A Quick Guide to Starting Private Practice

Concise Steps with Helpful Tips for Starting a Sole Practitioner Private Psychotherapy Practice – over 100 pages designed to get you started quickly!

WHY THIS GUIDE? Purchase Guide $19.99


Because it is worth far more than the price tag!

  • For less than 1/3 of the Medicare allowable for one session of 90837, your “50-minute hour,” you will have in your hands the exact steps with extra details to start your practice quickly and for less than $1,000 (assuming you sublet a few hours a week to start). The largest expenses to get started are your Professional Dues, Liability Insurance Policies, and rent if you chose to start with your own office. 
  • You get a complimentary phone Q&A hour with the purchase of the Guide.
  • You will receive a download .pdf you can use to get started immediately.

And because…

  • My success can be your map! Step by Step I’ll show you the way plus offer alternatives that can also work. By the end of Step Fourteen, you will be set up to see your first client. You’ll accomplish this goal quickly, without breaking the bank, and have tons of information at your fingertips to help you start and grow your practice.
  • You will have more information than I had when I started out!


This is an action-oriented guide. Your success will depend on actually completing the steps.

Get an overview by looking at the table of contents first. It is good to have some idea where you are going but, don’t get caught up in the details, yet. 

Complete each step then review the following step while you still have momentum. 

I do not recommend reading the entire guide in one sitting. You would likely feel overwhelmed by the details.

Feeling overwhelmed might be the reason you are looking for help. Don’t add to those feelings by thinking you need to understand all the details before you get there. 

If you get stuck, take advantage of my offer of a complimentary telephone Q&A hour with the purchase of the guide.  This is a No Sales Pitch Q&A hour to help you succeed. If you ask about coaching services, I’ll be happy to tell you what I offer.

Your Private Practice Story Has Already Begun!

Are you ready for the next new horizon in your career?

Starting a practice involves a new learning curve. Like most jobs, it might be a full year before you feel fully confident. That’s okay, though. It’s the experiences along the way that will build your competence to run your own business and sit confidently in your therapist chair as a business owner.

As a private practice therapist, you are taking the pilot’s position and as such will have the opportunity to set your itinerary and schedule while creating an environment according to your needs and preferences.

Be patient with yourself as you learn your new job. The moment you take the first step in this guide you become your own boss! Perhaps, you already are.

Success Factors

A large part of my success is the fact that I chose to accept assignment as a Medicare provider, became a provider on commercial panels and Medi-Cal, and networked early on with agencies and people serving the population I was interested in working with. 

It’s true, many therapists have successful Private Pay (cash) only practices! If cash pay only is your plan, you can skip Step Sixteen – Start Applying to Insurance Panels, but you will still need to understand how insurance reimbursement works for your clients.

This is not a marketing guide though during a few of the Steps you will be doing just that – marketing naturally by connecting with other therapists.  Step Seventeen – Get the Word Out – You’re Open for Business has some helpful tips for marketing. 

This guide is designed for setting up your practice quickly with additional general information, included as Steps, about applying to insurance panels, Medicare & Medi-Cal, telemental health, establishing your professional will, and self-care and compassion fatigue as bonuses.

I Wrote this Guide for You and Me

Helping others is part of my healing process. Writing is a joyful healing process, too!

Because of my obvious success, others started asking me for help starting their practices.  Scratch notes weren’t gonna fly for long!

A Quick Guide to Starting Private Practice explains how to do what I did. Step by Step with enough details that you can follow the map with confidence.

This guide also includes additional information and details I learned later (still learnin’!). You’ll have a better view of what to do next and more information about your choices than I had.

Part mentor, part coach, part consultant, in these pages I will guide you through the process. You can call me your Private Practice Navigator.  The only caveat is that you have to do the work. I will share what I know, point you to others that know more, and encourage you to blaze your own successful trail.

You will make your choices and put them into practice. If the stars are aligned like others I’ve helped, you will create your own success story.

Some of the details included in this guide are specific to California, but the steps for starting a practice are essentially the same across the U.S.

The other reason I wrote this guide is to keep track of the information I learn along the way. Over time, I expect the guide will evolve as I integrate even more new information.

​About the Author

Bonnie graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento in 1998.  She became licensed in California in 2006. Bonnie’s journey to private practice included working in several environments including substance abuse treatment, community non-profit, adult county mental health and disability advocacy, outpatient medical case management, Level II Trauma Center, and hospice agency work. 

Helping others start their private practice is part of Bonnie’s natural desire to see others succeed. Bonus for Bonnie: Writing about it is therapeutic!

For more information about Bonnie and her Healing Through Writing & Creativity journey visit her at:  Writer’s Blog www.bonniemckeeganauthor.wordpress.com

Psychotherapy Clients – Please Visit Bonnie’s Private Practice Website for more information: www.bonniemckeeganlcsw.net 

Email Bonnie Your Questions

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