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Extra! Extra! Using a Newsletter to Build Your Private Practice

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

newsletter

If there is anything you’ve taken from reading posts on Private Practice Toolbox, it likely has to do with the importance of having a strong online presence to educate and serve your community. There’s a lot to consider: social media, blogging, podcasting, SEO, etc. But there’s another aspect of building your practice that we haven’t quite covered yet: newsletters.

Newsletters are a tool you may consider implementing for your practice. A newsletter is a letter you send out to your clients and readers updating them on what’s happening with your practice (it’s a good idea to send them out monthly; you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much from you, but you also don’t want them to forget about you). They can be an effective way to connect with your readers and offer some insight on topics related to your specialty, inform them of any upcoming events or seminars, and just overall keep in touch.

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Therapist Turned Entrepreneur: Howard Spector, Founder and CEO of SimplePractice

By Julie Hanks, LCSW
Therapist turned Entrepreneur

I’m excited to introduce you to the kick off of a new series: Therapist Turned Entrepreneur and introduce to you a mental health professional who transformed his training into creating mental health related businesses. Howard Spector is a therapist turned entrepreneur and is the creator of TrackYourHours.com and more recently, SimplePractice management system. Here is his story:

Tell us about your background (college experience and degree, career beginnings, etc.). 

Wow, big question. I’ve had a number of careers as I tried to find the one that really fit. I attended USC for undergrad, and then after some years working in the entertainment industry found myself in Palo Alto while my wife was doing her medical residency at Stanford. I was always a bit of a technology geek and really connected with what was happening in Silicon Valley. We eventually ended up back in Los Angeles where I had some success with a number of technology companies. Then one day, I realized how disconnected I felt from the work I was doing and decided that I needed to reconnect with what was important to me, and also that a major career change was part of that. There was a particular school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, that I had always wanted to attend. Pacifica has a unique program where you basically live there for 3 days a month and are immersed in this wonderfully rich world of depth psychology. When I began school there, it felt like coming home. It was one of the most important experiences in my life, and I am very grateful for it.

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6 Things I Learned from ‘Breaking Up’ With Managed Care

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

6 Lessons Learned From Breaking Up with Managed CareIt was a scary step to resign from all insurance panels! I wasn’t aware of any therapists who had built a fee-for-service practice in my area. The things I learned in the process of were better than I had expected.

When my practice Wasatch Family Therapy transitioned from managed care panels to a private pay model over a decade ago, I anticipated a few things would happen; I knew that this business decision would help allow me more control over the type and length of therapy, that I would have less paperwork, and I would get paid at the time of service. However, there were some unexpected lessons I learned as well. Here are 6 things I learned from breaking up with managed care:

I Learned:

  •  the value of my perceived value.     

When potential clients learned that I employed a private pay model, they seemed to perceive me as a more competent provider. “You must be really good if you don’t have to be on insurance panels.” My clinical skills hadn’t changed, but my perceived value went up because of how I presented my services. It’s surprising how much the way we clinicians value and present ourselves affect how others see us.

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3 Ways Managed Care is Hurting Your Practice

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

3 Ways Managed Care is hurting your

This is not the first time you’ve heard me share my perspective on the problems of building private practice based on managed care. The original intent of these third-party companies was to ensure equity for those who receive treatment, but the actual results have been far from successful and have caused a myriad of problems. Some have even described managed care as the cause of the mental health care crisis. And while managed care wreaks havoc on the field as a whole, this system is also problematic for private therapy practices. As a clinician, I can certainly attest to this. My guess is that you can too. Here are the 3 main ways that using managed care panels may be hurting your practice:

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Therapist Blog Challenge #18: Agree to Disagree

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

challenge_18

Therapist blog challenge #18 deals with how to have a disagreement with a loved one while still preserving your relationship.   

[Headline] Come up with a catchy title for your blog post. Here are a few examples:

Debating with Dignity: How to Disagree and Still Be Friends

Maintaining Relationships When You Having Different Opinions

Agree to Disagree: Respectfully Holding Differing Views

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Top 10 Websites for Building Your Private Practice

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

Top 10 Websites

Like any worthwhile endeavor, building a successful private practice takes a lot of work, time, and know-how. So why not consult the experts? Here’s a list of 10 of the best websites (listed in no particular order) to help you do just that:

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How Media Exposure Can Grow Your Practice: Podcast Interview

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

How media exposure can help grow your practice: Podcast interviewI thought you’d you enjoy this lively interview with Joe Sanok of Practice of the Practice Podcast about my private practice journey from a solo practitioner to a clinic with 3 locations and 20 employees. We cover a lot of ground during this podcast!  In addition to tips about gaining media exposure you’ll also find:

Tips to land high profile media interviews.

The biggest lesson I learned when resigning from managed care.

The book that helped transform my practice.

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Adventures in Private Practice: Weight Management Counselor Michelle Lewis, LCSW

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 9.14.14 PMThis series highlights the successful private practitioners’ journey in private practice so you can learn from their successes and missteps. One of the unexpected benefits of writing this blog is that I’ve been able to meet and connect with practitioners around the globe. The therapist featured today actually is not on the other side of the world, but is in the same city, and practices only a few blocks away from my practice.

Michelle Lewis, LCSW and I worked together for one consultation and since then, I’ve been able to watch her really dig in, focus on her niche, and develop a successful practice. She is not only a great practice owner, but is a compassionate person and passionate about her work. Get to know Michelle.

Tell me about your practice…   

I own a group practice called Salt Lake Weight Counseling. We specialize in helping clients identify and overcome emotional barriers to weight management. We specifically target emotional eating, food addiction, body image, and patterns of self-sabotage. Working with these issues, we also treat a significant amount of trauma. By addressing the trauma, we are able to help  clients heal their relationship with food and end the war with their body.

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4 Steps to Breaking Up with Managed Care

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

go your own way!

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

We’ve talked a lot recently about the benefits of switching from using a managed care system to a private pay model. It benefits your clients, it benefits you, and overall it just benefits your practice (click here for a post detailing the math and financial advantage of a self-pay model)! But how exactly do you do it? It’s quite a change, so it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are 4 strategies to help you make the transition:

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The Power of Online Presence: Blogger Dawn Friedman uses her Advanced SEO Skills to Rank High in Google

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Discover how some very successful mental health professionals use blogging, social media, and other technologies as powerful tools for their therapy practices.

Dawn Friedman, MSEd LPC, is a clinical counselor specializing in issues surrounding family building, including infertility, adoption, pregnancy, and parenting. An early adopter of technology, Dawn started a blog that became the basis of her strong online presence and has helped her grow a thriving practice. Read about her story here:

Continue reading… »



 
 
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