Starting and running a therapy private practice can feel overwhelming at times. With so many unknowns, it is natural to question ourselves as we embark on something so new. Here are 4 questions that all private practice owners move through.
Am I Charging the Right Fee?
There is a WIDE range of opinions about therapy fees. To further muck up the matter, the mental health field chronically overworks and underpays therapists. This can leave new private practice owners setting fees at rates far lower than what they need to sustain their business and personal life. I’ve written multiple essays about how therapists can select a fee that is right for them, including But I Feel Guilty Charging $75/hr” Moving From Angst to Intentional Choice with Our Therapy Fees and Please Stop Basing Your Therapy Fee on the Market.
What if I Accidentally Do Something Wrong?
When you are a private practice owner, you have to OWN all of your decisions. That means all of your paperwork, policies, standards and more are hinged on you. It’s a lot of responsibility. Furthermore, the mental health field teaches us to police ourselves and strive for perfect ethics. The truth is, there’s not always a clear right and wrong. Furthermore, we will make mistakes. Owning a private practice means accepting that we will make mistakes AND we can handle them when they do happen. I explore this more in my essay What if I’m Doing Something Wrong.
Am I a Good Enough Therapist?
It’s natural to question our abilities as therapists. Many therapists struggle with imposter syndrome and wondering if they’re “good enough.” People come to us for help and we want to help them. Developing confidence as a therapist and business owner takes time and experience. It also takes owning what we don’t know, accepting our limitations, and educating ourselves on things we want to know. It can also mean facing our own limiting self-beliefs. This is one of the reasons I feel that therapists need their own therapists.
Do My Needs Matter?
Okay, I’ll admit that therapists may not ask themselves this question directly, but it is certainly the question BENEATH many other questions. As therapists, we are taught to serve and help others. We often sacrifice our well-being in this pursuit. Running a private practice can be extremely demanding if we structure our private practice to solely serve others. We can quickly feel depleted, burnt out, and like we’re running on fumes (both emotionally and financially). The answer is to center your needs as a therapist. Once you have your needs fully met, then you can help and serve others in far more ways than you ever imagined possible. I explore this more in my essays Do My Needs Matter as a Therapist and Escaping the Invisible Therapist Myth.
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