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A Day In The Life: Meet Expatriate Relocation Specialist Jill Kristal, Ph.D

Jill Kristal, PhD of Transitional Learning
Jill Kristal, PhD of Transitional Learning

Have you ever known a psychologist who specializes in helping expatriates through relocation transitions? Me neither. Talk about an interesting niche! So, how does one develop this kind of specialization?

While living in London, England Clinical Psychologist Jill Kristal, Ph.D. of Transitional Learning was instrumental in transforming the US Embassy internal counseling center into The American Counseling Center, a community based organization hiring American trained and licensed therapists to work with the expatriate community. Since returning to the US, Dr. Kristal has continued to work with expatriates, served as Special Education Consultant to School Choice International and established a private practice in Larchmont, NY. With over 20 years in private practice, Dr. Kristal has worked with with children of all ages, adults and couples.

Peek into a day in Dr. Kristal’s life.

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Best Of Private Practice Toolbox 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I wanted to review which posts have had the most views since I launched this blog in August 2011.  It also gives me an idea of which topics are most relevant and interesting to other mental health private practitioners. Is your favorite article on this list?

Here are the most viewed articles for 2011:

  1. What I wish I’d Know Before Starting A Private Practice
  2. A Day In the Life Of A Private Practice Therapist
  3. 5 Self-care Tips For Therapists
  4. 8 Real-world Marketing Strategies From Successful Therapists
  5. Getting 3 F’s In Private Practice Is A Good Thing
  6. Multiple Income Streams Soothe Therapist’s Financial Anxiety (part 1)
  7. Therapist Roll Call: Join The Private Practice Twitter List
  8. Why Therapists Need An Elevator Speech (part 1)
  9. 5 Free Ways To Market Your Therapy Practice
  10. Facebook Pages For Therapists: How To Set Up A Practice Page

I’d love to know which posts have been most helpful to you in creating your dream practice during 2011.

Do you have any areas of practice that you need help with? Please post any specific private practice questions or practice related topics that you’d be interested in hearing more about in the coming year in the comment box below.

Happy New Year!

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Happy Holidays To My Fellow Shrinks

As 2011 comes to a close I am incredibly grateful to John Grohol PsyD and the PsychCentral team for the amazing opportunity to create “Private Practice Toolbox” blog this year. It’s been delightful to get to know so many therapist and learn more about the ups and downs of your private practice experiences and I look forward to an amazing 2012! Let me know how I can be a resource for you to build your dream practice.

Send me your private practice questions or concerns here

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Who’s Talking About You Online? Find Out With Google Alerts

Do you know who’s talking about you and your practice on the web? If not, you should. My favorite way to to track who’s talking is through Google alerts. Google alerts sends me an email whenever they come across “Julie Hanks” or “Wasatch Family Therapy” on the web. It’s a quick and easy to see what information your name is being associated with, where you’re being mentioned, who’s quoting you, and more.

If nothing pops up about you and your practice on the web via Google Alerts over several months, that’s helpful information too. If Google can’t find you, then it’s likely that you’re potential clients can’t find you either. To learn more about Google searches read my article Does Google Love Your Therapy Practice?.

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A Day In The Life: Meet Professional Counselor Stephanie Adams

Stephanie Adams, MA LPC, Beginnings Counseling & Consulting

I’ve never actually met Stephanie Adams, LPC  face to face, but I like her a lot. I’ve connected with her on Twitter, exchanged emails, and visited her website so I feel confident that I can say that she’s a “go getter” and like me, Stephanie loves to reach out to clients and professionals through technology.

She founded Beginnings Counseling & Consulting, a boutique E-Therapy practice based in College Station, TX, where she uses video conferencing, email, phone and real-time chat to meet with clients and coach beginning counselors. She’s co-authoring a book “The Beginning Counselor’s Survival Guide” aimed at supporting new therapists in building their practice.

A Day In The Life

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Wake up and make coffee. Spend time with my husband before he leaves for medical school.


Check email and plan out the day.

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Mobile App For Your Private Practice? It’s Easier Than You Think

By now you know that I love technology, especially when it comes to practice building. I recently blogged about how shrinks can prepare for the mobile marketing revolution. Well, here’s another cool way to make sure that your private practice website is “mobile friendly.” You can now build your own private practice app! Seriously.

Last weekend I stumbled on this blog and thought I’d give it a try.

My clinic website, Wasatch Family Therapy, has an active blog, newsletter, YouTube account, Twitter, and Facebook page and we pride ourselves in being fairly tech-savvy, so an app is the next step, right? In addition to providing clinical services, we highly value outreach and community education and technology and the Internet allow us to reach far beyond our own community in Utah.

In less than an hour, through the tools available on I created a custom mobile “Wasatch Family Therapy” app, complete with it’s own QR code (the code you can scan with a bar code scanner on your mobile phone). I was also able to set up a notification to my website visitors using a mobile device to select the app or open the full-version. Cool huh?

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Top Technology Tips To Streamline Your Practice

One of the many challenges of private practice, especially solo practice, is efficiently and effectively juggling administrative and practice management tasks with clinical work. Since I often blog about my favorite technology tips, I reached out to other therapists “in the trenches” of private practice to see what technology they find most helpful to streamline practice management. Here are the devices, programs, and software they use most and how it helps them successfully run their practice.

Dr. Trevor Small, Clinical Director and Psychologist for Bridges to Recovery, a private, behavioral health facility has several tech tips that help streamline his practice:

  1. Quicdoc: This is a great program for documenting and following patients progress as well as helping with insurance requirements.
  2. Therapist Helper: Billing software extraordinaire!
  3. iCal: It is fantastic for billing and keeping track of patient hours.
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7 Strategies To Revive Your Dead Facebook Page

Copyright All rights reserved by bigbrownhouse

Do you have a Facebook page for your private practice? If not, read these articles first:

How To Set Up A Facebook Page and Facebook Pages For Therapists: Some Risks And Benefits

If you already have a practice Facebook page but there’s very little interaction going on here are a few tips to revive your page. If people aren’t visiting your page and interacting on it, what’s the point of having it, right?

7 Facebook strategies that boost interaction on Facebook:

1) Post on weekends and afternoon/evening

According the, weekends and late afternoons are the times when page admins are least likely to add a new post and those posts that receive the highest interaction rates.

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Adventures In Private Practice: Healthy Eating Expert Karen R. Koenig, LCSW

Karen R. Koenig, LCSW

When I launched this blog in July I had no idea that one of the perks would be connecting with so many amazing therapists who’ve created successful practices. I’ve been inspired by shrinks around the globe who demonstrate the varied ways to make a living, and make a difference with their clients and I thought you’d be too.

I’m thrilled to interview Karen R. Koenig, LCSW for the first in an ongoing series “Adventures In Private Practice” so you can learn from her experiences to improve your practice. I first learned of Karen’s work when I bought her  “Food and Feelings” workbook that I used with several of my eating disordered clients.

I’ve been impressed by Karen’s passion for helping clients struggling with food issues, while writing to raise public awareness of how to relate with food in a healthy way, and maintaining excellent self-care.

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