Helping Innovative Counseling Graduates
Cleveland Emotional Health Network’s residency program is an innovative project that enables counselors to develop their private practices while being employed by a larger organization offering clinical supervision and peer support.
Most mental health counselors enter their master-level programs to fulfill their passion to help others, and a number of students have the vision of one day operating their own private practice. Although not every counselor is seeking this particular objective, owning a private practice offers many unique clinical, educational, and entrepreneurial opportunities that may not be available within the restrictions of larger systems and organizations. Operating a practice allows for an intrinsic sense of autonomy and the ability to thrive using one’s own expertise, vision, and creativity. Unfortunately, pre-licensed graduates are not typically able to experience the benefits of this modality for clinical work, and many counselors lack the practical business knowledge and skills necessary to establish an independent business entity successfully. The Cleveland Emotional Health Network aims to plug these systemic and educational gaps by employing graduates and offering both clinical supervision and business skills training as an incubator for their fledgling private practices.
Each one of our Residents and Interns is required to undergo weekly supervision. All State laws and clinical practice requirements are rigorously followed, and American Counseling Association Ethics Guidelines are fully implemented. The members of the Network are also required to meet every six weeks for group supervision where empirical research findings and cutting-edge ideas are explored and shared. In addition to clinical, educational, and entrepreneurial development, these activities enable the Residents to offer social support to each other and build professional connections that can last long after their completion of the Residency Program.
The financial success rate of the Residents is more than triple that of a typical clinic or counseling center employee (Cleveland, in progress), while all of us work fewer than 30 hours per week. The intellectual and financial freedom made possible by this Residency Program facilitates more time for family, continuing education, and personal pursuits. Given that self-care and wellbeing is a vital component for the success of rising counselors, the Residency Program model we are pursuing at the Cleveland Emotional Health Network may offer a superior option for post-graduate professional development in the counseling field.
It should be noted, however, that not all graduates are suitable for this Residency Program. A strong desire, autonomy, maturity, and self-determination are required. From the business and marketing perspective, not all practices will succeed, especially if the niche that is offered does not match the demands of the public. As in any business, risk — although minimal — is an inherent part of a new venture, and success as a private practitioner is not guaranteed. Recent graduates that are interested in gaining licensure through the Cleveland Emotional Health Network are encouraged to apply, but unfortunately, not all private practice ideas are financially sustainable.
Click the link below to access a worksheet that helps you to organize your ideas for creating a counseling private practice: