When I started in the mid-nineties, setting up in private practice was indeed a minefield. I had absolutely no idea of where to start, this was mainly because private practice counsellors on the high street were pretty much non-existent and tended to work out of GP surgeries, medical centres and/or charity based organisations.
Nowadays counsellors are setting up in private practice in every town and city in the world.
Firstly, you need to decide from which location and premises you would like to work. Sometimes it’s worth just having a walk around your local shops and looking up at the floors above, to see if they are empty or used as store rooms which would be a prefect first venue for setting up in private practice.
There aren’t many landlords who would refuse the offer of a good tenant (legally binding) and you may be able to convince them that you will redecorate the premises in return for an initial months free rent.
Whichever premises you decide on to set up in private practice, invest in a good solicitor to look and if possible to talk you through your tenancy agreement or maybe you know someone who can help in that way.
All of your marketing material will be based on the private practice premises that you choose such as contact details i.e. postal address (a lot of work still comes in by post), you’ll need a land based telephone number, even in the days of high technology, many people still prefer to call you on a landline.
Is the building/property safe? Imagine what it will be like in the winter evenings walking to your car, is it far from the nearest car park? Like you and your home, your business needs roots, just like a mighty oak starts from a little acorn. This is where it all begins, allow yourself to be excited ~ you’ve worked for it and earned it and setting up in private practice is the beginning of a fantastic new working life for you.