Mila Arsenijevic: Balancing Growth in a Canadian Private Practice | Ep 121

Do you feel pressured to always be scaling and growing your Canadian private practice? In modern business, the idea is usually to push growth – but that’s not always the case! Sometimes not growing can also help private practice. 

Every now and then you need to intentionally stop growing and instead focus on the foundations of your private practice, so that any future growth down the line actually holds and sticks because growth for growth’s sake is not necessarily everyone’s preference. 

If you want your Canadian private practice to develop sustainably and successfully, then you’re going to need to follow your own pace, and not chase what everyone else is doing. In this podcast episode, Mila and I discuss how she launched her practice and how sometimes not aiming for growth is the best way to success!

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Meet Mila, the driving force behind Toronto Therapy Practice. With over a decade of experience specializing in perinatal mental health at esteemed institutions such as Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Mila is a compassionate and dedicated therapist committed to fostering trust and connection with her clients. Her journey in the mental health field began as a social worker, evolving into her role as the founder of Toronto Therapy Practice. Drawing from her diverse background, which includes supporting graduate students at the University of Toronto and working at renowned hospitals like Sunnybrook and Kings College Hospital in the UK, Mila brings a wealth of expertise to her practice.

Learn more about Mila on her Psychology Today profile and her Canadian practice website

In This Episode

  • How Mila became a social worker 
  • Getting into private practice 
  • Mila’s advice on scaling via hiring 
  • Dreams and aspirations for a growing practice

How Mila became a social worker

Since Mila had experience traveling internationally, she decided to study International Relations in Canada. She didn’t enjoy it as much as she thought she would, but Mila did take psychology as a minor and ended up loving it enough to focus on social work in her masters. 

‘I really loved [psychology] and so from there, I realized I was passionate about psychology and decided to switch, and when I was finishing my undergrad I was able to get into the masters program in social work, and so that’s how I came into that degree and I later specialized in mental health.’ – Mila Arsenijevic

In her second year of placement in the masters program, Mila was at Sunnybrook hospital providing counselling. The job that she worked there went well enough that once she completed her studies, she decided to get a more permanent position and started her work experience. 

However, one year after she started her her role at Sunnybrook, things changed, and she was offered a position in England which she ended up taking, and went to London to live and work. Mila was in England for some time before returning to Canada due to personal reasons, and to look for other work. 

‘I took what was a four month contract and then it all worked out for me because I ended up staying in women’s mental health … for a decade!’ – Mila Arsenijevic

Getting into private practice 

While Mila was working at the hospital, she was doing outpatient counselling. 

She experienced some limitations in terms of how she was able to provide therapy within the hospital system. Mila noticed long wait lists, loads of people seeking access and care, and within the specific hospital rules, she thought that she could offer these necessary services in another way. 

“Gradually over the last few years, I was doing part-time … in a private practice and I was just really realizing how much I loved doing private practice, and being able to set the pace of the appointments, the frequency, and all of that. It was a hard decision … But in the end I did decide to go full time in private practice and I love it, I haven’t regretted it!’ – Mila Arsenijevic

In 2023, Mila started focusing on growing her private practice and now she has four associates.

Mila’s advice on scaling via hiring

One associate hired was a friend of Mila’s, one was through word of mouth, and the other two were through Indeed. 

‘I was basing it on the number of referrals I was getting and the need …  Also the reason why I think I hired a few more people is because the people that do work with me, their schedules are very flexible and they set the hours that work for them, and this way there’s a bit more flexibility and I don’t have to pressure anyone to take a client if they don’t want to because there’s enough people to be placed in a way that works for everyone.’ – Mila Arsenijevic

With a flexible schedule system that all her associates have, Mila is able to connect clients and clinicians on schedules that suit both of their needs. Additionally, Mila’s practice and her associates have a hybrid model of offering in-person and online therapy, which offers another layer of flexibility for her, her associates, and their clients.

Dreams and aspirations for a growing practice 

Even though Mila has a lot of dreams for her private practice, she wants to make sure that she firmly establishes it now. 

With appropriate scheduling, processes, and systems in place, Mila wants to give her private practice the best shot at success as she can, and that means taking the time and making the effort to lay strong yet flexible foundations for it – and her – to depend on. 

‘Down the road, in maybe another year or two, if it looks like everything is well-established, set up, and everyone’s schedules are full, eventually growing it more. But I think right now …  I’m happy with the level that it’s at.’ – Mila Arsenijevic

Mila’s advice to you is that it’s important to know that it takes hard work, but that it is possible. There are also so many ways to get to the same place, so explore to find out what works well for you!

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:

Ep 120: 5 Ways to Tackle Isolation with an Online Private Practice | EP 120

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 Mila on her Psychology Today profile and her Canadian practice website

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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