In this episode of the Practice of Therapy Podcast, Gordon goes solo and talks how to set fees and ways to diversify your private practice. Gordon also discusses how his private practice started as a counseling ministry within his church. Later, Gordon dispels the common myth that experience equals value. We also learn how Gordon sets his fees and some common things to look out for when doing your calculations. Keep in mind how many clients you want to see per week, how much time you want to spend per session, and how long it will take you to do the administrative tasks involved. Lastly, Gordon explains what diversifying your income means and some common ways to generate passive income.
Gordon’s First Practice
Gordon reveals his private practice actually started as a counseling ministry within his church. Part of his profits would go to the church in exchange for having a place to practice. Gordon says his biggest mistake with this model was not charging enough to the clients.
Experience Doesn’t Equal Value
Gordon wants to dispel a widespread myth. Many people believe if they have no experience than they are not considered valuable. Gordon wants to point out that people with a master’s degree or higher are less than ten percent of the population. College degrees add a great deal of value to your resume. Also, imposter syndrome can weigh heavy on a person, but it is essential never to discount yourself.
Gordon suggests thinking about what sort of lifestyle you want. How much time do you want to spend on the job and how much time do you want off? Also, think about what you want to gain out of being self-employed and having your practice. When people work at agencies, they gain a great deal of experience but typically burnout because of high caseloads and little time off.
Start with how many clients you want to see per week. Gordon’s ideal caseload is anywhere from fifteen to twenty clients a week. It would be best if you also considered how much time you want to spend per session and how long it will take you to do the administrative tasks involved. Take what you want to make annually and divide that by 48 weeks (four weeks of time off) to discover how much you need to make per week. You will also need to know what your monthly expenses are (phone, electricity, internet, etc.) and multiply by twelve months. Add this to your desired annual income to discover what you need to make overall. Finally, divide this number by how many sessions per week you want to have to find out what you need to charge per session.
Your fees will also depend on where you are in the country. Gordon points out that his fees in Tennessee will be much lower than someone who is practicing in San Francisco. Also, you can check what other therapists are making in your area by using Psychology Todayto ensure you are charging similar fees to your competition. Also, it is essential to find out what your session fee is if you are working with insurance panels. This number can range from fifty dollars to two-hundred dollars depending on your location and contract. Put your full rate on your insurance claim to reap the benefits of any changes that may be made.
Diversify Your Income
It is so important to diversify your income and create streams of passive income. Passive income is doing things that will generate revenue for yourself after doing the work upfront. Some examples are writing a book, affiliate marketing, and adding clinicians. Hiring clinicians will allow you to benefit from sharing office space financially. Your expenses will go down and therefore you will be able to keep more of your profits.
Gordon also points out that groups give you more bang for your buck because you have more than one client in the same sessions. Also, Gordon says you can look into having intensives to diversify your income. You can do a day-long session and get a lot more money for your time. Lastly, courses will also allow you to create passive income. Gordon points out that he uses courses to diversify his income.
- Insurance Credentialing and Billing for Mental Health Clinicians
- The Practice of Therapy Facebook Page
- The Practice of Therapy Community
- Practice Solutions
- Psychology Today
- Settings Fees and Session Rates in Private Practice
- Smart Passive Income
- How to Diversify Your Income for Private Practice Success
Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook.