Congratulations on deciding to take the leap into starting your private therapy practice! It's such an exciting step - and I'm sure you have lots of questions!
Here's what you need to know about making the transition from your full time job to your private counseling practice:
1. Can you go from full time to part time?
If you can go to part time and keep your benefits, that's ideal. It's easier and less likely to have you financially freaked out about losing the income from your day job. If this isn't an option, you can always obtain health insurance and transfer your retirement benefits to an outside account.
2. No, you don't need to get your own office!
I actually recommend against doing this when you're first starting out. Think about it: taking on a 1 year lease at minimum, plus utilities, is a huge risk when you have no clients. How are you going to pay your bills with no clients? My guess is that you'd draw from your personal savings, which isn't ideal. So, ask colleagues if you can rent a few hours while you get started.
3. Don't forget the basics.
Before you start, remember that you need to be fully licensed to have your own practice. You'll also need your own tax ID number, NPI, business bank account, and malpractice insurance.
4. Watch out for non-solicits in your current workplace.
Some places, like medical facilities and schools, may have non-solicits in their legal paperwork. Check yours to find out if you can talk about your new practice with people at work and with the clients/students you serve. If yes, that might be a great referral source. If not, start working on the marketing piece.
5. Network with at least 1 other more experienced therapist who can help show you the ropes.
I did this when I first started and she was invaluable. It's nice to have someone you can ask all the questions to and know they have your back!
If you're looking for more information about how to get started, check out my super affordable e-school, Private Practice on Demand. I'll see you in the course!