The Podcast for Counsellors Interested in Planning, Starting & Growing Their Private Practice in Canada.

photo of Julia Smith

About Julia Smith

Where are you in your private practice journey? How’s it going for you? I’m Julia Smith and I’m so glad you’re here.

This podcast is dedicated to help you know exactly how to start your private practice in Canada, while also sharing tips to growing it, filling your schedule, and going from solo to group practice owner. I’ll take you on my journey from starting as a counsellor to totally killin’ it and growing my own practice in Halifax. I also feature expert guests and industry leaders and together, we’ll help you plan, start, and grow a successful private practice in Canada.

Thanks for listening!

Julia Smith

Featured Podcasts

Lindsey Thomson: The Need for Tax Free Therapy in Canada | Ep 48

Why is there a need for tax free therapy? What is happening with the Excise Tax bill? How can you add your voice to the campaign of adding psychotherapy and counselling therapy to the list of GST/ HST exempt healthcare practitioners?  

How to Create Your Canadian Practice Paperwork Packet | Ep 47

Are you concerned that you may have missed important details on your consent forms? Have you been spending hours figuring out which questions you should ask in your paperwork packets to comply with ethical laws? Does admin work in general make you anxious? I’ve been there! In fact, I spent almost a year drafting up a Canadian practice paperwork packet that is suitable, editable, and concise. You can change, edit, and modify it to suit your private practice like a glove, and it’s available to you right now!

How to Set Your Private Practice Schedule | Ep 46

Sometimes your private practice schedule needs to change to meet your needs because your needs have changed, or you started a side hustle and you need to re-prioritize your time, or you moved to a new location, or hired an assistant! Whatever your situation is, as life shifts, you shift as well. One of the ways to stay on top of the ever-evolving and moving life is to create systems and schedules that are flexible and can be adjusted to suit you and your Canadian private practice.

Dealing With Setbacks in Canadian Private Practice | Ep 45

Are you daydreaming about a life that you want for yourself, personally and professionally? What’s been on your mind to try out? Is there something still nagging you that is asking for your attention? If you are putting off exploring your dreams – why? The sooner you can explore the outlines of the possibilities for your dreams, the sooner you can get started on creating them. In this podcast, I share my recent experiences, and a cautionary tale. Learn from me, take away what resonates, and I hope that it inspires you to take action.

Alison Pidgeon: Turn Your Passion Into Another Business | Ep 44

Do you have ideas that you want to explore within the mental health field that lies outside of the therapy room? Or do you have one great idea that you want to try out? Or do you have a passion that you want to try to monetize while growing your private practice? Whatever is on your mind, or wherever you are in your Canadian private practice and professional business journey, in this podcast episode I chat with Alison about her extensive experience with building multiple businesses. From starting her group practice to creatings side hustles, we discuss contractors versus employees, your passions, and finding your “why”.

Claire Blakey: Creating a Sustainable Canadian Private Practice | Ep 43

Do you have a team that supports you in your private practice? Are there other passions in your life that you want to pursue alongside being a therapist? What does it take to create a sustainably successful Canadian private practice? Passive income and diversifying your income streams is not only a good financial decision for your business, but it also supports you because it provides an outlet for you to explore and develop your hobbies outside of therapy, which can make you a happier and a more successful therapist. Whether you have multiple streams of passive income already, or you have just hit the idea-stage, this podcast episode is for you. Claire Blakey and I discuss the pros (and some cons) to passive income, and how you can approach this new avenue to make the most of it.

Alison McCleary: Navigating the Journey From Studying to Practicing Therapy| Ep 42

Are you working with your passions? How can you find a bridge between what you like to do and what you need to do? Could you develop a small avenue of passive income in your Canadian private practice? The road from being a student to a therapist is long with many twists, turns, and brave steps! Imagining your future Canadian private practice may feel very far away while you are in grad school or finishing your dissertation, but you can take small steps now to make that transition easier for yourself – and more successful for your future business! From finishing your studies to taking the first, small steps to building your new, sustainable Canadian private practice, I discuss this journey with Alison McCleary and the lessons that she has learned.

Gabbi and Helen: Bring Your Principles Into Your Canadian Private Practice | Ep 41

The work that you do and the services that you provide to your clients are often magnified when you work within your expertise and when you incorporate your principles. Your past experience and values will shine through in your Canadian private practice and marketing efforts, and when you openly center your practice around what matters to you, you can automatically attract your ideal clients! In this podcast episode, I speak with Gabbi and Helen about how they were able to quickly launch and grow their Canadian private practice, and how betting on their principles helped them to do so.

