Financially successful private practices: characteristics and themes
This qualitative study explored factors associated with financial success in private psychotherapy practices run by LMFTs and LPCs. Clinicians running financially successful private practices shared insights on a range of factors they perceived as contributing to their financial success. Marriage and family therapists interested in entering private practice can benefit from the themes identified in this research. This research may also provide educators with a richer understanding of how to prepare students to successfully enter private practice. Using a phenomenological approach twenty-two therapists (i.e. LMFTs or LPCs) running private practices that generated an annual gross income of at least $100,000 were interviewed. These interviews were semi-structured interviews and conducted in person with each participant. Each participant was asked to discuss what has made his or her practice financially successful. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed for common themes. Themes identified from the interviews included free commerce, insurance, necessary evil?, and the value of self and service. Additionally, the researcher observed that each therapist displayed a sense of humor and skill in establishing rapport. Conclusions derived from the research findings are identified. Implications for university educators and aspiring private practice therapists are discussed. Limitations of the research methodology are delineated, and directions for future research are suggested.