Faith & Private Practice

Faith & Private Practice

Faith Based Counseling: Culturally Competent or Unethical?

Treatment plan for client with mild depression and anxiety symptoms.

Short term goals: Instill hope for the future. Identify maladaptive beliefs that exacerbate depression and anxiety symptoms. Replace maladaptive beliefs with more true beliefs. Client will be able to practice emotional management skills inside and outside of times of stress. Client will expand support network and reach out for support more frequently. 

Interventions: Cognitive behavioral therapy including bibliotherapy, journaling, affirmation work, and practicing forms of meditation in and out of session. Encourage and support pro-community behaviors and reaching out to support networks. 

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5 Simple Ways to Make Your Next Blog Post Readable, Shareable, and Worth Everyone’s Time

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Next Blog Post Readable, Shareable, and Worth Everyone’s Time

You’re doing this 21st century therapist thing right.

You’ve established a niche. You’ve set fair fees and confidently ask clients to pay you what you’re worth. You’re building relationships as your build professional expertise.

And, of course, because you’ve embraced the internet and its unprecedented ability to connect people with solutions, you’ve launched a website and started a blog.

Congratulations! You started a blog! Um, pardon me for prying, but are you sustaining that blog?  

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Love Your Writing Style - Guest Interview with Nikki

There are people you admire and then there are people who make you go gah gah crazy when you learn from them. For me, that person is Nikki, Communication Stylist and all out amazing human being. In this interview she shares a wealth of information about finding your style, overcoming your writers' block and learning to enjoy the creative process.

Take notes - this girl is on fire!

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Apps 101 for Therapists

Apps 101 for Therapists

What is an app?

App simply stands for the term application. Each app is a piece of software that can be downloaded to your smart phone to be used for a specific purpose. For example, if you are looking for events in your area, there's an app for that. If you want to make hotel reservations, there is an app for that. The options are quite endless. 

What are the benefits of a business having an app? 

For the person with the smartphone, apps make life easier. Did you know mobile users spend 88% of their time on apps? 

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Business Planning for Therapists and Funny Cat Videos

What funny cat videos can teach you about business. 

I was listening to NPR the other day and was stunned when I heard this statistic: "15% of all Internet traffic is cat related." I thought for a second that maybe they were wrong... and then I stopped... I thought about my husband telling me about" I can has Cheezeburger" and trying to explain cat memes to me over the years. 

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11 Free Private Practice Marketing Strategies

free ways to start a private practice

I started my private practice on a shoestring budget. Actually, that isn't really true. I started with absolutely no budget. Why? I wasn't planning to start a private practice, and I had no idea what I was doing. I had just quit my full time, benefitted job with the county after having my infant- sort of out of the blue. 

Our financial plan included me going back to work. I had just take off several months of work, the vacation and sick time were used up... there was no buffer... 

So, I did what I always do when I am completely lost- I started researching! While I did spend money in learning how to launch a cash-pay private practice- here are things I was able to do for absolutely no money out of my bank account to my launch my private practice: 

1. Build a website on a free platform. I built my website initially on Google's free website builder. While most free website builders have major limitations and aren't the end point- writing up my website on a free builder was invaluable for me. It helped me find my voice in a new way- and allowed me to see my work in action. I am a kinesthetic learner- so even later when I purchased web design services- it was nice to have a clear idea of what I wanted. 

2. Take advantage of free trials of paid Internet directories. It is a no brainer, in most cases, to list your practice for a free trial period. Make sure you put a time on your calendar to go and assess whether to keep it- or to cancel before you start getting charged. How do you know if you should keep it? You have to ask clients where they found you- and yes sometimes they are vague! If you get even one referral during the trial period- the return on investment is quite high. Here is free 6 month Psychology Today listing link. 

3. Meet new business owners on LinkedIn in your geographical area. Don't stay insulated to just other therapists and doctors. Think more broadly. While you are at it- make sure your LinkedIn profile clearly spells out what you do. Most people have an inaccurate view of psychotherapy. Even if someone has a good idea of what therapy is- there is a WIDE variety in the framework with which therapy is conceptualized and delivered. Make sure you can articulate what you do clearly. 

