You're contemplating leaving your day job to start a private practice. There are a lot of different options for courses, coaching, and groups out there to help you get started. You're thinking about the timing for all of this and not sure when the best time is to get started.
Here are some reasons why starting to form your private therapy practice over the summer is a great idea:
Clients typically take more time off over the summer for camp and traveling. Many practices report that the number of client sessions held per week decreases slightly (or more if you're seeing kids and teens). As a result, income drops. Starting a counseling or therapy practice over the summer gives you time to get organized so that you are ready to go when the referral rush comes in during the fall.
If you work at a school, you likely have the summer off. You'll have a more fresh perspective without the stressors of being in school and have more time to focus on starting a private counseling or therapy practice. You won't have to worry about learning how to start your therapy practice after hours or on weekends if you have more time over the summer.
Prospective clients often wait to see if the presenting issues will get better over the summer. When they do reach out to schedule, they're often more motivated to work on issues and, as a result, will be more consistent in therapy. Now, that doesn't mean that you don't have to work on your own client retention, just know that the client motivation is often higher in the fall than in the summer. This is particularly true in working with kids.
Similarly, some prospective clients will want to work on issues over the summer before the fall starts so that they can start the school year or busy season in a better headspace. As a result you'll be able to get some solid referrals over the summer to acclimate yourself with being in private practice before the fall rush hits.
You have time to start building your networking list and schedule meetings for late summer/early fall. To my points above, you'll want to get your name out there when the demand is high. You'll want to make sure your referral sources know and have the confidence in your work to refer to you when their patients and clients need referrals.
Ready to get started? Reach out to me to learn more about first steps, how to pick my brain, or get guidance on your first steps!