Building Your Ideal Private Practice, 2nd Edition

By Lynn Grodzki, Revised 2015

Order now from the Publisher: or Amazon or any other bookseller.

With six new chapters, new information, case examples, resources and up-to-date ideas and information, this revision is ready to help you be successful in private practice today — and in the future.

See the Contents and then scroll down to read the Preface!

Welcome to Building Your Ideal Private Practice, 2nd Edition.


Part I. Preparation

1. The Blueprint
Develop the framework for your ideal private practice today
2. Loving the Business of Therapy
Change your feelings to become a happier business owner
3. Top Ten Business Mantras for SuccessNEW!
Learn ten short phrases that make private practice easier
4. Vision and Values
Create a private practice vision based on your skills and core values
5. Entrepreneurial Mind-Set
Think and act like other successful entrepreneurs
6. Getting a Strong StartNEW!
Find specific checklists and strategic advice for those starting out or starting over

Part II. Building Blocks

7. Protecting Your Practice from Harm NEW!
Take steps to keep your business legitimate, ethical and safe
8. The Brand Called You
Define your basic message to generate referrals just by saying hello
9. Expanding Your Reach
Position your practice for success with today’s best marketing ideas
10. Your Online Presence NEW!
Boost your visibility with an optimized website and online marketing strategies
11. Retaining Today’s Clients NEW!
Connect with and satisfy clients who find you online and want fast results
12. Why Good Therapists Go Broke
Avoid common pitfalls for insurance and fee-based practices

Part III. Finishing Touches

13. Solo versus Group Practice NEW!
Explore whether to work solo or expand into a larger group
14. Personal Growth and Coaching
Add services beyond the reach of insurance payments
15. Building a Practice to Sell  NEW!
Craft a plan to sell your practice and fund your retirement
16. Holding Onto Success
Stay successful and motivated over time


The Private Practice Success Program Pre- And Post-Test
Top Ten Money Management Tips  NEW!
Your Marketing Action Plan  NEW!

From the Preface

Building Your Ideal Private Practice, 2nd Edition by Lynn Grodzki

Fifteen years ago, when I finished the first draft of Building Your Ideal Private Practice and mailed it to the publisher, I felt like I was sending a defenseless child out into the cold, cruel world. I took the rest of the day off to cry. I had poured my professional heart and soul into the manuscript, and it summarized everything I knew about private practice, the things I learned on my own by the ups and downs of building my own practice and things I learned by compulsively observing and researching the practices of others. Would it be helpful to anyone?

I had taken years to create a program and teach it to brave therapists who sat in small groups in my office, willing to experiment. I traveled the country and taught workshops and classes, all the while making careful notes about what worked and what did not, and eventually wrote the book, one that I hoped would translate business sense into the empathetic sensibility for the majority of therapists I met who told me unapologetically that they hated the business of therapy. I used an informal style, wanting the reader to feel like we were having a relaxed, meaningful conversation about private practice success.

I had no idea how it would be received, but I did know how rare it is when a book quickly finds an audience, so I was astonished and grateful when it became a best-seller in its genre and has continued to sell, year after year. Even more rewarding were the readers who reached out to me by email, letter, phone, and in person to tell me how the book helped them do just what the title had pledged. They said that reading the book felt like I understood their problems and that my advice could be trusted; they took my words to heart. When they felt anxious about downturns in their practices and not sure what to do, the book provided guidance. When they needed new ideas to keep their work fresh, the book delivered inspiration. When they were busy and overwhelmed with too many opportunities, the book offered grounding. A few wrote to say that they kept the book on their bedside table and considered it their Bible of practice building.

Last year my esteemed publisher, Deborah Malmud, began to gently nudge me about writing a revision. I first thought: Why mess with success? It’s fine the way it is, I told her. Like an old, well-worn sweater, I had a lot of affection for the original book, despite seeing some growing moth-holes in the weave.

Although I had tried in many ways to anticipate trends that would be important for the future of private practice, I could not have accurately imagined all the major changes that had affected the business of therapy. The role of the Internet in marketing a therapy practice, the widespread encroachment into the marketplace by insurance and managed care, the density in therapists entering the market, the rise in mergers in health care organizations, the advent of an integrated health care approach—none of these had occurred to me in 1999. I had to agree with Deborah that my old sweater was due for some major reknitting.

I knew the changes I wanted this revision to contain. First, I wanted it to be comprehensive and encyclopedic, the one book a new or experienced therapist could rely on. Beyond simply updating original chapters and eliminating a few that are not as relevant as they once were, I have added six new chapters to cover topics that were not in the original but are now critical to therapists.

For example, because I now know that this is a book read and reread by therapists at every stage of their career, you will see a new chapter for those just starting out in private practice, as well as one for those at the end of their careers who want to retire and perhaps sell the business they have built. I bring readers up to date about the Internet with strategies for marketing, branding, and creating websites and directory listings that actually work. I show how to contend with increasing competition and assess the best business models for solo and group practices. With so much at stake, I also have a new chapter about risk reduction and one to help therapists avoid the common pitfalls that affect both insurance-based and fee-for-service practices. This revised version reflects what I hear about and think about each week, in my role as a business coach for therapists across the United States and around the globe.

Despite these updates, the core structure that made the book relevant and cherished over time remains the same. I understood when I wrote it, as I understand now, that our profession is based on our values. Most therapists in private practice are what I call “reluctant entrepreneurs,” professionals who did not set out to build a business but created a practice to better achieve autonomy, creativity, and integrity and above all to deliver quality services that help their clients.

In this revision, as in the original book, values are always part of the conversation. By focusing not just on the what, as in “here is what you need to do next,” but also on the who, as in “here is who you need to become to do this easily and well,” I hold to my belief that by building a strong practice, you become a better clinician and a more complete person.

Combining our core professional values with a more comprehensive text, the revised book comprises an inclusive and informative business plan. My mission as a business coach has been consistent over time: I believe that our society desperately needs therapists, healers, and helping professionals to stay financially solvent and viable. I want to help my colleagues be as successful as possible in their chosen profession, so that we can all build ideal lives as well as ideal private practices.

Welcome to the revised Building Your Ideal Private Practice!


5896RET (2)Message from Lynn: As you can see, this revision is complete with many new chapters. In addition to what is brand new here, every existing chapter was rewritten and updated to make it relevant for today’s challenges. Building Your Ideal Private Practice, 2nd Edition on sale  from the publisher, W.W. Norton.

Order now from the Publisher: or or any other bookseller.


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