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Keys to Starting your Private Practice



If you have ever dreamed of starting your own successful mental health practice, you are not alone. Many clinicians have taken the leap and started seeing private clients with varying degrees of success.  This begs the question:


How can I succeed in a new private practice?

Equality Connections in Cheyenne, Wyoming helps clinicians of many experience levels realize this dream and we have found some key areas that clinicians need to consider when they start a new practice.
  • Survive the cash flow challenge
  • Accountants, lawyers and financial advisors, Oh My!
  • Business licenses
  • State rules and regulations
  • Obtaining certification 
  • Choosing office space
  • Business insurance 
  • Getting your name into the community
  • Letting people know you are taking new referrals
  • Scheduling clients
  • Billing considerations
  • Ongoing advertising for small practices
  • State tax payments
  • Federal tax payment
  • Retaining clients
Over the next several blog entries, I will be giving you valuable information about the above categories as you start a private practice. 

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Surviving the cash flow challenge

As you begin setting up your private practice, it is important to remain realistic about the time it takes to become fully operational. Typically new practitioners will need  6 months to 2 years to establish their own practice. The difference in set up time will vary with how many referral sources you acquire and how much marketing is completed.  Here are three basic rules to help you get started.

Rule #1: Don't quit your day job
Start seeing private clients after hours from your current job. If there is a non-compete contract in place at your agency, try to negotiate different terms possibly by seeing clientele that varies in diagnosis from clients served in your current agency. You may need to consult an attorney if you cannot negotiate new terms to the non-compete agreement. Many states will only enforce trademark or proprietary information sharing and not actual work restrictions. Meeting with a few clients a week in the beginning will allow you to sample private practice and …

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)