4. Call up people you know in your area to check in, find out how they are doing. Tell them how you are doing- learn to talk comfortably about your business- and articulate verbally what you actually do. When starting or relaunching a private practice- 10- 20 minute phone calls a week (less than 3 hours) can have a significant impact on getting new clients. Note: You don't have to be extroverted or business savvy to do this- you just have to be willing to have real conversations with people. If you don't want to use up your cell phone minutes (that would cost $)- grab a Google Voice number and use your computer to make phone calls for free! 

5. Make sure your business is listed on free directories. Today, many people go straight to the Internet when looking for phone numbers or services. Even if you aren't ready to launch a website yet- get listed on free sites. It can be time consuming. In fact, even though this is free- consider going to a site like this one http://fiverr.com where there are people who will do this for you for $5. Skip a trip to Starbucks and save yourself hours of work that someone else can do better than you. Include your specialties. 

6. Go to a site like www.quicksprout.com that does a free check of the findability of your website and see how you rate. Also known as search engine optimization- there are certain things you can do to make sure the robots at Google know who you are. It isn't about tricks or paying to be findable- it is about making sure Google knows where you are located, what you do, and your specialties, etc. 

7. Make a plan to talk to your community at least 4 times per year. Talk to local business owners you know who have employees you might want to work with. Offer to do a free talk to their employees on a topic you are passionate about: stress reduction, relaxation, goal setting, dealing with difficult customers, etc. 

8. Make a plan to "talk" online to your community at least 4 times per year. That means blog. Blogs have become a funny buzz word- but all they really are is you "talking" to your community in a written format. Sit down one morning and write out 4 talks you'd love to share- set them up so you can post them once per quarter. Want to grow faster? Consider monthly or even weekly blogging. 

9. Use social media wisely. Too many therapists are using social media without a clear understanding of how it works to build your business and reputation. Instead of growing their business- they are stagnating because they are ignoring real relationships in the world! The two fastest ways social media can build your business: 1. The more people who share your website on social media- the cooler Google assumes you are- that makes your website more findable. 2. The more people you meet on social media and build real relationships with- by meeting by phone or in the real world- the bigger your real world reputation and referral base is. 

10. Build real relationships with other specialists in private practice in your area. If you are private pay- meet with others who are private pay. If you take a certain insurance that you want more referrals of- look for other providers who take that insurance. Don't just send them a letter with business cards attached. Be bold- invite them to coffee, ask to stop by their office so you can get to know them and their office and make better referrals to them. 

11. Have fun! Look for things that bring you joy and energy! There are a 1000 ways to build a beautiful private practice- look for things that best reflect who you truly are. You want what you put out into the world to be an accurate reflection of who you are and what you do so you attract clients who are looking for just that! 

Need more support for marketing your private practice? Check out our Business School Bootcamp, the largest online business training system for therapists.

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!

Private Practice Blogging for Therapists

Therapists are great at blogging. Now, most therapists believe they are terrible bloggers, but it just isn't true. 

Private Practice Blogging is a set of skills

Here are some of the individual skills that blogging utilizes: 

  • The ability to empathize with other humans

  • The ability to articulate in a way that empathizes, teaches, or inspires

  • The ability to speak in a down to earth manner

  • The ability to move past perfectionism and allow connection

  • The ability to feel passionate about helping your community

Aren't most therapists awesome at most of these? The biggest barrier I see to most therapists moving into the private practice blogging space is that they are concerned with perfectionism. They worry about: 

  • Will I write about the right thing?

  • Will anyone read it?

  • What will my colleagues think?

  • Will I know where the line is for me in regards to self-disclosure

If you want to get started in private practice blogging- you have to move past these questions. While I believe having a targeted business plan is excellent, to best way to get started blogging for your private practice is to start blogging for your private practice! 

The truth is, the first few blogs you write will probably take you HOURS longer than is necessary. However, the more you write, the better you will get, and you will gain the confidence to dig into broader aspects of blogging to make it more effective for your work. 

Initially, I recommend people focus on using blogging to let Google know two main things: 

  1. Let Google know you haven't abandoned your website by posting new content to it. Google knows that nobody wants to click a link to a website that hasn't been updated in years. We all want up to date, accurate information.

  2. Let Google know what services you offer and where you live. You would be surprised how many websites I see that do not have the city listed or easily findable. I have to click on to several pages to see where someone is located. Blog about things that are local in your area- have fun with it!

Alright guys- what questions do you have about blogging? Have you started blogging? Share your VERY FIRST blog post here or your favorite blog post you've written. We can't wait to see what you share! 

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!