Therapy Podcast will give you information to help you grow and succeed!

Sep 23, 2019

In this episode, Gordon speaks with Juan Santos about what it was like for Juan to open a private practice straight out of graduate school. Plus, Juan gives valuable tips on how to market a private practice. He says the essential factor is to be your most genuine and authentic self when spreading the word about your practice. Later, Gordon and Juan discuss a unique niche – immigration evaluations.

Meet Juan Santos

Juan Santos is a Licensed Professional Counselor in North Carolina. He is married to his wife, Elizabeth Livingston Santos, together they operate Santos Counseling PLLC a family-owned private practice. Mr. Santos is a father to his 5-year-old daughter Nola and 3-year-old son Alexander. Mr. Santos and his family enjoy traveling, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends.

Mr. Santos specializes in helping couples build healthy sustainable relationships and supporting individuals with their immigration case by writing immigration evaluations. He utilizes his experience in working with immigration attorneys and writing hardship evaluations to guide clinicians interested in the specialty.

Juan is currently a doctorate student at the University of the Cumberland’s where he is a pursuing a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. Mr. Santos hopes to utilize his doctorate studies to strengthen his clinical skills.

Mr. Santos has attained recognition in publishing courses and self-help books aimed to address issues ranging from anxiety to relationship, he was the recipient Winston Salem State University Alumni Achiever 2015, the Winston Salem Under 40 Leadership Achiever, and the 2015 Notable Latino of the Triad Award. Juan has presented his work in immigration hardship evaluations with GoodTherapy, the LPCANC fall conference 2018, and on a notable podcast.


Juan started his private practice journey with support; he was so fortunate to have someone that put him under his wing. Juan wasn’t taught how to run a private practice or how to utilize marketing in graduate school, so this assistance was essential. Juan stays genuine in his marketing practices; he is true to himself. At first, he struggled with being himself because, at school, they were taught about professionalism. His first professional videos did not go well because people could tell it was not his authentic self.

Private Practice Post Graduate School

Juan is the type of person to jump into the pool before learning how to swim. After getting his degree, Juan knew he wanted to start a private practice right away. Juan utilized his mentor to help him with things that Juan would need to learn to succeed. Plus, he read books and listened to podcasts to push himself.

Immigration Evaluations

Juan helps his clients who are working with attorneys on their immigration status. Depending on the type of case will depend on the type of evaluation needed. For instance, an example of a hardship case is when a citizen of the United States has an undocumented partner. The clinician is going to work with the citizen about documenting would it be like to be without their partner. This will lead to potential diagnoses and recommendations. The attorney will then use this information in court when they are presenting their client’s case.

Marketing Your Niche

Primarily, Juan partners with immigration attorneys, clinics, and churches to get his name out in the community. More than likely, these are places his ideal client is going to visit. Next, Juan explains how to market a private practice using social media. The first thing to do is look for a platform. Where do you think your clients spend most of their time on? For instance, Instagram is getting more younger folks than Facebook is. Social media should be to support those out there who will navigate towards their goals, whether it’s with Juan or without Juan. Marketing doesn’t have to be looking for the sale; be genuine above all else.

Being Bilingual in Private Practice

If you are not bilingual, some services will bring a translator to your meetings. When Juan works with couples, he shares his experiences with having a wife who is not bilingual. Differences in languages and culture can massively affect our relationships at home and work. As clinicians, we all go through some culture class. However, one consistent problem in relationships is communicating through the lenses of our cultures. Our society has a significant diversity overlap, so understanding these barriers will go a long way.

Juan’s Resources

Juan’s Website

Call Juan: 336-707-1723



Other Resources

GreenOak Accounting

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Money Matters in Private Practice | The Course

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The Power of Vulnerability

Building a Storybrand

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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT