At some point in your career as a therapist, you’ll likely face a career-defining dilemma:
Should you open your own private practice, or join an established group practice?
While the idea of going solo might seem appealing, have you ever thought about the numerous benefits of joining a group therapy practice?
You may find it surprising that therapists working within group practices often report higher job satisfaction than those who work independently.
In this article, we’re breaking down 15 compelling reasons why joining a group practice like Health for Life Counseling can be a transformative experience for therapists.
1) Robust Management and Administrative Support
Did you know that therapists spend about 20% of their time on administrative tasks? That’s time you could be spending with your clients or investing in professional development.
One compelling reason to join a group practice is the strong management and administrative support it offers. Unlike going solo, where you’d have to be a therapist, manager, and even bookkeeper at the same time, a group setting usually has its own dedicated management team to take care of the administrative things. This allows you to focus on what you do best: providing exceptional care to your clients.
Health for Life Counseling has a highly dedicated administrative team supporting therapists to cover general administration, billing, and insurance. This kind of effective management will help you reduce extra stress and enhance your work-life balance.
Fact: Health for Life Counseling regularly invests in training for the administrative team so that they are up to date with HIPAA, leadership, billing, as well as best practices in meeting and talking with clients.
2) Additional Marketing When Needed & Requested
Private practitioners often believe that managing their own marketing campaigns will be more effective. However, this often isn’t the case.
The truth is that the time, resources, and expertise required to build a strong marketing presence, not to mention the rest of the logistical details, often lead to consuming more time and energy than many therapists anticipate. Of course, this can take you away from your clinical work.
But joining a group practice is a way to free you from the complexities of marketing, letting you concentrate on your clinical practice. The reason is that a group setting often has the means and knowledge to maintain a high web presence and solid community reputation — two essential elements in attracting a steady flow of clients.
This is particularly the case at Health for Life Counseling, where we put considerable effort into advertising and marketing to ensure a high web presence and community reputation in Grand Rapids. Our marketing team goes above and beyond to help our practitioners rank on the first pages. As a result, you’ll be able to gain more clients that match your preferences.
Fact: Health for Life Counseling contracts 3 distinct website companies to optimize search results, making it easier for potential clients to find services that fit their needs. This collaborative approach amplifies your web presence, adding another layer of convenience to your practice.
3) Infrastructure and Office Space
Managing a solo practice is usually accompanied by handling numerous responsibilities, including rent, utilities, and general maintenance. But with a group practice, those concerns are addressed for you.
As a therapist, you need to have a space where you can fully focus on your clients’ needs without the distraction of operational logistics.
Considering this, our well-equipped offices at HFL are specifically designed to help both therapists and clients feel comfortable and focused. Here your office space consists of:
- Rent, utilities, and furniture for both offices and communal spaces
- Trash, recycling, and regular janitorial upkeep
- Outdoor space, complete with furniture, bird feeders, flowers, and seating
- General maintenance and frequent updates to the space
- Printer, scanner, laminator, and essential office supplies
- Phone lines and fax services
- Appliances, along with water, coffee, and tea
- Music and signage to set the ambiance
- High speed Wi-Fi
- Security cameras with footage recorded & uploaded to the cloud for security
Fact: To ensure you’re always connected, we’ve invested in high-speed business-grade internet: 600+ megabytes per second (including modem and router upkeep). In addition, there is a new Wi-Fi option called HFL-EXT to be used in the expansion and other areas of the Grand Rapids office for better video support.
4) Growth Opportunities and Professional Development
Believe it or not, in a group practice setting, your potential for growth and professional development is practically limitless. In fact, group practices often come with significant advantages, such as providing allowances for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and opening doors for other roles like supervision or consultation.
At Health for Life Counseling, we try to ensure that every member of our team is set up for success. For this reason, we have a few opportunities to diversify and increase your income, such as:
- Becoming a supervisor
- Offering group counseling or classes
- Becoming a clinical director/consultant
- Offering testing to the community
Our clinical training resources are rich and varied, with everything from free resources to specialized training. Here are some of the clinical growth opportunities:
- Free resources for training and clinical growth.
