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AASW Webinar Recording | Growing your private practice

Event Details
Date: Ongoing
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5 hours
CPD Category: 2 - Skills and Knowledge

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Organiser: AASW


[email protected]

(03) 9320 1000


Watch the 1.5 hour recording of AASW's Growing your private practice webinar.

Private practice is a popular career move for established social workers and allied health professionals. Owning a small business offers an unrivalled degree of autonomy and can be deeply rewarding. While individuals open their own practices for a variety of reasons, small business owners are united by common challenges - “How will I run my business?” and “What should I do to make it grow?”.

Success in this domain requires both clinical/therapeutic expertise and business acumen. Running a successful small business requires a unique skill set, so it is understandable that many social workers may feel under-prepared when faced with these challenges.

With over a decade of experience as the owner of one of Australia’s busiest family therapy and mental health practices, Dr Joel Cullin will share his experiences and practical strategies for building a successful client-facing business. Beginning with the importance of defining what “success” means for you and your practice, this webinar recording will discuss:

  • Recommendations for growing a network of high-quality referrers
  • Marketing strategies
  • How to evolve your business (including business structure, finances, and management decisions)
  • Various “thresholds” in the business lifecycle, and how to prepare for and respond to them
  • The importance of self-care and a healthy work/life balance as a business owner & social work practitioner

"Joel was great, very personable and covered a lot of his own personal experiences and learnings from being in private practice" – webinar participant, April 2022.

Who should register?  Social Workers or allied health professionals who currently work in private practice and are interested in growing their business.

1.5 hours of CPD activity: Category 2, skills and knowledge

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and define their own parameters for success in private practice
  • Consider effective strategies to grow their professional network and attract new clients
  • Analyse options for supporting and managing their business as it grows
  • Anticipate and respond to business needs at different stages in the business life cycle
  • Implement strategies to support self-care in relation to professional stressors


Dr Joel Cullin

Dr Joel Cullin (BSW, MMH(Psychotherapy), PhD) has worked in private practice for over a decade, and as of 2021 is also a Teaching and Research academic in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland where he teaches Mental Health and Human Development. Joel has previously taught family therapy at UQ and JCU. Joel completed his undergraduate training in Social Work in 1998, a Master of Mental Health (Psychotherapy) in 2005, and a PhD in 2009. Joel entered private practice in 2005, after several years working in an array of public and not-for-profit contexts including adult mental health, child and youth mental health (CYMHS), child protection (in the United Kingdom) and community family therapy.

From 2009 onwards Joel’s practice (Brisbane Family Therapy Clinic) was full-time. Joel has seen at least thirty client appointments per week over this period, he has had a long waitlist, and his diary has been closed to new clients for at up to nine months of the year. Joel is a regular provider of professional supervision and consultancy, and he has delivered more than forty seminars, workshops and other training events to practitioners and agencies over the past fifteen years. Joel is first and foremost a frontline practitioner, however, and he has accrued some twenty-thousand hours of therapy provision/interviewing with individuals, couples and families.

Joel is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with the Australian Association of Social Workers, and a Clinical Member of the Australian Association of Family. He continues to operate his private practice part time alongside his academic role.

Method of delivery

Once you have registered for this recording, all online content is available to view at your convenience via the AASW online on-demand training platform.

Please ensure that your email address is accurate and updated when you register.

Subtitles are available.


The webinar recording duration is 1.5 hours.


This recording can be claimed for CPD purposes, consistent with the CPD Goals and Hours Requirements.

Find out more today about opportunities to have your specialised social work skills recognised.


Members: $90.00 (including GST)
New graduates, retired and student members: $45.00 (including GST)
Non-members: $120.00 (including GST)
Non-member students: $90.00 (including GST)


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AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers