Angela Bishop: Build Your Career in Canadian Private Practice | Ep 104

What works for you one day, one year, or one decade may not stay the same. As you change and develop as a person, so will your needs, and what you need from your environment to feel supported and to offer your best work. 

If there are times when you notice that what used to work for you isn’t working anymore, notice them, and take stock of how you can pivot. There may be times when your career takes a shift. So, consider putting yourself out there when this happens, trust that feeling, and take a leap of faith. 

In this podcast episode, I talk with Angela who used to have zero interest in running a Canadian private practice but who is now on track to hit her second year of being a solo practitioner! We discuss how she got into therapy, the challenges she faced, and how she is overcoming them.

Jane is an all-in-one health and wellness practice management platform designed to be helpful to you, no matter how or where you practice. Available online and on any device, Jane offers branded online booking, beautiful scheduling, insurance management, customizable charting, online intake forms, patient reminders, integrated payment processing, online appointments (telehealth) and more! Use the code FEARLESS at signup to receive your first month completely free!


Angela is a Registered Social Worker and perinatal mental health provider, specializing in maternal mental health and all things parenthood. She has a wealth of experience in helping individuals move through transitions, worries, low mood and general day to day struggles. She opened up her own private therapy practice “Bloom & Thrive Therapy” in 2022 where she has a strong focus on Perinatal Mental Health, aiming to help parents through the process and transition to and into parenthood; assisting them to grow in their new role, heal and find joy so they can live their life more meaningfully.

Learn more about Angela on her practice website, Psychology Today, and LinkedIn profiles. 

In This Episode

  • Recognizing and honouring the desire to change 
  • Becoming a therapist 
  • Creating a job that you like doing 
  • Offering in-person and virtual therapy 
  • Networking with fellow therapists 

Recognizing and honouring the desire to change 

Angela got her Masters of Social Work in 2008. She worked for a counselling agency for a short period of time before getting a long term job at a hospital where she worked for 14 years. 

‘In my last position [in the hospital] I was working in mental health, so part of that was in in-patient … We did individual and group therapy and that’s what I did all day.’ – Angela Bishop 

Then, when Angela had her second child in 2021 and went on maternity leave, she felt that she was ready for something new in her professional life. Things also became more difficult after her second child, so she knew that she had to change up her professional career to suit her needs. 

Becoming a therapist 

‘I just took a look at my life and what I could handle and I needed to make things manageable, and in doing that, looking at [my] career … I need to make money, obviously, but can that look different? And luckily as a social worker, there are so many careers you can have, there are so many doors that can open with that education. [And], private practice being one of them.’ – Angela Bishop

Angela extended her maternity leave and began dipping her toes into private practice by working as an associate. 

In January 2022, Angela started learning more about private practice. By March she was working as an associate, and then registered her own practice in May 2022. In Angela’s contract, there wasn’t a conflict of interest that barred her from starting her own business. 

‘It’s interesting because in the beginning, I had zero interest in running my own business. I just wanted to punch the clock … Go to work, work your hours, go home, and not have to think about it. So, it’s crazy how that [change] all took place over a short period of time!’ – Angela Bishop 

Creating a job that you like doing 

Angela describes the things that she misses from working in the hospital, such as: 

  • Bouncing ideas off of other clinicians 
  • Chatting with other medical staff to better understand a diagnosis 
  • The community of working as a team

All these aspects can be implemented into a private practice over time. You could join mastermind groups, hire associates and assistants, and share office space. 

There are ways to create the job that you enjoy working and want to do because, even though there are benefits to contract work, there are downsides too. For Angela, she doesn’t miss the: 

  • Long hours 
  • High rate of burnout 
  • Policies and politics 

‘I used to ignore that piece and just do my job but during covid you couldn’t anymore. Everything was changing every week, and you couldn’t avoid it anymore, and I didn’t like that.’ – Angela Bishop 

Starting up a private practice gave Angela the opportunity to create a work environment where she could have a professional career that wasn’t intruded on my politics or issues from a contract or agency job.  

Offering in-person and virtual therapy 

Nowadays, people are used to virtual therapy and are okay with it. It can be expensive to have an in-person space and to rent an office to use for therapy, however, Angela knew that she wanted to invest in one. 

‘I didn’t want to turn people away if they did want to see [me] in person … I’ve had a number of people come through that initially wanted therapy in person and then became more of a hybrid … There is a difference in having met someone in person, at least once or twice to only ever having done it via video. I think it helps with comfort level, especially if [the client] is new to therapy.’ – Angela Bishop 

Offering in-person therapy has become a great way for new clients to first meet Angela and get to know her before moving to virtual therapy. Especially for new mothers or parents that struggle to find daycare, virtual therapy suits their needs and schedule as well.

Networking with fellow therapists 

Angela shares an office space with another therapist who she used to work with back at the hospital. They see different client groups and can refer to one another. 

Having this type of small camaraderie is incredibly useful and supportive for therapists, to help one another out and to share the load, since it can feel lonely from time to time. 

‘I have some other people that I’ve met just kind of as I’ve come into this business that I can call on or get together [with], so it’s less lonely that way.’ – Angela Bishop

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:

Ep 103: Why Taking Breaks is Important in Private Practice | EP 103

Learn more about the tools and deals that I love and use for my Canadian private practice

Sign up for my free e-course on How to Start an Online Canadian Private Practice

Jane App (use code FEARLESS for one month free)

Learn more about Angela on her practice website, Psychology Today, and LinkedIn profiles. 

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, SpotifyAmazon, and TuneIn 

About Julia

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT, CCC is a registered Counselling Therapist who owns a group private practice in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is also the owner of Fearless Practice Consulting and hosts the Fearless Practice podcast. Through the Fearless Practice podcast, she provides invaluable insights and practical advice on starting and growing a successful Canadian private practice. Julia’s wealth of knowledge also extends beyond the podcast, as she provides personalized one-on-one consulting to therapists who are feeling burnt out and overwhelmed with their solo or group private practices. With Julia’s expertise, therapists can confidently navigate the complexities of owning a private practice and find work life – balance. 

Julia also has written articles for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy association. You can learn more at