How to build my private counseling practice

Written by matthew schieltz
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Starting a private counselling practice may be the easy part as all you need is an office location and appropriate decorations. Building your private practice takes time as the local community needs to know that you are a reputable and trustworthy counsellor. Advertising dollars spent on local radio advertisements and other media may be well spent, but more meaningful marketing comes from word-of-mouth endorsements from existing clients and even primary care physicians.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Counselling license

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  1. 1

    Advertise your private counselling practice in your community. Write a press release for the local newspapers or ask to have an article written about your counselling practice. List your practice in the Yellow Pages so potential clients can find you when they need your services.

  2. 2

    Accept as many insurance plans and companies as possible. Using a variety of health insurance plans makes you more available to those for whom you would normally be "out of network."

  3. 3

    Develop a partnership with other local colleagues who operate private practices or local mental health centres. Negotiate an agreement through which other counsellors will recommend you for clients that want to seek a second opinion. Make sure people know your areas of expertise so that you may be recommended for those specific types of clients.

  4. 4

    Use online advertising to make people aware of your name and services in the counselling field. Create a website that showcases your services. Write information about yourself, specific academic degrees and certifications so that potential clients can see your background. Sign up for Facebook to create a "Fan" page for your counselling practice. Join in discussions on Facebook and Twitter. Offer insightful information to people trying to find a counsellor for help.

  5. 5

    Ask the local newspaper for a weekly column or if and when "guests" might be published. Develop a column that offers helpful information about the field of counselling and issues that people may be dealing with in their personal lives---marital relationships, for example, or other family issues. Your helpful information may attract potential clients who need to find a counsellor.

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