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Specializing Your Practice

Specializing your practice to focus on one or two diagnosis classifications can help to set you apart from your peers. It also allows you to narrow down the field of CEU training offerings and stay up to date on the latest research and techniques for treatment of these diagnoses. Many clients will choose treatment for a particular challenge from a specialist as opposed to a general practitioner. Consider these points as you think about specializing your practice

What populations do you enjoy working with?Which populations are you most effective with?Do you have a passion for treating one classification of clients?Where will you refer clients that are outside of your scope of practice (remember to offer clients with several referral sources)Is there a missing niche in the market that needs to be filled with specialized services?

Customer Service

Customer service is an important aspect of all businesses. In private practice, you will experience customer satisfaction and complaints. Customer complaints are best handled promptly and efficiently. Take immediate corrective action with disgruntled clients to prevent an escalation. Address the compliant head on and tell the customer how you are going to solve the problem, correct the issue or make a refund, etc and then follow up with the customer that correction action has been taken. Be sure to accept responsibility when appropriate and be mindful that you are moving toward solving the problem.

Time Management

Time management in private practice is more flexible then in agency or school settings but it is not without structure. In private practice, there is a 15- 20% cancellation rate each week. So this means if you want a full schedule, plan on booking 15-20% more clients then you wan to see. Know that some days the cancellation rate will be higher and others lower. You can then use the time from cancellations to complete progress notes, treatment planning, return phone calls, etc.

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

Continuing education credits are required to maintain your mental health license (LCSW, LPC, and LMFT). Consider using your mandated CEUs to specialize in the populations you want to serve. This approach will speed you along your path of specialization and allows you to complete your renewal requirements. In Wyoming, clinicians currently need 45 continuing education hours for every two years this typically renews on their birthday. There are many ways to earn the credits you need without breaking the bank.


Local trainings offered by companies such as PESIOnline training many offer unlimited CEUs for a fixed priceWebinarsNational conferences Travel to trainings offered in other cities (tax deduction for private practices)

Getting Licensed in Wyoming

Depending on your graduate school specialty area, you can find Wyoming mental health provider application materials and requirements on the following websites:

For bachelor or master level social workers, licensed professional counselors and psychotherapists, marriage and family therapists, you can obtain the needed application forms from the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board at http://mentalhealth.wyo.gov/

For doctoral level psychologists, school psychologists, post-doctoral psychology interns, and specialists in school psychology, you  can visit the Wyoming Board of Psychology at http://psychology.wyo.gov/

School psychologists or Specialists in school psychology who wish to pursue a license as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) should contact the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board at http://mentalhealth.wyo.gov/

Networking with Other Professionals

Networking with professionals in your community helps you to stay connected to potential referral sources as well as become an active member of the professional community. Getting out and talking to others as you become the face of your business will assist in confidence building for referral sources. Remember when networking to be social, friendly and approachable as you are constantly representing your company. There are several ways to begin networking with others immediately while others take time to develop. Allow community partners to begin associating the name of your business with trust, positivity and advocacy.  Various opportunities to network include
Volunteering for Causes- Special Olympics, Homeless ShelterJoining Kiwanis, Rotary or the Red Carpet Committee via the Chamber of CommerceSponsor a youth T-ball team or bowling teamAttend lunch workshops offered by other community membersHost an Open House at your business and invite other professionals in the areaOffer lunch m…