How To Do Grief with Your Clients

How To Do Grief with Your Clients

Thank you to Jill A. Johnson-Young, LCSW for this great guest post.

Grief, loss of a loved one, and bereavement are some of the most common key words used by potential clients looking for a therapist. They represent a practice specialty that many therapists approach as a generalist area not requiring advanced training. I’m not going to claim everyone needs training, given the right background, but most therapists are not experienced in the business end of death and grief.

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Starting a therapy practice in Dublin, Ireland

Starting a therapy practice in Dublin, Ireland

So excited to bring a guest blog from an amazing therapist in Dublin, Ireland: Karina Melvin. Therapists and healers all over the world struggle with valuing themselves as professionals. Check out her fabulous insights- and for you grammar gurus- please note the European spelling (they aren’t typos!).

How I overcame ‘the fear’ and created my dream private practice.

It’s Wednesday and I am looking into the faces of a group of final year psychotherapy students. They look glum. Is it the hour and a half long lecture with me on a cold, dark wet Wednesday? No, (phew!) they had just been told that while they had chosen a very noble career, they should realise that they would never make much money from it.

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5 Important Tips for Prelicensed Therapists in Private Practice

5 Important Tips for Prelicensed Therapists in Private Practice
  • Guest post by Rachel Moore, MA, MFTI. A huge thank you to Rachel for sharing these amazing tips.

Being a prelicensed therapist can be hard. In many states, after completing your master’s degree, you are required to work in a supervised environment for a few thousand hours before being allowed to sit for marathon licensing exams. Whew!

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My Favorite Strategy for Overcoming Your Fear of Documentation

My Favorite Strategy for Overcoming Your Fear of Documentation

A huge thank you for Dr. Maelisa Hall for this guest post!

I’ll bet no one’s ever explicitly told you “Documentation is scary.” However, most therapists fear documentation.

Whether that’s fear of being subpoenaed, fear of being audited, or even fear of having your lack of notes “discovered.”

We are taught to fear documentation. Through not talking about it, through lack of training and through poor supervision. You are implicitly told your documentation probably isn’t good enough but don’t ask too many questions or you might be reported to the licensing board.

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Grateful for Therapy

Grateful for Therapy

As a therapist and having done my fair share of time on the couch, I am reminded during this time of thankfulness for the work that is therapy. It is life transforming not only for the client but also for the therapist. I could go on and on but why do that when many therapists are so eloquent with what it is like for them, to be in the presence of profound pain and desire. Thank you to every therapist who shared here. With over 100 submissions, this is just a taste of what was said.

I see clients who struggle with identity and self esteem issues learn to accept and love themselves for who they are and begin to live the life they desire. – K. Michelle Tapia, MA, LMFT 

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Why Social Media Matters

Why Social Media Matters

I believe we are here to make a difference in the world. As therapists we often do this through our relationships with clients. I call it changing the family tree. Work that can impact not just the individual but will ripple into generations beyond.

Today we have another opportunity to influence our communities and culture, all because of technology, all because of social media.

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A Therapist’s Guide to Clinical Consultation in Private Practice

A Therapist’s Guide to Clinical Consultation in Private Practice

Thanks to Rebecca Wong, LCSW for this guest post!

Where do you get the professional advice you really need?

Being a therapist in private practice can be isolating. You spend your workdays seeing client after client. Between sessions, you try to connect with colleagues. You might hop onto Facebook and go to one of the many groups for therapists.

Occasionally, a particular client gets under your skin during a tough session. You need to talk it out. As therapists, we hold BIG, life changing stuff for our clients. If we are going to be and do all that for them, we need someone to support process – but who?

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Why Private Practice Consultants Talk About Money

Why Private Practice Consultants Talk About Money

I started consulting with other therapists about 10 years ago. At first it wasn’t about private practice at all. I helped them study for exams, get a great resume together, prep for interviews, etc. Eventually, as I successfully started my private practice- people started asking for help in building a private practice. 

