Most if not all of us have considered the idea of opening a private practice along our career journey. Some of us have decided opening a private practice is the path we want to take, while others have decided to venture in other directions. Building a trauma-specific private practice can be rewarding but it also takes intentionality. I will discuss five keys to consider on your journey.
My Personal Journey Building A Trauma Specific Private Practice
I knew early in my career that I wanted to specialize in trauma treatment. I also started my first private practice not too long after graduating. I graduated from Kansas State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program. In Kansas, at that time, you could practice under supervision independently while earning your post-graduate hours towards licensure. I could also bill Medicaid directly as a Limited Licenses Marriage and Family Therapist. These were the exact ingredients I needed to “cook up” a fabulous private practice.
As time has continued, I have started a second private practice in another state. I am learning that the same things that were key years ago while starting that practice are still key today.
5 Keys To Consider
Consider these five keys to building a successful trauma-specific private practice.
# 1 Connection: Creating or joining a community of like-minded professionals within your local community is essential to being a successful private practitioner in trauma treatment. Not only can it provide a consistent flow of referrals to help financially keep the lights on, but connections can be a great source of support for you as a professional. Having a network of professionals who understand your passion and the complexity that goes into to treating a client with trauma is vital. Check out my blog on networking here to help you build connections.
#2 Social Media Presence: Some of us live in rural areas, or maybe we live in more urban communities but still find it hard to connect with like-minded individuals. Social media can be a great tool to use to make those connections. If you are not a member yet check out online free community here. It is a great group to connect with other trauma therapists.
Social media is also an excellent avenue to advertise your services, it helps your clients connect with you and learn a little more about you. I would recommend picking two social media channels as your primary avenues and mastering those.
#3 Niching Within A Niche: The more specific you can be the easier it is for you to speak to your ideal client through your marketing efforts. It also makes it easier for them to find you among sometimes a vast number of choices. Check out my blog post on narrowing your niche here.
4# Be Ready to Say No: Being willing to say no to clients that don’t fit your ideal client type is important. It takes a lot of energy to treat a disorder that is not within your niche. Making the call to refer a client to another colleague better suited to them allows you to be available for the clients that fit within your niche.
5# Specialize Training: Having specialized training helps you to be better equipped to treat your ideal client. It also makes you more marketable as a private practitioner. I often have clients referred to me or specifically reaching out to me due to a training or a credential I hold. A good way to narrow down the list of training you can take is to identify if you are a top down or bottom up trauma treatment therapist. Then pick different training that helps you build your toolbox to treat clients in the way that feels best to you. Keep your eyes peeled, in the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing a quiz designed to help you identify if you are a top down or bottom up trauma treatment therapist.
Building a trauma-specific private practice can be a rewarding experience with several stressful moments throughout. Having some foundational things to consider and focus on can help keep you moving forward in building a practice that is successful. Developing connections, having a social media presence, narrowing your niche, knowing when to refer out, and acquiring specialized training are the five keys that I would encourage you to consider as you grow your trauma-specific private practice.
What would be the sixth key to consider if you could add one to this list?