How I Manage Interns in Private Practice 

by | Mar 15, 2024 | Adulting, Counseling, New therapists, Online Therapy

How I Manage Interns in Private Practice 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure https://sagecounselingtherapyandwellness.com/disclosure-privacy-policy-terms-of-use/ for further information.

If you are a therapist running a private practice, you know the struggle of juggling multiple caseloads along with all the back-end management work of running a business. For those who aren’t in the private practice world or have yet to start, it’s safe to say that, Yes, we get Stressed. Although hard work is simply part of the process of doing what we love, it does help to have some extra hands on the simple, tedious tasks of running a private practice business. This is where hiring interns can help. Here’s how!

Why are Interns Helpful? 

Hiring interns can be a strategic move for organizing and enhancing the efficiency of running your business. They can help with administrative tasks, content creation and social media management, email assistance, and more. Interns are often highly motivated and can adapt to new challenges, making them quick learners who are excited about the therapy world. This not only contributes to the overall efficiency of your business but also allows you to focus fully on your specialized skills, which enhances the quality of the therapy you offer. Take a moment to determine your strengths and areas of growth and also where you can delegate. 

Hiring interns isn’t only a benefit for you, either. Young professionals and college students are searching for as much experience as they can get in their field of interest. If you’re in the mental health field, think of the days you were pursuing a degree in Psychology. There is such a lack of opportunity for experience in the mental health field. Your options were likely either working a hotline or volunteering for a shelter. Through interning for you, they gain experience they can put on their resume, which will help them in their future careers. Not to mention, they can also gain a great deal of insight from a professional in their dream field: you!

Tips for Hiring and Managing Interns:

  1. Have your systems in place before hiring interns. After you hire them, you can train them on how to use these systems. You can learn more about this in my mentoring services link! A few helpful systems include Google Drive, Canva, and Slack. I’d recommend building a training manual, or handbook outline at least (shameless plug, available for purchase), for the interns to review before asking questions. We only have so much time in a day and we want interns to be independent!
  2. When hiring interns, or any employee or contractor for that matter, you need to solidify the role description, and requirements, and set expectations early on for the role. You’ll want to organize a way to gather resumes, school credit paperwork, and applications for the role. Interviewing, although potentially daunting at first, will become easier with practice especially when you know what type of person you’re looking for. 
  3. Offer mentoring in exchange for their hard work. When running a solo practice, budgets can be tight. Determine what you feel confident to share and teach. Maybe it’s marketing or public speaking tips. Ask for what interns want to learn and gain from you. Maybe they want someone to look over their resume or have tips for applying to grad school. Also, determine their comfort zone. Share experiences about your academics, job experience, and what to do and not do in the field. See what you can learn from them. Having a fresh set of eyes on content, writing styles, etc. can do wonders for your business.
  4. Communicate often, train well, and set expectations and deadlines for tasks. Slack has been a huge help to me with communication. Quick instant messaging, sharing files, and group messages are all made easy on this platform so that communication won’t get lost in email threads. Making training videos for interns was a whole semester project the team worked on, but so helpful in training future rounds of interns and hired contractors. It’s also been cool for new interns to see what past interns worked on before them. Setting expectations early and setting reminders is helpful for everyone involved. Have interns send you a roundup of what they worked on each day/week to help them stay accountable. Past interns have said it also was helpful to see their progress over time. It’s a lot on their plate, especially when balancing school and other responsibilities with the internship. 
  5. Share feedback often. The interns are used to receiving grades in school for their work—let them receive feedback from you, highlighting strengths and areas of improvement. However, also remember to be kind. This may be someone’s first experience with working and may need a bit of hand-holding to start. I’m a big fan of having regular check-ins, usually in a 30, 60, 90-day format throughout the internship.

When I first started this process from scratch, I thought I’d be way in over my head. I didn’t know the first thing about hiring, or training someone, much less how to manage a team. With practice and the patience of past interns, we’ve been able to build a truly wonderful team of people who are excited to be here and learn and grow together. It’s so refreshing to have new people each semester with fresh perspectives on company content and marketing. I also really love the different cultures and experiences of interns from around the country. As a remote practice, that works for us and personally makes it more fun!

Overall, although starting an internship with your practice may take some work on the back end, it is worth it to begin expanding your team. I hope these tips have helped decide whether to pursue bringing on interns. If you’re interested in being mentored by me on how to hire interns, check out this link here. We’ll brainstorm the tasks you need help with, how to interview, hire, onboard, and set up the team for success.

To discuss how therapy could help you during this season of your life, please contact me or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.

Want to read more? Here are a few of my related blog posts you may be interested in checking out!

Check Out These Related Posts



Pin It on Pinterest