- Ability to be a guest speaker on a podcast
- Support with creating online courses
- Support with creating your own podcast
- Support with book publishing
- Clinical Training opportunities organized by HFL
- Free trainings paid for by HFL
- Heavily discounted trainings (e.g., EMDR was offered for over 60% off)
- Access to hundreds of hours of free clinical training at your convenience.
5) In-House Billing and Insurance Services
One of the complex aspects of running a therapy practice involves handling billing and insurance claims. As we mentioned, in solo practice, this would mean additional hours spent on administrative work, detracting from your focus on client care. That’s why group practices often include billing support as part of the package.
At Health for Life Counseling, the in-house insurance biller personally submits claims and manages all client charts, and verifications, including
- Completing verification of benefits for new clients
- Claim denials & rejections
- Assistance with client billing issues
- Tracking payment plans
Our team has its own dedicated billing admin available each day for support, emergencies, and advice. Our practice manager is also consistently available for day-to-day support, ensuring that all administrative aspects run smoothly. This includes:
- Answering emails
- Managing preferred client types
- Scheduling M&G’s
- Communicating with the billing department
- Upkeep of general office space
- Greeting clients, and more
Fact: Health for Life Counseling pays 3.5% on every credit card transaction. However, we pay clinicians on the gross amount collected and effectively “eat” the cost of the credit card fees, ensuring that you get paid the maximum amount possible.
Did you know that we took out a loan to provide provisional checks to contractors during unforeseen insurance issues? As a result, you can easily prevent any pay gaps.
Additionally, we work continuously to raise our standards:
- Annual negotiations for higher insurance reimbursements
- Outside consultants for audits to keep our practice compliant and updated
6) Liability Coverage
Liability coverage is one of the underestimated factors in running a solo therapy practice. It’s essential for protecting yourself against various risks like client litigation, property damage, or even unfortunate accidents at your office.
Group therapy practices usually provide a comprehensive liability insurance policy as part of the employment package. The purpose is to ensure their practitioners’ peace of mind along with financial protection.
That’s why Health for Life Counseling takes liability coverage very seriously. Here’s what you can expect when you join our team:
- General liability insurance, active at all sites, covering a range of issues such as:
- Slip and fall
- Disaster insurance
- Injury and death policies on the clinical director and practice manager
- Regular consultation with lawyers to review consent forms and other documents to ensure you’re fully protected from client litigation.
Fact: Health for Life Counseling also has a unique building policy for “loss of use,” which covers expenses and wages should our building become unusable.
7) Holistic Health Support
Holistic health approaches are increasingly recognized for their ability to complement traditional therapy methods. Group practices often offer integrated services that enhance overall patient care. These added benefits can provide therapists with more tools to support their clients’ mental and physical well-being.
One of the benefits of being a team member at Health for Life Counseling is that you have access to holistic health information, wholesale supplements and wholesale specialty labs. This includes
Holistic Health Benefits
Fact: We offer complimentary access to Dr. Nicole’s online Holistic Wellness Collective. This is a value-added service, typically priced at $37/month, made available to all our team members for free.
8) Networking & Community Involvement
Community involvement is an essential factor for therapists who aim to grow their practice and increase client reach. Whether you’re a private practitioner or part of a group practice, therapists need to develop relationships with other health professionals, such as social workers or psychiatrists in order to create opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations. Therefore, networking is a vital aspect of your professional growth strategy.
At Health for Life Counseling, we understand the importance of community engagement and networking, which is why we have several initiatives:
- Investment in local community – Local art, local businesses, networking, etc
- Fully sponsored networking events – Any networking event that our team members attend is fully funded by the practice, freeing contractors from any financial burdens related to these activities.
- Networking documents – We provide a variety of materials such as brochures, pamphlets, handouts, and business cards, specifically designed for networking purposes. These are mailed to surrounding businesses to strengthen networking referrals.
- Community relationship building – Our Clinical Director and Office Manager actively participate in networking events to build strong community ties.
- Networking “Lunch and Learn” events – We organize these events to provide an informal platform for networking and professional development.
- Social media and branding – This includes payment for social media graphics for blogs and logos.
