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4 Ways to Build a Thriving Practice in an Uncertain Economy

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Since the economic downturn of 2008, my practice has experienced significant growth. I attribute that growth to these four strategies.

Our economy took a turn for the worse in 2008, stock market crashed, and many companies were forced to downsize.  It was a hard time for many Americans, financially and emotionally. And yet, during this same time frame, my practice Wasatch Family Therapy experienced exponential growth. We steadily acquired new clients. opened two additional locations and grew from half a dozen therapists to over 20 therapists.

So how did I do it?  I put time and energy into creating and maintaining a strong online presence.

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How to Build Trust with a Client Before the First Session

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A strong online presence helps potentials clients trust you and choose you when they are ready for therapy.

Clients sometimes have a hard time trusting a new therapist.  It’s understandable: who feels comfortable telling their innermost problems to a complete stranger?  But trust is a critical part of the client/ therapist relationship if any real progress is to be made.  Thankfully, there are ways to build trust before your client even walks in the door.

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4 Ways to Repurpose Existing Content for Blog Posts

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You already have content for hundreds of blog posts. You just don’t recognize it yet.

Therapists who are new to blogging sometimes have a difficult time finding material to write about.  So where to begin?  Actually, it’s much easier than you might expect.

An excellent strategy to finding material to write about is to simply repurpose and repackage existing content. That means that you remake something that’s already been created, either by you or someone else.  This of course does NOT mean that you simply regurgitate what has already been written, but instead you thoughtfully craft existing material to serve a new purpose and audience.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, here!

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5 Signs It’s Time To Raise Your Fees

It’s common for therapists in private practice to have anxiety around money issues like how much to charge per session, how to ask clients for payment, and when to raise your fees. Getting comfortable talking about fees with clients is crucial to private practice success.

After all, you own a business. In general, I think therapists charge too little for their services.

Several years ago, I resigned from managed care and I raised my psychotherapy fees at the same time. Fortunately, my practice didn’t suffer financially from those decisions. What surprised me most about raising my per session fee was that the perceived value of my services went up. “You don’t take insurance and charge a lot? You must be really good,” was a sentiment that I heard frequently from potential clients.

Interestingly, I’ve found that clients tend to invest more in the therapy process because they are investing more money out of their own pocket for treatment.

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Do You Need Permission To Succeed?

As a recent private practice consultation group that I was leading came to an end, we took a few minutes to celebrate the growth and successes of each group member. I asked what each group would take away from their consultation group.  One therapist turned to me and said, “Thank you for giving me the permission to succeed.”

I have never really thought about my private practice consulting services as giving colleagues “permission to succeed,” but it seemed to fit. I asked myself, “Where did I get the permission to succeed?” Read more

How To Find Top Student Interns To Grow Your Practice

There is an “it” factor when looking for interns to train in your private practice.

Here’s how I’ve found amazing interns that stay at my clinic even after graduation.

Over the past several years I have trained and mentored many graduate students and new graduates working toward clinical licensure. Working with interns has been a great way to build my practice, leverage my time, and satisfy the part of me that loves mentoring.

Most graduate students who train at my clinic during school are offered a therapist position after graduation which creates a win-win situation — the student gets a job they’re already trained for and I get to add talented and enthusiastic therapists to my team! After interviewing several therapists, I’ve learned to be very selective about who I bring on at Wasatch Family Therapy.

I recently consulted with a private practice therapist who has a waiting list for new clients. As we started exploring the option of hiring a graduate student to train she expressed some concerns. Her biggest questions were: Read more

10 Self-Care Strategies For Private Practice Shrinks

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Compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and caregiver burnout are common among helping professionals, including psychotherapists. Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, who coined the word burnout, defines it as ‘‘the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results” (source).

Many of us come into the field with devotion to helping others and idealized expectations about our ability influence other’s lives. Once we enter the field we come face-to-face with the realization of our own impotence – that we can’t take away our client’s pain or help them quickly solve the complex situations they face. Have you felt an “extinction of motivation or incentive” in your clinical work? I sure have.

After having been in the mental health field for twenty years, most of those years in a private practice setting, I’ve learned a few things about the importance of self-care. Here are a few things I’ve learned from my own experience and from the experiences of private practice therapists I’ve worked with in my consulting practice.

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Top 10 Private Pratice Toolbox Post of 2013

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As the year draws to a close it’s always fun to check Google Analytics and see which blog posts caught your attention throughout the year. The following is a list of the posts with the most unique page views on this blog during the 2013 calendar year. Interestingly, some of the most visited articles are from past years, but are obviously topics that are of interest to therapists this year. I’ve featured many guest posts this year, and two of them make the top 10 list!

1) What I wish I’d known before starting a private practice

Seasoned therapists share what they wish they’d known prior to starting their private practice in an attempt to help private practice newbies avoid the same mistakes.

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Therapist Blog Challenge #12: Share Holiday Tips

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We all know the holiday season can be stressful and filled with everything from difficult family dealings to enhancing feelings of depression and loneliness. Take this opportunity to reach out and share helpful tips to get your clients and readers through the holiday season. Whether lighthearted or serious, how you approach the topic depends on how you can best serve your ideal client.

One of the most popular blog posts on my private practice site Wasatch Family Therapy was a blog inspired by the 2003 movie, Elf. A therapist used Buddy the Elf’s most popular sayings to write a blog incorporating positive psychology. This lighthearted approach using a beloved holiday character can be a sweet way to offer some great tips for getting through the holiday season. Remember to write something that speaks to you and your ideal client.

Here are a few possible topics:

  • Holiday stress
  • Difficult family situations
  • Co-parenting and the holidays
  • Preventing loneliness
  • Giving back/community service
  • Gift giving
  • Creating Holiday traditions
  • Don’t forget the Griswolds, The Grinch, Santa Claus, A Christmas Story or any other characters you love that always have something to teach!

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