How I Shifted My Money Mindset and Created a Burnout-Proof Practice

Christine Highfill, LCPC
June 7, 2024
Learn how Christine shifted her money mindset and how you can too.

In starting my private practice, I was excited and energized to go out on my own.

The idea of building something from the ground up, entirely on my terms, was incredibly motivating.

In my eagerness to prove myself, I joined numerous platforms, referral sites, and insurance companies.

Quickly, I had a large caseload with rates that were much lower than my value and experience as a therapist.

I believed that high volume would compensate for low rates, but the reality was far from ideal.

Suddenly, I was seeing an unsustainable amount of clients. I knew I couldn't keep this up forever. 

The Emotional Toll of Overwork

The emotional and physical toll of this was clear. I felt fatigued and irritable and had a diminishing passion for my work.

I was often too exhausted to engage fully with my clients or to enjoy my personal life.

My relationships with family and friends started to suffer. And for the first time, I found myself questioning the very career I had once been so passionate about.

I realized I was sacrificing my well-being to meet the unrealistic demands I had set for myself. It became clear that I needed to make significant changes to create a sustainable practice.

Avoiding Burnout with Financial Self-Care

I’m sharing how I freed myself in hopes you can also leave the guilt and fear behind, charge your worth, and build a practice and life you want to live.

As therapists, we're wired to prioritize the well-being of others, often putting their needs above our own.

Somehow, I had internalized the belief that financial success equated to selling out, being greedy, or compromising my values. It's a toxic mindset that not only hinders our ability to thrive but also leaves us vulnerable to burnout.

This mindset was reinforced by societal messages and personal upbringing, making it difficult to break free from these limiting beliefs. 

By acknowledging my worth and setting appropriate boundaries, I found a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment in my practice.

This involved

I also began investing in professional development and self-care, recognizing that these investments would pay off in the long run.

Making these changes was not easy. It required difficult conversations with clients, a deeper look at my values, and a leap of faith.

However, the outcome was transformative (more on that below).

Here’s how I did it, and how you can, too.

Fostering an Attitude of Abundance

Embracing a positive money mindset isn't just about money.

It's about cultivating a mindset of abundance in every aspect of our lives.

This means prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, and recognizing that our well-being is non-negotiable.

We teach these skills to our clients in therapy. We also role model this by prioritizing our own needs, even when it extends to the therapy room.

As we have conversations with our existing clients about raising our rates, we show them that it is ok to ask for what we want.

We are empowered, know our value, and can be clear and direct in how we communicate our worth.

These are qualities we want our clients to live by and we have the opportunity to show them firsthand.

Shift Your Money Mindset by Charging Your Worth

One of the most powerful ways to shift your money mindset is by charging your worth.

This means recognizing the unique value you bring to your clients and not underestimating the impact of your work.

It means setting fees that reflect the value of your time, expertise, and the transformation you facilitate for your clients.

It's important to remember that your training, experience, and dedication are all part of what clients are paying for.

Remember, you're not just selling a service – you're offering a life-changing experience that is worthy of fair compensation.

At the same time, your clients are investing in their well-being, growth, and future, which is invaluable.

Believe You're Worth It

This is the most crucial step in adjusting your money mindset: believing that you are worth it.

I had to shift my perspective from seeing fees as just a number to viewing them as a signal about my professional worth and the benefits clients receive.

I had to truly embrace the idea that my skills can transform someone’s life. And taking the harder step… boldly communicating that to clients (and owning it). 

This involved having honest conversations about the value of therapy and why higher rates are justified.

Charging a fair and sustainable fee for my services isn't selfish – it's a crucial step toward ensuring that I can continue to show up fully for my clients.

It also sets a professional standard, encouraging other therapists to value their work appropriately.

Consider how you can adjust your practice, so you can be completely present and engaged.

Create a practice you feel grateful for and enjoy.

By valuing your work properly, you create a sustainable business model that supports long-term success and personal well-being.

Invest in Your Skills to Increase Your Earning Potential

A key aspect of shifting your money mindset is to invest in yourself and your practice.

Whether it's continuing education, professional development, or hiring support staff, financial freedom will allow you to invest in resources that will help your practice grow and thrive.

Remember, YOU are your most valuable asset. Investments that increase your ability to own and communicate your worth have a tenfold value.

