When we start our private practices we typically think in terms of how much time we need for our sessions. “I want to see 5 clients to start over the course of 3 evenings.” Yet, we need more than 5 hours per week to kick start our private practices.
Consider..how much time does a session take?
You have heard and know well of the standard 45 to 50 minute session. In theory you tack on another 10 minutes for documentation and you have your therapeutic hour.
But there is a lot more time that goes into your session than that hour.
Here are some other factors to consider:
- Research – You read and research on the issues presented in your sessions.
- Training – You spend time attending trainings not just to get CEUs but to grow as a clinician.
- Consultation – You also reach out to experts in our field for support and guidance in our work.
- Marketing – You foster relationships to expand your reach into the world. For every client, how many hours did you spend on marketing?
- Business Management – Beyond your marketing you need time to review your plan, financials and other tasks in running the business.
So when you sit down to look at how many hours you plan to work in your private practice, make sure you have these other factors scheduled in.
Why is this important?
You want to be intentional about your clinical growth. We can easily be too weighted on our business building that we forget to do more with our clinical advancement.
Knowing how much time you will actually spend in your practice will impact your decision for your fee. No longer are you making $150 per hour but instead it might come out to $75 per hour based on the additional time spent outside of the therapy room.
You also want to pace your growth in your private practice. Having balance in your schedule means you have energy for the long journey in building your business.
Here are a few tips to plan your schedule.
If it isn’t written it won’t exist. Schedule your trainings for the year and choose how you will get consultation, whether in a group or individually. Also plan a day a month to read and do research. Marketing and business management should be a weekly scheduled activity. When you know you have time planned you are able to stay focused on the tasks at hand.
How about you?
How much time have you spent in your private practice? Share below!