5 Ways to Build Confidence in Private Practice

5 Ways to Build Confidence in Private Practice

How to Build Your Confidence in Private Practice

90% of clinicians with whom I speak tell me they want to feel more confident in their private practices.

Therapists are already raised in a culture of not good enough, waiting until we graduate, complete hours, get licensed, become supervisors, get additional certifications, supervise in those additional certifications, and until we are pretty much near retirement to feel confident.

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My Journey From Therapist to Consultant

My Journey From Therapist to Consultant

The truth is, I will always be a therapist. I never set out to be a consultant. It is interesting sometimes the journey that life takes. Sometimes, there is a higher purpose and path to each of our lives, something bigger guiding us. 

My Path To Being a Consultant

My journey to becoming a consultant started by failing a licensing exam by 1 point. It was heart wrenching and mortifying. I couldn't have imagined how many amazing things could've come out of that experience

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How Therapists are Killing the Field of Psychotherapy

How Therapists are Killing the Field of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapists- you matter. Psychotherapy is powerful. However, if we as a profession don't start making some changes, our profession is going to die off. 

A Rant From a Therapist:

(Shared with permission) "I have this friend back home who worked at a medical office that shares a reception area with several therapists in the building. They have repeatedly mentioned that most of the therapists –regularly– run late to their sessions because several of the clients think they are the receptionist for their therapist and often ask, "What's taking so long?," "My appointment was at such and such time," etc. They noted that even when there's gaps in-between clients, the therapist will take off somewhere and show up late for the next appointment despite having a time gap to recuperate the time offset that happens when a session in a series of appointment get messed up from someone being late. They also noted that they have witness these therapists say, "Sorry I'm late. I had an emergency" so frequently over the last year that they are suspicious of the legitimacy of the excuse." 

The receptionist was reluctant to ever pursue therapy for himself. Why? Because he had the impression that therapists aren't professional or able to be relied on. Through a series of circumstances he finally reached out, made an appointment with a therapist- not one in the building, and showed up on time. And guess what? The therapist was almost an hour late... and they had an emergency... 

Did The Therapist Have an Emergency? 

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Building a Counseling Practice: Real Life Stories Katie, LMHC

Building a Counseling Practice: Real Life Stories Katie, LMHC

Meet Katie, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA. I have so much gratitude that we were able to sit down together and talk through her great story of becoming a therapist. You can learn more about her work with clients and other healers at http://katiegurwell.com/

I love how her story shares that thoughtful, introverted people can be successful in private practice. I also appreciate her transparency about the perils of not having support when building a private practice. 

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Costs for Starting a Counseling Website

Costs for Starting a Counseling Website

You want to get a website for your private practice but what is this really going to cost? Doing research online you can find sites ranging from free, to a lifetime membership fee to several thousands of dollars for a custom designed site (sometimes more than $10,000) That is a huge range, so let's break down what you need to know.

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Are You a Great Psychotherapy Networker?

Are You a Great Psychotherapy Networker?

I'm in a lot of groups online and offline for therapists who are in private practice. What I've seen consistently is that many therapists don't know how to be great networkers. Many vacillate between hiding in the shadows, or taking over the room. So how do you become a great psychotherapy networker? Here is your 10 step plan to getting great referrals from your networking activities. 

  1. Focus first on getting to know other people. Not just their name, not just grabbing their business card- make a connection. Ask probing questions- find out what they are really fired up about. Or, find out if this is someone you wouldn't want to refer to or network in the future! Notice how you feel around this person. Remember, you are great at connecting and assessing. 
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Becoming a Therapist in Seattle, WA

We are excited to share another story of the journey to becoming a successful therapist in private practice. Dr. Jane Tornatore joins us from Seattle, WA to share why she decided to become a therapist, how long it took, and her journey to a full private practice. 

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Creating your Vision for 2015

Vision is the creative glue that makes our imagined life become our real life. It gives guidance and direction, especially for our private practices.

Every year, we sit down with clinicians and go over their vision. Why are they in private practice? What do they want to create? What is the purpose?

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Vacations in Private Practice

As I am wrapping up bootcamp interviews for the end of the year, one of the questions I often ask potential bootcampers is "How many weeks do you want to take off per year?"

The most popular response? "um....." Hesitation. 

When we teach you how to plan your fees, part of the equation is looking at how many weeks off per year you will not be working. Why? We all need to be taking a vacation. It is good for you, good for our community, and good for your clients! With planning you can take time off without worry.

