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Private Practice vs. Group Practice vs. Agency Work

In the past two years as a practicing therapist, I have worked in a mental health agency, began and ended my own private practice and joined a group practice. I did not graduate school knowing exactly what I wanted to do other than to work as a therapist with clients. I chose to stay at the mental health agency I interned at because I felt I had so much more to learn and loved the team of people I was working with.

After doing mental health agency for 6 months and still working as a server on the weekends to ensure I could pay for my student loan payment each month, I realized it was time to consider private practice and let that supplement my server role. I jumped right in and was up and running within one month. It took a lot of patience, a lot of work fighting with imposter syndrome, and a lot of courage to pursue this.

During opening and running my private practice, I was participating in a lot of networking connecting with other therapists to build relationships and hopefully get referrals from. I met two women who had a specific niche that was intriguing and I wanted to learn from them how they became successful in private practice. We networked, they encouraged me, and I felt excited to continue my therapy career journey.

A month after meeting those two women they offered me a job joining their group practice and it felt like divine intervention. I was excited to learn from them and become trained in a very focused area. I accepted the position, negotiated for a part-time position at the agency and prepared to close my private practice at the end of December 2018. As life goes, things do not tend to go according to plan. I closed my private practice in September 2018 due to my building being sold that I was working in. The group practice took much longer to fill up than expected and I still felt loss trying to figure out what I really wanted to do.

Luckily, I am surrounded by individuals who encouraged me daily and help me feel grounded in my dreams. I learned even more patience and how to trust myself. I am now moving into full-time group practice which means leaving the agency and leaning even more into trusting everything will work out.

I have learned an immense amount of the benefits and deficits of each of these therapy areas and wanted to create a training to provide to recent or soon-to-be graduates. Instead of having you pay for the training, I am going to list the training in a four part series right here. Keep in mind I am a practicing therapist in Washington State. If you are visiting this blog from a different state, you may not be able to build a private practice or join a group practice right after graduating. Look into what your state allows before taking the leap into one of these areas.

Come back next week to join me as I guide you through a mindful activity to help process your ideal role as a therapist.

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