Fact: As was apparently said by Mark Twain, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” There is a belief that it is no longer possible to develop a private practice that will earn them a decent living. Certainly there are “macro forces” that indeed impact one’s ability to practice. Insurance carriers and managed care companies have certainly impacted how one can practice and be reimbursed for delivering traditional psychotherapy services.
However, as with all crises there also comes an opportunity. Many clinicians are doing quite well and are practicing with limited managed care involvement or no reimbursement at all from managed care. Many clinicians we have spoken to have thriving practices (with or without managed care) and are feeling both satisfaction from their clinical work and the remuneration they receive.
Their success is based partly on:
- Flexibility of thinking about your practice. The more constricted you are about what you do as a mental health professional, the more constricted your opportunities to practice and earn a fine living;
- Being willing to apply your entire skill set to delivering needed services in your community that people will pay for
- Realizing that as a private practitioner you are a small business owner, and while altruistic you also need to earn a profit.
Please look around the TPI website. You'll find many resources on earning a living outside of managed care, developing specialty areas of practice, and consultation groups to participate in to help you get more ideas about how to expand your horizons for your own practice.