How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know


become psychology

This blog was written by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Supervisor & Therapist, Vice-Chair Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy.

A workshop for psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors.

March 11th will mark the twenty third run of my workshop on setting up in private practice.  I first ran this workshop in 2015 and I have been consistently encouraged by the positive feedback I receive each time.  It has been a pleasure to meet so many bright and enthusiastic therapists who are making the switch into private practice.  Last year, for the first time, I ran the workshop as a fully interactive webinar on zoom which was a success, and I continue to run these on Saturdays at regular intervals.

So, what does it take to run a successful private practice and what do I cover during the workshop?  Well, it goes without saying that you need a successful marketing plan and the afternoon session is devoted entirely to this.  But it also needs more than that: you need to be good at self-management and crucially build reliable supportive working relationships with other colleagues to avoid what I think is one of the biggest challenges in private practice: avoiding isolation.

Moreover, I bring my perspective as a CAT therapist to the workshop to help you reflect upon helpful ways of relating to yourself and your clients, and get you thinking about how commercial pressures can add another layer to the pressures you may experience as a therapist.  I have learnt for example through past mistakes that whilst its natural to want to try to please your clients and do a good job, this can get in the way of setting boundaries about cancellations or therapy interfering behaviours if you are unduly worried about losing a client for financial reasons.

Furthermore, I facilitate reflection on your confidence levels as therapists and any “therapist blocks” you may have because in private practice they may relate to the extent to which you feel able to address enactments with clients and approach marketing.  Participants have found the confidence building strategies useful during the day to help them identify their own blocks and focus on their professional strengths when it comes to the marketing exercises.

Of course, the workshop covers all the other essentials needed to get going including GDPR, formulating and managing risk in private practice, online therapy essentials, and how to maintain ethical standards and practice.

I have had my fair share of setbacks and mistakes during my eight years in private practice and what I have learnt from these I bring to the workshop content so that hopefully you will not at least make the same ones I did!  I would encourage you to book as I am sure like previous participants you will find the day highly rewarding and useful for your private practice ambitions.
The next workshops are Manchester Monday 11th March, online Saturday 16th March, and London Tuesday 30th April.