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

The Perfect Fee for Your Private Practice

THE PERFECT FEEWhat should I charge for that?

It’s a question we hear all too often. We could simply answer- $135, $180, $200 – but the question is not about the amount. It’s about so much more. Finding the perfect fee, requires you to dig more deeply.

So let’s get started and figure out the perfect fee for you.

What do you need to charge to sustain your business?

When was the last time you did a cost analysis in your practice? Maybe you haven’t even started your practice yet. Now is the time do some research as to the expenses you will incur. Here is a great blog to get you started.  This isn’t about pulling a number from the sky. Really understanding and taking a look will be empowering. If you feel scared or overwhelmed by numbers, I totally understand because that was me! Get support from an accountant or a financial planner. Once you know your expenses then you can move onto the next question.

What do you need to charge to create a good life for yourself?

A solid business allows you to have a good life. It allows you to take time off when you are sick, want to travel or attend trainings. It does more than just pay the bills. It plans for retirement, charitable giving, and more. So take some time and vision what kind of life you want to have. Take a look at your personal budget, the expenses and the amount of income you want to generate. Let’s say you want to make $100,000. You know you can’t work every day. You want to work 3 days a week seeing 15 clients. You want to take off a total of a month per year. If you charge $140 a session…that will give you that in gross income. Then after business expenses and taxes, you can look at what that means for your net income for your personal life. That’s the funny thing about setting the perfect fee – it’s based on you and your needs too. Thus, it’s not a great idea to compare to everyone else because we all have different needs and dreams for our lives.

What value do you provide through the service?

You can discover that fee but in order for you to hold to that fee, you want to understand what value you provide through your services. Take a look – does what you do matter? How? What have been the outcomes of people you have worked with? Is your fee worth that transformation? Yes! The work that we do as clinicians in some way is priceless because it impacts not only the client but the others who touch their lives. It’s incredible work. Stop, right now, and write down the value of what you do.

What makes you unique in what you do?

And while we could stop at the transformation that your services provide, I want you to dig in a little more to look at what makes you unique. If a client sat in a session with me and then in a session with you, their experiences would be very different. We all have our own styles, approaches, and personalities that influence the work. Holding onto what makes you different from the clinician up the road will also allow you to hold to your perfect fee.


The perfect fee is not just a number derived from a comparative analysis of your peers. It is a fee that is created with intention – taking in your expenses, your life, your vision for your private practice. The perfect fee is one that you can charge with confidence because you know your value and what sets you apart.

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The Perfect Fee for Your Private Practice

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). The Perfect Fee for Your Private Practice. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 9, 2020, from