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General Individual Practice Tips

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Transitioning into individual practice can be daunting at first. You now have more logistics to assume responsibility for. So we asked providers who have been in your shoes for a few tips that helped them stay on track as they transitioned into individual practice.

Housekeeping essentials

  • Complete and keep your CAQH up to date. This profile houses all of the credentialing information needed to streamline the process that allows you to take insurance.
  • Obtain and maintain your professional liability insurance (and set a reminder for yourself so you don’t forget to renew).
    - You are covered under SonderMind’s professional liability policy for the care that you provide to SonderMind clients at no extra cost to you. But this coverage does not extend to non-SonderMind clients.
  • Obtain an occupational/business license with your local city/county, even if you’re renting office space.
    - Visit your state’s Secretary of State website for more information on how to do this.
  • Know which type of business entity (sole proprietor, LLC, S-Corp, etc.) will work best for you during this stage of your life.
    - See our article on starting your LLC.
  • Decide on your part-time vs. full-time status: It’s okay to start part-time as you begin to build your clientele. You can gradually move towards full-time, and once your caseload is at a point where you are supported financially, you can make the full transition.

Expenses

  • Accounting: As an independent contractor of SonderMind, you may need some help with filing taxes, so look into hiring a CPA before that notorious tax deadline sneaks up.
    - Learn about what tax deductions and costs will look like for you.

Education

Expand your community

  • Because individual practice can be isolating, it’s important to integrate yourself into a peer group. Find consultation groups to connect with other providers.
    - Find the "Community" tab in your SonderMind portal to connect with the rest of the provider group.
    - Find groups on Facebook/LinkedIn.

Self-care

  • First and foremost, believe in yourself. You’ve got this!
  • Carve out time from your schedule for things that energize you. Whether that’s listening to music, spending time with your family, or going for a jog, these parts of your day need to be prioritized.
  • Find a new hobby, not just because they’re fun, but because they have positive impacts on your health.
  • Schedule breaks and block time on your schedule as needed to step away from work and eat a snack or take care of one of your personal to-do’s (such as scheduling that dental appointment you’ve been delaying).
  • Vacation/time off: When you sign off, make sure you have prepared accordingly.
    - Notify your clients as early as possible and set expectations.
    - Turn your auto-responder “on” for emails/text.
    - Establish a safety plan in the event of a crisis/emergency.
    - Get your documentation and billing done BEFORE you leave so that you can relax.
    - Unplug from your work devices.

Additional resources for helpful tips:

The Practice of Therapy Podcast

Reference: GoodTherapy, TheraNest Blog

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**Disclaimer: This document is intended for educational purposes only. Please check with your legal counsel or state licensing board for specific requirements.

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