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For Private Practice Counselors

Your Practice Made Simple Blog

Articles And Resources For Private Practice Counselors

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How To Price Your Sessions To Earn Your Desirable Salary

December 14, 20234 min read

Hey Private Practice Counselors,

Have you envisioned earning a specific income goal in your private practice? Like many counselors, I stepped into the world of private practice seeking flexibility, higher pay, and the autonomy of how to work with my clients, and set my own schedule.

However, the reality of managing a business on top of my therapy sessions was challenging. It required more time, effort, and strategic planning then I initially anticipated. My days were packed, not just with client sessions but with a list of tasks to run my practice.

So, how do we bridge the balancing act of having enough income and time to make it all work? Let's explore the steps to set your session rates that align with your professional, lifestyle, and financial goals.

GET THE PRICING CALCULATOR HERE!


Today in 5 minutes or less, you'll learn:

  • How to calculate a session rates that adds up to your income goal

  • Learn what expenses need to be considered in setting rates (and often-missed costs)

  • What salary is realistic when running a private practice

  • How to set your session rates using my specialized pricing calculator


One of the the key lessoned I learned is know your worth and understand your numbers.

Pricing your services isn't just about what your competition is charging or what insurance companies are paying in reimbursements; it's about properly valuing your experience and ensuring your business's financial health.

When it comes to earning a professional income as a counselor, dated pricing strategies we learned in school often fall short.

To thrive, you need a clear understanding of your operational costs and how they translate into your pricing model because most of us were never taught how to understand operational costs so we've been flying blind. Having a clear understanding of your operational costs ensures that your practice not only survives but flourishes year-round, providing the income and lifestyle flexibility you set out to accomplish.

Here's how to calculate your session rate rather than just guessing what you should be paid...

Step 1: Understand Your Operating Expenses

Start by calculating your operating expenses, which include rent, insurance, advertising costs, continuing education, merchant and payroll services, accounting, phone, and software subscriptions. Remember, these are the baseline costs of running your practice. If you aren’t investing in these then you are likely limiting the reach and growth of your practice and how you can help people in your community.

Step 2: Factor in Additional Costs

Have you ever felt stressed or strained to take a vacation? How do you handle when your client has to call out sick? Here’s some "hidden" operating costs to consider that were previously covered by an agency that you did not have to worry about. Consider additional expenses often overlooked, like sick leave, holiday dips in client attendance, weather-related disruptions, and costs incurred during training and professional development. These factors play a significant role in your overall financial planning.

When you work for yourself you don't get federal holidays, PTO, or sick days - unless you start to prioritize taking care of yourself and your family.

Step 3: Calculate Your Desired Salary

Determine the monthly salary you aim to earn as a therapist. Consider the professional wage you would expect if you were employed by an agency, and use this as a benchmark for your private practice. If you were working for someone else- solely as a clinician, how much should someone with your licensure, years of experience, and training deserve to get paid? What would be considered a professional wage? 

Determine the monthly salary you aim to earn as a therapist that your company should be paying you as a clinician. 

GET THE PRICING CALCULATOR HERE!

Step 4: Adjust for Session Frequency

Decide on the number of sessions you plan to conduct each month. This will help you understand how many clients you need to see regularly to meet your financial goals.

Step 5: Use the Pricing Calculator

Input your operating expenses, additional costs, desired salary, and session frequency into the pricing calculator. This tool will help you determine the appropriate price per session to cover all your expenses and pay yourself a professional salary.

Step 6: Review and Adjust

Analyze the calculator's outcome. If the suggested rate seems too high or low, revisit your expenses and salary expectations. Adjust your session frequency or find ways to reduce costs without compromising the quality of your services.


Setting session rates in private practice is a delicate balance of understanding your value as a clinician and the realities of running a business. By following these steps and using the pricing calculator, you can ensure your practice is not only financially viable but also rewarding. Remember, your expertise and experience deserve proper compensation. It's time to step out of the dark and confidently set rates that reflect your professional worth. Paying yourself professionally will allow you to stay in practice and create a secure financial future.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE PRICING CALCULATOR THAT HELPED ME TO FINALLY PRICE MYSELF AT A PROFESSIONAL WAGE!

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How To Work With Me?

  1. Learn More about my business coaching program for private practice counselors.

  2. Join A Call to get to know each other and how my strategies can work for you.

  3. Enroll in my business coaching program and get everything you need to start growing your practice and owner skills.

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