As a therapist, you help clients navigate emotional hardships, overcome trauma and improve their wellbeing. This emotionally demanding yet profoundly rewarding work constitutes the core of your professional life.
However, as caseloads and expenses swell, the viability of sustaining a full-time private practice remains fraught with uncertainty. Revenue can fluctuate dramatically by month, especially early on.
Supplementing your income with carefully chosen side hustles can provide much-needed stability through these lean periods.
Just as importantly, secondary gigs create space to express other talents and passions beyond traditional therapy. This variety helps prevent burnout by breaking up intensive clinical work.
As your energy gets channeled into different types of meaningful work aligned with your strengths, you start actualizing a more holistic vision of career success.
This guide will illuminate the 21 most financially viable and professionally gratifying side hustles for therapists to consider.
Let’s get started!
Why Prioritize Side Hustles Now
Here are 5 compelling reasons to actively start exploring your options:
1. The COVID-19 Catalyst
Private practice therapists experienced a dramatic spike in demand for online counseling since 2020. However, many report income drop-offs as clients experience pandemic fatigue.
This volatility underscores the value of secondary income streams to buffer revenue dips.
2. Expanding Opportunities
The rise of the digital economy and gig platforms has diversified feasible side hustles for skilled professionals, creating fresh income possibilities on flexible schedules.
3. Retirement Planning
With dwindling pensions and social security uncertainties ahead, smart early financial planning becomes critical. Side hustles generate extra cash for retirement savings and investments.
4. Passion Projects
Creatively energizing side pursuits prevent stagnation and bring welcome balance to intense clinical work.
5. Greater Career Control
Multiple income streams give you greater adaptability to work less or even switch gears professionally. This freedom and security is priceless.
The time is now ripe to chart a roadmap for supplemental income tailored to your distinctive talents.
Key Benefits of Optimal Side Hustles
The most sustainable side hustles offer a powerful combo of financial and personal incentives:
➡️ Location flexibility: Work when and where you want
➡️ Lucrative hourly income: $50-$150+ per hour typically
➡️ Low entry barriers: Minimal specialized training or upfront investments
➡️ Leverages existing skills: Close transferability reduces learning curves
➡️ Professional development: Expand therapeutic tools and knowledge
➡️ Reignites passion: Explore different interests and modalities
➡️ Deep sense of purpose: Use talents to further mission-aligned causes
Combining your core strengths as a therapist with emerging digital opportunities sets the stage for an ideal alignment.
Evaluating the Best Options For You
With an increasing array of side hustles to select from, focusing on the optimal opportunities to pursue is key.
Assess potential gigs across 4 criteria:
- What are expected hourly or monthly earnings?
- How quickly can this be monetized?
- What are total costs to launch and operate?
2. Skill/Time Fit
- Does this align well with my expertise and experience?
- Do I meet the majority of requirements and qualifications?
- Can I consistently dedicate the blocks of time needed to deliver quality work?
3. Enjoyment Factor
- How intrinsically rewarding do I find the work itself?
- Does this connect to my natural talents and interests outside of therapy?
- Do I envision feeling genuinely excited to work on this for 1-2 years+?
- Does this side hustle facilitate (not compromise) my longer-term career vision?
- Will this detract from or enhance my overall wellbeing?
Using the 4 filters above will help illuminate the most promising opportunities for supplemental income tailored to your distinctive profile.
21 Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas for Therapists
Here are the 21 most impactful side hustles for therapists seeking substantial extra income aligned to clinical skills:
1. Online Therapy
Hours Per Week: 15-25 hrs
Income Range: $14-$38/week + tips
Sites like BetterHelp, Talkspace and MDLive connect you with online therapy clients. This allows for location-independent flexibility while leveraging your clinical expertise.
2. Assessment Scoring
Hours Per Week: 10-25 hrs
Income Range: $25-$50 per hour
Remote contract work scoring psychological assessments like the MMPI-2 for organizations like Pearson Assessments.
3. Presenting at Conferences
Hours Per Week: 5 hrs p/month
Income Range: $100-$500 per presentation
Share your clinical specialties with peers by presenting at mental health conferences and conventions nationwide.
