Redefining Work-Life Balance in a Canadian Private Practice | Ep 124

We always hear about “optimization”, and to the extent that many folks may be influenced to outsource everything possible so that they have more free time. 

But imagine this; if you had all this extra free time, after the time to rest, exercise, and spend time with loved ones, what would you be doing? If you had more free time and the mental capacity for tasks that you enjoy, what would they be? 

You don’t have to outsource all the parts of your private practice, maybe only the parts that you either need help with, or that you really don’t like doing. If you’re a great therapist, but you also love marketing or SEO (like me!) then there’s nothing wrong with structuring your tasks so that you still get to do these tasks that you enjoy doing in your practice.

Work-life balance is just that, a balance that you have to test out to discover where it lies for you. Feel free to learn from what others say, but it’s important to experiment on your own terms so that you can find something that works and feels right for you. This is what I’ve done, listen in to learn more!

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In This Episode

  • Some background on my experience so far
  • The reality of my choices 
  • Do things because you love doing them

Some background on my experience so far

‘One of the main reasons why I started a private practice was because I wanted to have more of a work-life balance. I didn’t want to be burnt out by seeing too many clients a week, or working long hours, and not having enough time off to decompress. I love being a therapist, and I wanted to make sure that I could be in this profession for a really long time!’ – Julia Smith 

Sometimes therapists can only stay in the profession for a while because they can get severely burnt out, and I didn’t want that to happen to me. 

When I started my Canadian private practice part-time, I was still working at university as a therapist. Even though I loved both jobs, I could tell that I was getting burnt out because all I wanted to do was veg out on the couch, eat junk food, and sleep. 

‘For me the cycle was work a lot, veg out, work a lot, veg out … Rinse, cycle, repeat, and so during this period of my life, I was [determined] to work towards not working as much. To solely be in private practice and have more flexibility with my schedule.’ – Julia Smith 

So, once I fully transitioned into private practice, things started to slowly get better! And I started to finally achieve some more work-life balance. I share more about this on this podcast episode; a 50/50 work week. Additionally, I share how having more free time helped me to overcome some obstacles that cropped up during this time. 

The reality of my choices

At a time, this 50/50 work week split was great because it provided me with the chance to get to everything I needed to in my practice while allowing myself to rest on the off days. 

However, with this additional extra time, I was getting a little bored. I had caught up on my rest after the burnout I had found myself in, and so I started looking at new projects to do.

‘Something was missing. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. A little restless, and aimless … Up until this point, I thought this is what I needed to have for work-life balance … So I was a bit confused about what was going on!’ – Julia Smith 

I started to ask myself what fills my soul, beyond doing the therapy work that I love. I could sense that there was something more that I wanted to do and contribute to with my time and energy; I just had to figure out what that was. 

What I came to understand was that by outsourcing everything that I possibly could, there were types of work that I was no longer doing that I did enjoy doing. 

‘I’m a lifelong learner at heart, and I’m not learning if I’m just outsourcing everything! That’s not going to make me happy … It makes me feel a bit empty, bored … I forgot to focus on things that I like doing in my work, and making sure that I’m not outsourcing all of those things that I’m interested in.’ – Julia Smith  

Do things because you love doing them

So, even though a business owner could technically outsource every single thing in their business to someone else – besides only what they can do – that’s not something that you have to do!

You can still find the balance between hiring outside assistants and help, and still doing the tasks that you enjoy doing! 

Remember that you don’t have to follow everyone else’s example. Take advice and learn from other people’s experience, but at the end of the day, you are the one who can build a system that is best-suited for your needs and desires. 

‘For a lot of us, you also need time to be learning. To continuously learn about something that you’re interested in … Do it for fun!’ – Julia Smith

Some questions for you to think about could include: 

  • What do you enjoy doing? 
  • How do you make time for it? 
  • What can you outsource so that you have the time to do these things?

Connect With Me

Ep 123: Michelle Ham: Joining a Collective to Build a Successful Practice | EP 123

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

Article: How to Set Up a Canadian Private Practice Website  

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

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Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:

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

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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