Building a Private Practice: Real Life Stories with Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

Laura has an amazing story to share about her struggles and successes in building a private practice. After working years in government and non-profit, she made the switch to private practice. Listen in for tips on how she bridged the gap and has moved off of insurance panels this year. You can find out more about Laura at her site http://www.laurareaganlcswc.com/

16 Reasons Therapists are Attending the Most Awesome Conference

16 Reasons Therapists are Attending the Most Awesome Conference

Kelly, Joe, and I were all together in Orlando, Fl for the American Counseling Association's Annual Conference. As we were chatting, we thought we'd ask a question to the attendees who've already signed up for the Most Awesome Conference for Therapists. The answers we received gave us chills! 

Reason #1: Connecting with Therapists Who Practice Abundance

I signed up for the conference because being around fellow business owners that practice abundance and encouragement fills me up! The greatest benefit so far is expanding and deepening the online relationships I've made. Anna Osborn, LMFT www.annaosbornmft.com

Reason #2: This is a rite of passage

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4 Awesome Lessons from the American Counseling Association Conference

4 Awesome Lessons from the American Counseling Association Conference

#1. Get to know people.

Don't just focus on trading business cards or looking for people that can support you- focus on really getting to know people you are drawn to. Let relationships develop naturally and you might be amazed at some of the opportunities that will develop. Example: I met an amazing presenter and private practice owner from Russia and was able to sit down and interview him about positive psychotherapy and the challenges of developing a private practice in Russia (not much different than the rest of the World!) To do this week: Call 2 people in your area and really attempt to get to know them.

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5 Awesome Social Media Resources for Therapists

5 Awesome Social Media Resources for Therapists

We had over 300,000 people see our information on Pinterest alone. Can you imagine how that kind of exposure could impact your counseling practice? 

The truth is, you aren't advertising your counseling practice, you are just making it easy for people who desperately need you - to find you! Have you ever run into the store for 3 quick items only to get lost in a maze of poorly marked aisles or items tucked away on end caps? It is frustrating to know exactly what you want, and what you need- and not be able to find it! 

This week as our Spring 2015 bootcampers are completing their JumpStart program, several of them are already scheduling clients from a few simple exercises on LinkedIn- without paying a dime for ads, or doing anything crazy. Social media is a powerful way that you can make it easy for clients to find you! Here are 5 resources on social media to get your social media plan on track! 

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THE Fabulous Free App for Therapists in Private Practice

THE Fabulous Free App for Therapists in Private Practice

Have you ever considered building an app? Have you ever had an idea for an app and wished you had the time or ability to learn how to code an app so you could get your message out into the world? You are not alone. 

Kelly and I have talked about developing an app for awhile, but it never seemed like the right time. Custom apps can start at $5,000 (or more!) and we have always thought that was CRA-ZEE! We recently found a great app developer that is going to specialize in apps just for therapists- at a reasonable fee! 

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Wordpress.Org Website Designer Review

Wordpress.Org Website Designer Review

We are stoked to be reviewing BrighterVision Website Designer for Therapists

BrighterVision specializes in custom Wordpress.org sites for Therapists. (Not sure what the difference is between Wordpress, Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org- check out the Website Dictionary for Therapists). We aren't super shy about it. We are pretty clear that most therapists are unprepared for managing their own Wordpress.org site. We might even be quoted more than once saying "I hate Wordpress!" hehe So, why are we excited to talk about Wordpress today? 

Wordpress is sometimes the best solution for therapists. However, we recommend that therapists who need or want Wordpress.org sites outsource that puppy to someone awesome. The trouble is, it can get expensive pretty quickly to work with a Wordpress designer. Even more complex, there are only a few Wordpress designers who specialize in working with therapists. 

We are excited today to review a program that has made getting a custom designed and maintained Wordpress site accessible for even therapists starting out. 

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Building a Counseling Practice: Real Life Stories with Mercedes Samudio, LCSW

Mercedes Samudio is on of those clinicians that has a clear niche and is clear about how she helps. She has a coaching practice as well as a psychotherapy practice and she does a great job of explaining the difference. She also shares a fascinating story about using twitter for her practice.  Check out Mercedes at The Parenting Skill.

How to drop an insurance panel

You have decided to get off insurance panels. The cost of either time, effort or both has outweighed any benefit. So let’s talk about how to drop insurance panels in a way that eases you into a full cash pay practice.

Mindset. We always start here. Write down your “why” of getting of insurance panels. Put it somewhere you can see it when you are working through this stuff. Write down the fears or thoughts you have about getting off of those panels. Really understand if those are valid fears and where you have evidence for these fears.

For example, I got of the phone recently with a therapist who was convinced she would lose every client. There was no evidence of this. She had never heard stories of people she knew that had to close their doors after getting off of panels. Guess what happened? She only ended up terminating with one client who was going to terminate anyhow.

This is how people end up on insurance panels in the first place. They often do it out of fear not out of a sound business plan. That will be you no longer. Work through the head trash, because it will come up from time to time and you want to be ready with affirmations and truth about the decisions you are making.

Evaluate. Look at all the panels you are on and make a spreadsheet the following:  

  • How difficult it has been to work with the insurance company
  • The average reimbursement rate
  • The number of clients you have on the panel
  • The terms of the contract regarding termination and how long does it take to get off of the panel

Now you have a list by which to weight the value of the panel. You can get rid of the most difficult panel first or the lowest reimbursing panel. Or, you might want to terminate with the easiest contract terms just so you can ease into the process.

Process. Put a process in place even before you drop your first panel. Evaluate the order in which you will terminate. Draft a letter to give to your clients. Allow time for process and termination, referral in case it is needed. Often we project our insecurities, fantasizing about the rage of our client for us no longer accepting their insurance. See this as an opportunity for their process as well. This can be empowering for a client to choose to stay with you or to work out their disappointments with you. 

Get started. With all of your planning and thinking about it, now is the time to take action and notify the first panel and the clients.  Be sure your information is updated in your marketing.

If you get a referral during your termination period with an insurance company you have a couple of options. You can choose to refer the person out or you can accept them and let them know the period in which insurance will cover and the plan for payment post termination with the insurance company. This way the client is fully aware of what they are agreeing to and can make an informed decision.

Get ready to be surprised. Clients may still want to work with you even though you are getting off of panels. Have you gotten off insurance panels? What was your experience? Share below.

Not sure what your fee should be after terminating insurance? Check out this training on fee setting.

 

Guest Post: Why Hire a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager

Guest Post: Why Hire a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager

It’s no secret these days that the “Virtual” world has become ever increasingly important and it doesn’t appear that it will slow down any time soon.

I can remember when I got my very first account with AOL and had the World Wide Web in our home.  I was totally overwhelmed – and I was pretty computer savvy even back in the early 80’s! 

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