4. Non-Profit Consulting
Hours Per Week: 2-5 hrs p/month
Income Range: $50-$150 per hour
Donate your expertise to causes aligned with mental health by providing skills-based consulting for nonprofits.
5. Corporate Training
Hours Per Week: 6-10 hrs p/month
Income Range: $100-$300 per hour
Conduct mental health workshops tailored to employees of companies and organizations in your region.
6. Clinical Supervision
Hours Per Week: 2-4 hrs p/week
Income Range: $80-$150 per supervision hour
Guide trainees one-on-one through skill-building and case consultations to accumulate licensure hours.
7. Mindfulness Workshops
Hours Per Week: 6-10 hrs p/month
Income Range: $300+ per full-day workshop
Lead intimate in-person workshops centered around mindfulness, meditation and holistic wellness practices.
8. Retreats & Intensives
Hours Per Week: 48 hrs p/quarter
Income Range: $300-$600 per person per full-day
Conduct deep therapeutic work in small group settings during multi-day intensive retreats.
9. Educational Products
Hours Per Week: 10 hrs p/month
Income Range: $3k-$8k+ per month
Create online courses, books, journals, card decks, workshops and other educational offerings in your niche.
10. Public Speaking
Hours Per Week: 6 hrs p/month
Income Range: $500-$2,500+ per keynote
Get paid to present keynotes at local events, communities and national conferences sharing your clinical perspectives.
11. Blogging & Podcasting
Hours Per Week: 6-10 hrs p/week to start
Income Range: ~$5k-$15k per year as you build an audience
Self-publish blogs and podcasts focused on mental health topics that inspire you and others.
12. Mobile Therapy
Hours Per Week: 10 client hours
Income Range: In line with current rates
Conduct sessions with existing clients at alternative locations instead of your office to enhance convenience.
13. Marketing Consulting
Hours Per Week: 5-15 hrs p/month
Income Range: $100-$200 per hour
Advise private practice owners on optimizing their marketing funnels from websites to content strategy.
14. Life Coaching
Hours Per Week: 10 client hours
Income Range: $60-$500 per month per client
Complete a certification to help clients achieve personal goals through motivational coaching programs online or in-person.
15. Products & Merch
Hours Per Week: ~5 hrs p/week
Income Range: $3k-$15k per month at scale
Design therapeutic journals, wall art, planners, card decks and other creative products to sell online.
16. Paid Communities
Hours Per Week: 2-4 hrs p/day
Income Range: $5k-$20k+ per month
Run a paid community platform with specialty courses, member forums, and exclusive perks around niche topics.
17. Grant Writing
Hours Per Week: 10 hrs p/month
Income Range: $5-$15k per secured grant
Win grant funding from government agencies and nonprofits by applying for mental health innovation and research grants.
18. Mobile Apps
Hours Per Week: 5-15 hrs p/week
Income Range: $5k-$15k+ per month
Build therapist-focused apps like clinical tools and get paid when users purchase them through app stores.
Hours Per Week: 2-4 hrs p/week
Income Range: $1k-$5k+ per campaign
Run campaigns for community mental health programs and secure donations from the public to fund special projects.
20. YouTube Channel
Hours Per Week: 6-12 hrs p/week
Income Range: $100-$5k+ per month once monetized
Create an educational YouTube channel focused on mental health advice, motivation, practical tips etc.
21. Small Group Coaching
Hours Per Week: 5 client hours p/week
Income Range: $500-$2,000 per month
Conduct 4-6 week small group coaching programs online built around mastering self-care, life balance, personal growth.
Spotlight: 5 Therapists Thriving with Side Hustles
To glean actionable insights into launching your own secondary income stream, let’s explore case studies of 5 therapists actively monetizing their passions through side hustles:
Therapist A: Supplements online therapy practice by selling meditative art prints on Etsy. Earns $4k+ per month through passive print-on-demand royalties.
"Creating art centered around themes of healing and self-compassion has proven deeply cathartic amidst intensive clinical work with trauma clients".
Therapist B: Published two books on anxiety management through mindfulness practices. Runs a 5-figure per month coaching business helping readers implement book concepts.
