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HPA Convention 2010
Convention Programs: October 29, 2010

Financial Success in Independent Practice:

Practical Strategies and Ethical Practice (3 CE)

Steven Walfish, Ph.D.

Clinicians spend a great deal of time in their training becoming excellent in practicing their craft of assessment and psychotherapy. These skills are mastered in order to deliver excellent clinical services. However, in professional training little, if any, emphasis is placed on learning, refining, and mastering the business aspects of private practice. In their book Financial Success in Mental Health Practice: Essential Tools and Strategies for Practitioners (APA Books, 2008) Walfish and Barnett present a list of Twenty Principles of Private Practice Success. This workshop presents an overview of each of these principles and how they relate to the development of a clinically effective, ethically principled, and financially sound private practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of choosing private practice as career a path.

  2. Demonstrate knowledge of components of entrepreneurship that are essential to success in private practice.

  3. Recognize the advantages of starting one’s own practice or joining an existing practice and differing organizational structures of a practice.

  4. Identify other professionals that may be helpful in the operation of a successful practice and how they can be helpful.

  5. Recognize steps in fee setting, and the billing and collection of fees that meet ethical and legal guidelines.

  6. Identify methods in which psychologists can earn a living that fall out of the purview of managed care.

  7. Recognize the need for sound financial planning, including insurance to be purchased, to effectively assure the business and personal financial future of the private practitioner.

About the speaker:

Steven Walfish, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and has been in independent practice in Atlanta since 2002. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of South Florida in 1981. He has previously been in independent practice in Tampa, Florida and Edmonds and Everett, Washington. He is the Editor of the Independent Practitioner and has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals. He has published in the areas of substance abuse, weight loss surgery, and professional training and practice. 

He is recipient of the APA Division of Consulting Psychology Award for Outstanding Research in Consulting Psychology, the Walter Barton Award for Outstanding Research in Mental Health Administration from the American College of Mental Health Administration, and the APA Division of Independent Practice Award for Mentoring. 

He has been a Visiting Professor at Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University and is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine where he supervises Postdoctoral Fellows. 

His first book (co-edited with Allen Hess) Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students, was published by LEA in 2001. His first book on clinical practice, Financial Success in Mental Health Practice: Essential Tools and Strategies for Practitioners (with Jeff Barnett) was published by APA Books in 2008. His most recent edited book, Earning a Living Outside of Managed Mental Health Care: 50 Ways to Expand Your Practice was published in May of 2010 by APA Books. His next book Billing and Collecting for Your Mental Health Practice: Effective Strategies and Ethical Practice will be published by APA Books in 2011.

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