(If you haven’t heard about the FREE 2019 Private Practice Challenge click here to grab one of our limited seats. We will spend 5 weeks together focused on improving clinical outcomes AND improving your business and income for 2019!)
I know you. It wouldn’t matter if your income doubled if you didn’t feel good about the work you were doing with clients. One of the things that they don’t teach us in grad school is that the business decisions we make can absolutely impact our clinical care and outcomes.
So, what do they teach us in grad school about what makes a great clinical outcome? They talk about scope of practice, scope of competence, and referring out when you don’t have the skills to get someone a great outcome.
And, what do we learn in our practicum placements? I don’t know about you, but I (and my colleagues) received strong messages that boiled down to: You need to see everybody. You are it. There is no place to refer people out to. Just do your best, even if you know it isn’t good enough. Specializations are a luxury and there is no time for that.
And in the midst of the often traumatic process of having 35+ sessions scheduled per week, supervision, trying to rack up hours with multiple jobs, studying for exams, trying to survive on a meager wage, and trying to figure out what life looks like as a psychotherapist that also has a life to live… the stuff I learned in graduate school from Dr. Sherman (love Shermy!), one of the few professors who had also worked in clinical practice, got muffled and muddied.
Did you have a similar experience? I have presented to thousands of therapists who have had that same experience.
And then, you start to look at how to improve your private practice and they start talking about niches and specialization and marketing messages and it starts to feel like some crazy advertising gimmick… when really… in reality… it is exactly what good ol’ Shermy taught me back in grad school.
Figure out what want to be great at. Figure out who you can deeply connect with and give that unconditional positive regard. Connect with them and use skills that work to help that human heal. Have a way to figure out if what you are doing is working. Find a way to communicate that ability to help and heal to the human sitting in front of you.
What happened when I went into private practice and learned about marketing? I learned how to convey that unconditional positive regard and connection to the person who is sitting in front of a screen…
to instill enough hope and courage that they could call up a stranger and consider telling that stranger their deepest hopes and secrets…
then use my skills to connect on the phone so they feel bold enough to sit across from me and look me in the eye…
But, it is all the same thing… and guess what you are great at this. Everything that Kelly and I will ever ask you to do to improve your business is always about being in service to the client. It is always about improving clinical outcomes, because without that- what is the point?