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Looking Back & Planning Ahead: 20 Questions to guide New Year reflection for Therapists

The new year is here, and it is full of hopeful possibilities and sky-high potential. That ‘fresh start’ energy of January and into early February inspires so many of us to winter mindfully, set intentional SMART goals, and plant seeds of prosperity for future harvests. 

We LOVE this time of new beginnings, but this new year feels different… Doesn’t it? 

Think of all that has happened since the clock struck 12:01 am one year ago, or even 4 years ago. What ways has your caseload grown or evolved since 2020? What experiences stand out to you, and what is the intention for your private practice going forward?  

If you have not yet had a chance to reflect and set or update your goals, there is still time to capitalize on the energy of the new year. Consider this post your official invitation to look back and plan ahead. Now is the time to find alignment between where you are today, and how you would like to grow over the next year. 

To help guide your reflections and intentions, we have created an introspective guide for private practitioners complete with 20 therapist-inspired questions.

REFLECTIONS: Looking back – An internal review of 2023

Past experiences are treasure troves of wisdom. Before you dive too deep into all those SMART goals, pause for a few quiet moments, and reflect on the previous year. As you review the 10 reflective questions below, draw awareness to the very first thought that comes to mind with every prompt. Rest assured, there are no right or wrong answers to the questions below. This is not an exercise in what could have been or what should have been. Simply observe what thoughts and feelings emerge within you without judgment, and let your answers bubble up organically.

10 Reflective questions for private practitioners

  1. What relationships or experiences brought you the most joy this past year?
  2. What personal/professional accomplishments from this past year felt the most rewarding?
  3. What exercises worked well in your client sessions?
  4. What experiences or interactions personally and/or professionally depleted your energy the most this past year?
  5. What were your biggest lessons learned from 2023?
  6. What is your private practice’s greatest strength?  You, of course, but what specifically do you bring to your client work that makes your private practice unique or significant?
  7. Where do you see the biggest need for improvement within your private practice? In other words, what one thing would allow your private practice to progress to the next stage of growth or success?
  8. Are there any processes or aspects about your practice that you would like to improve? IE: Client retention, parent check-in structure, niche development, marketing your practice, etc.
  9. What opportunities are available to you right now? – Even if you don’t feel like you have the time to take advantage of current opportunities, take a brief inventory of the potential surrounding you currently. Is there anything that you could be doing, that you are not doing, that if you were to do, you know would be beneficial?
  10. What personal and/or professional habits served you well last year? Take a quick inventory of your habits and make note of what is or is not helping you accomplish your goals.

INTENTIONS: Looking forward – Preparing to prosper

Whatever you choose to do today will impact your opportunities for tomorrow, and one of the best things you can do to maximize your future potential is plan ahead. Future-you is counting on today-you to capitalize on all the lessons learned from last year and be proactive. As you gaze into all 2024 has to offer, here are 10 questions to help you set intentions and prepare for the coming months.

  1. What are your training needs this year? – Do you have CE’s coming due? If so, don’t wait until the last minute. From online communities to in-person association meetings and events, start the process of seeking CE’s out and get that ball rolling!
  2. Do you still have a clear image of who your ideal client is? – Ideal client personas may change as your scope of practice and interests evolve. Who specifically do you want to serve? What type of client would you like to focus more on?
  3. Have you developed a niche? – If not, is this something you would like to start working towards? If so, keep your dream niche in mind as you seek out CE’s and pursue training that aligns with developing your skillset in the direction you want your private practice to go.
  4. Is it time to expand your scope of practice? – Perhaps you have been working in a niche for a while and are ready for a change. If so, what certification or CE’s would allow you to develop your skills in a new niche? 
  5. Where is there the highest demand in the market? – The mental health world is seeing a rising trend in people interested in play therapy and EMDR. From DBT to trauma treatment, there are many certifications a therapist can choose from to meet the ever-evolving needs of the mental health community. 
  6. What type of treatment solutions does your ideal client need the most? – Try to think of ways to provide higher levels of value to the clients you want to help the most.
  7. How can you work smarter instead of harder so that you can see more clients? – What administrative tasks or preparatory efforts could you cut back on, or what activities could you better organize to optimize in-session time? Hopscotch offers built-in mindfulness games and therapeutic activities in our platform which allows Hopscotch network providers the opportunity to reduce prep time, increase session availability, and treat more clients.
  8. Do you want to increase your client caseload and/or move your private practice to full-time? – If so, networking and building referral partners in your community is essential. What involvement do you have with local associations or online therapist networks?
  9. When was the last time you updated your online presence and therapist directory profiles? – On that note, is it time to double down on your marketing efforts and learn how to improve or optimize your online presence? Are you ready to explore ways to increase your number of appointment requests or build your referral network?

    If so, Hopscotch offers complimentary 1:1 marketing coaching to our in-network therapists. If you are part of Hopscotch’s community of mental health practitioners, our Director of Marketing offers personalized private practice growth strategy sessions. 
  10. Finally, what is one step you could take right now to set your future self up for success? – It could be a simple thing like sending a quick e-mail, making an appointment, or doing a simple Google search, but that first step is what opens the door of opportunity to the next step and the one after that. 

Before you move on to the next task item on your to-do list today, we invite you to pause and consider what the next right decision may be. What one decision could unlock the next threshold of potential?


As you contemplate the next steps on your journey, take a moment to explore the exciting opportunities that await you when you join our Hopscotch network of therapists. Our team is dedicated to supporting your private practice's growth with our intuitive EHR system, an abundance of readily available resources, and our highly responsive support team. Beyond that, we go the extra mile by offering personalized marketing and growth sessions tailored to your unique aspirations and clientele. Step into 2024 with the confidence that Hopscotch is here to empower you on your path to success. Cheers to a prosperous year ahead!

From our entire team here at Hopscotch, we want to wish all our friends, partners, and peers in the mental health and wellness industry a very happy new year. We are here to cheer you on and help you maximize your private practice potential. Cheers to 2024!