The Podcast for Counsellors Interested in Planning, Starting & Growing Their Private Practice in Canada.
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!
The Do’s and Don’ts of Canadian Private Practice | Ep 65
As a therapist – especially in private practice – there is much to know and to make sure to do in your everyday schedule, besides seeing clients. It can feel like a lot, so this is a quick, simple, and informative episode that you can keep on hand to make sure that you are staying within the guidelines while working towards your goals. If you are unsure about what is standard practice, great practice, or could even be malpractice and you might not realize it, then give this episode a listen! In this podcast episode, I go through the main aspects of everything related to private practice in Canada. Use it as a guideline for what you should do more of, less of, or even something to try differently in the future.
How to Enjoy Private Practice in the Winter | Ep 64
Does the change of seasons also create a change in your energy levels? Do you sometimes find it difficult to maintain a faster working pace in the colder months? Is there a way to work slowly and still effectively? Life fluctuates! Very few things are static, and change happens often. It might not sound like it, but you are often happier, more productive, and more successful when you adjust your work-life balance according to your needs. In these colder months when your energy levels can shift, it could be best for you and for your work to also adjust your pace, allowing you to continue doing great work without burning yourself out. In this podcast episode, I explain how you can do just that!
New Psychology Today Feature: Updated Endorsements! | Ep 63
Are you looking for ethical and effective ways to market yourself? Is there a fellow counsellor in your field that you want to recommend? Have you heard about the new Psychology Today feature? Even though the endorsement feature on Psychology Today has been around for some time, they recently revamped it, allowing you to clearly showcase your endorsements and recommendations on your profile to potential clients. It’s a great, free marketing tool that benefits all therapists! In this podcast episode, I explain the process of writing endorsements for other clinicians, as well as general communication guidelines for when it comes to sending and receiving recommendations from other therapists.
Marketing Your Private Practice on Podcasts | Ep 62
You might feel uncertain as to where to begin when it comes to marketing yourself on podcasts – it’s something new! Even if you are a little nervous, it’s easier, more lucrative – and more fun – than you might think. Being a guest and talking on someone else's podcasts or even starting one for your Canadian private practice are great, creative, and versatile ways for you to showcase your practice. Podcasting can offer you tools for connecting with your ideal clients, like dynamic marketing and boosting your SEO ranking. Listen to this episode where I take you through the benefits, the process, and how to get started on becoming a podcast guest!
How to Provide Inter-Provincial Online Counselling | Ep 61
Have you been considering expanding your Canadian private practice? Can you counsel people who live in other provinces besides yours? What are the protocols? Online counselling is here to stay, and many counselling therapists and clients alike prefer this system with its flexibility and the autonomy it can provide them. However, there are some important regulations to be aware of when it comes to online counselling, especially when you want to broaden your reach and work with more clients. In this podcast episode, I take you through the process of finding out which provinces you can – at this time! – advertise in, and how to go about it ethically and safely, both for you and your future clients.
Adding Insurance Companies to Your Canadian Private Practice | Ep 60
Do you want to take insurance in your Canadian private practice? Are you feeling frustrated with managing your direct billing? What is the best way for small business owners to handle their energy and time when it comes to collecting payment? Once you have your license number, it is much easier to be recognized by Canadian insurance companies as a provider. Unfortunately, a lot of plans don’t recognize Counselling Therapists or Psychotherapists yet. Although, this is slowly changing day by day! It may seem complex, but there are solutions that you can offer your clients, and in this podcast episode, I talk you through that process.
John Hubert: Regulation and Why It Is Vital for Canadian Counsellors | Ep 59
Why is self-regulation necessary for Canadian counsellors? What would it take to maintain a bottom-up approach to regulation? Is it possible to join a regulatory body to maintain efficacy and ethics across your profession? Regulation might seem like a daunting world, but in reality, it is the tool that helps Canadian private practice owners to keep doing the best work that they can in the knowledge that they are being ethical and putting their clients best interests first. You can also become an active agent in regulation, helping to ensure the safety and quality of the mental health profession! In this podcast episode, John Hubert and I dive into the terminology, the history, and the importance of regulating the Canadian counselling field for the benefit of counsellors and clients alike.
Why You Can’t Use Testimonials in Canadian Private Practice | Ep 58
We all know that testimonials are the gold standard for marketing. People trust and value the opinions of others, and so they will often look for endorsements or referrals when they are deciding on who to work with or which services or products to buy. However in private practice, it is highly unethical to ask clients for testimonials. So, how can you connect with your ideal clients and market your Canadian private practice in an ethical yet effective way? In this podcast episode, I discuss how you can go about finding ethical endorsements for your practice without crossing any boundaries with your regulator or other standards of practice. Do great work in an ethical way, and here are some tips on how to get started!
