Karen Goodall-Smith Karen Goodall-Smith

Services for Building a Private Practice

Karen Goodall-Smith offers a boutique niche service for psychologists who are building a private practice.

Those in private practice have been trained as professionals rather than business people. Karen Goodall-Smith provides consultations to help health practitioners to develop their private practice . Each facet of a private practice should appear to run effortlessly once it is set up and should become easy to maintain because of the coordinated systems put into place. Aspects of private practice can be explored or existing systems can be improved upon. Common areas of concern include how to build a referral base, marketing, professional compliance, administrative issues and unique requirements when working with specific groups (eg DVA, EAP or insurance clients).

Contact us to set up an appointment time or to clarify information regarding services provided by PsychHealth Consultancy.

To buy a copy of Healthy Practice, phone (61) 0402033027.

Fees: What To Charge?

There is a difference between the 'recommended fees' set by a professional body and the actual fees charged in the marketplace by psychologists in private practice.

A recommended fee may appear high. To put this in perspective, a private practitioner will only get paid for specific and pre-defined client work and has to cover non-chargeable paperwork, holidays, sick days and public holidays. An employee gets paid a flat fee at all times whether he or she is seeing clients, doing paperwork or on holidays. Determining a reasonable fee is a complex matter involving multiple factors.

What is charged reflects how the community perceives your worth as well as how valuable you see yourself. You need to make at least as much as you would make annually if you were an employee. Health fund rebates may also affect the real cost to the client.

↑ Top


By being fully informed about your professional code of ethics, you are less likely to make mistakes by default.

Sometimes it may not be obvious what the profession demands in areas such as advertising, friendships or relationships with clients or ex-clients, privacy laws or contracting colleagues to see clients on your behalf. An awareness of what is required and expected of you will ensure that you are meeting professional and legal requirements within the expectations of your professional code of ethics.

↑ Top

Monitoring Success

Information is only useful if you know what you need to know and can work out how to decipher the information you have. Statistics for various aspects of your practice create an objective way to determine whether you are successful and making the right decisions.

You can monitor new referrals, the number of clients attending, clients dropping out, old clients returning and so forth. You can also monitor other areas of your practice such as whether income is growing over time, whether your referral base is expanding, and if so, how and why.

Monitoring statistics can influence decisions about the sorts of changes you will make, why and when. With technology becoming more and more sophisticated, it is not difficult to monitor different variables. The most important task is to determine which variables you will monitor and what you get out of the results.

↑ Top

Building Up Referrals And Marketing Yourself

Building up referral numbers takes time. Marketing yourself and targeting the right people in the right way will encourage others to seek your services.

Either clients will come to you directly or potential referrers may send clients to you. Good marketing is essential to building your reputation. Following through with your promises will consolidate your reputation.

↑ Top

Streamlining Administrative systems

If you streamline administrative tasks from the start, you will make your life much easier.

Investing in computer software that will keep information about each client and the whole practice together in one place will streamline and simplify the administration of your practice. Your appointments, reminders, letters, GP information and accounts are all in one place. This eliminates or at the very least reduces duplication of information and the chance of mistakes. At the touch of a button, you have all the information about any one client at your fingertips. The time you invest in developing good administrative structures in the short term will save you time and frustration in the long term.

↑ Top

Professionalism, Image and Niche

By deciding how you want to present yourself to your clients and the referrers rather than to leave your reputation to chance, you are more likely to appear professional to the outside world and there is a higher chance that you will be referred the types of clients you are able to treat.

Presenting yourself a professional way will increase your credibility with potential referrers and clients. By presenting yourself as having skills that are special or different from others, you are more likely to develop a niche in the market.

↑ Top

Return to top of page.

PsychHealth Consultancy
Ph:  (61) 0423 304 207
Consultations in:  Scarborough WA
Contact us:  Get in touch!