respond to the classmate
Describe two considerations for the development of a successful private practice.
One consideration for successfully developing a private practice would be to consider the needs of the community, especially if they fit into a niche category that might not be covered at more generalized clinics. The textbook suggests that one could do this “by talking with social agencies, schools, medical establishments, and other recognized organizations” (p. 383). In doing this, one can avoid opening redundant clinics, or attempting to fill a need that does not exist within the community.
A second consideration for developing a successful private practice would be to involve oneself in the community. The textbook makes it clear that a great way of doing this is to offer pro bono services, and that doing so “not only helps people who may be underserved but also helps people in the community know more about the services offered by the clinician” (p. 384). In some ways, doing this is a marketing technique, in which one can advertise the existence of themselves and their services to a wide variety of individuals.
Identify one advantage and one disadvantage to working in a private practice.
One major advantage of working in a private practice would be the amount of flexibility one can give themselves. This freedom extends to several areas of practice, such as the freedom of being one’s own boss. Additionally, this freedom allows for the therapist to set any type of hours to see clients, and do so in a way that would not be afforded to an individual working in a clinic. Lastly, in private practice, a therapist could really customize exactly what sort of clients they want to see (i.e. only couples, only career coaching, etc.).
On the other hand, one major disadvantage to working in private practice is the need to handle other tasks outside of counseling, such as acquiring an office, handling all of the billing and paperwork, hiring attorneys and accountants, and having emergency contact procedures. This might feel overwhelming to some, and working in a clinical that takes care of a lot of those other components might be a better option for some versus having their own private practice.
Discuss one skill that would be important when working in a private practice.
One skill that would be crucial for successfully working in private practice would be managing the business side of a clinic. This would include things such as marketing the private practice, handling insurance claims, and managing an office space for your practice. Additionally, one would have to almost be an entrepreneur and salesperson, in that the success of the clinic rides of being able to “sell” the value of one’s own private practice when compared to other options. With that in mind, the book describes being in private practice as two-fold, in that “operating a private practice is, in reality, operating a small business” (p. 385). Although we all might not necessarily know a lot about marketing, running a website, or handling billing and paperwork, these are all skills that would have to be worked on in order to successfully operate in a private practice setting.