In last week’s article, I addressed the question, “What does it take to succeed in private practice?” For many clinicians, especially those who are first generation college grads and business owners, the idea of carving out a new professional path is a daunting one.

When you build a private practice, you are responsible for its successes and failures. Your business’s fate – be that to thrive or go down in a beautifully tragic ball of flames – depends on your ability to honestly examine your behavior and face your fears head on. Struggle is inevitable.

So why would anyone choose this path?!

This week, I asked a few therapists to weigh in on the question, “Is private practice worth it?” I got a flood of responses that reflect both the challenges and rewards of embarking on the Therapreneurial journey.

“Is Private Practice Worth It?”

Private practice provides the ability to: control your schedule, set your own fees (which also means no barrier to how much you can potentially make), do therapy however you like as long as it’s legal and ethical, express your own style through the décor of your office; ultimately fulfill your destiny with as much authenticity possible! In other words, what you may lose in the way of “security” of a guaranteed paycheck, you more than gain in TOTAL FREEDOM. Tamara Powell, LMHC

OMG! Where do I begin? I love being in private practice and being self pay! I love that I am making the same money, working when I want with whom I want, and half of the hours. I do not have to go to staff meetings because I have them barefoot with the Starbucks coffee I write off as an office expense, lounging on MY couch, in MY office. So yeah, private practice is pretty awesome. Deidre PrewittMSMFC, LPC

Private practice gives me the opportunity to be myself and to grow what that looks like and what I can offer my clients that is unique and an enjoyable expression of my training and passion. I almost quit the therapist path all together, because I found agency work so deeply stifling… I almost lost the spark. As challenging as it is to start a practice from scratch, it feels so worth it. Sarah Rodgers, LMFT

Absolutely!  Private practice, for me, has been the only way I get to do the work I want to do.  I’m way more stimulated, invested, and connected to my work.  No burnout! Teresa Solomita, LCSW

I love being my own boss (it’s scary too), making my own hours, and being able to create something that’s mine.  Elizabeth Cush, MA, LGPC

therapist in private practice, building a private practice

Here’s the beauty of what I do: I’m my own boss. I am not just running a private practice, I am designing a life I WANT to live and one I love. … So, is it worth it, you say? Oh hell, YES! It’s better than I imagined. I cannot imagine doing someone else’s gig anymore, ever. I want to connect with people who are truly the people I can help. Beth Luwandi, LPC

Starting out in private practice is very anxiety provoking, there is a huge learning curve in knowing how to run a successful, profitable business, and it requires a lot of self-motivation.  So why is it worth it?  When private practice gets tough for me and I start to question my life decisions, I think about all the positives I’ve experienced over the past year since going full time in my practice.  Private practice offers so many opportunities to grow your skill set, not just as a clinicians, but personally as well. My self-growth has been exponential in one year of private practice compared to all my years working at an agency.  And that is priceless. Stacey Steinmiller, LCSW

As you can see, private practice affords you the opportunity to craft something that is uniquely yours. It gives you the chance to set your own hours, pursue your interests, work with the clients you are passionate about serving and… get paid well for it!

Like everything in life, however, there are risks. While I love helping therapists thrive in private practice, it is certainly not for everyone. Despite all the hype about building your own practice, for some clinicians, the risks really do outweigh the rewards.

Next week we’ll take a look at the qualities that indicate that private practice may not right for you.

What – in your experience – are the risks and rewards of building your own private practice?! I’d love to read about your experiences in the comment section below!


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