Brittany Wells-Pantaleo: Growing a Group Practice Virtually and Ethically | Ep 118

Many counsellors may enter into private practice without expecting to open it into a group practice, since it can be a journey that develops as you explore your niche, assess the needs of your community, and as you develop as a person in your profession. 

However, if you find yourself on the entrepreneurial path, don’t doubt that it can work! Even though many counsellors are not taught business skills in school, they can be learned, and you can work as an expert in your niche while being profitable and building your dream virtual group practice!

In this podcast episode, I chat with Brittany about her experience of launching, managing, and working in her group practice that’s virtual across Canada. She shares her advice and experience from starting without knowing to confidently planning for her future. Join us and listen in!

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!


Brittany Wells-Pantaleo, MSW, RSW, is the Founder and Clinical Director of Moncton Counselling and Wellness. With a Master’s degree in Social Work and as a Registered Social Worker, she has dedicated my career to supporting individuals in their mental health journeys. In 2021, she established Moncton Counselling and Wellness with the goal of providing compassionate and effective counselling support. Her organization has since grown, serving individuals and couples across Canada.

Learn more about Brittany on her LinkedIn profile, practice website, and Instagram page

In This Episode

  • Why Brittany became a social worker 
  • Starting a private practice 
  • Developing a group private practice 
  • Using Jane App for a virtual practice 
  • Navigating virtual counselling ethically 
  • Brittany’s advice to listeners

Why Brittany became a social worker 

Brittany’s social work journey began in Ontario in 2016. While she was completing her undergrad, she began working in social worker positions. Brittany worked in the shelter system with a women’s shelter and a youth shelter. 

‘I did that for six or seven years … to see if social work was for me, and I realized that it was! So, when I was about halfway through my undergraduate bachelor of arts degree, I started plumping up my resume because I knew that to get into a masters program, you have to have about the equivalent of five to ten years of experience for the school I was trying to get into.’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo 

Brittany applied and luckily got in the first round for her masters, and started in-person, but with the COVID-19 pandemic she had to move online for the last six months of her two and a half year program. 

‘I finished and started working, still in the shelter system but I then worked as a housing caseworker at a COVID isolation shelter for those who actually were experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo 

Even though it was an intense experience, Brittany explains that it provided her with invaluable experience and skills which she brought with her on her journey to today. 

Starting a private practice 

In 2021, Brittany moved to Moncton, New Brunswick and began working for another private practice before venturing out on her own. 

‘The majority of what I had done up until that point was virtual work because of the pandemic … I hadn’t really done a whole lot of in-person social work since graduating with my masters, so I started doing some in-person work and from that opportunity I had a therapist from Ontario connect with me.’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo 

By connecting with a fellow therapist, Brittany began receiving some referrals and building up her referral network and learning from this more experienced practitioner. 

However, Brittany’s father was diagnosed with cancer, and she decided to take a risk and go out on her own and cut ties with a group practice so that she could stay closer to family during this time. 

‘My priorities shifted in a way that I didn’t expect. So, financially it was definitely a good decision but again, the risk involved with that is not super light … That was a large part of things, but being able to choose when I worked … I was able to work with [family doctors appointment times] by being on my own which was a risk but absolutely was something I needed to do at that time.’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo

Developing a group private practice 

Once Brittany understood what the mental health landscape looked like in Moncton, she came to find that there were lots of people seeking therapy and that there were a lot of waitlists with the current therapists there as well. 

Since no other therapists were taking clients and Brittany’s waitlist also began to grow, she considered opening up a virtual wing of her private practice. 

‘It didn’t take me very long to figure out that [virtual counselling] was something that I wanted to explore, and that is when I added my first virtual associate to Moncton Counselling and Wellness and that was in May of 2022, that is when I decided to add my first clinician. That was my first step into it!’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo 

Even though Brittany had never seen herself as having a virtual practice – let alone being a group practice owner! – she’s glad that she took the leap and tried them both out. 

‘I noticed that I did like that entrepreneurial side of things with the associates … It’s something I never thought I would ever dabble in, but [private practice] just kind of led me in that direction, and it’s definitely been a very positive experience.’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo 

Using Jane App for a virtual practice 

Brittany highly recommends Jane App for managing her virtual group practice. Technology is all-encompassing these days, and so choosing a software managing system is important because it becomes an integral part of what your Canadian private practice develops around. 

Jane App is designed specifically with therapists in mind, and therefore considers all the needs of the practice and fulfills them with quality service, care, and foresight. 

‘[The] online booking is streamlined … It’s streamlined so many aspects of the business … It’s the perfect platform for [it] … You might as well test it out because it saves you so much time.’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo

Navigating virtual counselling ethically 

Since starting her private practice, Brittany has learned that it is slightly different for social workers. 

‘The way that it works for social workers, for the most part, is that you have to register for each college or each association in each province that you want to provide virtual services in, and in-person services.’ – Brittany Wells-Pantaleo  

It is always good practice to work with your attorney or legal advisor, and get in touch with the relevant associations or colleges before you start working in a province, in-person or virtually, so that you know what you should or should not be doing to remain ethical and in the know. 

Brittany’s advice to listeners 

Learn from others! Look and learn from other people’s experiences because all this information can offer you more insights and wisdom to incorporate into your approach.

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:

Ep 117: Courtney Vezina: Incorporating Community Values into Private Practice | EP 117

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 Brittany on her LinkedIn profile, practice website, and Instagram page

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