RAWDA TOMOUM: BUILDING A PRIVATE PRACTICE FROM ONLINE TO IN-PERSON | EP 73
Have you been stalling on your private practice dream? What holds you back from starting your own Canadian private practice? What does the first step look like?
Whether you are concentrating on levelling up your marketing efforts, honing in on your niche, or launching a sustainable private practice, making an investment in that future can feel scary – but in reality it is completely doable. The most difficult point is starting, so remember that everything is “figureoutable”, and take that first step.
In this podcast episode, Rawda and I discuss her journey into Canadian private practice – all the way from Egypt to Dubai to the US and then to BC! – and how she navigated trials, tribulations, and successes along the way.
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!
Rawda is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who came all the way from Egypt, passing by Dubai and Texas, till she made it to Burnaby, BC, Canada. She works with couples as well as adult individuals struggling with self-esteem, stress, depression, anxiety, and trauma, and since she started her practice, her background has led many immigrants and mixed-race couples her way.
In This Episode
- Starting a private practice
- Being intentional with work preferences
- Highlight your background in your marketing
- Struggles and triumphs of running a private practice
- Rawda’s advice to Canadian private practitioners
Starting a private practice
Rawda was already applying for her paperwork to launch her Canadian private practice while she was in Texas.
‘So I came here, finalized that, and then when we realized [that] we’re staying in BC, I started applying for the RCC because it’s more common and province-based”. – Rawda Tomoum
She followed the paperwork process, checking off each box at a time, to be able to be up and running and start counselling clients. Rawda decided not to work in an organization because it was difficult to either match up her schedule or her skillset with what they wanted. So, she focused more on launching her Canadian private practice.
‘I felt like, “Okay well, if it’s not working [in organizations], I might as well just start my own thing!’ – Rawda Tomoum
To make it clear to her clients while keeping her schedule well-structured, Rawda uses Jane App’s platform to organize her sessions with new and current clients alike. If you would like to learn more about using Jane App for your intake and scheduling, click the link below!
Being intentional with work preferences
Take control of your schedule in a way that supports you in being the best Canadian therapist that you can be. Structure your working hours to suit your lifestyle, you do not have to follow the same routine as others!
Rawda takes Fridays off from working clinical hours and uses that time toward her personal life, whether that is to practice self-care, see loved ones, or catch up on life admin.
‘I just enjoy not having anything on my schedule for that day and having it linked with the weekend. It shortens the week and feels less exhausting.’ – Rawda Homoum
Be proactive in helping yourself by taking some of the pressure off, and having the initiative to structure your day as it suits you best to do good work while caring for your needs.
Highlight your background in your marketing
If it fits within your niche and is something that you would feel comfortable doing, bring your background into your marketing strategy!
Often clients will be drawn to work with you not just for the services that you offer, but for whether they feel connected with or comfortable around you.
‘Highlight that you understand the community in a way that other people might not, or other therapists might not, and that saves clients the time of having to explain themselves in the therapy [session].’ – Julia Smith
Struggles and triumphs of running a private practice
Something that almost all new Canadian private practice owners struggle with is that they have to wear so many hats at first when they are launching the practice for the first time.
Rawda made sure when she was starting to utilize the marketing platforms that would help her to find her clients, and they worked! From Google Maps to the website to social media, they all helped her to connect with her first clients.
‘You really have to do all of that. You cannot just stick to one platform or one avenue and just wait for it to do its magic, you just have to … “Diversify”, … yeah!’. – Rawda Homoum and Julia Smith
Rawda’s journey into private practice took many turns across continents! She started in Texas where she completed her studies, and then applied for the credentials to launch her Canadian private practice, and finally opened it in Burnaby, BC. First she offered online sessions, and now it’s 50/50 between online and in-person sessions.
‘I feel like [neutral physical spaces for therapy] is a pro when it comes to in-person counselling, but at the same time, we cannot deny how much access online counselling has provided for everyone, both counsellors and clients.’ – Rawda Tomoum
Rawda started her Canadian private practice online, and when she felt that things had settled and were going well, she then transitioned to offering in-person counselling.
Additionally, something else that greatly helped Rawda’s Canadian private practice and her work as a counsellor was building a community of like-minded professionals to work alongside. They support one another by referring out, and sharing information, and tips and tricks that helped them all on their journeys.
‘Support, not competitiveness … abundance, not scarcity.’ – Julia Smith
Rawda’s advice to Canadian private practitioners
‘Just do it! Go in, go forward, get it started [because] it’s going to come along and you’re going to figure it out as you go, but if you keep on waiting for the perfect moment it’s never going to come.’ – Rawda Homoum
There will never be a perfect moment to do something where you have everything figured out, because nobody – no matter their journey – has everything figured out!
So stop stalling and get going on your dreams. Prepare as much as you can, and then take the first steps, and adjust accordingly. You learn on the job, so let yourself be free to make mistakes so that you can learn faster and reach your goals sooner. If you would like some extra support, try out my three-in-one Canadian private practice trilogy!
Connect With Me
Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:
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)
Julia Smith, MEd, RCT, CCC, is the owner of Fearless Practice. She specializes in consulting with Canadian counsellors and therapists who want to start a private practice. She also owns a private practice in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she helps teenagers and adults who want to be confident and happy but are feeling weighed down by anxiety, stress, and depression. She also blogs for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. You can read more articles about Canadian counselling and psychotherapy at www.ccpa-accp.ca/blog/.