Fact: Paul Krauss MA LPC has a psychology podcast entitled “The Intentional Clinician” that has over 115 episodes and counting, which draws in traffic to healthforlifegr.com’s website so that we all benefit from the reputation that Health for Life Counseling has.
9) Supervisor Support
Supervisor support helps therapists improve their skills, make better decisions, avoid burnout, and ensure that patients receive the highest standard of care. This is especially beneficial for those who are newly licensed or in the process of acquiring licensure.
While solo practitioners might struggle to find this level of consistent, formalized support, being part of a group practice often comes with supervision. This allows for regular check-ins, collaborative problem-solving, and a structured environment for professional growth. Supervisory support is also important for learning about crisis triage as well as community supports.
If you join our team of practitioners at Health for Life Counseling, you’ll have an opportunity for ongoing professional development and mentorship:
- We provide opportunities for LMSWs and LPCs to supervise Limited Licenced Counselors and Social Workers to foster a nurturing and educational environment.
- Support from our Clinical Director includes:
- Monthly1-on-1 meetings
- Weekly open office hours
- Informal supervision meetings twice per week
- Regular team meetings
- Direction & guidance toward 24/7/365 emergency resources
- Available each day for support/advice
- Monthly 2- 4 hour supervision meetings
- Additional support: If needed, you can request after-hours meetings with the Clinical Director, Paul.
- Free supervision for LLs – For Limited License providers, we offer free supervision with a qualified supervisor, a service valued at $130 per hour.
- Team supervision – We hold all-staff supervision meetings often to receive clinical feedback from the Clinical Director, Manager, and colleagues.
10) Web Support and Advertising
Are you looking for ways to enhance your reach as a therapist without getting lost in the complex industry of web development and online advertising?
It turns out that joining a group therapy practice can solve this issue as well. In a solo practice, managing a website, SEO, social media, and various forms of online and offline advertising depends entirely on the therapist. However, not all therapists have time to develop specialized skills to manage these tasks. The result?
A web presence that doesn’t effectively reach potential clients, or worse — distracts focus from providing quality client care.
In contrast, a group therapy practice often comes with a dedicated team to manage these complex tasks. First of all, this frees up your time and allows you to focus on your clinical work, but also web support can help you increase your visibility and get more clients.
Here’s how we take care of your online presence and advertising aspects:
- Website support – We manage healthforlifegr.com, taking care of all updating, maintenance, hosting, and security SSL fees.
- Multi-platform advertising – Advertising across various platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
- SEO – We take on the complex task of Search Engine Optimization to improve your visibility online.
- Psychology Today Account – Our account for the Trauma Informed Counseling Center offers you additional referrals.
- Additional websites – Like grandrapidscounselor.com, and PaulKraussCounseling.com, to diversify your online presence.
- Logo and branding – Our team works on continually evolving our branding. This also includes payment for photographers for individual headshots and group photographs.
Fact: One of the standout perks of joining HFL is that you have the unique opportunity to be a guest speaker on a podcast with over 55,000+ downloads.
11) Various Therapeutic Options
Did you know that deepening your therapeutic expertise while also broadening your service offerings is possible at the same time?
When you join a group therapy practice, you’re becoming a part of a professional team with specialized knowledge and skills. This setup provides a unique advantage that solo practices often can’t match — the chance to diversify your skill set and offer specialized services, thanks to the collective expertise within the group.
At Health for Life Counseling, we offer various therapeutic options to enable our therapists to grow both personally and professionally. Here are some of the specific benefits you can expect:
- Group therapy opportunities – If you’re part of a group practice, the opportunity to offer group therapy sessions suddenly becomes a lot more viable. You can collaborate with a co-therapist to serve more clients at once. Other than maximizing your income, this also means providing a more diversified approach to treatment.
- EMDR therapy intensives – Solo practitioners often find it challenging to invest time and resources into specialized services like EMDR Therapy Intensives. However, in a group setting, you’ll find that the logistical and administrative support makes it much easier to offer these high-demand, cash-only services. Plus, clients are willing to travel long distances for this kind of specialized care.
- Specialty couples therapy – Couples therapy is one of the most in-demand types of therapy in West Michigan. If you undergo specialized training, we can work together to attract a consistent client base in this area.