Victoria Rodriguez: The Surprising Benefits of Offering In-Home Therapy | Ep 40

Have you considered offering in-home therapy services to your clients? Is that something that could work with your Canadian private practice? How can you offer this service to help your clients while maintaining your safety? Therapy can take on many shapes and sizes, from in-session talking to helping a client recovering from OCD reorganise their home. If you feel inspired to deepen the level of therapy that you offer and provide more to your clients, then consider in-home therapy. In this podcast episode, I discuss this method with Victoria Rodriguez, who has years of experience.

Nicole McCance: The Benefits of Automizing Your Canadian Private Practice | Ep 39

Are you craving more freedom in your work and free time in your everyday life? Are you working at full capacity and hitting an income glass ceiling? What if you could build a totally automated group practice? Is that possible? Whether you crave some more mobility in your daily life, you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout, or you are in the process of growing your Canadian private practice, you need systems. Automated systems take a huge chunk of work out of your day, allowing you to focus on what is important to you. In this podcast episode, I talk about the benefits of systems and how to implement them with Nicole McCance, a master optimiser!

Why You Should Start an Online Canadian Private Practice | Ep 38

Do you feel hesitant in deciding if an online practice is a right fit for you or your clients? Have you been thinking about making a change in your approach to work-life balance? What would that look like for you? I recognise that making the switch to online private practice is a risk, but often things are both risks and opportunities! If you want to make significant changes in your lifestyle, become more remote, or have more control over your schedule, providing online therapy is a great way to achieve your personal and professional goals. In this podcast episode, I share my positive (and some negative) experiences of launching my Canadian online private practice, and I hope that it inspires you to do the same while feeling as prepared as you can be!

How to Build a Caseload in Your Canadian Private Practice With Online Booking | Ep 37

Are you still emailing your clients back and forth to set up sessions? Do you need to free up some time in your schedule and automate the admin? Did you know that setting up an online booking system is really easy?  Setting up an online booking system has saved me so much time! And switching to an automated booking structure allows my admin staff to work on other important tasks, and get more done, which helps my Canadian private practice to grow steadily and smoothly.  Online booking is a great tool for counsellors in private practice, and in this episode, I show you how to do it!

How to Keep Digital Information Secure in Your Canadian Private Practice | Ep 36

How do you keep your online data private? Are you willing to spend a couple of extra dollars a month to secure your – and your clients! – information safely? Do you know which Canadian platforms you can use to get started?  In our increasingly digital world where we store our data online and risk hackers and data leaks, digital security cannot be undervalued or overlooked. Our clients trust us with not only their healing but also their information, so be proactive in becoming digitally safe!  In this podcast episode, I discuss the essentials of digital protection and a bunch of great, Canadian services that you can use today.

How Do I Prepare for Private Practice While Still in Grad School?: Live Consultation With Barb Barker | Ep 35

Are you almost finished grad school and want to start Canadian private practice? What are the essentials that you need to have ready before you see clients? It can be daunting to step into the counselling world after completing your studies, but getting yourself prepared while in grad school is the best step you can take to rocket yourself quickly and comfortably into Canadian private practice. In this podcast episode, I do a live consultation with Barb, who is excited to begin her journey as a therapist, and we discuss the essentials to help her – and you – launch your Canadian private practice.

Michelle Noftall Returns: The Benefits of Trying Something New in Your Canadian Private Practice | Ep 34

Does progress in your online Canadian private practice feel slow? Do you want to increase the reach to your ideal clients, but don’t know where to start? I know some strategies that can help you. In this podcast episode, Michelle returns to talk about how our live consultation in the Spring helped her private practice become successful. We revisit her Canadian private practice journey and how she was able to become five times busier by using a few new simple approaches to marketing and business. Join us and see how they can help you too!

Neena and Meg: How to Design a Gorgeous Counselling Space | Ep 33

Do you provide counselling in-person, online, or both? How do you incorporate your branding colours, ethos, and approach to therapy into the atmosphere of your office? Are you looking at your space now and thinking that it may need some sprucing up? In this podcast episode, I speak with Neena and Meg about the best way to create a unified and welcoming therapeutic space. From adding layers of textures and light to the science behind a calming office, there is something new here for you to learn!

