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“Full-Time” in Private Practice Mean? — Melissa Rae Studio｜Squarespace Website Design for Therapists
When you work at an agency 40 hours a week, many times that means you are doing close to 40 clinical hours! But in private practice “full-time” usually takes on a totally different meaning. Today I’m going to tell you about what that looks like, why it’s different, and offer some perspective and possibilities.
What is considered “full-time” in private practice?
In general, when private practice therapists say “full-time,” they are usually talking about somewhere between 15-30 clinical hours per week. That’s a pretty big range! However, notice that generally speaking, it’s not 40 clinical hours per week (though certainly there are some people out there who do that).
When I say “clinical hours”, what I mean by that is client-facing time, which could include, couples, individuals, groups, supervision, etc. Anything where you are offering a clinical service you are getting paid to do.
However, here are some of things that you also need to do for your business that you don’t get paid for, but you must factor into your workweek:
Insurance company follow-up calls and paperwork (if you take insurance)
Fielding new client inquiries
Implementing your marketing strategy
Your own clinical supervision
Your own training/education/reading etc.
Your own personal therapy/coach/business consultant
As you can see, there are a number of things you need to do when you run your own business that you don’t have to do as an agency employee. You are your own admin person. You are responsible for getting clients in the door. You are responsible for making sure your clinical skills stay fresh.
And for all of these reasons, this is why most of us don’t do 40 clinical hours per week!
Not only that, but the nature of our work makes it very hard to do consistently, back-to-back for hours and hours. The requirements and pressures to see way more people each week than we sustainably can is often the reason why so many people burn out at agency jobs.
Therapists need flexibility (that’s why private practice totally rules).
If you feel some feels about this notion, think about it this way:
What you are selling is your ability to be present, engaged, and not just sit with a tremendous amount of pain, but actually MOVE TOWARD IT, and not avoid it.
It’s an incredibly valuable service, and it’s not something that just any person can do or wants to do.
Because you’re a human being, not a product, or a computer program, there are going to be some times in your life that you are more or less able to do that.
Additionally, you might want to do other things. Imagine that!
Being a therapist, sometimes we can feel very locked into that as a definition of who we are. But, the truth is, you’re a multi-faceted human being.
Most people have multiple careers in their life, multiple things that they are good at and interest them. So why can’t we pursue those things, just because of our profession? You might want to teach, write a book, do a podcast, become a famous actor-who knows! The great thing is, running your own business you have options.
There is a broad range when it comes to what is considered “full-time” and what is “part-time”. To be honest, apart from writing this article as a way of answering a common question, the truth is I haven’t really given too much thought to the notion of “part-time” or “full-time” over the past several years. Being out of agency work for a while now, those terms have lost some of their meaning to me. What I focus on more is “Am I feeling fulfilled?” and “Do I have energy in the tank to give to the things that are the most important to me?”
I consider myself really lucky, on the one hand, to be in the position to think about things this way. But on the other hand, it also didn’t happen overnight, and it is the result of a lot of work on my end.
Private practice can afford you the ability to be flexible and adjust your hours. However, it’s not just a “set-it-and-forget-it” sort of thing. Here are certain things you must do to set yourself up for success:
Having some savings and using the savings to support you when needed and being reasonably responsible with money (both of these things you can work on and learn).
A good marketing plan, which includes establishing referral funnels, and having a good website.
Honing a niche that you enjoy AND is profitable.
I hope this helped you think about your practice and how you want to set it up in a meaningful way.
Extra Information About how many hours does a therapist work That You May Find Interested
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What Does "Full-Time" in Private Practice Mean?
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Frequently Asked Questions About how many hours does a therapist work
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how many hours does a therapist work, then this section may help you solve it.
How long does a typical day of therapy last?
Hours/Travel Therapists can set appointments according to their preferences, but they frequently meet patients in the evenings to accommodate their schedules. In general, therapists work full time, 40 hours per week.
Do therapists have regular hours?
If you work long hours, such as by scheduling client time in the early mornings and early evenings, think about working fewer days or setting aside a large chunk of personal time in the middle of the day.
Is working as a therapist stressful?
You can control your stress levels as a therapist by putting stress management techniques into practice. Helping clients can be a fulfilling aspect of being a therapist, but it may also contribute to some stress. For example, you may encounter stressful situations when communicating with patients in highly emotional states.
A therapist should see how many patients per day?
If you plan on working Monday through Friday, this means you’ll probably see about five clients a day, which is a pretty typical number of patients for a therapist in private practice to see.
What goes on in a therapist’s typical day?
Depending on the type of therapist, their days can begin very similarly but can greatly differ when it comes to patient care. A typical day for a therapist involves working on paperwork, responding to emails and phone calls, and seeing patients.
Do therapists lead contented lives?
Counseling is an emotionally taxing profession and sometimes the problems of the clients hit too close to home, but research shows a generally high job satisfaction among the profession, but everyone can have bad days. With adequate self-care, however, counselors are happy (and happy to help).
Is working as a therapist tiresome?
Truthfully speaking, the average person can only process about 1.6 conversations efficiently, so therapy is more of a cognitive overload, which can also result in mental exhaustion. Therapists are constantly processing communication.
Which therapist is the highest paid?
According to PayScale, psychiatrist positions pay by far the most for psychology majors, with an average salary of $17,798. A psychiatrist should be licensed as a board-certified psychiatrist.
Is it possible to tell your therapist too much?
It’s a good idea to share as much as you can with your therapist because that’s the only way they can help you. The short answer is that you can tell your therapist anything? and they hope that you do.
Is becoming a therapist worthwhile?
A career in therapy can be very fulfilling for someone who enjoys working with and helping people. Time spent assisting people in leading more fruitful, useful, and fulfilling lives can be very satisfying.
What is the therapist’s lowest pay scale?
Across the United States, the majority of Therapist hourly wages currently fall between 2.84 (25th percentile) and 5.10 (75th percentile), despite ZipRecruiter reporting hourly wages as high as 9.86 and as low as 2.26.
What conduct is improper for a therapist?
Make sexual comments or advances, touch you inappropriately, or make plans with you outside of the session that have nothing to do with your mental health. Discuss topics unrelated to the reason you are there.
Do therapists think about clients between sessions?
Your therapist’s relationship with you exists between sessions, even if you don’t communicate with each other. She thinks of your conversations, as well, continuing to reflect on key moments as the week unfolds. She may even reconsider an opinion she had or an intervention she made during a session.
Can you hug your therapist?
None of the ethics boards that regulate mental health professionals specifically prohibit the use of touch or view it as unethical. There are times when your therapist may believe that it’s more harmful to you not to initiate a hug. In some cases, nonsexual, therapeutic touch may be beneficial.