Sustain Your Practice

How to Overcome The Summer Slump

July 22, 2022

POST: do this before designing your new office

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I'm Aisha — private practice strategist for mental health therapists looking to ethically blend their clinical skills with entreprenuership without burnout. 

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Every day is Monday when you're in a Summer Slump

What is the Summer Slump?

The Summer Slump is a seasonal occurrence that some (not all) therapists in private practice experience when less and less people are scheduling therapy appointments.

This includes potential and current therapy clients.

It feels like no one is interested in therapy and that’s why you’re not as busy as you used to be.

Now, we’ve talked at length about making business decisions based on facts versus feelings

And I’ve noticed that a lot of therapists feel frenzied about what to do to overcome the Summer Slump.

The number one thing I recommend therapists in full-time private practice do FIRST when they find themselves in a summer slump is to review their caseload data.


Which caseload data should therapists track?

There are 3 pieces of caseload data that I recommend therapists in private practice track on a consistent basis.

Pro Tip : If you track this data on a regular basis, you can catch a problem (ah-hm The Summer Slump) before it happens.


Caseload Data Point #1 : The number of therapy consultations you have conducted

The number of therapy consultations you have conducted (when you show up and the potential client shows up and you talk about whether therapy will be a good fit),

Will indicate to you how strong your marketing is to inspire people to book a call with you.


Caseload Data Point #2 The number of therapy consultations that resulted in active clients

Just like when a baseball pitcher approaches the plate there’s a chance they are not going to hit a home run every single time.

The same applies to you and your therapy consultations.

Every consultation you have is not going to result in booking an active client but by tracking this data point, you’re going to know whether your marketing is strong enough to attract your ideal client.


Caseload Data Point #3 The number of sessions each of your active clients have had from intake to discharge

By knowing the amount of time each client remains on your caseload, you’ll be able to determine if the current pattern that is taking place is typical for your current caseload or abnormal.

Some therapists feel frenzied when they feel like things are bad, when clients discharge from therapy during the summer season, and call it a summer slump. BUT once you look at your caseload data, you may realize that this client’s time on your caseload was in alignment with other clients that have discharged during a more stable season.


These 3 caseload data points aren’t the only metrics that I think you could track, frankly you can take it to the extreme and track tons of metrics, but this is a good place to start especially if this is the first time you’ve considered making data-driven decisions in your practice.

There’s no need to make an overwhelming situation, even more overwhelming.

If you’re a therapist in full-time solo private practice and you’re trying to make your way through or prevent a Seasonal Slump, subscribe to the weekly newsletter for more private practice strategies.

And, if you are looking for more data points to track and you’ve recently purchased the Client Inquiry Form from The Thriving Therapist Shop, you’ll find the Caseload Data Tracking Sheet in your portal.

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