So anyone reading this message probably knows how strongly we feel that business skills are essential to providing powerful therapy experiences long-term. We love to teach, to inspire, and to create community.
And we have said it dozens (or maybe hundreds of times) in the past: You need a supportive community to be successful in private practice. We believe so strongly in the power of community to transform our clinical work, our financial outcomes, and our enjoyment in the work.
And yet, Kelly and I were completely blown away by the power of community the last 12 days. Seriously. Blown. Away. (Not sure if we are being authentic- check out videos that therapists gave us permission to post at the very bottom of this post).
We have gotten to spend intense time with over 50 incredible therapists from around the world. Yep, I said it around the GLOBE- and found that the same experiences, fears, stuck places, and passions translated across the state, the country, and everywhere.
I have watched what must be 30 videos in the past 24 hours that have brought me to tears. Not because they were sad, but to see the personal and professional progress that these therapists chose to make in just over a week is inspiring.
What we taught was not as important as the community who took it in and applied it! Yep, I said it. While our teaching is amazing (in the words of our clients)- the community is so much more important. So, how do you find or create that powerful community for yourself?
#1. Look for people who are committed to joy.
I know this may sound strange on the surface. Unfortunately, I have been a part of listserves where people are critical, discouraging, rude, frustrated, frustrating, and more... I have watched some individuals have the same negative reactions for over a decade. I don't know if they are "happy" in real life. But, from everything they have put into the world- my guess is that they are burnt out and unhappy. Do you want to spend the next decade of your career hanging out with people who are committed to continuing this way? Me neither.
#2. Look for people who have a clear vision.
There are many people who let others sway their future and make decisions for them. Be around people who tap into their passion, focus it, and go for it. Why? Because those people make you smile. They inspire the crap out of you. They make you giddy from just being around them. We need more lightness in this profession. And, you will be challenged to tap into your own passion and make it a reality!
#3. Look for people who give, accept, and invite feedback.
I've been in groups where people asked for help and then promptly rejected the help that was given. We have all been that person, where someone is desperately trying to convey something to you, but you just aren't taking it in. (That happened to me when presenting at a state-wide research competition. I finally "got it" like 3 hours later- doh!) It is wonderful to be around people who can beautifully provide and receive feedback in a way where everyone grows. Nobody feels less than, and everyone experiences transformation. Look for that, be that.
#4. Look for people who have a similar vision.
When you are around people who have a clear vision that is completely opposite to your vision it can be wonderful.... or it can provide pressure or model things that don't make sense in your work. Being around very different visions, while maintaining your own integrity can be difficult. Find a place where there are at least a few people who have a similar vision that you can more closely relate to. It will help you as you try to filter out what makes most sense for you.
What is the best part about creating a community as a therapist in private practice? It won't just inspire you personally, ward off burn-out, provide you with awesome referrals, friends for life... it will also motivate you to be an awesome therapist. You will have peers to consult with, call on, get feedback from, give feedback to- one of the most under-utilized and most important pieces of doing exemplary clinical work. Several of the people in our community noted that they felt their clients could sense their shift, sense their reclaimed passion and confidence.
Think about this. Worst case? How is our work judged? By our peers. Do your peers know you deeply? Do you consult regularly? Do you have support on clinical AND business decisions? You need it! You deserve it. Go find it!
Kelly and Miranda
Wondering how you can get involved in our community? We have free trainings about once per month. You can get signed up to do the free online website 101 for therapists, or the free private practice analysis online, and we will send you an invite to our next live event!
Or, wondering whether community is really that awesome? Here are some videos recorded today about the impact of community in a few therapists lives:
I asked some awesome mental health professionals to share how important community has been to them. By the way, we were very clear this wasn't a pitch or testimonial or pitch for Business School Bootcamp- they were just so excited lol!
Nancy Rhine, MFT is a therapist working with older adults in San Anselmo, CA
"I feel more empowered... I am reclaiming my years of business experience that stopped when I moved into the field of psychotherapy practice... I love being part of this group."
Molly Merson, MFT is a courageous therapist in Berkeley, CA
"Let's say all this information was in a book... I would have gotten to Chapter 1 and closed the book and gone and gotten some ice cream. Being a part of a community allowed me to absorb the information"
Check out Mercedes Stanley, MSW a parenting coach in Inglewood, CA
"I just feel like everyone is so supportive, encouraging, and empathetic to all of our learning processes. I feel like everyone has just been really supportive."
Check out Lanie Smith, providing passionate Art Therapy in Phoenix, AZ
Check out Gretchen Kubacky, health psychologist in West Los Angeles, CA
p.s. Want to make sure you are on the list to find out the nitty gritty details for our next Business School Bootcamp? Get on the list here.