Group Practices are a great way to get started at owning your own business, but the temptation to become complacent is very high. Also you have to get stupid emails like the one I got...
I cannot begin to tell you all the problems associated with being a betterhelp therapist, but I will try. Oh trust me I will try. If you have the choice, do the group practice.
My name is Derrick Javan Hoard and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working out of Seattle, Washington and you are about to make what could be one of the most important decisions of your entire life. If you are on this page it is because you know someone who knows someone who knows me and I want you to have your own private practice.
This is like a client saying, "I just want to solve this problem, I don't want to change my life." You cannot separate the business aspect of therapy from the therapy aspect! A good therapist is also a good business owner. What people usually are concerned about is the billing aspect of running a therapy business but once you get over your own money issues, you will realize that your clients paying a fee actually helps with the therapy process!
"Branded" Group Practices, can be a great way for a therapist just starting out in the world of "having their own business". You usually pay someone a fee to handle all of your marketing (by allowing you use of their brand) and insurance credentialing and reimbursement. This does make it very easy to "just do therapy" but it also comes with its downsides. Namely, that you are not really able to differentiate yourself from other therapists as well as the fact that it forces clients to use their insurance. This means that your income is capped by rates set by insurance companies. The only way to make more money is to provide more hours of your time.
Also having worked at one of these group practices, they make it absolutely clear that you are a user of their services. You will, at times, feel as if you work for the group practice instead of yourself.
So, yes, you get to just "do therapy", but you also get all of the liability and none of the financial compensation that comes along with it.
As I stated in this article in The Atlantic, Betterhelp is an absolutely terrible place to work. You will be payed peanuts and you will have to work with clients who have been conditioned by the platform to have gross boundary violations and issues. It is not a good place to work and while you are "your own boss", the only thing you get with betterhelp is access to clients and use of their platform. You have 100% liability and here is the stupid part, if they can pay for the subscription service to betterhelp, they can pay you your hourly rate.
I know that everyone has their own reasoning or belief as to why they can't do private practice, but I promise you it is just that, a belief. As a licensed therapist or counselor you have the ability to do independent practice and there are clients who need to speak to you precisely because of your lived experience. Those clients need you to reach out, they need you to advertise, and they need to be able to find you.
I cannot stand life coaches, but sometimes you really do need someone to coach you and as someone who is somewhere in between "that therapist who gave you their business card one time" and "Brene Brown" levels of success, I know how helpful it can be to speak to someone who is doing it. So I charge $200 per hour. I want you to consider it as an initial investment in your business, mostly because you can write it off as a business expense, but also because it truly is the first step in you taking it seriously. If the video I provided above wasn't enough information and you want your own 1 on 1 conversation, click the link below to get started!
I hope this is enough. You might not even need to meet with me! Watch it all!
START YOUR PRIVATE PRACTICE!