I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know

People usually asked me for help in specific areas. Can you help me build a website? Can you help me make my website findable? Can you help me make the phone ring? Initially, I would simply provide the help or service that someone specifically asked for. I LOVED being of service- it felt good… Except when it didn’t work. 

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Private Practice Vacations

Private Practice Vacations

The background image attached is from my latest trip to Zion. This summer, in what felt like a spur of the moment decision, Miranda and I decided to take off the month of July.

Truly it wasn’t spur of the moment. We had discussed it a couple months in advance, but the year was already planned and we were going to change our plans. Say what? We had agreed to still do 1 of our mastermind coaching calls, our webinar and a bonus bootcamp coaching call. In total, we only had about 4 hours of work on the books for the month.

In the midst of this month, I was in the process of closing my practice as well. Little did I know how much I needed space for that kind of closure. You can read more about that here.

What you need to know is, I freaked out and did it anyway.

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How to Have Fun Getting your CEUs

How to Have Fun Getting your CEUs

As a mental health professional, the learning never stops. While I love continuing education, I also know that it can feel hard to fit in when you are seeing clients and running a business. Recently I have decided to make this process a whole lot more enjoyable. Want to join me? Here is what I have learned so far.

– Be curious. Recently, I signed up for a songwriting course. Is this because I am going to be a songwriter?  I am simply curious about the process and would love to play with writing some songs for my daughter. Not all of your learning as therapist has to set you on the path to a specialization or a certificate. Have some fun and choose to learn something you know nothing about!

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Why I Closed My Private Practice

Why I Closed My Private Practice

July 30th I loaded up a few trinkets and books from my office, looked around at a space that has held so many sacred moments, locked the door and said goodbye.

I’m still processing it all.

I remember when I signed the lease on my office. I was going to be there forever. It was so warm and cozy. My clients loved the space and together we did incredible work and I was witness to healing and transformation.

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The #1 Question Therapists Forget to Ask

The #1 Question Therapists Forget to Ask

here is a simple question I ask of any person that is interested in working with me, regardless if it is life coaching, business coaching or psychotherapy.

While we as mental health professionals are well versed in assessment, the initial phone consultation is a crucial part of beginning a relationship with a client.

When I work with clients, I am not only assessing if my services are what they need and if they are a good fit, I also want to understand their expectation and their motivation.

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Overcoming the Fear of a Non-Traditional Niche

Overcoming the Fear of a Non-Traditional Niche

How I Choose My Niche:

Many therapists struggle when they have to choose a niche. They worry that if they narrow their focus, they’ll exclude potential paying clients, or they’re afraid that working with one single population will cut them off from other clinical areas they may really enjoy.

I used to feel exactly the same way. Maybe you have, too. But, it’s not your fault. In the beginning stages of becoming therapists, we had to work with a variety of populations so that we could learn how to manage a whole spectrum of concerns and issues. 

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Understanding Emotions : Inside Out

Understanding Emotions : Inside Out

If you’re like me, you’ve seen lots of advertising over the past few months for the new Pixar movie, Inside Out. Pixar even hired big-name emotion researcher Dacher Keltner as a consultant to help them get the psychology right.

As the movie’s release drew nearer, other therapists started talking it up, stressing how good it would be for their clients to learn more about their emotions.

I’m in a somewhat unique position. I consider myself an “Emotion Guy,” though maybe to others I’m more like an “Emotion Nerd.” I’ve studied emotions, how they influence counseling and clinical problems, and how to use them to ease those problems since the mid-1980s.

That’s what my doctoral dissertation was about. (And yes, an article Dr. Keltner co-authored was cited in it, among a few hundred others.)

Given that background, I’d like to offer my perspective on what the writers included in the movie. The scientific evidence shows they got lots of their assumptions right, but a few were misleading or questionable. Knowing which is which will help your practice become more effective.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, that’s fine—I won’t reveal any major plot points here. And yes, I recommend the movie. It’s perceptive and humorous about those difficult periods in our emotional lives we’ve all experienced.

