How to Start and Grow a Group Practice with LaToya Smith and Ashley Mielke | POP 757

Joe Sanok, LaToya Smith, and Ashley Mielke are is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast and speak about how to start and grow a group practice. 

What are the ingredients to skyrocketing any group practice to success? What are some of the shared anxieties that nearly every group practice owner struggles with? Why do you need to learn to “build the plane while you are flying it”?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok, LaToya Smith, and Ashley Mielke speak about how to start and grow a group practice.

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Meet LaToya Smith

An image of LaToya Smith is captured. She is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling. LaToya is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website. Connect with her on FacebookInstagramStrong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

Apply to work with LaToya.

Email her at

Meet Ashley Mielke

A photo of Ashley Mielke is captured. She is a Registered Psychologist, Founder and CEO of a large group private practice in Alberta, Canada called The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre Inc. She is featured on Grow a Group Practice, a therapist podcast.

Ashley Mielke is a Registered Psychologist, Founder, and CEO of a large group private practice in Alberta, Canada called The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre Inc. She is passionate about supporting heart-centered practice owners in starting, growing, and scaling their businesses.

Ashley was called to start her company after the tragic death of her father by suicide in 2010. It was the purpose she found through her healing that inspired the ‘WHY’ that drives her 7-figure company today. It brings Ashley great joy to support other heart-centered leaders in building successful practices that are aligned with both their business goals and their deepest calling.

Visit The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Connect with Ashley Mielke on Instagram and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Shared troubles of current group practice owners
  • The ingredients to rocking out a successful group practice
  • When should you add the first clinician to your practice?
  • LaToya and Ashley’s advice to private practitioners

Shared troubles of current group practice owners

Being a therapist can feel isolating, and being a therapist that runs a group practice can feel even more so!

What can bring you together is the knowledge that almost every group practice owner goes through the same trials and tribulations that you do. Find community in those that have shared your experience and allow them to inspire you to keep moving forward.

Some common struggles include:

  • Hiring
  • Finding the best fitting clinicians for the practice
  • Creating the best structure and process

You have a whole list of 10 things that you feel need to be done today, but what’s most important for this day? That’s going to get you to the vision that you want to go to. (LaToya Smith)

  • Breaking down a big vision into manageable action steps
  • Searching for support and encouragement

One way that I enjoy supporting my consulting clients is [by] sharing my journey and my stories as a group practice owner and they often feel so relieved … because they’re reminded that they’re not alone. (Ashley Mielke)

The ingredients to rocking out a successful group practice

Even though there are shared struggles, there are also simultaneously shared top tips that almost every group practice can do to skyrocket the business to sustainable success.

Some top tips include:

  • Becoming a go-getter: they desire and appreciate momentum without worrying about how it will turn out. They trust the process and continue to take action.
  • Letting go of the negative “what-if?”: consider the fruits of your labor, and how they could turn out for the best instead of for the worst. What great things can happen from your efforts?
  • Focusing on progress instead of perfection: you will never have all your ducks in a row, and those that succeed more than usual know this, and continue on their journey despite the occasional setback.

You just have to start, and you have to let go of that need for perfectionism and having everything in place, or you will never feel ready. (Ashley Mielke)

When should you add the first clinician to your practice?

You should consider hiring your first clinician when:

  • Your waiting list is growing
  • Your professional calendar is nearly full
  • You have to turn clients away
[With] hindsight looking back, I really wish I would have hired [earlier], even when I was three-quarters full to where I wanted to be. (LaToya Smith)

Hire your first clinician before you reach panic mode. So, it may seem unnecessary, but hire before you think you need it.

LaToya and Ashley’s advice to private practitioners

Go after it. There will be some fears and some what-ifs, but continue to try and pursue your goals.

If you have a calling and you come alive when you think about your practice, then trust that guidance and take the next right step forward.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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