Why did you decide to go into private practice?
I had worked at an agency with wonderful colleagues, but private practice gave me the opportunity to set my own hours and fees, determine what level of pathology I want to treat, choose the theoretical orientation and supervisor I’m most comfortable with, and set the environment as I prefer. In short, autonomy, autonomy, autonomy!
What do you wish you’d known before starting your practice?
How important marketing is! You can be a terrific therapist and have a tiny practice if you’re not good at marketing. And if you’re not naturally good at marketing and networking? Practice! A lot.
What marketing strategies have you found to be most effective?
1) Forming relationships with other therapists who have a similar theoretical orientation, so that we’re comfortable referring to each other.
2) Joining a networking/referral group. I joined BNI, which has been wonderful.
3) The biggest thing has been learning to network in everyday life–there are millions of opportunities to mention what I do and that I’m expanding my practice, and educating friends and non-therapist professionals about how to refer their friend, colleague, patient, colleague to me.
How do you use social media in practice?
I haven’t learned that part yet. Still a dinosaur!
Finally, tell my why you love private practice.
I love private practice because it allows me to help people grow and change–if they want to! I’ve been in private practice in NYC 16 years, treating individuals and couples. Hope this helps.
Diane Spear, LCSW-R
Individual, Couples, Group Therapy
111 Third Avenue, Suite 17D