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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!

Apr 20, 2020

John Clarke joins the show; he helps private practice owners build a practice that they love. In this episode, John gives tips on how to do private practice made human. First, start with your “why”. Why are you considering private practice, or why did you get into private practice in the first place? Later, John gives more tips on establishing your endpoint, creating company values, and knowing your ideal income. 

Meet John Clarke

John Clarke is a licensed psychotherapist and a private practice expert at PrivatePracticeWorkshop. After learning a lot of things the hard way while building his first practice in San Francisco, he started a blog to share with others the lessons he had learned. Private Practice Workshop was born, and this blog eventually evolved into so much more: a thriving Facebook community, a successful podcast, online courses, and coaching/consulting. Some therapists want to learn how to use digital marketing to grow their audience and get more clients, but the majority just want to leave it to the pros. John founded Unconditional Media, the digital marketing team for therapists, to meet the biggest need of private practitioners: getting more clients! When he’s not nerding out over all things private practice, he’s playing jazz drums, practicing Muay Thai martial arts, and talking to his pets like they’re humans.

Having Fuel in the Tank

Start with your why. You are crafting your purpose statement. Why do any of this in the first place? Why does this matter? Knowing your why will be your fuel source. So especially on days where it’s tough to get out of bed in the morning like in a crisis, you need enough fuel in the tank to make this worth it. There are more risks associated with being a business owner than being an employee. There are more risks; there’s more stress. You are going to take work home more often; you’re liable to different things that you’re not as responsible for if you’re the employee of a company. So for John, it has to be worth that. The bumps in the road have to be worth it. 

Why Private Practice?

Many therapists feel like they were born to do this. They were born to help people. Take that one step further and write down why private practice? If your purpose in life is to help people, then why private practice? It’s not the most effective place for you to help people. Do you have other ideas behind your purpose? Whether it’s owning your schedule or increasing income. Try to get honest with yourself. 

Establish Your Endpoint

The endpoint is a mission statement. You should think big! You should think of the ripple effects of your work. Your mission statement is this high-level impact that your business could have on the world. Start to sketch out how are you going to get there? If you don’t know where you’re going, than any place will do—reverse engineer your big tasks. So if you want to get 50 fully booked students in this launch, you can start to work backward and go, then what do you need to do in these next one to three months to build your email list for that? What do you need to do this week to create more lead magnets to make your email list? So it helps if you trace back what actions you are taking today and what they should lead to.

Establish Company Values 

Establishing your company values will help you make decisions. Even if you’re a solo practitioner, John highly recommends doing this. Create the kind of practice that you want to have for yourself. Put some thought into that and get out a piece of paper to write stuff down. When we write, we get clarity and can see the big picture.

Set Your Ideal Income and Ideal Schedule

Get in there, create that income target and make it sure it’s based on something. What are you going to need to get that money, and how are you going to use it? Then, you can reverse engineer that around your schedule. If you want to make a certain amount, how many hours will you have to work to get there? What kind of schedule do you need? Start sketching out your days, weeks, months, and years and make sure when you look at your calendar that it seems right to you. It looks good. It looks like, yes, this is worth it.

John’s Resources

Private Practice Workshop

Listen to John’s Podcast

PODCAST| Grace and Gratitude with Gordon Brewer of the Practice of Therapy

John’s Free Online Training

Apply For 1-1 Consulting 

Other Resources

Financial Tips for Surviving The COVID-19 Crisis

The Practice of Therapy Teachable Courses (use code SPRING2020)

Money Matters in Private Practice | The Course

G Suite for Therapists | The E-Course

Session Note Helper

Cool Resources

Be a Podcast Guest

Follow @TPOTpodcast on Instagram

Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT