I’ve been in this business long enough to know that therapists’ practices all over the world dip in the summer months.

Clients go on vacations, many of them feel better with the warm weather, and, in general, clients want to spend more time outside and less time in therapy.

However, just because client loads tend to drop during the summer, it doesn’t mean your profits have to drop at all. If you plan appropriately you can easily keep the money coming in and your numbers up during this season.

Here are 7 strategies to help you maintain your profits so you can stay ahead of the weather:

1. Groups: If you like to run groups or you think running groups would fulfill you in some way, it’s an excellent way to offer a really helpful service for people and earn a lot of money in return. Groups attract a different type of client. They are intrigued by the notion of working with others, receiving support and challenge from more than one person, and typically are eager to make changes in their lives. Consider running groups on addiction, relationship issues, adolescence, parenting support, eating disorders, or any speciality you feel confident in. 

2. Workshops: Therapists often don’t think of themselves as workshop facilitators. However, once therapists try this format, they often love being in front of a medium to large sized group teaching what they know. You can offer workshops on just about anything relevant to mental health, wellness, and personal growth. If you’ve never run a workshop, I suggest starting with a two-day weekend model. If you can get 10 participants on a subject matter you feel really comfortable with, you’ll feel that much more prepared. Workshops are an excellent way to keep the revenue flowing during the summer, while teaching what you love.

3. Supervision: Are you a supervisor? Have you considered taking on new supervises? When I chose to supervise therapists, I found it very rewarding to mentor other professionals in this way. Also, it’s an excellent way to subsidize your income, especially, during the summer. Therapists still need supervisors even if their caseloads drop. Put yourself out there to more therapists and bump up your supervisee caseload. 

4. Presentations: Many mental health organizations budget for outside presenters to teach on relevant material to the populations they serve. Put together an awesome presentation, spend a small amount of money on a brochure or some other form of marketing material, and secure a few presentations for over the summer. It will boost your earnings and keep you active.

5. Teach a University Course: You can teach a psychology class at your local university or if there isn’t an opportunity in your community contact an online university. Back in the day, I taught almost four classes a year. I loved it. It brought in another revenue stream, but, more importantly, I got to share my knowledge and expertise with students. It also helps in the long run to get yourself known in the community.

6. Training: Are you able to train other therapists in a specific modality? The summer is an excellent time to offer a training for therapists where they can receive continuing education units for licensure. It’s not actually difficult to create a training that is CEU certified and since therapists are required to take it, it’s both fruitful and typically a big money maker.

7. Get More Clients: Well this one might seem obvious. But interestingly to many therapists it’s not. The summertime is a great season to strengthen existing referral sources by going out to lunches, building bridges for new networks, and putting yourself out to your community with talks, blogs, lots of images on instagram, and whatever else keeps your practice exposed. If you put in more of a marketing effort during the big dip in August when client’s go on vacation, you can increase your new client pool and over health of your practice.

I’ve heard too many times from therapists that the summer is just a time you’re going to struggle more as a therapist and you need to prepare for the lull.

I always had a very different attitude about my business.

I simply focused on other avenues of my work that I enjoyed and the summer was an incredibly fruitful time where I was able to expand my services as a professional while keeping my income completely steady throughout the entire year.

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.