Thinking of setting up your own private practice as a therapist? It can always seem like a daunting process. On top of your actual case work, there are many things that may trip you up along the way. However, just like what you may tell your clients in your sessions: you’re not alone.
We’re here to share some advice that may help you start off. In this two-part series, we speak to three of our members to find out more about their tips on starting out as a private practitioner. They share more about the importance of finding the right space for your practice, and how A Space Between has helped them with this.
Considerations to keep in mind when choosing your space
As shared by Yvonne Yeow, one of our members who has been practising for more than two decades, one of the top difficulties of setting up a private practice is, “Having a conducive space to hold sessions for your clients is always always a challenge.”
Now, what exactly is a conducive space?
It goes without saying that your clients have to feel comfortable and secure during their sessions. More importantly, given that you’re a one-person show, the space has to facilitate your own work and create as little friction as possible, in terms of administrative burden you have to bear.
Find a space that helps your clients relax.
Ask a layperson to picture what a therapist’s office looks like, chances are they’ll describe a cosy setting where there’s a couch or a plush arm-chair. While partially influenced by what we see in movies and television shows, this is also because we associate a therapist’s room with safety and comfort.
“I believe that having an intentional and calming space allows for a feeling of safety,” emphasises Kim Fisel. A psychotherapist with 17 years of experience, she has found home in A Space Between, and has been a member since March 2022. “The sense of safety and calm is immediately apparent when you step into A Space Between. There is a quiet and reverence for work that is palpable in the space.”
Having a soothing environment puts your clients at ease and feel more comfortable, which can help to facilitate a better session. Yvonne agrees, saying, “The ambience and privacy of A Space Between is perfect for holding a comfortable and productive session.”
The space needs to support your business needs.
A common problem with renting a space is if it comes with limitations, such as when the space is available or not for use. If you are going into private practice, your schedule is likely to be more fluid; and you need to be able to access a working space whenever you need it, be it for sessions with your clients or to complete your own administrative work.
“Most meeting room facilities only operate during regular office hours,” says Yvonne, about the difficulties of finding the right space for her practice. “However, I may need to meet clients in the evenings and on weekends.”
The solution? A professional space that’s available to you 24/7 – which is exactly what A Space Between offers.
“One of the special things about A Space Between is the 24-hour booking system and its central location,” shares Tan Yeow May, a clinical psychologist with over 8 years of experience who has just started using our services this year. Having such flexibility means you can pop in and out and arrange meetings as you please, without worrying too much about bending your schedule to fit an external set of rules.
After all, one of the beauties of being a private practitioner is having your freedom and flexibility!
Why a specialised co-working space helps your practice thrive
If there are other co-working services that could offer you a space that fulfils all the considerations we just shared, why choose a mental health-health focused co-working space?
The answer is simple. It’s the specialised support you’ll receive, which allows you to focus on what really matters: your clients. As summarised by Kim, “One of my favourite aspects of A Space Between is the help of our support staff. I feel supported by the work they put into ensuring that we’re supported in supporting others.”
Client-matching services can help to expand your network.
If you’re still a new private therapist, it can be hard to build your client network. As shared by Yeow May, “One of the biggest challenges of private practice is sourcing for clients and marketing myself.”
That’s where A Space Between’s client-matching services come in handy. In addition to listing all our therapists and their specialties on our site, we also help to put clients in touch with the therapists that could suit their needs best. “The client-matching service has allowed me to expand my practice and help clients choose who they may want to see,” says Kim.
Figuring out how to arrange a therapy session can also be challenging for a client, if they haven’t seen a therapist before. “A Space Between helps someone who wants to be supported navigate these steps,” adds Yvonne. “I appreciate how the comprehensive online form also helps people select the right counsellor for them.”
Exchanging ideas with fellow professionals is key to your own growth.
Lastly, it can be lonely to be a private practitioner. Being in a focused co-working space gives you opportunities to network and discuss best practices, so that you and your fellow therapists can grow together.
“The environment here affords independence for each of our practices, yet allows for regular support between therapists,” says Yeow May. “We can come together, as practitioners of various modalities, to exchange ideas and expertise.”
“I love how A Space Between has created a friendly community amongst the practitioners,” enthuses Yvonne. “We have meet-ups and regular peer supervision sessions, to bounce ideas off each other.”
This supportive space to share is something that we actively work at cultivating. We firmly believe in building a community; as it’s only through working together, that we can advance towards the greater good!
A Word from A Space Between
Ready to get started on your own private practice? Reach out to us anytime to find out how we can support you on your own journey. We offer a one-month trial for new members, so that you can enjoy our space and see if it suits your needs before you commit to a plan with us.
An experienced health & wellness writer, I am a story-teller at heart. For me, writing is a way of weaving together the little details that make our existence meaningful and significant into a beautiful, larger story.