5 Ways to Fight Loneliness in Private Practice
By Deb Legge, PhD CRC LMHC
Many clinical mental health counselors covet the autonomy associated with being in private practice. Being able to do your own thing without asking permission is a huge freedom that makes all the hard work worthwhile.
But while autonomy can be great, working alone can be lonely. Many private practitioners run a solo practice and have little interaction with colleagues. There is no supervision on the fly, and no one with whom to share the many tasks involved with running a successful business.
Here are five ways to enjoy your little corner of the world without feeling like you live on an island.
- Identify a core group of colleagues with whom you can share referrals, provide coverage for each other, and get together from time to time to discuss the “business” of private practice. You might even partner up occasionally to run a group, or do some collaborative marketing or service in the community.
- Start a peer supervision group. Invite a group of clinicians (across many disciplines if you prefer) to meet once a month to discuss cases and support each other regarding the clinical aspects of your practice.
- Organize a semi-annual, casual, networking eventwhere clinicians can meet out at a local pub or restaurant. You can share some food and drink and enjoy the time away from the office. Invite people to bring their cards, brochures, and other marketing materials to share with the group to help increase your resources in the community while marketing your practice.
- Offer to do a supervision group or training for your local university counseling center or mental health agency. This exposure is great for you and your practice, but it also keeps you connected to colleagues in the community.
- Volunteer to work on an advisory board for a cause that is near and dear to your heart. Collaborate with people across professions who also serve your target market and who are devoting their time to make the world a better place.
Loneliness can lead to burnout. Stay connected—even when you are basking in the glory of your independence!
Private Practice can be an exciting and rewarding option for counselors. Getting the information and support you need, regarding the “Business of Private Practice” can help you to build a successful and
sustainable business. Visit InfluentialTherapist.com for more helpful information on starting and growing a private practice, and to submit your questions and ideas for future articles in The Advocate.