How a Decorated Navy Veteran Became an SLP and Private Practitioner with Rachael Harrelson

How a Decorated Navy Veteran Became an SLP and Private Practitioner with Rachael Harrelson

Are you a military SLP or OT? 

It used to be pretty complicated to start your own private practice as a member of the military since you had to relocate more often; however, that’s not really the case now. In this episode of Private Practice Success Stories, I sat down with Rachael Harrelson, a decorated Navy veteran to talk about how she started a successful private practice on the side of her full-time job. 

Even if you aren’t in the military, you’ll love this episode because Rachael shares some amazing tips for starting your practice on the side, the importance of Google reviews, and becoming a health insurance provider. 

Rachael Harrelson, M.S. CCC-SLP is the owner of Southern Star Speech and Language Therapy in Burleson, TX.  She is a Texas State licensed and nationally certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Prior to starting her practice, Rachael worked in various settings including in-patient rehabilitation, home health, and public schools.

Rachael received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Baylor University and is a veteran of the United States Navy, where she served 8 years as a Hospital Corpsman in the medical field. Rachael has had extensive experience assessing and treating clients with autism, articulation, apraxia of speech, phonological and fluency disorders as well as pragmatic and receptive/expressive language impairments. 

Rachael believes in a team approach to therapy and therefore encourages collaboration with parents, teachers, and other therapists to provide the most encouraging and successful environment for her clients.


In Today’s Episode, We Discuss:


  • The route Rachael took to start taking insurance
  • How Rachael utilized Facebook groups to grow her practice
  • How military families can still start a private practice
  • What to do if you want to move after starting your private practice
  • How Rachael finds inspiration for her private practice
  • How Google reviews can grow your business
  • The importance of putting yourself out there

I love seeing the ways that students in my program are making their private practice work for them. Rachael wanted to take the summer to be more present for her kids, so she did! She adjusted her schedule to include summer hours where she took 4-day weekends. It’s her private practice, and she calls the shots. 

Everything that worked for Rachael can totally work for you too. To learn more about how we help SLPs and OTs start, grow, and scale private practices (and how we can help you too!), visit


Resources Mentioned: 

Check out Rachael’s website:

Check out Southern Star Speech on Teachers Pay Teachers:

Connect with Southern Star Speech Therapy on Facebook:

Visit my website to learn about our programs:


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Wondering how to leave a review? Click here to review, then select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review”. It is so easy and so appreciated!

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