PPJ 005: Meet Debby Simmons!

On this episode of the Private Practice Journeys podcast, Debby Simmons, a licensed marriage and family therapist, discusses how she got involved in the helping profession, why she decided to go into private practice and what she did to prepare herself to “take the plunge.” Give it a listen and find out why you’ll want to follow these therapists on their journeys!  https://youtu.be/6vS5GUehL9E

Learning Along the Journey

* Private practice advantages – setting your own hours and being your own boss. You can make a descent living in private practice vs. working for a public agency.

* Preparing for a group practice – going to workshops and talking to people who have established group private practices is important. In addition, becoming a member of a group private practice Facebook community is helpful.

* Interns that work in your practice could potentially join your practice. Also, therapists might want to work for you – and be willing to do a fee-split – because you are paying the overhead (i.e., rent, utilities, etc.) on their behalf so they don’t have to be bothered with the business aspect of private practice and simply do what they love to do. They also benefit because they are not taking as much of a risk as you are as the group owner. Thus, this could be particularly attractive to newly-licensed therapists.

* Thoughts and feelings – it’s easy to doubt yourself when considering making the leap from solo to group private practice, but if you know it’s the right thing and believe in the idea then go for it. There’s risk and fear involved, but if you know it’s the right thing and feel excited about it then it will motivate you to put things into motion.

* Selecting people to be part of group private practice. Debbie is taking a holistic approach to her practice and so people who join her practice need to buy into her philosophy (i.e., holistic approach). Beyond the skill aspect she looks for therapists who are passionate about providing services in a holistic environment and are willing to provide two hours of marketing a month. Debbie is teaching them how to be private practitioners/business people and is serving in a teacher/mentor role, which fulfills her love of teaching.

* Challenges – it’s nice to be your own boss, but as a solo practitioner you’re on your own and it can be isolating. You need to develop a network of people who serve as your professional support system. Getting enough clients to make money to make a living is also important. Finally, paying health insurance premiums can be very expensive.

* Words of wisdom – believe in yourself and in your worth as a therapist. If you have a dream, go for it. Live in the moment – especially when fear and anxiety start creeping into your consciousness.

Stops Along the Journey – Check it Out:

* Debby Simmons’ Psychology Today profile: https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Deborah_A_Simmons_PhD,MFT_Burlingame_California_50309

* Primrose Healing and Wellness: http://primrosehealingandwellness.com/

 

 



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