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7 of the Best Tools for Therapists in Private Practice

What if I told you that you’re likely working harder and not smarter in your private practice? Many therapists we speak with are amazing at helping their clients overcome a multitude of conditions, but struggle on the business side of their practice. In this post, I will highlight 7 of the best therapist tools every mental health professional should consider using to run their practice more efficiently and effectively.

  1. Expertise Tools
  2. Practice Management Tools
  3. Budgeting Tools
  4. Financial Analytics tools
  5. Marketing ROI Tools
  6. Web Analytics Tools
  7. Goal Setting Tools

Let’s dive in!

1. Expertise Tools

What do I mean when I say “expertise tools?” I mean, anything that helps you be a better therapist. This can include counseling practice forms, treatment worksheets, guides, videos, articles, and anything else to help you more proficiently deliver your expertise to your clients.

Example Expertise Tools

Some example expertise tools include:

Why Are These Important?

Expertise tools are important because they help you:

  • Facilitate your expertise
  • Collect valuable information from your clients
  • Hone your skills
  • Speed up the healing process for clients

You can view all of our mental health forms and worksheets here

2. Practice Management Tools

Practice management can help you make your therapy practice more productive and help you streamline: Billing workflows, client scheduling, client tracking, client accounting, and reporting in a single workflow.

Example Practice Management Tools

We have no recommendation or endorsement for the best practice management software, but some of the more popular ones include:

  • Therapist
  • Simple Practice
  • Therapy Notes

I would caution you to find a system that can easily be integrated into other systems (such as Quickbooks, your website, and more). Some systems make this task extremely difficult and require custom development work to connect systems.

Why Are These Important?

Practice management tools help your practice:

  • Collect and process client payments faster
  • Reduce errors
  • Save time for you or your admin
  • Streamline technology into 1 workflow
  • Schedule new clients (even directly embedded on your website)
  • Perform billing procedures
  • Automate session reminders via text and email,
  • Submit insurance claims
  • Rely on digital versions of client information, rather than paper sources or insecure sources on your servers

3. Budgeting Tools

Do you have a budget? Do you have a budgeting tool? Many mental health processionals operate their spending on the FBN system. What is the FBN system? Fly by Night… a.k.a Seat of the Pants budgeting. Having a private practice budgeting tool allows you, the business owner, to have a realistic view of your future spending.

Do you know how much you should be charging per session? Check out our Therapy Session Fee Calculator

Example Budgeting Tools

Some example budgeting tools include:

  • Excel: This is the poor man’s budgeting tool, but it definitely can do the job, especially for practitioners on their own without big resources. There are free Excel budgeting tools you can check out, as well as experts who can help you build a custom one for your practice at low costs, such as our friend Jack Tompkins over at Pineapple Consulting Firm.
  • QuickBooks (or similar): Most software tools have a budgeting tool built in. It helps to speak with someone who is highly strategic so that you can build a budget that works best for your practice.

Why Are These Important?

Budgeting tools, if deployed correctly, can help you:

  • Determine what you should be charging for your services
  • Make better spending decisions
  • Grow your practice more effectively
  • Have a realistic view of future spending

4. Financial Analytics Tools

Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are important for therapists to create and track because they show the performance of your practice and help you improve. Most of the KPIs, you will be spending your time on are going to be financially related in some way. This is where the Financial Analytics Dashboard Tool comes into play. A financial analytics dashboard will help you \see trends in your revenue and expenses, among other things, over time.  The importance of visualization, hence the dashboard, is hard to quantify. Having something as basic as color coding your KPI’s (i.e. Green for good, Red for bad) empowers you to gain critical business intelligence at a glance.

Examples of Financial Analytics Tools

  • Web-Based Financial Dashboards: Web-based financial dashboards are excellent tools to use in your private practice.  They allow you to automate the data into the dashboard, have real-time updates, and package everything up in a nice KPI dashboard.
  • Excel Dashboards: Excel is the starting point for most financial analysis and financial dashboard creation.  Financial statements and data are incredibly customizable in Excel in addition to being easy to forecast in and create visuals in. Financial Dashboards in Excel are a staple that every business should have access to.  They give you one place to handle your income statement (or any other statement), your future projections, and the summary of it all in a nice visual.

