Basics of Starting Your Practice.
While completing my psychotherapy program, I was eager and excited to start my practice and share my skills with the world. I pictured myself sitting in a large and beautiful office listening to my clients. As I was writing my exams I knew I was great, but then it dawned on me that no one else knew that! Who will see me at my big beautiful office? How would my future clients even know that I exist?
This is one of the most vital questions you have to ask yourself. Being great at what you do is a key part of your success, but letting others know about yourself is also equally important.
Here is an outline of a few steps that I believe will help you to establish the beginning of a successful practice.
Step # 1.
Get a website! In this day and age people use Internet and Google for everything! To have a solid presence on the net is of the upmost importance. It takes months for Google to index and rank your website. This is why you shouldn’t delay. First thing first, get a domain name. You can choose a pretty one, such as or, but I suggest you choose the name that is clear and easy to understand. Think what would people type in the Google search bar to find your service? For example, my clinic’s website is and my personal practice is under If the desired name is not available, don’t worry – get creative.
Make some research and find more information about website ranking, keywords and meta tags, and search engine optimization tools. At first it may seem overwhelming, but it is quite simple – through Google you will find easy to understand articles and forums where you can get all the information you need. If you can afford it, you can hire a professional to get your site on the top pages of Google. Prices can range from $500 to $2,000 per month, and it takes about 6 to 8 months to get higher ranking.
Make sure your website is user-friendly, and information is easy to find. Besides your bio and credentials, include some health tips for the visitors, articles about the benefits of the services you provide and other interesting or pertinent for them information. Again, you can do that yourself by using templates (try or you can hire a professional website designer.
Step #2.
Create a plan and a budget. Where would you like to work? Rent an office in a commercial plaza? Or a room at a wellness centre or a spa? Maybe an office in a conventional medical centre? Or work from home office? Would you like to find a holistic clinic where they have a 70/30 split agreement? How much rent can you afford? What business structure works best for you: sole proprietor, partnership or corporation? Who will do your bookkeeping and accounting? What professional associations will you choose? What licenses, permits and insurance do you need to obtain? What business name you will choose to register? What about business cards and brochures? Make three plans: business plan, financial plan and marketing plan.
Here are a few ideas you may want to consider in your marketing plan:
- Create a monthly or quarterly online newsletter to spread the word about yourself. Start with friends and family, your family doctor, hairdresser and so on, and begin to expand your database. Visit or Google other newsletter sites – they are full of tips and advice on e-mail marketing.
- Create Facebook business page. Nowadays everyone is on Facebook –you should be there too! has great tutorials on how to use social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
- Inquire in libraries, private gyms and other places if you could present free talks on health and wellness – it is a great way to introduce your services and get potential clients intrigued!
- Research all the health and wellness tradeshows in GTA and make a point to visit them all. Learn what is going on in the city and meet other health practitioners. You may also want to consider participating at some of the tradeshows in the future.
- Attend networking parties and everywhere you go talk about yourself! Create a short prepared speech of about 3-4 sentences long, in which you clearly and in a concise manner communicate what you do, who you are doing this for, and how you are unique. There is nothing worse than to stutter when describing your passion!
A few last words of encouragement: The secret to success is Excitement, Enthusiasm and Desire! Having all that, you will LOVE the long hours and consistent effort you put into this venture. Loving what you do and doing what you love is key! Some people find marketing somewhat of a challenge, but you will learn to enjoy that as well, because you are sharing what you believe in and love with others. As Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!”

Author's Bio: 

Svetlana Antonyshyn.

Short autobiography.
Growing up in Ukraine, in a family of herbalists and people who love nature, my approach to wellness has always been natural and organic.
In North America people are lost in their search for a quick fix and they turn to pharmacology to address their health concerns, be it physical or psychological. The food Industry is another area of concern for me. Food produce has become a mass production commodity where quality is compromised for quantity. How much do people really know about the food they buy in our supermarkets?
When I immigrated to Canada at the age of 21, I developed all kinds of illnesses. I gained 20 lb in a span of a few months, had unexplainable depression, mood swings, digestive problems, migraines and fatigue. I couldn’t understand what was happening to my body. Over time I realized that there must be something wrong with the food in North America.
After extensive research on this subject, I learned about the hormones and other carcinogenic additives (pesticides from food fed to animals, antibiotics, etc.) in meat and dairy products, preservatives and chemicals in all types of foods, and along with it, the intensive and unsustainable farming practices of the agricultural sector that further compounds the problem. I was also appalled by the FDA, USDA, CFIA, and other governing bodies’ low standards for the quality of food people consume. Through my research, I have learned that North America is the number one country when it comes to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, depression and other diseases, and that a proper diet is one of the key elements in the treatment and prevention of diseases.
Knowing all this, I have become a passionate activist of natural living. I believe there is no need to re-invent the wheel and that everything a human being needs already exists in nature; it is therefore unnecessary to fabricate but rather to be educated about our natural environment and the resources and remedies that can be derived from it.
In 2009, I graduated from Transformational Arts College where I studied to become a holistic psychotherapist. Choosing this profession is a tribute to my son Mark who tragically passed away. What emerged from the immense pain of loss is a strong desire to be of service to others and to share the many insights I have gained through the profoundness of my experience.
Shortly thereafter, I had a vision; why not combine my two passions – psychotherapy and the advocacy and education of organic living? In September, 2010 my business partner Susanna Kvint and I opened the Holistic Health Clinic in Maple, Ontario. Our growing team consists of naturopaths, nutritionists, homeopaths, allergists, chiropractors, psychotherapists, acupuncturists, energy healers and massage therapists. Our philosophy is to provide integrated services for the well being of our clients, helping them on their healing journey addressing all three aspects of human existence – Mind, Body and Spirit.