Are you considering transitioning to a full-time practice, but don’t know how to do it?

The end of the summer is here and it’s the perfect time of year to make that transition.

Students are returning back to school and require more therapeutic resources.

Clients often take a break in the summer from therapy while on vacation. Now that they’ve returned to work they’re often looking for a therapist to support them in the daily grind.

Seasonal mood disorders get triggered in the next couple of months and lots of people need more care to help them through this period.

That’s where you come in.

If you’ve been wanting to transition to a full-time practice, it’s the perfect time to do it with all of these new clients needing effective healers out there to support them in their time of need.

But you’re probably wondering how to actually make the transition into a full-time practice.  Whether you’re working a job or just out of school, the transition often feels scary, intimidating, exciting and mysterious.

I’ve discovered that there are three common issues therapists face in order to have a successful transition to a full-time caseload.

You will likely find yourself dealing with one or all of these areas:

  1. Mindset
  2. Finances
  3. Marketing


Mindset is one of the hardest and most overlooked aspects of the transition to a successful full-time practice.

Let me repeat that. Mindset is one of the hardest and most overlooked aspects of the transition to a successful full-time practice.

There are so many limiting core beliefs that can keep you in your current position and stop you from ever achieving a full-time practice. These limiting beliefs create what I call a “stuck mindset” which keeps you feeling safe and secure in your job, but always wrestling with a vision for serving as a private practitioner.

Just a few examples of these messages include:

There’s not enough money in private practice.

How will I afford health insurance.

I’m not good at business.

I like a steady paycheck. But I’m tired of working for other people.

Successful private practice therapists are able to move from a “stuck mindset” to what I like to call “right mindset.” Having a right mindset isn’t a matter of moral code. It’s about learning how to always orient your mind toward achieving your vision, expansion, receiving more clients, and trust. “Right mindset” is your most powerful tool, because it sets the intention to truly make the transition into private practice.


Money can be one of the most anxiety producing problems faced by therapists trying to make the transition into private practice. The most common issue is not having enough of it to last during the early months of leaving your job and entering a full-time practice.

Never relate to money reactively. If you are always waiting and reacting to financial situations when they arrive you will always feel like money is in charge of your life. This is a very difficult way to build a private practice. You will feel as if you’re always behind in your efforts.

Always relate to your finances in a proactive way. What does this look like? Anticipate to the best of your ability how much money you will need to transition during the first few months. Change your lifestyle for some period of time to reduce your expenses during the transition. Use a budget for your new practice so you’re spending strategically.

A proactive relationship to money will completely change your experience during the transition. It also sets the stage for a healthy relationship to your small business enterprise. Once you’re able to do this, the clients will follow. You will have more internal and external resources to devote to growing your client base and doing what you do best…seeing clients.


Marketing your practice during the transition period is essential. But how do you know exactly which approach to take?

Well, you don’t.  You just need to take action, experiment, and see what works. The largest block to making the full transition is not taking action.

The second biggest marketing block for therapists is that they don’t educate themselves around proven marketing techniques and therapists are often unwilling to spend money on marketing.

As an entrepreneur, you will need to study, invest, and execute effective marketing strategies. Period.

As long as you develop the “right mindset,” stay in a proactive relationship to your finances, and educate and execute effective marketing strategies, you are bound to be successful during the transition to a full-time private practice.

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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.

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