Not everyone who goes to school for Psychology can open a private practice. Keep reading for 7 key tips for starting a private practice in Psychology.
You’ve been training for this moment since you graduated with your bachelor’s degree in psychology. You’ve got all the licenses you need and now it’s time to open up your own private practice.
All you have to do now is find a building, hire top-notch staff, get your website up, and build up your client base to ensure that you’re successful. You barely know how to complete step one of this process. Maybe we can help you out a little.
To help you get your business off the ground, here is a quick step by step guide on starting a private practice in psychology.
Decide What Your Specialty Will Be
Before you decide on and buy your building it helps to know what branch of psychology you would like to specialize in. This is something that you probably decided in school but not everyone does. The best thing to do would be to first look around at other psychologists in the area to see what they are doing.
If nobody in the area is specializing in children, for example, and your expertise allows it, this is something that you could do.
Ask a Mentor
If you’re really unsure of what direction to take your practice in, you can find a psychologist in your area that’s started their own practice and ask for pointers. If you’re uncomfortable asking a random psychologist in your area you can always go to a different source.
Old college professors, colleagues, or advisers that have started their own practice or went through the process at some point are prime candidates for questions.
Location and Building Type
Going off our children’s practice example, you now have something to go on when it comes to your building type and your location. Since you’ll be seeing children you’ll need to buy a building that’s around the suburbs. You also want it to be near bus stops so it’s easy to get to.
Children obviously won’t be coming to the practice without their parents so you’ll have to have a waiting room area that’s big enough for a bunch of people to use at one time. The interior of this waiting room should also give off child-like vibes so the kids will be comfortable being there.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy a building at all. If your home is large and has a big open room, you can use that a treatment area.
You’ll be able to get many more clients if you accept insurance at your practice. Few people can afford psychology services right out of pocket. That being said, you’ll have to get up to date on all insurance billing information.
Look around at popular insurance companies in your area and make arrangements to cover their clients. Call them up directly because you’ll need to set up billing protocols.
Hire Your Staff
Now that you have a building and you’re all set up to take people’s insurance, you can hire on staff. While you could very well handle all the billing, making appointments, and records, you don’t want to do all that and take clients at the same time.
Hire on a few extra administrative staff members to handle all the paperwork while you worry about the medical side of things.
Create Your Website
It will be hard to get clients if they don’t know your practice exists. The first step in getting your name out there is building a website. The first thing you should have is your mission statement and descriptions about the services you offer.
Then you need to have a little information about you on the site for introductory purposes. It will help clients decide if you would be a good fit for them or not. Another way to let people know if your practice is right for them is to show examples of what a typical therapy session is like.
People like knowing what they’ll be spending up front so don’t be hesitant to put your rates up. Clients also don’t like wasting time by calling to ask if you take their insurance. Consider creating a quick list of the ones that you take.
We know that this sounds like a lot. If you don’t have experience with making a website consider dipping into your funds to hire a company or freelancer to create it for you.
Build a Client Base
As much as you would like to, you shouldn’t wait around for clients to come to your doorstep. Introduce yourself by doing talks at community centers and schools in your area.
Go around to companies and ask if you can leave your business cards so they can give them out to people who may be interested. Sponsor a school sports team or play to get your practice in the pamphlets.
Consider talking to other psychologists in the area who specializes in a different branch than you. See if they can send a few of their clients your way.
Steps for Starting a Private Practice in Psychology
You’ve got your diploma in hand and all the licenses you need to open a private psychology business. The problem now is figuring out how to get started. We hope that you’re able to use these steps for starting a private practice in psychology to get yours up and ready in no time flat.
Getting your practice open is half the battle. Now you have to figure out how to actually run it. Look through our blog for more pointers like the ones in this article.