How to Start and Run Mental Health Practices

Interested in starting or growing a mental health practice? You have come to the right place. My 40+ yrs of experience are summarized here. You will learn how to:

  • start your own outpatient private practice
  • grow your existing practice
  • realize your practice’s potential, and
  • enjoy your success in the process

David Norton, Ph.D., LMFT has seen it all. He has worked in not-for-profits, partnerships, and as a solo practitioner. Eventually, his practice employed 40 therapists working in 3 locations, providing over 30,000 sessions per year. This website summarizes much of what he has learned as a therapist and practice owner. with Dr David Norton

The Four Stages of Growing a Successful Practice

1. Starting Up

First steps to developing the thriving and fulfilling business of your dreams

2. Core Activities

Everyday systems that successful mental health practices use to get the work done consistently and enjoyably

3. Building Staff & Culture

Recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, and supervising new staff while taking care of them

4. Managing Growth

The six critical areas to monitor and rebuild as your practice expands

What brought you here?

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3 Ways to Find Content

This website organizes over 100 posts on a wide range of topics. There are 3 different ways to navigate to what you want:

  1. Menu–Across the top of each page. Click on the Logo to return to the Home page
  2. Course Page–This page organizes All Content as a set of courses. The course outline is also available on the sidebar throughout the site.
  3. Links–Related topics are linked in the body and at the end of each post.

And the Practice Management image? An icon of the daily demands that all successful practices routinely handle every day. Click on it to visit the Course Page. This page organizes all the posts into a course curriculum.

All Content

What they’re saying

“ is a fantastic resource for both early-career and senior clinicians seeking to build their therapy practice. Dr. David Norton is a master clinician and a seasoned businessman. Like everything he does, this website is well-conceived, elegantly executed and easy to navigate, and full of wise and invaluable content. Two phrases leap to mind: thoroughly generous and endlessly helpful. Dig in, stop recreating the wheel, and get rolling!”

Kelly Flanagan, PhD—Cofounder of Artisan Clinical Associates and author of Loveable: Embracing What Is Truest About You So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life

David Norton

Meet David

I began building a mental health private practice in 1983. When I sold the practice at the end of 2018, we had 40 active clinicians and 10 support staff working in 3 different communities providing 0ver 30,000 hours of therapy per year. And truly what I am most proud of is the collective impact we have had on the communities we serve. I believe that the organization I built changes the local world, one hour at a time.

While I did not understand much about building a practice when I started, the results I’ve experienced are so gratifying that I want to share as much as I know with you. My hope is that you might have a similar impact on your community and experience the joy of building a strong and successful organization. Let me know how it goes.