Dropping Insurance after Years - Interview with Kayce

Dropping Insurance after Years - Interview with Kayce

As part of our success stories blitz, we are sharing the story of Kayce. When we met her she had been in practice for several years and in her words, she was “winging it.”

Several years of taking insurance panels, taking whatever fee anyone was able to pay her and seeing anyone who gave her a call.

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LIVE Mini Bootcamp: Week 3

t's time for Lesson #3 How to Find Your Niche! Here's what you need to do:

1) Watch Video

2) Put into words ONE niche or specialty you want more of in your practice or that you want to speak or write about.

3) Share your niche below!

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The problem with having a niche in private practice

Therapy Niches are a clinical decision, not a marketing gimmick- Miranda Palmer

Therapy Niches are a clinical decision, not a marketing gimmick- Miranda Palmer

It seems like today half of therapists are talking about how wrong it is to develop a niche. And, the other half (maybe all those people who coach therapists) are talking about how you MUST have a niche- like right now. The biggest problem with therapists and niches, is that most people don't understand that niches are clinical in nature, and not a fancy marketing decision. 

Over 500 therapists signed up to take our free training about niche and specialization for therapists. We received amazing feedback about how transformational the training was, but most of the feedback we heard was much more impactful than just "more clients in my practice" or "more money in my pocket."  

During the webinar we got some time to explore the clinical issues and emotional impact that not having a clear niche or specialization can create. Therapists delved into how it felt to work with clients who weren't a good fit. Here are just a few responses we got.

  • I cant imagine sitting in those feelings daily

  • Frustrated

  • Bored and disinterested

  • No wonder I'm frustrated and dread those sessions

  • Question myself while also feeling angry at them for not being accountable

Therapists confided in us that they sometimes see clients that aren't a good match clinically, because they are financially fearful of referring out. Or, that they feel guilty for referring people out and try to force themselves to match with everyone, because they don't want to turn people away.

We then took the attendees through a process of tapping into their deep sense of purpose and passion, connecting deeply with who they could be most effective with in therapy. How did therapists feel after they had just a few minutes to sit in working with the clients they felt most effective with? Let's hear their words: 

  • Energized, happy, beauty, exciting, fun

  • I'm much more energized by the clients I see making progress... feel successful

  • I am energized by the second, it spurs me on to working harder with the client and in my own work

  • energized instead of drained! Enthusiastic!

  • I experienced a huge sense of peace and joy! I realized it's been far too long since I've worked with clients like this

  • my heart lights up :)

  • I smile thinking about them, and look forward to our next session.

  • I would feel inspired to learn more: about my clients about the issue: trainings, workshops, seminars, readings... it makes me feel fun and forward-moving wanting to learn more

  • I feel aligned with my purpose

  • Fulfilled and energized!

  • It feels right . . .

  • Everything clicks!

  • Energized, feels like I'm on the right path. No need to actively try to motivate myself. It's already there

  • I Like to see their name on my schedule. I enjoy the therapy process with them - the insight, the joy, the learning.

  • The time flies!

  • Sometimes overwhelmed with reverence for my work.

  • I feel excited and deeply connected with the client. I feel a sense of love. I want them to want something from the session.

  • I go home feeling like I had a great day

I know I should have edited down those responses... but how could I take any of those out? This is why you became a therapist right? However, even after these emotional break throughs, the fears are normal and kick back in. Here are just a few of the myths we dispelled during the training: 

Having a niche means I'll only get to work with one issue for the rest of my life. 

Not true. People are complex and will come to you for issues that are loosely related or not related at all to your niche. However, as you clearly define how you work- you will get clients who call you that are better fits overall. And guess what, you can change your niche whenever you want, you can have more than one specialization, etc. However, if you keep trying to speak to everyone- you will speak to no-one. You need to learn the skill of how to speak directly to the clients you can best help. 

Having a niche means I'll lose out on working with awesome people. 

Nope. When you develop a clear way to reach out the kind of clients that you work best with- you get better results and more referrals. Your client's coworkers, friends, or old college roommates are not carbon copies of your clients. More importantly, as you get more consistent referrals you will get more confident to screen out people who you aren't as effective with- so your outcomes are better. 

Wait- won't everyone's niche be working with rich people? 

No silly. A niche or specialization has little to do with finances. You were put on this planet to do something great and important. While some therapists and psychologists love working with wealthy individuals- others detest it. While you might hate working with domestic violence victims who show no signs of leaving the relationship- I love doing the deep work, safety work, and empowerment process that allows the client to tap into their inner strength- no matter how long that takes. We all have skills, strengths, passions- and layering awesome clinical expertise and training on top of that? That can make you cream of the crop! 

Tap into your clinical effectiveness, dive deep into what you are already awesome at, make a plan to develop skills in new areas that complement your current skills and expand from a place of strength. You can do this! Have more questions about marketing a niche in your private practice- post them below.

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!

How Allowing Yourself to be Known Fills Your Practice

Filling your therapy practice using authenticity

Who do you get really excited about? Is there someone who when you hear their name, or a particular topic comes up you just WANT to talk about them? 

Bruce Perry, MD, PhD is like that for me. I was just starting graduate school when I landed a job at a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault center as a case manager. One major perk of the job, was a 75 hour intensive training in the areas of trauma and direct service. To be honest, it wasn't until after I completed graduate school that I realized just how LUCKY I was to have that type of training. 

