Private practice can be… lonely.
With the majority of private practice owners working independently (without co-owners, employees or office staff), the urge to connect with colleagues cannot be underestimated.
Think about it.
Most SLPs, OTs and PTs who pursue private practice are used to working as part of a therapy team in early intervention, schools, hospitals, etc.
When you leave those settings, you don’t have colleagues to “bounce ideas off of” or even socialize with.
Private practice is complicated!
5 Places to Find the Support You Need
Even Part-Time Private Practitioners Need Support
There are questions about billing.
And difficult situations with parents.
Without support, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed and alone.
A significant amount of private practitioners are working “on the side” of a regular job.
They too are often isolated and need help getting started and building their private practices.
While their needs may vary somewhat from full-time private practice owners, they still need help with billing, marketing, tough situations (and more!)
1. Local Support
Don’t be afraid to connect with fellow private practice owners in your area. Search LinkedIn Profiles, participate in meet-ups, get involved with your state organizations or licensing boards.
Everyone cringes when you hear “networking” but it’s a great thing to do.
Some people worry competition when meeting other local private practitioners. Keep in mind that while you may be competitors, you may also serve as a good source of referrals for each other.
2. Facebook Groups
There are several FANTASTIC groups for private practice owners on Facebook.
Groups For SLPs:
SLP Private Practice Beginners: This group is perfect for beginners! If you’re in the process of starting your speech therapy private practice, this is the perfect group for you.
SLPs in Private Practice: This group is NOT for beginners. Please ask to join only after you’ve started treating private clients.
Groups for OTs:
OTs in Private Practice: This is a brand new group for OTs in private practice. It’s great for beginners and established clinicians alike!
Groups for PTs:
Private Practice Section APTA: This is a great resource for PTs in private practice.
3. LinkedIn Groups
There are also several fantastic groups on LinkedIn. Feel free to join whichever group(s) apply to you the most:
Groups for SLPs:
Private Speech Therapy Network: A wonderful source of information for occupational therapists in private practice
Speech Language Pathologists in Private Practice
Groups for OTs:
Private Occupational Therapy Network: A wonderful source of information for occupational therapists in private practice
Occupational Therapist Networking Group
4. The American Academy of Private Practice Speech Pathology and Audiology (AAPPSPA)
The American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology (AAPPSPA) is the voice of, and resource for, private practitioners in speech language pathology and audiology. They have approximately 200 private practice SLPs and audiologists throughout North America.
Annual dues are $100 and benefits of membership include: free legal consultation, reduced rates at conferences, access to ICD9 code finder, free job posting and much more!
5. The Independent Clinician
The Independent Clinician has been providing resources and support to SLPs, OTs and PTs since Jena started it in 2008.
The website itself provides helpful resources and information through blog posts and several resource guides are available to help clinicians start a private practice, find ideal clients through effective private practice marketing and more.
You’ll Only Get The Support You Need if You Seek it Out
There is so much we can learn from each other. Take 10 minutes to join these groups, introduce yourself and start making connections.
If someone asks a question that you know the answer to – respond!
If you need help – ask!
We are all in the business of helping people and changing lives. Let’s not lose sight of that.
But remember to help yourself and your fellow clinicians too 🙂
Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and private practice consultant. She started her own speech therapy private practice in 2006. She is the founder of The Independent Clinician and author of The Guide to Private Patients and The Guide to Creating a Web Presence for Your Private Practice. Since 2008, she has helped thousands of clinicians get the flexibility, income and freedom they desire from starting their own private speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy practices.