Outsourcing the parts of your practice that you do not love, gives you more energy to devote time to your skills and ability to nurture your clients. 

Confronting Limiting Beliefs 

Confronting limiting beliefs surrounding money is pivotal to upgrading your money mindset.

These beliefs often stem from deep-rooted societal and familial influences that are hard to shake off.

It’s time to break free from the shackles of guilt and scarcity. Start by identifying and acknowledging these limiting beliefs. Ask yourself where they come from and why they persist.

Embracing a sustainable practice means valuing your time and expertise appropriately, setting fair rates, and establishing healthy boundaries with clients.

This might involve seeking mentorship or engaging in professional development to build confidence in your financial decisions.

This shift cultivates a sense of empowerment that is visible to your clients.

When clients see you value your work, it reinforces the importance of their investment in therapy.

Thriving in both personal and professional realms becomes attainable when financial worries no longer dominate your thoughts.

Instead, you can focus on delivering quality care, nurturing meaningful connections with clients, and enjoying a balanced life outside of work.

This balance is crucial for maintaining passion and effectiveness in your practice.

Confronting limiting beliefs about money isn't just about financial gain—it's a transformative journey toward self-discovery, self–value and holistic well-being.

Reflecting on Transformation

Shifting my money mindset was not easy, but was incredibly empowering. The results were nothing short of transformative.

By letting go of guilt and embracing abundance, I not only created a profitable therapy practice but also found a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment in my work.

No longer burdened by the looming threat of burnout, I approach each day with strong internal drive, knowing that I'm making a meaningful difference while honoring my own needs.

Becoming Burnout-Proof

My journey to shift my money mindset and value my worth as a therapist fundamentally transformed my practice, making it burnout-proof. Initially, my overwhelming caseload and insurance-created fees led to chronic stress and emotional exhaustion.

By raising my rates and reducing my client load, I created a more balanced and manageable schedule.

This change allowed me to dedicate more time to self-care, professional development, and personal interests, which are crucial components of preventing burnout.

Creating a Practice That Works for You

I once enjoyed gardening and indoor rock climbing, and after reducing my caseload and schedule demands, I was able to bring back these hobbies into my life in a regular, consistent way. 

I also began to set clear boundaries with clients, ensuring that my personal time was respected.

This boundary-setting was essential in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, allowing me to recharge and return to my practice with renewed energy and focus.

Investing in my professional growth by attending workshops and seeking supervision and business coaching further enriched my therapeutic skills and confidence.

This continuous learning not only improved my practice but also kept me engaged and passionate about my work. Having an exciting, restful and engaging home life outside of work, helps me truly lead by example for my clients of a life I would want them to live. 

Furthermore, outsourcing administrative tasks that drained my energy allowed me to focus on what I love most—helping my clients.

I have admin staff who help with social media, marketing, billing, bookkeeping and financial projections.

By delegating these responsibilities, I could concentrate on providing high-quality therapy without the added stress of managing the business side of my practice.

This strategic approach to running my practice has enabled me to sustain a high level of care for my clients while maintaining my own well-being, effectively making my practice burnout-proof.

What functions can you outsource in your practice so that you can focus more on providing effective therapy? Get a few ideas and tackle them one by one, or as funds become available.

You’ll start to enjoy your practice much more.

A Call to Action

By shifting your money mindset you can create a private therapy practice that not only sustains you financially but also grants you the freedom to live life on your own terms.

Take that first step today – confront limiting beliefs, embrace the inherent wealth within, and witness the profound transformation unfold.

By challenging your money mindset, you can break free from guilt, create a sustainable practice, and thrive in both your personal and professional life. Get started today.

Christine also thanks Thrizer for its support in her private pay journey. Listen to her experience below or hear from her peers.


This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, business, medical, or insurance advice. Laws relating to health insurance and coverage are complex, and their application can vary widely depending on individual circumstances and state laws. Similarly, decisions regarding mental health care should be made with the guidance of qualified health care providers. We strongly recommend consulting with a qualified attorney or legal advisor, insurance representative, and/or medical professional to discuss your specific situation and how the laws apply to you or your situation.

About the Author
Christine Highfill, LCPC

Christine Highfill is a private practice owner and LCPC in Maryland. She sees therapy as a collaborative journey where her and her clients work together to uncover their strengths, foster self-compassion, and create positive change. You can learn more about Christine at Wellness Space Counseling.