Growing a Practice

How to Manage Your Time as a Therapist

July 30, 2021
Dr. Asha Bauer
Psy.D.

As a therapist in private practice, your time is literally money.

Here are five tips to manage your time better.

Treat your practice like it's full from day one

When you are building your practice, you might be tempted to be looser on time boundaries or put off documentation and admin tasks, knowing you have extra time. 

But if you treat your practice like it's full from day one, you won't be overwhelmed when you do fill up! So step into a "fully booked therapist" mindset now; future you thanks you. 

Create a system that works for you

When it comes to documentation, having a system is key to staying on top of things. I like the 50-10 rule (50 minute sessions, 10 minutes to write each note).

Others like to use the minutes between sessions to take a short break, and block 30-60 minutes at the end of the day to write notes. What matters is finding a system that works for you! 

Develop a productivity routine

Having a productivity routine will keep you focused when you need to get admin work done. I like to do a few chair yoga exercises and use peppermint essential oils to feel alert and at ease while I complete tasks.

Other ideas include making a cup of tea or putting on light music before knocking out progress notes or admin tasks. 

Time blocking is a game changer

Make a list of the admin tasks that tend to take up time in your practice. Responding to potential clients, setting up consultation calls, networking, marketing your practice, etc. 

Now look for a "block" of free time in your calendar and commit to not scheduling a client there. This is your Admin Power Hour. This way you don't end up stressing about it because you know exactly when you have time to do these things! 

Session boundaries create emotional safety

Knowing the expectations of therapy helps cultivate emotional safety.

When you end sessions on time, you are not just improving your own time management, but also creating a sense of safety for your clients and modeling healthy boundaries. So do it for you, AND for your clients. 

Dr. Asha Bauer is a psychologist in private practice, and a health science specialist with the National Center for PTSD, where she studies telehealth and web-based delivery of evidence-based interventions for trauma-exposed veterans. She completed her doctorate degree in clinical psychology at Indiana State University and her post-doctoral training at the Long Beach VA Medical Center. Dr. Bauer serves as a clinical advisor to Heard, a mission-driven start-up aiming to help therapists thrive in private practice.

Heard is a bookkeeping and tax platform for therapists, intended to ease the financial burdens of mental health therapy services and track the financial health of your practice. Schedule your free, 15-minute consultation.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post.

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