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Private Practice Kickstart
with Miranda Palmer, LMFT
& Kelly Higdon, LMFT

Is This Innocent Mistake Keeping Your Clients From Calling?

In this guest post, Keri Nola shares about building your practice from the inside out. 

By: Keri Nola, Psychotherapist & Founder of the Design Your Ideal Practice Academy

I remember the feeling of being a new private practitioner. I was filled with excitement and passion, ready to have my Private Practice Kickstart Guest Post Keri Nolacalendar full of amazing clients on my fabulous couch, in my cozy office knowing I had a special part in holding space for their healing. I crossed every “T” and dotted every “I,” got myself listed in all the best therapist directories, went to networking meetings, spent hours writing and designing my website and business cards and then I waited.

I got a few calls here and there, but they were inconsistent and not from my ideal clients. At this rate, I definitely wouldn’t be able to pay my bills and live the life I wanted, which was why I went into private practice in the first place—to make a living doing the work I loved.

I was frustrated, scared and beginning to second guess myself. Was private practice really for me?

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

It’s a scenario common for many of us therapists.

At this point on my journey, I got curious and began digging deeper to discover how I was keeping myself from building the practice I wanted.  After a lot of trial and error and finally engaging the support of a mentor and coach, I came to understand an innocent mistake that was sabotaging my success. I’m happy to report that over the past decade since reversing this mistake and supporting hundreds of other therapists in making this shift as well, I have maintained a profitable and rewarding practice that has afforded me the time and resources to live a life I love. Today I want to share this empowering discovery with you. Shifting this innocent mistake in my business has been the single most important lifeline to the growth and expansion of my successful practice.

Are you busy building external structures without internal vision and clarity?

My big discovery and success emerged when I realized that all of the focus I was putting outside of myself on “logistics” and “practical structures” was a BIG mistake. What I want you to know is that action without a vision is like a misguided arrow. You might get lucky with a bullseye every now and then, but it will be inconsistent and possibly even dangerous.  Don’t get me wrong, logistics in practice building are important. Of course you need a space and business cards and a website and the appropriate licensing and liability insurance and the many other practical aspects that go into a successful business.

But here’s the thing: all of these logistics are irrelevant if you don’t have any clients. I see so many incredible clinicians launch into logistics and building the external structure of their practices before they have created the solid inner foundation of their vision that allows them to become a magnet for their ideal clients. A willingness to go inward and clarify your vision BEFORE hustling with the external is what aligns you with the vibration of what you want to create and without it, you cannot consistently welcome a flow of clients into your practice.  I have watched too many practices weeble, wobble and crumble for this very reason and I want you to know that this is a preventable problem. With a few simple tweaks in perspective and action, this pattern can be shifted with ease.

Here’s how to turn this mistake around to make a living and a difference doing the work you love:

Work from the INSIDE, out. Pause, breathe, envision the practice of your dreams. It’s ok if you don’t know the “how” yet. Do you know how the chef prepares your delicious dinner at a fancy restaurant? Probably not, but yet that doesn’t keep you from ordering it, does it? Place your order with the universe, get crystal clear on what you want. Let yourself be specific. How many clients do you want a week? How much money do you want to make? Who is your ideal client? Use affirmations, meditation, prayer, journaling, art, whichever medium you prefer to get present within yourself. Notice your resistance to clarity of vision, bring compassion to your fears and give yourself permission to dream. Create a supportive network of colleagues who can witness your vision. Meet regularly and dream together, hold space for one another’s ideal practice vision without the need to plan or know “how.” Once these pieces are in place. THEN it’s time to take inspired action. I’m serious. This isn’t “woo-woo” weirdness, this is science about the ways our thoughts effect our reality. When you take premature action, you are most likely to sabotage yourself by letting fear, doubt, and the low vibration of unclear energy to drive the bus of your business right off the road.  You’re worthy of the clarity that will allow you to move forward so you can share your gifts with the world! Your clients are waiting for you…

Are you willing to give yourself permission to go within and get clarity?

Keri Nola
Keri Nola

Keri Nola is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Founder of the Design Your Ideal Practice Coaching Academy, a virtual community where she supports therapists and healing entrepreneurs in building their profitable and rewarding practices. Keri’s intention is to create a heart centered practice building revolution that gives healers all over the world the mindset shifts and tools they need to make a living and a difference doing the work they love. Grab her 3 marketing secrets at





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Is This Innocent Mistake Keeping Your Clients From Calling?

Kelly Higdon, LMFT

Kelly Higdon, LMFT is a private practice expert that believes therapists are some of the most important healers in the world. She teaches therapists how to grow successful businesses from scratch and to move beyond the couch with multiple streams of income. Get to know Kelly better through her free private practice marketing trainings, the Business School Bootcamp for therapists, or through private practice consultation.


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APA Reference
Higdon, K. (2019). Is This Innocent Mistake Keeping Your Clients From Calling?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 24, 2020, from