In past posts I've explored the the positives and negatives of joining a group private practice. Now, it's time to focus on the pros and cons of running a solo private mental health practice. When I opened Wasatch Family Therapy nearly 10 years ago, it started out as a solo practice that slowly built over time into a group practice. While I like being "in charge" and autonomous, I'm also an extravert and I highly value my connections with others.
I reached out to other private practice therapists who practice alone to see why they chose to "fly solo."
Florida social worker and healthy eating expert Therapist Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. grew up as an only child, so she's used to being independent and working alone. That autonomy and comfort level has helped her to succeed. “I love being in private practice. I make my own schedule, decide whom I want to see and whom I don’t, set the fee schedule and slide if I want, and get to have an office in my home which makes both life and work easy,” Koenig shares.
Creating an environment that accurately reflects who you are is important to North Carolina therapist Erika Myers, LPC. "Having your own space in which to practice in a way that feels authentic to you, building an individual reputation rather than relying on a group name for recognition,” are reasons why Myers chooses to practice in a solo setting.
Illinois counselor Melanie Dillon, LCPC of Center For Wellness, Inc. practiced independently for 17 years. Of her experience she says, "Private practice gave me a very flexible schedule and autonomy. It also helped me grow to learn all aspects of being a small business owner. It was ideal for parenting and having a second income.” Eventually Dillon developed a mind/body group practice with two chiropractors when she found herself as a single mom and needed to provide a stable income.
As the second oldest of nine children in my family of origin I am used to being "in charge" and in having close connections with others. So, it makes sense that eventually, I grew my own solo practice into a group practice where I am still the sole owner and decision maker. Guess I just can't get away from being the "bossy" older sister.