Setting and Raising Your Rates Ethically for New and Current Clients | Ep 32

When was the last time you raised your hourly rate? Do you feel anxious or nervous when it comes to addressing your hourly fee with new or current clients, especially when you know you need to increase your income to continue providing top-quality therapy? There are a lot of emotions involved in setting and raising your rates and they can sometimes hold you back from making progress in your business if you don’t address them. I have struggled with this too. So I hope this episode will help you to decide how to raise your rates ethically and where to start when setting your rates.

Heidi Sturgeon: How I Launched and Grew My Canadian Private Practice | Ep 31

What does success look like to you in your Canadian private practice? Where do you want to place your focus and time within your practice? Do you even have to hire more therapists? In this episode, Heidi and I speak about our respective Canadian private practice journeys – how surprisingly similar they are! – and what lies in store for us now. From networking to overcoming hurdles to reclaiming our approach to a work-life balance, we talk about it all.

Tara Scullion: What You Need to Know About Canadian Private Practice Insurance | Ep 30

What is your sleep-at-night factor when it comes to insurance? Do you lie awake at night fretting over what could go wrong, or have you taken the necessary steps to protect yourself and your practice? Whether your Canadian private practice provides teletherapy, in-person counselling, or both, you need to make sure that you cover your bases. In this podcast episode, Tara and I discuss the ins and outs of liability insurance and which essentials you need to have in your insurance package to maintain professional protection and integrity.

How to Create a Video That Takes Your Marketing to the Next Level | Ep 29

Are most of your social media postings and marketing efforts static pictures? Do you want to elevate your practice in the eyes of prospective clients? Or would you simply like to boost your Canadian private practice’s online presence? Whatever your goals are, making a video to advertise your Canadian private practice is the next best thing to connecting with your ideal client face-to-face! In this episode, I share my experience and share with you some of my secret tips to help you to create your first video, and how to make it great!

How Do I Manage Burnout in My Canadian Private Practice? Live Consulting With Holly Sher | Ep 28

Are you stuck in the loop of taking on more clients at a discounted rate to make ends meet, leading you to become more and more burned out from the extra therapy hours? Where can you save some time and make passive income to help you increase your income and get more work/life balance ? It is possible to create systems that make it easier for your Canadian private practice to grow (and your clinic hours to shrink). All it takes is some planning, some consulting, and a bit of bravery. In this episode, I talk with Holly about how she can do just that.

What I Wish I Knew When Starting a Canadian Private Practice | Ep 27

When last did you make time for your hobbies? Do you feel like you are on a constant hamster wheel within your job? What does success mean to you? At the beginning of my private practice journey, I thought that business success would help me feel happier and fulfilled. But over the last five years, I realized that I had to make a change. In this podcast episode, I open up about my Canadian private practice journey and how my idea of what success means has changed. I hope that my experience will give you some food for thought about what success means to you, and how to find that invaluable fulfillment while starting and growing your own private practice.

Starting a Canadian Group Private Practice | Ep 26

At the beginning of my private practice journey, I knew that I wanted to run a group practice. I didn’t know how or when! But I knew that it was something I wanted to do because I liked the idea of passive income and not being burnt out by seeing a lot of clients. Though a lot of work at the beginning, I’m so glad I committed to the journey! In this podcast episode, I share my story of starting my Canadian private practice and hiring my first therapist in the hope that you will see that it’s not as difficult as it may seem to be.

Kelley Stevens: Tips for Relocating Your Canadian Private Practice With Ease | EP 25

Do you have to move your Canadian private practice? Are you nervous about losing clients? Though daunting, moving your Canadian private practice to a new city or province can potentially provide you with the opportunity for business growth, financial gain, and personal development! If you are moving or have been thinking about relocating, in this podcast episode, I speak with Kelley Stevens about her experience of moving (three times!) and all her knowledge, tips, and advice to aspiring Canadian therapists who are seeking to try something new for themselves and their practice.

Hire a Canadian Virtual Assistant: How and Why You Should Do It Today | EP 24

When I started my Canadian private practice I did all the admin, from answering the phone to responding to emails. It took up a lot of hours that could have been focused on seeing more clients or building my practice. But finally I hired a virtual assistant and now my practice is growing and I haven’t looked back! Are you still doing all the admin within your private practice while providing therapy to your clients? Do you find yourself stretched thin between all the deadlines and to-do lists? Maybe it’s time for you to hire your first virtual assistant (VA)! In this podcast episode, I tell you my story and explain exactly how you can get started.