- Conducting Assessments / Psychometric Testing – With the proper training, we can help you work within the scope of your license to run psychometric tests and conduct assessments.
12) Innovative Collaborations
Perhaps not surprisingly, solo practitioners often struggle to find the time and resources to explore innovative collaborations. But being a part of a group practice means that you won’t have to seek out partnerships or additional training yourself. Instead, you’re part of a dynamic team with various specialties and common goals.
This is another area where a group practice like Health for Life Counseling can help you achieve your therapeutic goals more effectively. Here are innovative collaboration opportunities our team members can take advantage of:
- Ketamine-Assisted Therapy – While this may seem like a drastic shift, it’s a possibility we’re actively exploring. In collaboration with our neighbors of Integrative Wellness Grand Rapids, there may soon be opportunities for therapists who are trained in this modality to expand their practice.
- Holistic Wellness Collective – As part of our collaboration, our team members have the unique opportunity to utilize a group room at the collective’s location. This allows you to host peer events or even initiate your own therapy group.
13) Human Resources
Believe it or not, not addressing HR issues could expose you to risks such as conflicts with clients, legal vulnerabilities, or disputes with any support staff you might employ. Simply put, it’s an aspect that many therapists overlook, mainly because of a lack of time and resources. However, it’s indeed crucial for smooth operations.
At Health for Life Counseling, we understand the importance of human resources and have put formal systems in place to address any concerns or disputes that might arise in a professional setting.
Specifically, we are paying for HR support through GUSTO Inc., a well-known HR company, to provide ongoing HR support for our team. This means that if you find yourself involved in a dispute with another contractor, staff member, or even the owners of the practice, you have a straightforward way to address it. In addition, Health for Life Counseling has a relationship with a local meditation group in Grand Rapids, MI that may help resolve any disputes.
Fact: HFL provides each therapist with a confidential business email through a GSuite system. This includes email and Google Drive that are fully HIPAA compliant, ensuring that you can securely store and communicate sensitive patient information.
14) CEU Support
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are more than just a regulatory requirement for therapists — they are an essential component of professional growth and skill development.
For solo practitioners, acquiring CEUs usually means taking time to find the suitable courses, paying themselves, and balancing this educational time against client appointments. In other words, it’s a lot of extra work and expense that you have to manage on your own.
In a group practice, on the other hand, this process is often much simpler and more streamlined. Not only are educational opportunities readily identified and sometimes even hosted by the practice, but costs might also be covered.
Keep in mind that Health for Life Counseling is beginning a Center of Excellence, where we are working on becoming CEU providers — this allows you to present materials and make extra money on the side (with a different contact). Our target date for launching our first CEU workshop is in 2024.
Moreover, we provide financial support for your educational pursuits if you are a contractor–giving out a stipend per year.
15) Financial Security and Flexibility
And finally, financial security is one more compelling reason to consider joining a group practice like Health for Life Counseling. Operating as a solo practitioner comes with its fair share of financial risks and responsibilities.
So, even if you think that being a part of a team is related to reduced flexibility and poor work-life balance, the truth is that these financial and administrative struggles often consume more time and energy than you’d anticipate, disrupting your work-life balance even further.
In contrast, a group practice offers a stable, organized environment where financial risks are distributed and resources are pooled.
This structure allows for benefits like Short-Term and Long-Term disability plans, which Health for Life Counseling proudly sponsors. This means you can focus on your work without worrying about unexpected life events that might interrupt your income.
Fact: HFL is one of the only group practices in the Michigan area that offers a very generous take-home percentage (regardless of the number of clients seen per week), as well as a bonus structure in addition to take-home percentage.
To sum up, joining a group practice is accompanied by a great variety of advantages over going solo, including
- Access to a broader client base
- Shared overhead costs
- Peer support and collaboration
- Built-in administrative help
- Easier work-life balance
The collective power of a group practice provides a more secure and enriching platform for career development.
Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids is always open to practitioners who are looking to advance their careers in a collaborative, dynamic, and supportive workplace. We invite you to explore what we have to offer and take the first step toward a fulfilling and secure career.