Heather Peters: Accounting in Canada for Private Practice | Ep 57
Why should you invest in a business accountant? Have you used online accounting services in the past that have ultimately cost you more money and time? Numbers can be tricky, even for someone experienced, and especially for someone new. If you are running a Canadian private practice, consider hiring someone professional to take care of your numbers so that you can focus on what you do best: your clinical work! In this podcast episode, I discuss everything accounting with Heather Peters for a quick 101 lesson on the staples, and how you can set up your accounting system so that your sleep-at-night factor is secure and comfortable.
Why You Should Create a Private Practice Podcast | Ep 56
Do you want to explore different ways to market your Canadian private practice while diving into new skills? What are some unique ways to promote your Canadian private practice? Could podcasting be an easy way to market and connect with your ideal clients? Whether you want to diversify your marketing efforts, develop new interpersonal and business skills, expand your network, and increase connection with your client base, podcasting is a powerful and creative tool that you can utilize! In this podcast episode, I discuss my personal experiences with podcasting for my Canadian private practice and offer you a couple of tips to keep in mind when you give it a go!
Allison Puryear: Marketing Skills for Canadian Private Practices | Ep 55
How can you become a great boss for your employees? What does it take to truly connect through copy? What is needed to launch multiple successful private practices, even in different provinces? You can be intentional with your Canadian private practice, and create it to suit you, your temperament, and your skills. Simultaneously, you don’t have to keep growing and growing until you reach the moon! Your business is a way for you to serve the needs of your community while supporting yourself and your family. In this episode, Allison and I discuss Canadian private practice from all angles, so whether you are fresh to private practice or you are a seasoned therapist who's been at the helm for a while, there’s something in this episode for you to appreciate!
When Should I Hire a VA for My Canadian Private Practice? Live Consultation With Danik Bernier | Ep 54
Are you at a crossroads in your Canadian private practice? What does your practice need to help it grow? What do you need help with to do your best work? Regardless of the level that you are at within your private practice, or however seasoned you are as a therapist, things like impostor syndrome can trip anyone up. However, it doesn’t have to stay this way. Whether it’s about raising your rates or hiring a virtual assistant, these limiting beliefs can keep you stuck until you rise to meet and overcome them. In this podcast episode, I do a live consultation with Danik, who’s at a place in her career where she needs to hire a virtual assistant so that she can take the next step to leveling up her private practice.
How to Give Bonuses and Wage Increases to Your Staff | Ep 53
As the end of the year comes around and it’s time for celebrations, seeing loved ones, and appreciating those around us, you may be considering giving bonuses to your staff! Are you considering giving gifts or a financial bonus? Which is better? How can you factor inflation into your decision-making process? Managing a Canadian private practice is a difficult process, but one way to make everything run smoother is to take care of your employees and show your appreciation for all the hard work they do. In this podcast episode, I discuss my approach to embodying my values and gifting my employees the amount that sits comfortably with myself, my ethics, and my bank account.
Bank Audits and Retirement: Wrapping up the 2022 Financial Year | Ep 52
2022 is almost over, and 2023 is right around the corner! As the year draws to a close, how do you consolidate your finances? What are the goals that you have set for yourself? Have you been thinking about planning for retirement? Whether you are reassessing where your money has gone in your Canadian private practice, to where you want to spend less or more, or redirect a new stream of income, now is the time to look at the books. In this podcast episode, I discuss doing a small bank audit of your Canadian private practice to make sure that your plans and your finances are in order, which will help you start the new year with a spring in your step!
Lisa Simone Richards: PR Essentials for Canadian Private Practices | Ep 51
Have you been struggling with getting your Canadian private practice in front of more people? Are you looking for a way to dramatically boost your revenue? Do you want to light a fire beneath your visibility? If you agreed with these questions, then definitely listen to this episode, because it’s for you! In this podcast episode, I discuss everything to do with PR with Lisa Simone Richards. From the value of engaging with different media forms, to how to increase the visibility of your Canadian private practice, and more – tune in for a run-down and re-cap of the essential basics of boosting the PR of your Canadian private practice.
Growing Pains I Experienced in My Canadian Private Practice - Year 6 | Ep 49
What has your year of private practice looked like? Which lessons have you learned, or are currently learning? Starting and running a Canadian private practice is a journey of continual growth and education. As you develop, so does your practice! And what impacts you in your personal life may also influence the unfolding of your business. In this annual episode, I take a little dive into what my year has been like, what I’ve learned, and what my focus will be for the next one!
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.