"Pouring my learning into book form ignited a spark to empower people globally through virtual courses and coaching programs aligned to my principles".
Therapist C: Hosts quarterly retreats on grief healing through creative expression in upstate NY. Earns over $7k per 4-day retreat limited to just 8 participants per session.
"Small group retreat formats allow for profound therapist-client connections rarely possible in traditional 50-minute sessions".
Therapist D: Launched a private practitioner consulting business bringing in $8k per month. Supports therapy business owners with marketing solutions from branding to content creation.
"I‘ve discovered a genuine passion for leveraging my past entrepreneurial learnings to help fellow psychologists thrive and manage sustainable practices".
Therapist E: Scores assessments on a freelance basis for 10 hours per week earning $28/hour. Plans to allocate earning towards early retirement fund investments.
"Taking a reprieve from intensive clinical work through routine assessment scoring provides mental spaciousness while generating EPS growth".
As evident from the therapist spotlights above, secondary income streams can unlock deeply fulfilling new chapters that symbiotically support primary therapy practices.
Answers to Key Questions Around Side Hustles
As you evaluate prospective side hustle plans, several common questions arise. Here is some candid clarity around each:
How feasible is work-life balance while handling multiple professional endeavors?
Achieving harmony across a diverse portfolio absolutely necessitates fierce prioritization of self-care to prevent depletion. This means actively fencing off recharge time in your calendar to refuel.
Start small while you gauge bandwidth, systematically tracking energy levels across experiments. Limit total professional hours per week, gradually optimizing schedule once sustainable rhythm is locked in through iteration.
What about legal and ethical considerations? How do I avoid issues?
Familiarize yourself with codes of conduct around privacy, transparency and conflict avoidance issued by oversight bodies like APA and ACA.
Seeking counsel from a lawyer to navigate disclosure and liability risks relevant to your niche side hustle offerings is highly advisable as well.
Which side hustles offer the fastest path to profitability?
Options like assessment scoring, online therapy and freelance consulting can generate earnings within your first month. Publishing books and courses require heavier time investments upfront before sales kick in.
How much can I realistically expect to earn through side hustles?
Therapists running optimized secondary income streams report making between $1,500 to $4,000 extra per month on average if consistency is maintained .
However, your geographic location, niche focus, marketing capabilities and work capacity variables influence income ceiling considerably.
Where do I even start with identifying and launching new income streams?
Carve out dedicated incubation days quarterly to brainstorm and research ideas resonating with your core interests, clinical strengths and lifestyle priorities.
Validate concepts, size up potential demand and competition. Interview those excelling in your shortlisted verticals. Map out must-have steps to get qualified before officially taking the plunge.
Key Takeaways: Core Principles to Thrive
As you embark on intensifying revenue across parallel income streams as a therapist, here are 5 core principles to embed upfront that will enable sustainable success and work-life harmony over the long-haul:
1. Specialize first
Become renowned locally and digitally for addressing specific subsets of mental health issues or demographics before spanning out. Depth over breadth stands paramount when qualifying yourself as top referrals get routed your way.
2. Systematize scheduling
Ultra-rigid Google Calendar structuring and uncompromising time fencing ensures side hustles enhance rather than hinder personal and professional thriving.
3. Test incrementally
Progress through validate-iterate cycles exposing ideas to target audiences, securing pre-sales and confirming commercial feasibility assumptions before excessive time investments.
4. Outsource weaknesses
De-risk overwhelmedness by handing off suitable tasks to trained assistants, especially administrative and technical functions outside direct clinical purview.
5. Anchor to alignment
Continually circle back to your core values, priorities and definition of success devoid of unhealthy external benchmarking as you navigate uncharted territory integrating new projects.
The world of side hustles represents uncharted terrain offering renewed sense of freedom, control and purpose for skilled therapists like yourself able to identically map ideas onto strengths while upholding balance.
I hope this guide illuminated a framework for creatively expanding income streams while staying aligned to your long-term professional and personal goals.
Now over to you! Which of these 21 side hustle concepts resonated most with your talents and interests? Leave a comment below sharing your thoughts and next action steps
- Nelson, B. 2021. How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? 16 Bloggers Share Their Income Reports