In the midst of many guest speakers, video lectures, articles, etc. I watched one 20 minute video of Dr. Perry... it rocked my world. One 20 minute video connected with me on such a deep level- I immediately knew my thesis would be inspired by that video, it has informed my work from that day forward, and I become something of a Bruce Perry groupie... 

Actually- I don't know what the term is- but anytime he was presenting within driving distance- I was THERE! I must've seen him present 10 times in the span of a few years.

What does this have to do with having a full, thriving (cash-pay) private practice and getting referrals? 

You see, during that 20 minute video- I HEARD his passion, and it was energizing and exciting to me. Partially because it aligned with some passions of my own-but that isn't the only reason. To be honest, there are researchers out there that have some work and theories that resonate deeply with me- but the authenticity just isn't there. I have a big ol', huge really, BS detector and I can spot someone faking tears from a mile away. Crying on command? And then using that to pitch your products? No, thank you. Back to the point. 

How many people have I shared his books, speaking, thoughts, website with over the years? Hundreds, thousands... I mean- this article alone will be shared with over 10,000 therapists around the world. Seriously- you should go check out his Child Trauma website, or YouTube videos

Letting yourself be known

When is the last time you let someone in and really let them hear your passion? When is the last time you sat down and really explored personally your deep down passion? 

People talk about the idea of determining their "ideal clients" like it is an intellectual exercise, but truly- drilling down into who you should, who you must, see in your private practice- it is an emotional exercise. It is allowing yourself to be full present and honest with yourself about what makes your heart skip a beat, and what makes you recoil. 

Authenticity has nothing to do with self-disclosure. 

Can you feel it, sense it when someone is speaking passionately about something they truly believe in? Allow yourself to tap into a particular issue that you in your heart you are meant to tackle, something that you think can change the world and share that with your friends, family, colleagues, personal trainer, neighbor, etc. 

When you give the old standard, general I see everybody vanilla therapist response- it hides you. It puts your work behind a curtain. 

People sharing about people that they know, like, and trust. 

Just remember- when you go to a therapist event and you hear 15 therapists all describe that they see individuals, families, and couples from 8-80- do you walk away with a clear connection and recollection to that person? 

Or, is there someone who speaks about their passion, eyes shining bright, you feel the energy and it sticks with you. They don't have to give any personal details about their life to show that piece of themselves. 

Developing an Elevator Pitch for your Private Practice

Maybe you might say this blog is about developing an elevator pitch for your private practice- but it isn't. An elevator pitch that isn't authentic to who you are won't resonate with people. It won't get them excited and make them WANT to tell people about you. 

When you allow people to see that little glimpse- whether it is done in 30 seconds or 30 minutes- it will change the conversation! 

And no, allowing people to know about your therapy passion doesn't mean you can't have a diverse practice! This is just one of the common misconceptions about speaking from a place of passion- that keeps therapists hiding their true passion and brilliance! 

Your private practice building homework

So, here is a quick little exercise to complete to help you build your practice: 

  1. Why did you enter this field? Truly, what called you into this work?

  2. What did you initially envision your work would look like after graduation (before you knew any better)?

  3. List out 10 books you would LOVE to read and devour in a night.

  4. What clients create a beautiful emotional reaction of "yes- this is why I do what I do?"

  5. If someone was going to give you a billion dollars as a therapist to reach out and really touch a specific healing/helping issue- what would it be?

Yes, your passions and specialization change, shift, and develop over time. However, I find that many people actually don't stray that far from their initial passion and energy. Spend some time today, dig in, get inspired, dig deep- and feel free to share your passion below! 

Want to dig deeper with us? We have a free training next week about the ins and outs of developing a specialization or niche that will get people raving about you! Grab your free private practice training entry here. Yes, it will be recorded- if you can't be present live- just register for the event and we'll send you the recording after the fact! 

Oh- and if you are looking for more nitty gritty details and accountability in building, expanding, or launching your cash-pay private practice- grab a Business School Bootcamp for Therapists interview today. Our next group coaching session is August 11th- and we'd love to help you get on track today! 

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!

Where for art thou blog?

To blog or not to blog...that isn't the ONLY question. First let's address why you should blog.

 

  • It is a chance to share something with the world. There is only one unique you, with your knowledge, that can give words of wisdom to others. Think if it like a gift to your readers.

  • You get to develop your niche. If you hone your writing onto just a few things, it helps you refine your niche.

  • With your niche developed, the more you write, the more you become an expert. You might focus on divorce or dating. Either way, people will read your stuff because you know what you are talking about.

  • It is a way to connect with others and communicate about who you are and what you do. Blogging can be a great networking tool.

 

WAIT! What about SEO? Well...so glad you asked :) Your blog CAN help with your SEO. BUT, if your blog is seperate from your website, that is so very sad for you because your blog is doing very little for your website. Which means you have to work twice if not three times harder to get your SEO up there and looking stellar. Also, who wants to manage two accounts, two websites - UM, not me. So when you are choosing a platform for your website, you need to take this into consideration. This is why we really love platforms that have the blog integrated. Become an expert and show the world that you know what you are talking about- Blog!