What Should I Include in My Canadian Marketing Plan?: Live Consultation With Michelle Noftall | EP 23

Are you fully utilizing the power of keywords in your blog posts? What works and what doesn’t work in your current marketing plan? From Instagram reels to networking relationships, your marketing plan is important and should be fine-tuned and optimized. In this episode, I do a live consultation with Michelle and discuss how to strategically diversify her marketing plan to advertise her Canadian private practice to her ideal clients.

Linzy Bonham: Build the Financial Foundation for Your Canadian Private Practice| EP 22

Do you worry about money in your Canadian private practice? Have you separated your personal bank account from your business account?? How do you plan for retirement? If any of these questions are making you nervous, then we need to address this tension around money and reframe your relationship with it! In this podcast episode, I speak with Canadian money coach Linzy Bonham who covers the basics of how to build a strong financial foundation whereupon you can build your Canadian private practice.

Jara Dekker: Are You Curious About Being a Digital Nomad Therapist? | EP 21

Have you considered taking your Canadian private practice online and overseas? Would you be interested in becoming a digital nomad therapist? Is it even possible? In this podcast episode, I speak with Jara Dekker, a seasoned traveller who’s been working on the move for the past five years. We discuss the pros and cons of digital nomadism, how to make friends, and how to combine the passion that you have for life with the passion to continue building your Canadian private practice.

How Do I Optimize My New Canadian Private Practice? Live Consulting With Cayle Fiala | EP 20

Is your Canadian private practice brand new? Are you unfamiliar with the business side of running a Canadian private practice? When you are starting out, it can be daunting to make sense of sales tax protocols and how to write a great Psychology Today profile. In this episode, I do a live consultation with Cayle and discuss various tips and tricks to help her establish the foundations of her new Canadian private practice.

How to Set Up Your Canadian Private Practice for Financial Success | EP 19

I love to look at numbers and create a flexible yet profitable budget, but it’s entirely another story to follow a budget. Learning how to effectively manage money is an important skill to master as a Canadian private practice owner. If in the past you have found it challenging to create and stick to a budget or you don’t yet know where to begin in developing one, I discuss helpful tips and advice in this episode to help you get started.

 Sue Cook: How to Build a Successful Canadian Group Private Practice | EP 18

Many Canadian therapists feel overwhelmed by the business side of running a group private practice. It takes a practice owner with initiative and a collaborative nature to support their counsellors in providing the best therapy that they can as well as focusing on growing the group practice. In this episode, I speak with Sue Cook about how she created a supportive framework that helps clinicians in her Ontario group private practice provide their best therapy.

Blogging: Why It Is Important for Your Canadian Private Practice and How to Do It | EP 17

As soon as I started my private practice, I started blogging. Over time, it has helped me grow an audience, rank high on Google, and maintain a consistent connection with my clients. If you find blogging daunting, or you have been meaning to start but just don’t know how to get going, in this episode, I discuss helpful tips from my personal blogging experience to help you get started.

3 Things to Do Differently in Your Canadian Private Practice | EP 16

This episode is a little nerve-wracking because I am going to recommend NOT DOING certain things in your Canadian private practice, that many counsellors do. If you do any of these things and it works for you, that’s cool, no judgment. These are just tips that I’ve found helpful in my private practice journey in order to get a work-life balance.

Amelia Hutchison: How to Ethically Build Your Social Media Audience | EP 15

Are you a therapist working to build your social media presence? How do you remain ethical while entertaining your audience? In this podcast episode, I speak with Amelia about how to build a Canadian social media presence that is professional, ethical, and true to who you are, while still connecting to your audience and helping you get clients.

Brent McCombs: How to Take a Better Profile Photo | EP 14

Is it worth spending money on a professional photographer? How can you get the best smile for your Canadian private practice photos? I have found that getting a professional photo that encapsulates who I am has helped me reach my ideal clients. In this episode, I speak with Brent McCombs about how Canadian therapists can get the best headshot that is authentic, shows who they are, and helps connect them to their clients.

