Since 2011, I worked as a counselor in higher level of care agencies. A ton professional growth occurred during those years. I taught clients how to effectively cope, apply therapeutic strategies, and believe in their own strengths.
Days ranged from 8 to 16 hours long. One agency didn’t allow for breaks, I would literally work for 16 hours straight while working with a group of four to eight clients.
One month, I took an overnight shift. I battled insomnia due to the crazy shift hours. The insomnia followed me for the next two years after deciding that I was finish working at agencies.
It wasn’t the clients that drove me out, my clients were wonderful, it was how poorly the agencies treated their staff. 100%. What I learned during those times, working with supervisors and clients, still helps me to this day. And I beat the insomnia.
Around the end of 2019, I felt the desire to go into outpatient private practice. My husband and I moved, so it was good timing to make a shift in where I practiced. Outpatient private practice would be a completely different experience and slower pace as far as working with people.
I was interested in the business side, as well. For almost an entire year, I researched how to properly set up the independent contractor and business details, then chipped away at putting the pieces into action.
I was also pregnant, so there was no hurry during this process. With the bare bones in place, I began my private practice.
The business didn’t start out as teletherapy. I shared an office with another counselor and saw people in-office. That was alright, but I wasn’t happy with a few of the business aspects that weren’t within my control, nothing counseling related. It felt off. I didn’t feel like I was supposed to be there.
In the back of my mind, I was thinking about teletherapy, but I didn’t believe that it could be as secure as in-office and wondered about some ethical aspects. I had a lot of questions.
Back while I was researching how to set up the business, teletherapy came up, but I had too many concerns about doing harm or something going wrong. So, I didn’t go there.
Well, Coronavirus struck and the nation went into lockdown. Our office was open because we were essential workers. Coronavirus was my sign to leap into teletherapy.
I took a 12.5 hour course on properly running a teletherapy private practice and did more research. No one was inquiring about in-person services due to the lockdown. I jumped ship and into the new waters, I swam.
As everything fell into place, it was rewarding on many levels, personally and professionally.
Of course, I was setting everything up from scratch, doing it the hard way to save money because I was just starting out. I created my own documents, made sure everything was HIPAA compliant, secure, and private, and used as much free software as I needed. It ran like clockwork. How about that?!
I completed continuing education and became certified in telemental health and in treating anxiety. My business grew and remained steady throughout 2020.
With my heart full, I wanted to upgrade my business and give more to my clients. I researched practice management software and EHR software, comparing all of the platforms, perks, ease of use, and which one would be the best fit for myself and my clients. I went with SimplePractice because it was intuitive and had a great client portal.
The free trial was handy, I picked through everything that SimplePractice offers and learned about it. When it came to getting the system and paperwork to align with what I already had set up, it was a bit overwhelming and difficult.
SimplePractice has good “how to” videos and I was getting daily emails from them to make sure things were going well. After fiddling around during that free period, my business was operating on SimplePractice. I felt so happy!
My small private practice has come a long way, as it started from scratch and now uses a fancy EHR. There’s a lot to be proud of and grateful for in this journey of business ownership. The practice has been fruitful. I look forward to meeting and helping people in the years to come.
SimplePractice for mental health professionals
Use this link below to try out SimplePractice, and when you’re ready to sign up for a paid account, receive a $50 discount.
Visit these articles to learn more about me
Subscribe and follow for more valuable mental health resources
Are you interested in joining me in my mission?
One of my many goals is to increase mental health awareness, the availability of free resources, and the access to services.
If you value my free mental health content it would mean a lot to me if you would like, share, or Buy Me a Coffee. This helps people find my free content and allows me to continue providing free content.
Thank you so much for your support.