So you want to work at my private practice

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traverse city

Congratulations, you have great taste!

Lately I’ve been thinking about my approach to selecting counselors to join my private practice. Rather than just keep this a secret, I thought that publishing this could serve multiple purposes:

  • It helps future counselors: Counselors in the Traverse City, MI area will know what I look for in people I ask to join my practice.
  • It saves me time: By publishing it, it will save me time to direct graduate students and other counselors to my website.
  • It helps you: If you’re not in the Traverse City area, you’ll see what I look for in building my team.

For the rest of this article, I’m going to write to people that are interested in joining Mental Wellness Counseling as a therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist.

What value do you bring?

A new counselor should add value to the private practice. Here are things that show me that you add value to Mental Wellness Counseling:

  • Your network is growing: You are meeting people that strategically help us to know others. Are you connected to the courts? Did you intern with Munson Hospital? Do you know people that are in our client population?
  • Filling in a gap: Individuals that offer something new to the practice help us to serve different populations. For example, if we have no one serving pre-school parents, I might look for someone that can help grow that area.
  • You’re building knowledge: I don’t know everything, nor will I ever. I want to be surrounded by people that are exploring, innovating, and learning. Things will inevitably change over the course of my career. I want to be able to adapt and change. When I see that in other people, I know they will adapt with me.

Are you teachable?

When I meet someone that wants to join my practice, I want to know that they don’t have everything figured out. Every clinician does not have to be the same, but if you always know the answer, don’t listen to people, and are unresponsive to feedback, it’s going to waste everyone’s time.

I look for people that can show me how they are teachable. In their internships did they seek to understand and grow?

Are you media savvy?

A whole practice of Joe Sanoks’ isn’t going to be good either. I have my own unique skills. But, marketing and growing a business is very reliant on having basic technology skills. Here are some of the basics:

  • Facebook and LinkedIn profile
  • Ability to write blog posts that articulate your niche
  • Business your skills around speaking publically
  • Thinking about how to engage radio, newspaper, and TV to expand your reach

Basics of working for me

I want contractors that:

  • Don’t need too much hand holding and have an independent nature
  • Know that they are primarily responsible for building their case load
  • Seek feedback and ideas when they are not successful
  • Add value to the practice
  • Find ways to innovate
  • Are teachable
  • Are fun to be around and not annoying
  • Can work well in a group environment
  • Are flexible and want to have positive working relationships

Are you still interested?

This is a snapshot of the types of people I have already invited into Mental Wellness Counseling. Each person is unique and continues to add value.

If you’re building your own private practice, do you know what you expect from people joining you?


private practice consultant headshotJoseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joe Sanok is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice that are starting a private practice. He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant.

Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .
Photo by Steven Depolo