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A Guide for Getting More Referrals to Your Therapy Private Practice

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Even with the unprecedented demand for therapy services, being a skilled clinician isn't enough to keep your schedule full. To truly thrive, you’ll also need a solid referral network that keeps the doors swinging open with new clients. But how do you get referrals for your therapy private practice? It can be done — and Alma is here to support you as you navigate the process. This guide will give you solid ways to market your therapy practice and engage the community, so you’ll have people sending clients your way in no time.

Cultivate relationships with other professionals

Creating strong bonds with other healthcare professionals – think primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and fellow therapists – is one way to generate therapy referrals for your private practice.To unlock the full potential of these connections, you’ll need to embrace networking.

One way to meet professionals is by attending local meetups, workshops, and conferences related to mental health and healthcare. Be proactive in introducing yourself and striking up conversations with others in attendance. Make a real effort to learn about their work and share your own expertise. And don't forget to follow up with your new connections – a thoughtful email or a friendly coffee chat can go a long way in nurturing these relationships.

Alma's members-only platform can facilitate these connections by offering a space for clinicians to share referrals, network with others in the mental health field, and access resources and support.

Develop a strong online presence

You don't need to be a celebrity or go viral to turn your social media into a therapy referral generator. Even small impressions can get you in front of the right people.

The average Instagram or TikTok post garners a few thousand views. But a busy clinical practice doesn't need even that many eyeballs. You only need a few people to recognize your wisdom as a perfect fit for a friend or family member who’s struggling.

The key is to consistently deliver insights that resonate. Fill your social media channels with bite-sized nuggets of mental health wisdom and practical tips. Make it shareable- perfect for passing on to a friend with a note: “Maybe you should see this therapist?”

Now, don't expect overnight success. Building a strong online presence takes time. Be patient, stay committed, and keep posting. Over time, you'll notice your therapy private practice attracting more attention, more followers, more “shares”- and more referrals.

Alma's directory can help your practice get exposure online, too, making it easier for potential clients to find you and learn about your services.

Offer workshops, seminars, and group therapy sessions

Hosting workshops, seminars, and group therapy sessions on mental health topics is a powerful way to build relationships and establish your reputation. By sharing your expertise and insights with your community, you're building trust and deepening connections that can lead to therapy referrals and growth for your practice.

To find these opportunities, start by exploring local community centers, libraries, and other public spaces that may offer event hosting services. You can also reach out to other healthcare professionals or mental health organizations in your area to collaborate on events or offer your services as a guest speaker.

Take advantage of professional organizations

Professional organizations, like the National Association of Social Workers or the American Counseling Association, provide valuable opportunities for networking, resource-sharing, and potential referrals- plus, they keep you informed of the latest industry trends and best practices.Many professional organizations offer online directories that allow clients to search for a therapist with your specific skill set or specialization. This can improve your exposure to potential clients and lead to new avenues for growth and expansion.

Try a referral swap

Sometimes, clients may feel strange referring their close friends or family members to their own therapist- especially if those people have been a topic of discussion in therapy before. In these cases, a referral swap with another trusted clinician can come in handy.

If you partner with a therapist you trust, you can each offer your clients each other's contact info so they can refer family and friends. This can help clients feel more comfortable making referrals- they can send loved ones to a trustworthy therapist who doesn’t already know all their dirty laundry.

When talking to your clients about the referral swap, be sure to keep it brief and avoid putting any expectations on them.  You can say something like, "I know it can be awkward to refer your loved ones to your own therapist. That's why I have a referral swap agreement with a therapist I really trust. If you know someone in your life who needs a good therapist, you can give them their information — just grab a card on your way out/check out the link in the email I’ll send you after this."

When considering a referral swap, it's important to choose a clinician whose values and approach to therapy align with your own. That way you can confidently recommend their services to your clients without worrying about the quality of care their loved ones are receiving.

Collaborate with complementary services

Partnering with complementary service providers – think yoga studios, wellness centers, and life coaches – can be a game-changing move for your therapy private practice. By building a network of businesses that can refer clients to each other, you're creating a holistic support system that benefits everyone involved.

Think of it this way: A client seeking therapy for anxiety may also benefit from complementary services like yoga or meditation classes. By partnering with a complementary service provider, you can refer your clients to these services and provide more support to more parts of their live, leading to a greater improvement in overall well

Let Alma support your practice with referrals

Alma's platform provides a host of benefits for therapists looking to take their referral game to the next level. With an online directory that can help potential clients find you easily, you'll be able to increase your visibility and grow your practice faster than ever before. Plus, with features like online booking, insurance verification, and streamlined payments, Alma takes the hassle out of running your business, allowing you to focus on providing top-quality therapy to your clients.

So if you're looking to increase your therapy referrals and grow your private practice, consider partnering with Alma. Our platform is designed with therapists in mind, and Alma is here to support you every step of the way.

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A painting-like image of Megan Cornish, sitting in front of blurry bokeh-style lights, wearing a yellow jumper.
Megan Cornish

About the Author

Megan has a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington, and is a licensed clinical social worker with hands-on experience in clinical mental health. For years, Megan assumed she'd practice as a social worker until retirement.

She planned on supporting her creative, entrepreneurial drive (and financial obligations) with her writing side hustle, but while devoting most of her time to one-on-one clinical work.

Then... her career path changed. As a result of a cross-country move and new family obligations, Megan was forced to walk away from my social work dream job — but she vowed not to walk away from her commitment to mental health.

And with the mental health industry's radical changes, she had the chance to improve mental health outcomes on a larger scale with her unique combo of mental health and communication skills.

Over the past several years, she has had the honor of working with some of the world’s most exciting mental health startups.

Megan's vantage point allows her to see tensions in the industry, and she doesn't want to sit by and watch them grow.

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