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A Day In The Life Of A Private Practice Therapist

After reading my recent posts on multiple income streams for therapists, Psych Central Associate Editor and blogger, Margarita Tartakovsky asked me how I, and other therapists, juggle so many different aspects of private practice. I’ve been thinking about her question and thought it might be fun to start a series that peeks into “a day in the life” of therapists in private practice. I thought I’d start with me, and start with–today.

Just to give you a little background…I’m a wife and a mother of 4 children ages 5 to 21. I’ve been in clinical practice for 16 years and I serve as director of  Wasatch Family Therapy, a private outpatient clinic that I founded in 2002. Recently, because my clinic has grown significantly, I’ve stopped taking new clients in order to spend more time leading, training, and pursuing other passions, like writing, media contributing, etc.

You’ll notice that my “day in the life” doesn’t include seeing any clients. I am currently on a month-long sabbatical from clinical work, and from as much administrative work as possible, during the month of November to dedicate time and energy to finishing up my first book. After being approached by a publisher a few months ago I decided that it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up, but it would require cutting back on a lot of other responsibilities in order to make the deadline. I will resume seeing clients, running staff meetings, and training therapists the first week in December.

A Day In The Life

November 15, 2011


Woke up and get kiddos off to school, morning routine…


Worked on some rough song lyrics and musical ideas at the piano.

Ate breakfast. Contemplated exercise but decided to dig into book writing.


Worked from home on writing my first book on women’s emotional self-care due to publisher by end of the month. Yikes. Totally overwhelmed by the thought. Reviewed my survey data to integrate into book.

Reviewed bank accounts, bills, etc. online.

Consulted for a few minutes with an old friend via Facebook who is in a family crisis.

Talked with my clinic office manager regarding tomorrow’s staff meeting agenda items and other miscellaneous office stuff.


Talked with my TV producer and brainstormed about next week’s segment “Should you keep your kids believing in Santa?” Read over blog responses to a recent parenting question about how moms handle the question, “Is Santa real?”. Researched the topic online and sent in rough outline for tomorrow’s production meeting.


Picked up daughter from preschool and got a birthday treat on the way home.

Responded to a reported request for interview.

Ate lunch.


Worked from home answered 30 business emails.

Phone consult with my Dir. of Child & Adolescent Services to discuss some difficult cases and recent referrals. She gave me updates on the status of our new Provo, UT location that opened last month.

Scheduled videographer to come to tomorrow’s staff meeting to shoot footage of new therapists for our practice website.

Scheduled and posted social media updates on Twitter and Facebook(s).

Updated websites,, and added a few elements to a new site for emotionally focused couples therapists in the greater SLC area that I’m working on while my daughter colored and did art projects at the table.


Home assistant arrived and I give her the day’s assignments – laundry, dishes, organized pantry. (I have a high school girl come 2-3 afternoons a week as a “home assistant” to run errands, fold laundry, organize, etc. Best thing I’ve ever done for my own self-care.)

More research and book writing.

Added more 2012 calendar items – trips, book tour, holidays.

Researched Christmas gifts for my staff online.

Downloaded a new Christmas CD Mindy Gledhill Winter Moon.


Napped. YES!


Helped 9 year old with spelling and vocabulary homework.


Pick up teenage daughter and went out to dinner as a family for 5 year old’s birthday.


Son went to scouts, husband went to church meeting and I helped daughter open and put on ballerina costume from grandma and dance around the family room.

Social media updates.

Uploaded photos from birthday party.


Help get kids ready for bed, read, snuggle.


Wrote this Psych Central blog post.

Installed Photoshop updates to crop logos of recent media quotes for websites.

Did website and social media updates.


Check in with hubby, talk, watch TV, bed.

OK, it’s your turn! I’d love to hear from other private practitioners, or students planning on going into private practice. Track your activities for a day and Email me your “day in the life of private practice” here. I just might feature you and your practice in his blog series!

About Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW:
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to TV Shows and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available. Dr. Hanks is currently accepting coaching clients.


Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Julie, I love this! I’m so glad you posted a day in your life! It’s so helpful to know how others are able to wear so many hats and continue to be successful and fully present for their families, too. I’m excited to read other practitioners’ posts, as well. 🙂

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Margarita, It was fun to do, so thanks for the “challenge”! It will be fun to see how other therapists juggle their multiple roles.


Julie, that made me tired. I’m going to take a nap.
I think I’ll leave ‘outside the home’ work to women with a lot more energy than me!!
I’ve read your day and I still can’t comprehend how you do it.
Thank you for this insight.


How does therapist, director and now author, @Julie_Hanks do it all? Here's a sneak peek into her life:

Parwathy Narayan

You are a great example of great time management and efficiency. I love how you napped in between as a means to rejuvenate and take care of yourself. You truly have to when you do so much to help others. I am on my way to becoming a Spiritual Advisor as I have a background in psychiatry and a lot of belief and experience in spirituality. This blog has taught me a lot. Thank you:)


Why do you need to update Photoshop to crop some images?

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