How I went from yoga teacher and manager to helping hundreds of new therapists and counsellors build the private practice of their dreams...

How I went from yoga teacher and manager to helping hundreds of new therapists and counsellors build the private practice of their dreams…

I’m Christine Hakkola. My last name deserves a few words so we can avoid any awkwardness down the road! It’s pronounced “huck-a-luh”, it’s Finnish, I acquired the name through marriage, and yes … I had a hard time pronouncing it at first too! 

Now that we’ve got that squared away, you should know that before I owned my own thriving private practice and became a successful entrepreneur, I was terrified of leaving the security of my job and stepping into the unknown. For over a decade I managed aquatic centres and was a leadership trainer. Then, I went to India, became a certified yoga teacher, and managed a yoga studio in Calgary, Alberta for several years.

I had also spent my entire adult life up until that point engaging in a lot of personal development work. I studied yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, took leadership and coaching courses, and travelled around the world.

I was also tired of working for someone else.

I didn’t want to work on someone else’s schedule and be limited in terms of the amount of time off I could take, how much income I made, or the kind of work I could do.

I wanted to run my own business, feel in charge of my life, and be free from the constraints of working for other people.

I quit my job as a yoga studio manager, and spent a year and a half travelling around the world. I taught at yoga studios in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.A., I led yoga retreats in Belize, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, and I worked online with coaching clients, supporting people to create more meaningful lives.

 

I didn’t want to work on someone else’s schedule and be limited in terms of the amount of time off I could take, how much income I made, or the kind of work I could do. I wanted to run my own business, feel in charge of my life, and be free from the constraints of working for other people.

I quit my job as a yoga studio manager, and spent a year and a half travelling around the world. I taught at yoga studios in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.A., I led yoga retreats in Belize, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, and I worked online with coaching clients, supporting people to create more meaningful lives.

After travelling for a year and half across 5 countries, I realized that as much as I loved teaching yoga and life coaching, I wanted to do more.

I had learned through my own personal journey, that in addition to the benefits of a spiritual practice and all of the life coaching work I had done, that psychotherapy and counselling were also needed.

I’d had some wonderful experiences with therapists who finally helped me overcome some of the patterns and stuck places leftover from my childhood. I experienced so much relief from my limiting beliefs, anxiety, and insecurities.

I knew that I wanted to help people in an even more meaningful way by becoming a therapist.

I decided to stop travelling and returned to my hometown of Barrie, Ontario. There, I completed my Masters degree in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University and opened my private practice.

Due to my decade of experience as a manager and leadership trainer (and my extremely logical left brain!) the business side of things had always come really naturally for me. Organizing systems and procedures, marketing and advertising, budgeting and finances … were things I actually enjoyed!

I left the security of my full-time management job because I longed to make a bigger impact in people’s lives. I wanted to help others relieve their suffering and experience the fullness of life.

When I graduated from my Masters degree, I was extremely fortunate that I already had all of the skills needed to build a very successful practice. 

 

After travelling for a year and half across 5 countries, I realized that as much as I loved teaching yoga and life coaching, I wanted to do more.

I had learned through my own personal journey, that in addition to the benefits of a spiritual practice and all of the life coaching work I had done, that psychotherapy and counselling were also needed.

I’d had some wonderful experiences with therapists who finally helped me overcome some of the patterns and stuck places leftover from my childhood. I experienced so much relief from my limiting beliefs, anxiety, and insecurities.

I knew that I wanted to help people in an even more meaningful way by becoming a therapist.

I decided to stop travelling and returned to my hometown of Barrie, Ontario. There, I completed my Masters degree in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University and opened my private practice.

Due to my decade of experience as a manager and leadership trainer (and my extremely logical left brain!) the business side of things had always come really naturally for me. Organizing systems and procedures, marketing and advertising, budgeting and finances … were things I actually enjoyed!

I left the security of my full-time management job because I longed to make a bigger impact in people’s lives. I wanted to help others relieve their suffering and experience the fullness of life.

When I graduated from my Masters degree, I was extremely fortunate that I already had all of the skills needed to build a very successful practice. 

Three weeks after I graduated, I opened my doors to a full private practice …

 

… and it has been that way ever since.

Six months later, other therapists and counsellors were asking me how I did it.

One summer, I found myself on the phone for several hours per week answering requests for support from other counsellors to help them understand what it took to create a thriving private practice.

That fall, I launched the very first iteration of the Build Your Private Practice Mastermind Course. Fast forward to now several years later, and I have helped hundreds of therapists and counsellors understand what it takes. I work with my clients to understand the steps required, make key decisions, get clear on the types of clients they want to work with and which income streams to offer, and how to successfully market themselves.

At the same time I began fielding calls from other therapists asking for help in their private practice, I also packed up my in-person office and moved out to New Brunswick.

At that point, I transitioned my practice entirely online, with clients from across Canada.

While I currently live in Maine, U.S.A., my client base is in Canada and a large part of my practice now focuses specifically on helping Canadian counsellors to be successful in their private practice (even though the principles apply to U.S. based practices, and to others around the world).

My life experience, from management, leadership and consulting — to life coaching and teaching yoga — to running a thriving, successful private practice … has led me to where I am now.

And now, I am in the perfect position to be able to support therapists and counsellors across Canada build and launch the private practice of their dreams!

I have created the 8-week, online, Build Your Private Practice Mastermind Course,

and offer private coaching & mentorship to therapists who want to grow their practice and reach the next level of success!

Start by getting the right support for where you’re at:

Dreaming

Articles to help you decide if you're ready to go into private practice.

Launching

Articles on how to build and launch your private practice.

Growing

Articles on what matters when you want to grow your business.