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  • Writer's pictureKara Kohnen

Open Letter to Associate Therapists

Updated: Apr 9

Dear Associate Therapists,

Please don’t take jobs as 1099 (independent contractors) as you won’t be able to use those hours. The BBS requires you to submit your W2’s as part of you application process for licensure. This is meant to protect you for being taken advantage of as companies who hire under 1099 are not subject to the same rules as employers. You would also end up owing 30% of that income to taxes.

When I was graduating, unscrupulous providers approached me to marketing and acquire clients into their practices (for free!). Please don’t take a position marketing a business unless you are clocked in and agreeable to those marketing tasks. If you are seeking a position at private practice, please ask if you are given referrals or expected to bring them in yourself. Also, ask how quickly you can expect to fill your caseload.

The state of CA says employers need to pay you for the time you are working. This means, while attending supervision and for admin time you need to do your work. If you are working, you should be getting paid for this.

If you are considering private practice as an associate, please consider all of the above and require provide the basic legal requirements. Also, pick a place who has proven track record of having associates become licensed rather than someone starting out or who has never done this and may not be aware of the all employment requirements.

Your associate years are extension of your graduate school and. although it feels like forever when you doing hours, it does go by quickly and influences you for the rest of your careers. Your supervisors are important in your development as a therapist. It's a critical you have great supervisors to set you up for ongoing career success.

Now, a little about Grow Through Life Counseling is we have had 20+ associates become licensed via gaining hours at our well run practice. We have another 8 poised to finish their hours and take exams this year. Our team prides itself on supporting the next generation of therapists and this part of our core values. We have supports in providing all referrals, billing an intake support, legal and ethics consults, document request support and weekly supervision, If supervisor is out of town we have subs so you don’t miss recording hours while your supervisor is on vacation. Also, paid admin time, sick PTO, 401K with matching, health insurance, tech stipends and bonus pay with career track which includes longevity, growth and promotion opportunities to mentor or supervisor once licensed.

I am proud we offer the newly graduating and next generation of clinicians employment opportunities I would have loved to have at that point in my career and I am thrilled we can offer this. We are all growing at various stages and we have an inclusive and positive work environment and culture.

Please email to apply.

Take care and enjoy these associate years!


Kara Kohnen, LMFT

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