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Therapists in private practice generally go through ups and downs when it comes to financial stability. There are periods of time when they experience a high volume of clients. Other times, there’s a decrease in their caseload.
This can make it tough to balance finances throughout the year.
Here’s how I’ve been able to ensure a more stable financial future, arriving at the height of my career and almost tripling my salary in the process.
Financial stability and a full schedule
When I first started my therapy practice, I was only licensed in Indiana. I wasn't getting much clientele and had slower periods that led to financial strain.
When I began working with Spring Health, I learned about cross-state licensing and decided to become licensed in Arkansas and Massachusetts.
This has helped me tremendously. I no longer worry about security or having financial stability, and my schedule is full because there are more than enough clients to fill my time.
Supplementing slow periods
Typically, slower months of the year fall around the time my clients’ EAP allowances begin to run out. I see those clients less frequently because they try to spread out their sessions until their benefits are renewed.
There is a lull around the middle of summer, because clients who have only been allotted six sessions run out of coverage.
Since I’m now licensed in three states, I no longer have to worry about slower periods. The additional clients from Arkansas and Massachusetts keep my schedule full, and I’ve been able to work with Spring Health clients exclusively, full time.
Navigating higher-volume months
I started working with Spring Health in February of 2022, and the biggest influx I saw was in January of 2023, when yearly EAP benefits renewed.
Each day when I opened my computer, I had 8-10 new clients. During this period, I had to put my caseload on hold to ensure I was giving each client the quality and continuity of care they required.
Spring Health works with a large variety of companies and organizations that offer excellent EAP benefits. Some of my clients receive 12 or more sessions, unlimited sessions, or have the option for extensions.
I’ve noticed that most of my clients are very loyal to Spring Health. They stretch out their benefits or pay out of pocket when necessary to continue their sessions.
Benefitting from new customers launched in three states
Spring Health often launches new customers during historically slow times, which results in new members who become clients, and keeps my caseload full.
This is because I’m cross licensed in three states. I know that if I was still only licensed in Indiana, I wouldn’t have the same financial stability.
Arriving at the height of my career
When I first started with Spring Health, I experienced a little bit of financial growth. Since then, my finances have grown exponentially.
My salary has almost tripled, we just moved into a new home, and I’m at the height of my career.
I feel very respected and heard. Whenever I ask for additional compensation or for Spring Health to look at my reviews, they’re right on top of it, making me feel valued and supported.
How to get your license in another state
When it comes to cross-state licensing, each state has its own rules and requirements. There are criteria to fulfill, such as background checks, fingerprints, and documents from previous supervisors, but there is no out of pocket cost.
On average, it takes three months to get a license. This is largely dependent on the amount of time it takes for the board to accept and approve your application.
It is a time consuming process, especially when you are working a full time job, but it’s worth it to reach a much larger pool of clients to impact and support.
Support during the cross-state licensing process
Spring Health supported me through the whole cross-state licensing process, and reimbursed me for everything, down to the application fees. They provided guidelines on how to cross-license in different states and where to find the application online.
Cross-state licensing can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to become licensed in two additional states at a time. Someone at Spring Health was always available to walk me through all the information I needed.
Planning for more financial stability
From my experience, the key to financial security for a therapist with a private practice is cross-state licensing.
If you’re not getting enough clients from the state where you’re currently licensed, I encourage you to look into cross-state licensing. Spring Health will give you a list of states with the most people in need.
Yes, there is additional work involved, but the payoff is worth it. It’s also rewarding to get to know people in different states and cities, and the challenges they’re facing. It opens you up to a whole new learning experience.
Initially, I was nervous about cultural differences, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that mental health is the same everywhere. Depression, anxiety, and couple’s issues are treated the same way no matter where you are living.
Pace yourself and practice self care
When I first got my cross-state licenses, I opened up every slot in my schedule because I was still scared of not filling up my days. I worked hour after hour with no lunch break until I was burned out.
My advice is to learn from my mistakes, and pace yourself. Don’t give into your fears and put too much on your plate. Enough clients will come with time.
Always practice self care. Schedule time for your lunch or to make a doctor’s appointment. Take care of yourself so you have the energy to take care of others.
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