Setting Fees and Rates In Counseling Private Practice
Do you remember learning about how to set fees in graduate school? I don’t! When we go to graduate school, we are trying to become mental health professionals. So, what do you charge and how do you feel comfortable with it?
When I started my journey, it was challenging to discuss the price with my clients. I would ask myself if I could offer my services for free. I know that’s not possible, but it isn’t easy to grapple with the price. First, we need to be comfortable with setting our fees. When we can hold integrity, we remain connected to who we are at our core.
What does the money allow you to do? Think about what is around you. Money provides the food on your table, the roof over your head, and the clothes you wear. All of this costs money. That means you need to figure out what number you need to charge to have a particular lifestyle. Don’t see money as a negative; see it as a positive. That is something that has helped in my journey.
Here are six strategies to think about as you set your fees:
Strategy #1: Focus on your market.
Take time to search online and do a careful study of your market. This process is referred to as Market Research. The goal is to identify what fees and rates are around your area.
Strategy #2: Have a long term plan.
Focus on what your fees are today and what they will be five years from now. This is the process that helps clinicians in private practice build success one step at a time.
Strategy #3: Know your numbers.
In your private practice, you should have a spreadsheet that goes over money coming and out. Identify what your rate should be based on:
(c) other associated fees.
Strategy #4: Reflection.
Answers to critical questions will allow your private practice to become a successful private practice. How many clients do you need in your private practice for you to reach your level of success? What is the average income in your area? Or the area that your practice is located? What type of lifestyle do you desire to create from your private practice?
Strategy #5: Capping your session rate.
Capping your session rate is inevitable. At some point, you will go from a $100.00-hour session to $300.00. At some number, you’ll notice that you can’t keep going up. At this point, you can continue to play with your fees by adding additional services. An example can include adding a group to your practice. Your session fee can cap at $300.00 per hour. At the same time, your group consists of 10 clients, each at $50.00. This will come to $500.00 per hour.
Strategy #6: Raising fees.
Consider the variables: education, additional training, and continuing years of experience. Each of the variables focuses on reasons why you can increase your fees. The rate of increase should be in increments. Even a small $10.00 increase can go a long way. Consider if you worked with 40 clients per month at $100.00 per hour compared to $110.00 per hour. The increase in fee would lead to an additional $400.00 per month or $4800.00 a year.
Learn more about setting fees in Episode 18 of A Counselor’s Journey To Private Practice: Setting Fees and Rates In A Counseling Private Practice.
This blog post is a recap from my YouTube channel. Watch the video Setting Fees and Rates in Counseling Private Practice.
Learn how to build a thriving counseling practice, establish marketing funnels, and create ways to make passive income, and more by connecting with me HERE.