Does a Therapist in Private Practice Need a Business Consultant?

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Business Consultant working on Private Practice for Mental Healthy Therapist. Image representing a business consultant who helps grow your private practice when you start out. Image used on Practice of the Practice, a site dedicated to helping psychologists grow their private practice or group practices.

“Do I Really Need a Business Consultant as a Private Practitioner?”

When I started out in private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist three years ago, my egotistical self would answer “no” to this question. My belief was that I should be able to manage and figure out my small private practice on my own. I mean really, there’s not that much to manage is there?

A Reality Check

Within a few short months, I realized that I couldn’t do this on my own. I needed to hire a business consultant to have a clear direction and goals for my business. As we all know very well as therapists, there was not a business class offered in our school programs – even though it’d be a good idea moving forward.

We learned how to be a therapist in graduate school, but we didn’t learn how to start or manage a business. Opening a private practice may be one of the least riskiest businesses to start. After all, it doesn’t need a lot of money upfront. Basically, all we need is two chairs and malpractice insurance. However, now with Covid restrictions, we need a private space for both the client and therapist and an electronic device to transmit the session. It doesn’t get much easier than that, or does it?

A Business Consultant Helps Create a Successful Private Practice

I learned very quickly that if I want to have a successful business, I need to hire a business consultant. This would get all of my ducks in order to run my business while also learning how to do it. I had to learn bookkeeping, filing taxes, marketing, and collaborating with other therapists and professionals. In addition to providing therapy to my clients, I also had to provide self-care to myself. I also had to stay current with therapy trends, best practices, and legal and ethical issues. It seemed so easy when I thought about it. Yet, once I started seeing clients, I didn’t have much time left in the day to do anything else for my business – let alone take care of my family. I knew had to make a change and accept the inevitable.

Hiring a Business Consultant was a Life Changer and Saver For Me

Not only did I feel more successful as a business owner, but I also felt more successful as a therapist. I don’t take all of the credit for my success as a business owner. I also give credit to the other professionals I hired to help me have the best business I wanted and envisioned for myself. I’m proud of myself for taking a leap of faith as a business owner to hire a business consultant and broaden my perspective to the bigger picture of success and meaningful outcomes.

Over time, I’ve learned to accept that it’s okay to hire a business consultant to help me have a successful business. It’s also okay and I prefer to hire professionals who do what they do best to help me have a thriving and successful business. It’s what I call a team and I’m the CEO. Let me do what I do best, so I can be the best therapist for my clients while being supported by the people I’ve hired to be the best business professionals they can be. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Lisa Lewis

To read more blog posts by Lisa Lewis, check out Do What You Love, Love What You Do and Mental Health Insurance Benefits: What is the Difference Between Out-Of-Network vs. In-Network Providers which was featured on Practice of the Practice.

Lisa Lewis has gained extensive training in the mind-body connection with three certificates in energy healing, Level 2 Reiki certified, and a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is also part of the Disaster Mental Health Team for the world’s largest volunteer network, the American Red Cross. Lisa is a certified Bereavement Group Facilitator so she has a passion for helping those in need.

Get in touch with Lisa at lisa@lisalewiscounseling.com or call her for a free consult: 626.319.5076