Having a Niche Is Important, So How Do You Find One? | EP 13

Why should you have a niche? Are you still figuring out what your niche is? Being able to say who I can help and how I can help them has allowed me to expand my practice, make myself known while getting to work with my ideal clients. In this episode, I help you to figure out how to find your niche, why they are important, and small mistakes to avoid.

How to Set Your Psychology Today Profile up for Success | EP 12

Do you use Psychology Today? Are you unsure about how to go about setting up an outstanding profile, or how to edit your already existing one for the better? I have received a lot of new clients through my Psychology Today Canadian profile, and I would like to help you to do the same. Today I am sharing a list of things you can do today to help you stand out on this amazing platform, and help clients not only find you, but also, choose to work with you.

Why You Need a Canadian EMR for Your Private Practice with Ali Taylor | EP 11

Today I speak with Ali Taylor, a multi-disciplinary clinic owner who struggled to find a beautiful and practical online booking and electronic charting software for her Canadian clinic. Her long-time friend, Trevor, built her a solution as part of the website. Other practices were interested in using this new tool and so they partnered to build a full online practice management solution, called Jane App.

How to Attract Clients With My Canadian Website? Live Consulting With David Mitchell | EP 10

David took part in my webinar about starting a private practice. Now, he is building his own online Canadian private practice in Prince Edward Island! In this episode, he and I discuss ways for him to grow his success, the importance of raising his rates, and other vital aspects of creating a thriving Canadian private practice.

Raising Your Private Practice Rates to Get To the 4-Day Work Week with Joe Sanok | EP 09

As a therapist, you give so much of yourself to your work and your clients, so you need to ensure that you protect your time and your energy. How can scheduling your weekends accordingly with some hard boundaries around work help you achieve that elusive work-life balance? What is a 4-day workweek and would you consider it? How can raising your rates help you free up more time? Today I speak with Joe Sanok about raising your rates in your private practice, how to enjoy your weekends and why the 4-day workweek can help you reinvent your time, giving you more freedom, ideas, and happiness – while also helping the world.

How to Build a Canadian Website That Ranks High on Google With Austin Kirkland | EP 08

Building a website is important for your Canadian private practice, but having a really good website that is SEO optimized is absolutely vital to running a successful private practice. I tried to build my own practice website when I thought it was something I could figure out, but I ended up wasting my clinical time, and not getting anywhere.

How I Developed a Marketing Strategy for My Private Practice – Networking | EP 07

Networking was an important factor in my marketing. Even though direct referral sources from other clinicians and doctors were helpful, networking itself could get expensive. Some aspects of it worked well, while others were a waste of time and money. I needed to branch out my Canadian marketing and network strategies to suit me and my practice.

Building a Canadian Online Group Private Practice - Year Five | EP 06

As I started to get busier in my Canadian private practice, I had to make a decision of how many clients I wanted to see each week. I needed to find my sweet spot. I figured that if I got to see 8 to 9 clients a week, that would be my capacity to do amazing work with those clients. If I started to see more than that, I would start to feel drained and not do my best work. I now knew that I was getting to a point where I needed to grow my solo private practice, to a group private practice.

Transitioning My Canadian Private Practice From In-Person To Online Counselling - Year Four | EP 05

I was getting really busy in my private practice, this was exciting, but I was starting to burn out. I had some tough decisions to make so that I could free up some time and energy. However, nothing could have prepared me for a global pandemic and having to transition my Canadian private practice from in-person to online counselling.

How I Grew My Canadian Private Practice - Year Three | EP 04

By the end of 2018 things were going pretty well. I was working in my private practice 2 days a week and I was teaching at Dalhousie. I was making money and all the hard work I had done in setting up the foundational phase of my Canadian private practice was paying off.

Dealing With Unexpected Changes in My Canadian Private Practice - Year Two | EP 03

I was in my second year of running my Canadian private practice and things were going really well. I wasn’t stressed about finances and I was able to gain some really valuable experience with my job at Dalhousie University whilst being able to pay the bills...

How I Set Up My Canadian Private Practice - Year One | EP 02

I decided to move across the country to start a Canadian private practice in Halifax, NS with only 1 year of professional counselling experience under my belt, but I was pretty determined and really excited!

Why I Started a Canadian Private Practice | EP 01

Welcome to Fearless Practice Podcast! This podcast has been a year in the making and I am so excited to finally talk to you about how to start and grow a Canadian Private Practice, and sometime in the future, how to make it into a group private practice.