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Nothing is as exciting for a mental health professional as seeing their therapy practice thrive. But as it continues to grow, it is important to know that this growth also comes with juggling a busier schedule – from taking in more clients, striving to make time to serve established ones and handling administrative tasks – all this will eventually eat away at your time, ultimately leading to more stress.
By transitioning into a psychotherapy group practice, mental health professionals can unburden themselves with this ever-increasing workload and better manage their time. Other benefits include the opportunity to create a more recognisable brand and earn more profit.
With that said, however, operating a private group practice requires more than just the skills used in one’s field of work; it requires significant business acumen and the drive to manage a growing operation. This could be an excellent fit for some, but some practitioners who prefer spending time with all their clients may not find it as attractive. Nevertheless, let us go over the pros and cons of expanding and things to consider.
Why Consider Expanding From Solo To Group Practice?
Expanding one’s practice allows you to widen your reach and treat more clients and potentially specialise in more conditions and diverse populations. Partnering up with a group of therapists allows the whole to provide culturally competent care. In addition, picking those that specialise in a broad range of conditions enables you to refer clients if your expertise is insufficient for their needs, leading you to have more time to focus and perfect what you do best.
As mentioned before, solo practitioners may need to grow into a group practice when they can no longer shoulder the workload alone. Some of the telltale signs it may be time to make the transition are:
- You have become renowned to the point that clients seek you for help with issues you have no expertise in.
- Your schedule is booked solid that you can no longer spare time for new inquiries from new clients.
- You need the help of another therapist or some staff to achieve the volunteer work or community outreach you wish to pursue.
- There is an opportunity to partner up with a reputable private therapist that can help bring in more clients.
The Benefits and Challenges of Transitioning To Group Practice
The benefits of group psychotherapy practice are certainly appealing, but it does come with its challenges. A few of the advantages of expanding include:
- Better marketing
- More money and time
- Support from other mental health professionals
- The pride of running a business
Managing a group practice means being responsible for a group of therapists with unique skillsets, which is far more appealing to some clients. By having more hands on board, you can delegate clients and duties to the other professionals, freeing up more time and generating more income from the capacity to tend to more clients.
And with the support of your team, the group can consult one another and collaborate to tackle more challenging cases like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and increase the brand’s reputation. However, taking on this new role also comes with challenges such as:
- Managing the team
- Increased liability and expenses
- Interpersonal and communication challenges
As the head of a group practice, you are responsible for managing the team under your wing and mentoring the new therapists that may join the group over time. Moreover, there is also the tasks of managing their time and pay, evaluating their performance to meet the brand’s standards, and a whole other slew of administrative tasks to take care of.
Being a business owner also comes with increased liability, making you responsible for your team’s mistakes and managing the expenses those mistakes may incur. And speaking of finances, you will undoubtedly have to make the financial decisions regarding office space and hiring extra staff like a receptionist, an accountant, and a lawyer to fully set up the business. Most importantly, managing inevitable conflicts between therapists in the team will fall upon you as the head of the group. You must prepare and plan for how you will resolve such disputes or, better yet, adopt and improve on strategies that prevent them from escalating in the first place.
What You Will Need to Grow
The steps required to achieve your group practice will wholly depend on the kind of practice you want to build and the legal policies of your country or region. Some of the essential issues you must look into are:
Agreements with the group: Will they bear an employee position, work as independent contractors, or be one of your partners when getting other therapists on board?
Office space: Expanding into a group practice also means expanding one’s place of work. In that case, who will be handling the costs of office space? Will you go with a permanent space or a flexible one via therapist rooms for rent in Singapore?
Legal issues: Drafting partnership agreements and employment terms will need a lawyer’s expertise. Moreover, you will need to consult with them regarding compliance with local regulations that may apply to your group practice.
Division of responsibilities: It is essential to divide the group’s responsibilities from the outset clearly. For instance, will the brand have its own receptionist, or will each therapist handle their own administrative tasks? Who will take care of marketing and client recruitment? Such questions and more must be explored and answered at the beginning of the transition.
Clients: Besides knowing who will handle which client and how to go about their challenging needs, it is more important to establish a secure way of handling client data and maintaining privacy, especially when collaborating with other therapists in the group.
Insurance and payments: What will be the practice’s insurance and payment policies? Will they stay consistent across the entire group, or will each therapist manage their own payments?
Should You Make The Move?
Knowing whether growing into a group practice is the right decision will ultimately depend on your preferences and needs. Some pursued this opportunity and gained a strong reputation, while others that kept on practising solo still found their way to become successful. In the end, it all comes down to what you deem is the best path for your career and your patients as a whole.
Expanding from a solo practice into a group practice is definitely a challenging yet gratifying prospect for many mental health professionals. With the difficulties that lay ahead to make things work, those who choose to pursue transition will need all the help they can get to succeed. A Space Between is a therapist office space in Tanjong Pagar that wishes to lend a helping hand by offering a feasible and affordable solution to one of these challenges, specifically in office space.
Providing a safe and private coworking space for your practice – come check out our therapy rooms and experience them for yourself by booking a tour today!
No matter what you’re facing, perhaps our website can offer up some solace or comfort. Know that you’re not alone, and that there is help available. This can be hard to keep in mind if you haven’t quite found the right support system. While it’s definitely not easy to find the right fit—whether you’re looking for a support group or a mental health provider—with diligence, it’s totally possible.
If you are a therapist, life coach or counsellor looking to join our growing community, head over to book a tour once you have learnt about the plans we offer. At A Space Between, there is a ready league of providers you can network with. With professionals from various backgrounds and therapy practices, there are bound to be the ones you can connect with. Private practice does not have to be lonely.