Centre for Continuing Education

Starting a Private Practice in Psychology or Counselling Course

Psychology. Explore the human mind.

Learn Psychology the smart way with Psychology courses at the University of Sydney.

Many psychologists and counsellors are interested in establishing themselves in private practice either full-time or part-time but are unsure of how to proceed. In this course an experienced psychologist in a private practice will overview the essential requirements and possible pitfalls that need to be addressed for the establishment of a successful private practice. This valuable course covers location, set-up costs, legal and ethical issues, insurance, record-keeping, business structures, accounting, marketing and advertising.


By the end of this course, participants will have developed:

  • Knowledge of the laws surrounding client work for psychologists/counsellors.
  • An appreciation of the ethical issues involved in private work.
  • Skills in appropriate record-keeping and accounting.
  • An understanding of appropriate business structures.
  • Marketing strategies.


The course will give a general overview the following topics:

  • Introduction to the micro business sector.
  • Building a business plan.
  • Establishing a vision.
  • The entrepreneurial and business mindset.
  • Marketing and advertising.
  • Push versus pull marketing.
  • Diversifying and adding value.
  • Financial planning and accounting.
  • Professional, legal and ethical issues.
  • Ongoing maintenance.

Participants need to be aware that the course is designed to be an introduction to the general aspects of establishing a private practice and not just the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative under Medicare.

Having canvassed the needs of all participants the presenter may chose to cover some topics in more details depending on the needs of the group.

Intended Audience

This psychology course is suitable for psychologists and/or counsellors who are considering starting their own practice. This psychology course is not suitable for students in the first three years of undergraduate study or those thinking about whether or not to study psychology or counselling, a basic knowledge of psychology or counselling concepts is required.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Certificate of completion

What others say.

  • A realistic and extremely motivating introduction to beginning a psychology practice.

  • The presenter was fantastic, insightful and very honest. I really enjoyed the class. The approachable manner and knowledge gained has really given me confidence in pursuing my dream of going into private practice.

  • The tutor was great. Course was a very good insight into private practice, very helpful.

  • A wonderful presenter, engaging and friendly. She presented a balanced perspective on building a private practice with useful tips. Would recommend to anyone thinking of starting their own practice.