Kelly Hoskin: Trusting the Process for Success in Canadian Private Practice | Ep 125

Sometimes people can feel nervous to start their careers since they don’t know where it will end up. Sometimes we may feel like we need to know exactly how the journey will look before we head towards a new destination. 

However, even though we can never know what may happen before it happens, what we can do is take the action that is within our power. Therefore, even though you may have doubts, focus your efforts on taking the next best steps before you, and soon enough you may find yourself at your destination! 

In this podcast episode, Kelly and I discuss how she had no intention of working in psychotherapy initially after grad school, but found her way there organically – simply by listening to herself and to the feedback that she received from fellow colleagues and leaders. She discovered more of what she loved along the way, and brought more of it into her now flourishing career!

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Kelly Hoskin (BSW, RSW) is a registered social worker and psychotherapist passionate about supporting teenagers and adults, Indigenous peoples, and those grieving the loss of a pet. Kelly lives in Angus, Ontario and provides sessions virtually and in-person, including walk and talk therapy. She feels strongly in meeting clients where they’re at and staying flexible to their needs. The client is the expert in their own life, and Kelly helps them to navigate their healing journey.

Learn more about Kelly on her Instagram and Psychology Today profiles.

In This Episode

  • Kelly’s entrance to social work 
  • From social work into private practice 
  • Working in NIHB 
  • Kelly’s advice for listeners

Kelly’s entrance to social work 

‘It’s been a pretty long, winding road. I really didn’t intend to get into psychotherapy, although social work became obvious after a bit.’ – Kelly Hoskin

Kelly got her bachelor’s degree after high school, and then she worked for a few years at an employee assistance program since she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next. Eventually, she decided to complete her bachelors of social work. 

‘My family actually has some social workers in it. Both my older siblings are social workers, and so all three of us ended up in social work. I don’t know how that happened! But my older sister at the time was a social worker, so I think between her and working for an employee assistance program … I got a view into the world of social work and psychotherapy.’ – Kelly Hoskins 

After she graduated from her bachelors of social work, it took her another few years to figure out what to do with her degree. After experiencing some burnout, Kelly tried another career but went back to social work. 

‘It’s never necessarily point A to point B that we know what we want. It’s okay if you go and live life a little bit.’ – Kelly Hoskins

As Kelly explains, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get somewhere – it’s more important that you get there in the end!

From social work into private practice 

Kelly worked as the coordinator in a collective of therapists, and she was well-known there. She did potential client’s risk assessments and recommended them to a therapist in the collective. 

‘Through there, being part of the team meetings that I would attend … I started to wonder, “Maybe I could do that?” Because they really listened to the feedback that I had … and they valued my voice and opinion … And I started to wonder if I could!’ – Kelly Hoskin

Kelly was then motivated to start a private practice, with just a Bachelors of Social Work. She wanted to make sure that there wasn’t a specific rule stating that she wasn’t allowed, and within her province, it is allowed – but maybe not always recommended! Since further studying is often encouraged or required. Always check with your college! 

‘I did my due diligence of checking, and I did a lot of reflection [since I wanted] to do this ethically … It was a long process of coming to terms with, “Okay, I’m going to try this and see what happens” … It’s more than just [academic] education. It’s experience, personality, it’s how you relate to people … So it’s about a lot of other factors too.’ – Kelly Hoskin 

Kelly approached the team as joining a psychotherapist, and was met with a warm welcome. They were supportive of her trying it out, and it just took time, her confidence, and support from other psychotherapists – with peer supervision – but Kelly did get there!

Working in NIHB

‘The process to get on that is not too challenging. I think again it needs to be the right type of person that would feel comfortable and confident and have the experience to provide those services to that population.’ – Kelly Hoskin

People who have status, either Inuit or indigenous, can access this service and they can receive up to 22 counselling sessions per calendar year. The therapist is paid directly from the government, so the client doesn’t have to pay at all. 

In order to be a part of this program you can fill out an application as to why you would be competent to be part of this program. You then find the clients, and if they are eligible,  they can access that service. 

You can learn more about this service on their official website. Kelly markets to her clients via her social media platforms, as well as receiving clients through her referral network.

Additionally, Kelly hosts a networking event each month for both fellow practitioners as well as clients, which allows more people to find out about her work, as well as allowing her to provide a platform for more therapists and clients to meet. 

‘It’s really shaped my private practice in that I’ve connected with more people in a business sense, which I think as private practitioners, we do need to be thinking about … I appreciate that because I run these groups I’m a little bit more well-known and I’m top of mind for people.’ – Kelly Hoskins 

Kelly’s advice for listeners 

You are not the only one who doesn’t know what they are doing with the business side of private practice! 

‘The more you practice, the more confidence you will get!’ – Kelly Hoskins 

Connect with your community of fellow therapists and practitioners, so that you have people to learn from and lean on, since even though you need to take the steps forward by yourself, this is not a journey that you have to walk alone.

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:

Ep 124: Seeking Out and Mastering Work/ Life Balance | EP 124

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

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Learn more about Kelly on her Instagram and Psychology Today profiles

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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