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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes everything you wanted to know about independent practice in psychology. It contains excellent resources written in plain English. It is concise, but covers a lot of ground.
Purpose: According to the authors, "we wrote this book as a resource for starting, growing, or improving a psychology practice. It's for psychologists (and other mental health professionals) who are just starting out — and may be unsure about what steps to take to open a practice — as well as for those who have been in practice for many years and are looking for ways to expand, strengthen, rethink, redirect, or improve their practice." They continue: "In this book we've tried to draw together information, ideas, and resources from a few basic areas for creating a practice that is right for you and your community. This means in part that the practice is a sound business and a financial success (however you define that term). Equally important, the practice must be consistent with your deepest values and who you are, is part of a meaningful life, and brings you joy (at least some of the time) and fulfillment" The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: The target audience is revealed in a box right on the cover that states: "Information, ideas, and resources for psychologists in practice." The authors include other mental health professionals as well in the preface. Graduate students in psychology and/or social work would benefit greatly from this book, especially if they plan to open a private practice. The authors are well respected authorities in psychology.
Features: This book contains the nuts and bolts of independent practice. It talks about the business aspects which are helpful to those just venturing out including having a business plan, finding an office and attorney, creating policies and procedures, and preparing a will. I enjoyed the last two chapters: Avoiding Logical Fallacies in Psychology and Avoiding Ethical Rationalizations. This book is somewhat unique because the appendixes comprise more pages than the chapters. However, the appendixes are very useful because many important APA (American Psychological Association) guidelines are listed there. The limitations of this book are what you would expect: since it is so brief, you have to look elsewhere to follow up on the ideas.
Assessment: This book tells you so much about what you need to think about before you put your feet in the water of independent practice. It's like sitting down with seasoned veterans and having them tell you what you need to know as a rookie. It is a quick read but everything is there to whet your appetite for further investigation, especially into the business side of psychology. This would be a good class in clinical or counseling psychology programs, to help eliminate the naiveté of the young and uninformed.