Private Practice Success

Maria Gray,

Developing a Between-Client Routine

Many professional athletes swear by their pre-game routines. Serena Williams ties her shoes in the same way before each match. Also, on her first serve, she makes sure to bounce the ball exactly five times and only twice on her second serve. I have my own morning “pre-client” routine which consists of going running or practicing yoga, followed by a period of meditation. After work, I treat myself to some comic relief by watching old episodes of Seinfeld or taking a hot bath with a good book (no psychology books allowed!).

I love our profession but sometimes it can take a toll on me. Lately I have been experimenting with new ways to decompress between sessions. My friend Nora McIntire created a short Qi Gong video that I practice if I feel tired in the afternoon. Some days I relax by stretching my very tight hamstrings with a yoga strap. Other days I’ll step outside for some deep breaths and the opportunity to feel the sun on my skin. I share an office with one of my friends and when we have the time we enjoy a quick chat between sessions.

I’d like to hear about your between-client routine. Feel free to reach out to me via email —, Facebook or Twitter @mindfulshrink.

Maria Gray, LMFT, NMP, CGP, is a psychotherapist in private practice with offices in West Los Angeles and Larchmont. Maria specializes in trauma and addiction, Learn more about Maria’s practice at Her workshop, “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Building A Profitable Private Practice But Were Afraid To Ask,” is scheduled Saturday, October 28th from 2-5PM in West Los Angeles. The workshop is suitable for licensed professionals, interns and students. Register at