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Publishing a book as a therapist

A hybrid training and live interview with an established publisher.

A hybrid training and live interview with an established publisher.

You are a therapist, and you have a great book idea.

Now what? 

We talk to therapists regularly who want to write a book. There are a lot of reasons you may consider becoming a published author: 

  • Establishing yourself as an expert

  • Developing yourself as a speaker

  • A deep desire to make big change in the world

  • A way to fill up your private practice

  • An additional stream of income

Whatever the reason you are considering writing a book, there are a lot of options you have for writing, publishing, and marketing your book. We've talked a bit about self-publishing with our free training on how one therapist successfully launched an e-book. However, traditional publishing has some major advantages as well. What publishing route you choose should be based on your goals, preferences, and big vision.

How to find a publisher for your book

Today we have something really fun for you. A quick hybrid training where we are going to give you some specific questions to ask a prospective publisher to determine if they are the right spot for your fabulous book idea. We call it a hybrid- because we have YouthLight publishing with us- and we test out the questions we recommend you ask- so you get to see us interview a real, live publisher who loves to publish therapists.

Spoiler alert: They not only love to set their authors up with workshops all over the country (and sometimes around the world) but they also have a distribution list of 4 BILLION people! To be honest- I was shocked as you probably are right now! I had no idea just how big these guys were until I started interviewing them. 

Wasn't Kelly a sweetheart for sitting down with us? We were so lucky to be seated right next to her doing the conference. I saw she was selling books, but didn't go much deeper into her business initially. (Instead we shared pictures of our kids, went to lunch together, and laughed a ton). However, as we spent time together over the week- more came out about her business, and I realized I was about to miss a golden opportunity! 

Side note about networking at conferences: 

As exhibitors at the American Play Therapy's Annual Conference, it was interesting to see people looking terrified to stop, look, and have a chat. I get it. I don't want to be "sold" to any more than the next person. However, if you stop and get to know people- you might be pleasantly surprised at what you will find out- and how awesome things can happen! (FYI: We weren't there to sell anybody anything). 

In fact, several people reluctantly stopped at our booth (for the yummy snacks or because I said hello), and they quickly said- I'm not in private practice. I'd find out a bit more about them, and many of them were in the licensure process- so I'd hook them up with the pre-licensed blog and the free online study group for licensing exams and they got to walk away with cool, free resources! 

I can't speak to everyone at these conferences- but I can tell you Kelly and I are there to be helpful, meet awesome people, and have a great time! 

Ok- back to the exciting stuff! You can submit your book proposal to YouthLight Publishing today. Can't wait to see some of our fabulous community members get published! Post your vision, ideas, or questions below! 

Social Media for Therapists: When NOT to Use It

Social Media for Therapists

Social Media for Therapists

I've got to tell you something really important. I need you to listen. 

  • A Facebook page will not save your private practice.

  • A website will not save your private practice.

  • Social media will not save your private practice.

Social Media for Therapists

Social media isn't a magic bullet. I teach therapists how to use social media and websites everyday to transform their practices. They are powerful ways to attract clients. however, they have their limits.

Here are 5 signs that social media is not the next step in your private practice marketing journey: 

  1. You struggle with setting your fee. You aren't sure what your fee should be, and haven't developed a business plan that ensures that your fee will cover your salary, expenses, and taxes.

  2. You feel guilty when you charge your fee, so you slide all around. While your full fee is $120, if you were too look at your average hourly fee that you are charging clients, it is closer to $60-80.

  3. You feel frustrated that you've tried a lot of different things to transform your income- but nothing seems to really stick and make your practice profitable.

  4. You pursue high level trainings and certifications, and are great at helping people. However, you find that people don't seem to perceive your value, and you constantly question whether you are good enough.

  5. You imagine what it would feel like to have someone come in and take care of all of the technology, social media, marketing, and website hassle. You don't feel like you can really be successful until your website is perfect.

If you struggle with all, or some of these issues- your first task- before you focus your energy on social media or website development is to work on your business confidence, and clinical confidence. 

An awesome website that gets the phone ringing of the hook won't make you profitable if you aren't confident at charging your full fee.

Seeing 30+ random clients, getting reimbursed poorly, and running at a million miles per hour won't make you a better therapist, and lead to a healthy, balanced life. 

Business Fundamentals for Therapists

Before you invest time and money in transforming your web presence- focus in on the foundation of your business-you. Develop a clear sense of who you are, why you are valuable, gain confidence in charging your full fee, and start setting a clear limit for what clients you do your best work with. 

