Seven questions successful online therapists consider before launching their private practices

Seven questions successful online therapists consider before launching their private practices

Launching a private practice is no small thing, but you are capable and there are people in this world who need the help you offer!

The following are 7 questions successful online therapists consider before launching their private practices with corresponding blog posts. 

  1. WHAT SHOULD MY NO-SHOW POLICY BE?
  2. HOW DOES LICENSING WORK AS AN ONLINE THERAPIST?
  3. HOW AM I GOING TO PROCESS PAYMENTS?
  4. HOW WILL I POTENTIAL CLIENTS FIND ME?
  5. SHOULD I HAVE A PRIVATE-PAY PRACTICE OR ACCEPT INSURANCE?
  6. WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE SESSION?
  7. HOW WILL I KEEP TRACK OF MY CLIENT INFORMATION?

1. WHAT SHOULD MY NO-SHOW POLICY BE?

What happens when illness and weather cancel your sessions?

What if your client doesn’t show up for their online session or shoots you an email the day before?!

You need to have a system in place that protects both your clients and yourself when things out of your control happen.

There’s lots of different options, but we’ve seen that a two-way no-show policy be the most effective for three reasons:

  1. Mutual Commitment
  2. Gives you confidence to enforce your policy
  3. Provides you a specific time-frame for re-scheduling

Still not sure a two-way no-show policy is best for your practice?! Check out this post.

2. HOW DOES LICENSING WORK AS AN ONLINE THERAPIST?

This may seem like a no-brainer, however a huge draw to online therapy for therapists is the ability to work remote – staying at home while being able to serve others in the comfort of their own homes – which means you could work with people out-of-state.

After extensive research we discovered what you need to check off your list when providing therapy online to out-of-state clients, overseas clients, and internationally.  We even snuck in a few bonus thoughts at the end!

One thing you don’t want to miss and will apply regardless of where you’re providing therapy: make sure you’re following the guidelines of your licensing board.  In other words, figure out what your licensing board guidelines are FIRST and give them the most weight!

You can read the in-depth version here: Three things Therapists wish they had thought about before providing therapy to out-of-state or international clients.

3. HOW AM I GOING TO PROCESS PAYMENTS?

You deserve to be paid.

At least, that’s what we believe.

But as a therapist running an online practice, we realize getting paid isn’t as simple as receiving a paycheck.

We don’t want you to be caught off guard when choosing an online payment processor, so while we can’t hand you a recipe, we can walk you through the five most important questions to consider when choosing your online payment processor:

  1. What are the fees? Are there any hidden fees?
  2. Who does the processor favor when a claim is filed or refund is requested?
  3. How long does it take for YOU to get the money once the transaction occurs?
  4. How user-friendly is the platform?
  5. Does the platform store credit card information? 

4. HOW WILL I POTENTIAL CLIENTS FIND ME?

If you’re not telling anyone about what you do, does it really matter what you do?!

We believe what you do does matter and we want to see you tell people about it.

There are a LOT of ways to market yourself. Instead of being overwhelmed about how you’re gonna execute all of these we recommend that you choose your favorite technique and use it for three months. 

To get you started here are three of our favorite growth strategies:

5. SHOULD I HAVE A PRIVATE-PAY PRACTICE OR ACCEPT INSURANCE?

Private-pay Practices go the extra mile to find and book clients but have the potential to earn more money, receive payment sooner, and have less administration and follow-up work.

Private-pay practices do not have a natural referral source established in their business from insurance (or doctors who accept insurance sending them clients). From finding their clients, receiving payment, and conducting sessions the fingerprints of the owner of a private-pay practice are on everything.

Practices that choose to accept insurance do extra paperwork, agree to accept the payment amount an insurance company provides. But they also enjoy the credibility that comes with being associated with an insurance company, referral sources, and a wider range of clients (because they are not limited to only the clients that can afford them).

To get a list of pros and cons of each option check out this post: Should I have Private Pay Practice or Accept Insurance?

If building a therapy practice that accepts insurance is the way you want to go, let us know! 

We’ve got credentialing partners to connect you with that will allow you to be approved faster and serve more people (we all know insurance can take FOREVER, let us help you speed it up – at least the getting approved part).

6. WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE SESSION?

Hosting an online therapy session freaks a lot of therapists out.  After all, building rapport is really important and you’ve always nurtured it via face-to-face interactions.

Believe it or not, successful video chats and building rapport through online sessions has more to do with preparation than anything else.  In case you’re about to host your first online therapy session or you’re just looking for ways to connect better with your patient via video chats, here are seven ways to set yourself up for success:

  1. Create a therapeutic space
  2. Minimize your face
  3. Wear headphones
  4. Leave some shoulder room
  5. Pre-activity instruction
  6. Strong wifi
  7. Practice beforehand 

7. HOW WILL I KEEP TRACK OF MY CLIENT INFORMATION?

It’s sensitive information other’s have been trusting you with, not to mention complying with HIPAA requirements. 

You need a way to process payments, keep track of client information, to conduct secure communication and host secure video chats for your online sessions.

So, before you go to bed another hour later fretting over the ins and outs of this online practice stuff and staying HIPAA compliant we’d like to invite you to work with us: 

In your first phone call with us, we will walk you through:

  • HIPAA Compliant Online Counseling Platform
  • Online Scheduling Feature
  • Client Management and Notes
  • Secure Communications
  • Client Invoicing and Payment Procession
  • Electronic Insurance Claims Submissions
  • Personalized Form Creation and Storage

We’re here to help you – answer your questions and provide live tech support – as you help others, we just happen to provide all the HIPAA compliant resources you need to run a successful online practice.  

CEO/Founder of Village Mindset, LLC, Katesha S. Broadus, LCSW, BC-TMH, said this about providing online counseling for her clients through iTherapy:

“When I found out about iTherapy I was a few days from launching my practice. I cancelled everything and switched to iTherapy, because of their inclusive virtual office package (phone, fax, email), business coaching, and online platform that supported family/group counseling sessions. Without a doubt, iTherapy was a one stop shop for all of my business needs.”

If you have a question we didn’t answer, feel free to leave a comment or book a call with us and get your questions answered LIVE!

July 10, 2019 / iTherapy Blog

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