At some point or another, everyone faces tough times in life. From bereavement to divorce, to financial stress, most people will find themselves at a crossroads more than once in life and may require guidance and a listening ear to help them through.
If you’re good with people, can listen actively and have an intuitive ability to understand and empathize with people, becoming a therapist could be a great business for you to get into.
Not only will this business allow you to generate steady revenue, but it will also leave the world a better place into the bargain. That’s twice the reason to consider it, don’t you think?
How to Start a Counseling Therapy Consultancy Business Step 1: Get Accredited
Depending on what country or state you are from there will be different regulations surrounding your ability to practice therapy. While in countries like the UK anyone can practice freely, in the USA most states require you to have a license to practice legally.
There are several forms of therapy, each with its own focus. Some to consider are:
CBT – Cognitive behavioral therapy places an emphasis on practical techniques to reduce anxiety and counter destructive behavior. To get accredited contact your state mental health board and ask for a list of recommended colleges and institutions.
Guidance Counseling – Counselors help with a wide range of issues from marital breakdown to bereavement and much more. They are trained as active listeners and guide the patient to discover their own answers through questioning. Depending on what state you live in you may or may not need a license to practice counseling.
Psychotherapy – Made famous by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, psychotherapy aims to help people identify and eliminate issues stemming from childhood and previous life experiences. You will almost certainly need a degree level qualification to practice legally in the USA.
Once you’ve decided on a path to focus on, find the best-known course in your local area and get certified. If none are available, consider distance learning as several excellent options are now available online.
Step 2: Get Experience
To begin with, you’ll likely have to volunteer to get experience as a therapist. Some courses actually require this as part of their accreditation process. Contact homeless shelters, churches, youth groups, the AA and other groups which aim to help others with problems and ask if you can help by offering your services for free.
Once you have some experience, aim to broaden your network of contacts. Let those you have worked with know you aim to open your own practice and you’ll be surprised how many people find you via word of mouth. Reciprocity is a known principle in marketing, and if you have helped others, they will return the favor by recommending you to people they know.
Step 3: Open a Practice
First find out if you are really ready to start a private practice here: American Psychological Association
It will be up to you individually to decide whether you want to work at a designated office, practice call-outs to clients homes or third party locations, or a combination of both. Most therapists recommend establishing your own practice as it sets a behavioral pattern in the client and establishes a space which they associate with therapy, speeding up results.
Learn how to start a private counseling practice here:
Look for a place which is affordable, and make it as comfortable as possible. You want your clients to feel relaxed and at ease.
Once you have a physical location outlined and established it’s time to advertise and market your practice. Build a website, place ads in journals and publications aimed at your target demographic, and use social media to get the word out.
Step 4: Expand Beyond Borders
These days it is possible to run a practice which is truly global in reach. While it isn’t approved by everyone in the field, internet therapy is becoming a huge fad, and with people living increasingly busy lives it is the only way some can get access to the help they need.
Consider offering one-to-one sessions on Skype or other digital communication platforms. It is even possible to offer a text only therapy service, with many younger people claiming they find it easier to communicate and open up due to the anonymity of this method of communication. If you’re looking to communicate via a particular application of yours, you may want to consider integrating a video chat api like Agora.io so that you can conduct calls with your users and increase engagement. It will even allow for the inclusion of multiple participants in a call which could be good for group consultations.
You’ll need a website and social media accounts to market your services if you decide to go down this route.
How to Start a Counseling Therapy Consultancy Business: Summary
Don’t underestimate how profitable a therapy practice could be. Once your reputation proceeds you, it’s possible to charge up to $150 or more per hour for your services, which most will agree is enticing, to say the least!
If you gain a reputation for excellence and demand exceeds your ability to supply it there is nothing stopping you from expanding your team and evolving your practice to involve other therapists.
One thing is for sure – financial calamity, divorce, illness, distress, and problems of all kinds will always be a part of human life. The only question left then is – will you be the one to fill the void and meet the demand for the high-quality therapy and guidance people need?
If so, opening a therapy consultancy could be the business for you!
Now that you know How to Start a Counseling Therapy Consultancy Business…let us know if we can help you with anything.