Feel free to join us for our next free training where we will focus in one how to set fees in private practice. Click here to grab your free live spot, or sign-up for the recording. 

Yes, social media and websites are AWESOME ways to build a practice, but they build on a foundation of you! Go forth and be amazing, set yourself up for success! 

p.s. If you want more nitty gritty, step-by-step help beyond our free live webinars, get on the information list for the Business School Bootcamp 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!

How Developing Niche Can Improve Clinical Outcomes

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Think for a second about the people in the psychology and psychotherapy field that you most admire. The pioneers, the groundbreakers, the transformers... what do they all have in common? 

They all have a clear mission to transform people's live using therapy. 

During my first semester of my Master's in counseling psychology I started working at a domestic violence center. I didn't realize at the time how this position, would in some ways, have more of an impact on my future clinical practice than my graduate degree

Immediately, I received 70 hours of intensive trauma training.  They trained me to start implementing what I learned immediately doing face to face work with domestic violence and sexual assault victims as a paraprofessional. 

As I completed coursework, this initial training gave me a unique lens with which to view and apply the material. And, when I asked a professor how the couple's research we were reading applied to domestic violence cases- she said "you won't see much of that," I began to see the great divide between people doing the day to day work, and those doing the research. 

The people who are changing the world are the ones who are delving deep into their work with real clients. 

Therapists just like you are changing the world. 

Marsha Linehan started out as a clinician in 1974, working in a variety of settings- including with homeless women. She didn't start out as the developer of the gold standard for treating Borderline Personality Disorder. She started out as someone, just like you, who was looking to deeply help people.

Even before that, she started out as a person who was hurting herself and trying to find a way out of her own pain. She had been treated by well meaning medical professionals whose treatments didn't work, subjected to years of seclusion, electroshock therapy, and psychoanalysis which did not develop the skills she needed to survive successfully. She had to stumble through the process of healing on her own, and heal she did. 

What takes therapist from good to great? 

Marsha was deeply passionate about helping people who were in the most intense pain, people who others weren't sure how to help. So she committed herself to developing processes and strategies that really worked for a specific population.

She decided who she most wanted to heal, and made herself an expert in the field. I don't think it was about marketing, or ego, or money. It was about wanting to do something great in the world, wanting to help people who desperately needed someone who was willing to do what it took to find a process that worked. 

You can't be awesome at everything. 

Therapists need a wide variety of skills. We need to be a jack of all trades. We need to be able to understand, diagnose, and treat every issue under the sun. Our clients don't often present as cookie cutter representations of DSM diagnoses.

And yet, can we be awesome at everything? Can we keep up on the advanced training it would take to delve into the cutting edge research in treating each and every issue clients are presented with? 

What if you choose one thing to be awesome at? 

I talk to therapists daily who are tired and burned out. They often won't even realize that is how they feel. They might share that they are unsure, a bit confused, a bit uninspired.

I take them through a process to tap into their passion, and develop a plan to reach out and help the people they are most inspired to heal. During this process, I feel honored to hear the way voices change, giggles emerge, tears fall as therapists connect back in with the real reason they do this work- to deeply transform people's lives. 

What would be different if you specialized? 

How would that change the trainings you took? How would that change the books you read? How would that change the trainings you gave to your community? The supervisor or consultants you work with? The clients you referred out? The way clients see you? The way your colleagues view you? How would it change the way you viewed yourself? Would this impact your clinical outcomes? Would you get better at working with a specific population more quickly? Would your clients get a more inspired, excited therapist? 

If you try to speak to everybody you speak to nobody. 

Jack of all trades, master of none. 

Therapists: Be a jack of all trades but truly, deeply, master one. 

Continue to be a great generalist. Know all of the variable issues that your clients can bring in the door. However, allow yourself to be truly great, truly outstanding in one particular area. Allow the world to know about it. Allow yourself to explore it deeply. 

You never know, you might be the next clinician to make an advance in the profession that changes the lives of people around the world. Be the next Gottman, be the next Sue Johnson, be the next Francine Shapiro.

While each of these people have degrees, research, and a body of work- all of that didn't just happen by accident. They chose their path. They chose to allow themselves to fulfill a deep passion and purpose in one particular area and to become great. 

Have you chosen your path? Share below the path you have chosen to becoming outstanding, awesome, and change the world. Disagree? Let's hear about it! 

Intensive stuff: Business School Bootcamp for Therapists