Becoming a therapist can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Opening your own therapy office, another one. It takes a lot of work to make it happen, but it’s not an impossible task.
Here is a checklist for starting a private practice in therapy.
Every state has different laws and regulations you’ll need to follow to become a therapist. You need to know if you need professional licensure, and you will need to understand the ideal practices for a business in the field. You’ll also need to know about any malpractice and professional liability insurance you may need to get.
Moreover, you’ll have to get the proper education and certifications for the practice. This means you’ll have to go to school to get a bachelor’s degree as well as a degree in a certificate program such as a behavior certification online from UC. UC offers a Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which you can take online.
It’s a 30-credit program that prepares you to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). This master’s degree will allow you to provide special education to people diagnosed with various disorders such as autism, anxiety, mood disorders, eating disorders, and cognitive impairment, among other things.
As you’re working on your education, you can begin working on your business plan. Your business plan will include your business’ vision, marketing strategies, goals, financial plans, and other executive information regarding your company. You can find many templates for this as well as resources to guide you in the process online.
Another step you’ll have to take in this journey is to find a good office space to give roots to your business. This will include making a budget for a confidential office space where you can meet your clients. Additionally, you’ll need office supplies such as phones, internet access, computers, and a security system.
To stay safe and keep your patients safe, you should implement access control methods by Verkada to protect your office’s vulnerabilities. While most people may choose keypads for their door entry point or key fobs, Verkada offers a state-of-the-art access control system using smartphone credentials.
Their security technique involves using a mobile application and Bluetooth technology to interact with a smart reader on an entry point. This system is cloud-based, and therefore, you can choose any time when you want to get someone off your system from any mobile device or computer. This will help you lock and unlock your office from a remote location for an even more secure office.
Additionally, you’ll want to determine if you want to work with a team or other therapists or if you want to go solo. You can hire someone to handle your reception or accounting. Whatever your business needs, know that you can also outsource these jobs to save you time and money.
Having a good set of policies can help your clients understand what they can expect from your business. You’ll have to create policies for payment types, therapy session rates, discounts, fees, cancellations, and HIPAA compliance, among other information. Although clients don’t really read through these policies, it’s important you have them sign it; in case you run into any issues with a patient, you’ll be covered.
Lastly, you’re going to want to start taking patients and, to get patients, you’re going to need to market your services. Once you start helping people overcome their problems, they will refer other people to you by word-of-mouth.
This checklist will get you started on your journey towards a successful private therapy practice.