Whether you want a web-based dashboard or an Excel dashboard, Pineapple is a trusted partner of ours to help you.

Why Are These Important?

Financial Analytics Tools are important for your private practice because they help you:

  • Monitor revenue, profit, and your overall financials at a glance
  • Track budgets at a glance
  • Forecast for future periods of time
  • Improve your bottom line

5. Marketing ROI Tools

If you knew that spending $1000.00 somewhere would yield, $5000.00 in new clients each month, would you continue paying the $1000.00? Perhaps you’d 5x that spend and see where it takes you. That’s the importance of knowing your ROI on marketing spend. An ROI (return on investment) tool will help you decide if your marketing expenditures are worth it.

You can calculate it yourself by subtracting the initial value of an investment from the final value of the investment. Then divide this number (the net return) by the cost of the investment, and multiply it by 100. ROI is usually expressed as a percentage and is an often-used universal measure of profitability. For an excellent guide to the basics of ROI tabulation check out this great walkthrough Jack with Pineapple put together.

Examples of ROI Tools

  • Excel: Excel once again, is a great tool to help you track your marketing efforts and see the return on investment from each effort.

Why Are These Important?

A marketing ROI tool can private practice owner by:

  • Helping you see what’s working so that you can increase these efforts
  • Helping you see what’s not working so that you can eliminate waste in spending

6. Web Analytics Tools

Do you check your Analytics tools? Do you have any analytics tools? In the process of improving your practice, it’s important to understand key metrics for your website and marketing efforts.

Examples of Web Analytics Tools:

  • Google Analytics: This is the big one, and it’s 100% free

Why Are These Important?

Web Analytics tools are important because they help you:

  • Understand what types of people visit your site
  • Get a glimpse at key metrics related to your website, such as: Where they came from, how long they spent on the site, how many pages they viewed, what type of device they are viewing your website on, and many more
  • Track key goals (such as lead submissions, form fill-outs, and phone calls)
  • Help you determine what’s working on your website (and marketing efforts) so that you can continue or stop certain activities
  • Help you track very specific campaigns to see what’s working
  • Take out any guess work related to your marketing efforts by tracking real data

7. Goal Setting Tools

Goals are universal. Human behavior has proven time and time again that when a realistic, yet difficult goal is set for one’s self you are more likely to over-perform or achieve that goal.

Examples of Goal Setting Tools

Goal setting tools come in many forms and can consist of visualization apps, questionnaires or surveys, or SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analyses. Some examples of goal setting tools include:

  • Your Account Software: Accounting software usually provides areas to set goals, but are typically limited to accounting-based goals.
  • Goalscape: Goalscape provides a combination of visualization along with the ability to make anything a goal with ease. It allows you to tier the goals to create a visual progression as well.

Why Are These Important?

Goal Setting Tools are important to mental health professionals in private practice because they help you:

  • Visualize your goals: This is one of the major benefits for therapists, to see your progress
  • Set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly checkpoints to keep you on track to crush your goals
  • Hold yourself or your team accountable – you’ll be able to see exactly what you or your team are doing to accomplish your goals on a regular basis

Conclusion on the 7 Best Tools for Therapists

Thank you for reading my topic on the 7 best tools for therapists. These tools can help you streamline your practice, increase revenue, and reduce hassle, waste, and aggravation. I hope this topic was useful for you and gave you insights into some things you can do to improve your practice.

TherapyByPro is an online mental health directory that connects mental health pros with clients in need. If you’re a mental health professional, you can Join our community and add your practice listing here. We have assessments, practice forms, and worksheet templates mental health professionals can use to streamline their practice. View all of our mental health forms, worksheet, and assessments here.

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Anthony Bart is a huge mental health advocate. He has primarily positioned his marketing expertise to work with mental health professionals so that they can help as many patients as possible. He is currently the owner of BartX, TherapistX, and TherapyByPro.

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