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Starting a Counseling Practice as a Mom Part 4: A week in the life of

Starting a Counseling Practice as a Mom Part 4: A week in the life of

We have talked about several aspects of starting a counseling practice as a mom. I wanted to cover one final aspect. The schedule. How did I keep it all straight as a mom of a little one? I wanted to go over a typical week with you when I went to “full-time” private practice.

Keep in mind that some of this is a bit of a blur. I’m not going to lie and tell you that everything was easy peasy. I learned a LOT by trial and error! But, this is what I landed on that felt really good to me!

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Starting a Private Practice as a Mom: Part 3

Starting a Private Practice as a Mom: Part 3

Starting a private practice as a mom is a tricky business. While things are shifting in this area, women have historically held themselves to impossibly high standards as they’ve gone to work. They often hold the same amount of home duties that stay at home mom’s held, but simply tack on a full time job.

Part-time or Full-time private practice

The truth is, whether you are doing a full time or a part-time private practice, starting a private practice can easily become a full-time job. Also, we tend to create privates practices that resemble agency or non-profit work. That can mean the expectation that seeing 20 clients a week is “part-time.” When, in fact, for most therapists in private practice 20 clients is a full-time schedule once they factor in the additional responsibilities of a being a business owner. Download this free training How to set your fees in private practice to learn more about how to set the right schedule for you.

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Starting a Private Practice as a Mom: Part 2 Setting Up

Starting a Private Practice as a Mom: Part 2 Setting Up

So, I started my counseling practice as a new mom of a breastfeeding infant with a deep knowing (link deep knowing to the Part 1 blog post). However, just knowing I was supposed to be doing this did NOT make everything fall into place. 

Getting on Insurance Panels

 In fact, everyone I talked to had started private practices using insurance. And, I hadn’t been licensed for two years yet. I also didn’t have really any contacts out in the private practice world and no referral source. I had several people tell me that they wouldn’t refer to my private practice until I was on insurance panels. 

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Starting a Private Practice as a Mom: Part 1 Should I?

Starting a Private Practice as a Mom: Part 1 Should I?

I started my private practice with a baby at home. My son was born in January of 2007. In April of 2007, I was all set to return to my “safe” county job on a part-time basis. We had done the daycare tests, it was Sunday, and my first day back was Tuesday. And then, I literally got a clear message from my higher power that I was “supposed to quit my job.” (Ask me about it sometime- one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me). So, on Monday morning, I quit my job. 

I Had No Plan

 Truth is, I had no plan. I didn’t have months of income saved up, I didn’t have loads of vacation time coming (I had used it all during my maternity leave). All I had was a clear message that this was what was supposed to happen. I had a part-time job teaching for University of Phoenix, and thankfully, our monthly expenses were pretty low. We lived in a little 2 bedroom Craftsmen house in a simple neighborhood and hadn’t yet purchased our first home. 

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Forms and Policies: 6 Common Mistakes of Counselors

Forms and Policies: 6 Common Mistakes of Counselors

Forms and policies are one of the least exciting things about having a private practice, but also one of the most important. Your policies provide the framework and boundaries for your treatment with clients. They also protect your counselor booty in case questions come up later down the line.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many well-meaning and excellent therapists make mistakes with their forms and policies. And I don’t want that to be you! I’ve created this list of the most common mistakes I’ve seen from other therapists in private practice so you can avoid them and start off on the right foot.

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I Got Invited to Speak at a Conference: Now What?

I Got Invited to Speak at a Conference: Now What?

As you start to build your private practice and develop an expertise, people will take notice. As new people notice what you are doing and grow respect for your skills, new opportunities are going to come your way. However, not every opportunity is right for you. So, how do you know what to say yes to and what to say no to? 

I Got Invited to Speak at a Conference

Kelly and I get multiple invites each month to speak at events, conferences, and to small groups. However, not every opportunity is right. We were asked to speak at the Mind Your Own Business (MYOB) Conference put on by Stephanie Adams. We thought it would be fun to show you some of the behind the scenes reasons we decided to speak at this fabulous, free online conference for therapists. 

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