8 Steps to Launching or Relaunching a Psychotherapy Practice In this guest post, Miranda Palmer LMFT and Kelly Higdon share eight ways to thrive in the current private practice climate.
The process of building a successful private practice has changed considerably over the last twenty years. Most therapists we speak with who have been in practice for a few decades started by getting their credentials from an insurance companies. Reimbursement rates were relatively high for the cost of living from the 80s into the early 90s. Things flowed. Maybe they had a listing in the phone book, but back then there was no need for websites, Facebook pages, or Twitter accounts!
Fast forward to now: the financial picture for therapists in private practice has drastically changed, as we are in a time of low or stagnate reimbursement rates combined with an increase in cost of doing business and living.
The old model is simply that, old. It doesn’t work for today, and thus we find experienced therapists with a full practice that isn’t profitable enough to prepare for retirement, and new therapists often feel lost when they ask their mentors for direction and get answers that don’t resonate with the current economy.
10 Ways Blogging Transformed My Private Practice
Jodie Gale MA built a thriving practice through online presence, blogging and social media. Read about her journey in this inspiring guest post.
When I returned home from the UK several years ago, I was shocked at the state of psychotherapy in Australia. There was, and still is, a lack of understanding about what psychotherapy is and a lack of promotion regarding the benefits of psychotherapy from our professional associations. Frustratingly, it is rare to find a psychotherapist (or a family/play/art therapist) working as part of a multidisciplinary team in private or public health.
There is also a deeply pervasive myth that it is impossible to fill a ‘full fee paying’ private practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist because of the mental health plan insurance system which only provides rebates to psychologists and a small number of social workers. Trying to persuade clients to engage in weekly, depth psychotherapy (without a rebate) literally felt like mission impossible. My private practice reflected this and was sporadic to say the least. Desperate and down hearted after 8 years of Master’s training to become a psychotherapist – I found myself smack bang in the middle of a major career crisis.
How to Create and Sell Your First E-book (part 2) In this guest post, counselor and consultant Clinton Power share how to put the finishing touches on your E-book and how to get the word out and sell your book. (Read part 1 how to create your first E-Book)
Use a graphic designer to make your E-book stunning
If you're planning on creating a PDF version of your E-book to sell through your website, you definitely want to get it professionally designed. Your designer can then employ visuals, highlight quotes, and use attractive fonts and graphic design elements to draw the reader in and make reading your E-book a pleasure. Your designer will also create a compelling cover page, which is essential as it will make a big difference whether people are attracted to your E-book or not.
If you're going down the Amazon route, you won't need a designer to design the inside, but you will need an awesome cover design so you stand out from the thousands of books in Amazon.
How to Create and Sell Your First E-book (part 1) In this guest post counselor and consultant Clinton Power shares how to create your first E-Book
There's no doubt that creating and selling your own digital product is a great way to increase your online exposure, credibility, expertise, and earn some money while doing so.
And the creation of an e-book to sell through your own website or an online bookstore like Amazon or iBooks is the quickest and easiest product to create to get started.
I wrote my own e-book called 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship and published using the Kindle platform on Amazon. It's been a great way to increase my online presence and credibility as a specialist in relationships and has now been downloaded over 2000 times and received 19 five star reviews in Amazon.
With a $2.99 price tag, I didn't write it to make money (though the checks from Amazon are very nice), but more to reach thousands of people that I never could have on my own, through the power of the Amazon Marketplace.
Selling an e-book through your own website is also a very good idea, and the good news is you can charge much more than Amazon e-book prices.
So let's dive in and look at the steps you need to get started.
Select a topic that will sell
It's important to do some research at the beginning to check there’s a market for your e-book and people looking for the information you want to write about.
As a therapist you are well positioned to create an information product because you have years of training, knowledge and experience about good mental health, the change process, and self-improvement. These information products are often in high demand because they are providing a solution to a pain or problem.
So to get your research underway I suggest you start with Google and Amazon. Search for keywords that are related to the e-book you're considering writing.
For example, if you're a specialist in child ADD/ADHD, search for combinations of keywords in Amazon and Google such as "How to overcome child ADD", or "I think my child has ADHD", or "best ideas for dealing with ADD". The idea is you want to see how many people already have products for sale that are similar to your idea.
If you find similar products, but your idea has a particulate angle that is not covered by other e-books, then this is a good thing.
There are hundreds of books on relationships in the Amazon store, but I didn't find one that used my approach of a tip a day for 31 days, so I knew I was bringing in a different angle that might help with sales.
10 Best FREE iPad Apps for a Productive Private Practice
In this guest post counselor and consultant Clinton Power shares his top iPad App picks for managing a private Practice
I just love my iPad mini. It goes everywhere with me and has become such a valuable asset in helping me run my therapy and coaching business in an efficient and productive manner.
So I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 best iPad apps that help me run my business day-to-day. And best of all, they are all FREE!
Please note that any apps below that save to the cloud are not HIPAA compliant and I don’t advise you use them for storing any confidential client data.
Counselor Self-Care Practices Guest Post: Hollie L. Hancock, M.S., CMHC
Reflect on how well you take care of your own needs. Help me learn more by filling out a counselor self-care practices questionnaire.
While attending an ethics conference last week, I took the opportunity to solicit participation from my fellow counselors and psychotherapists for my dissertation research. As I described the study, and as the words “counselor self-care” crossed my lips, a loud and obvious laugh erupted from various corners of the large ballroom where the conference was being held. From the front of the room I saw people looking at one another, laughing, and rolling their eyes; I even read the lips of one man in the front row as he said to the woman next to him, “Yeah, right!”
Honestly, I was not surprised. In fact, I almost expected this type of response. The laughter, snickers, and side-ways comments are exactly the reason I am researching counselor and psychotherapist self-care practices.
5 Steps To Transforming Your Practice Into A Thriving Business
Guest post by Edita Atteck
I believe I know who you are. You are here to be of service to others and you want to create a thriving business. You want to get client referrals, retain existing clients, and you don’t want to live from paycheck to paycheck. You want to have a good reputation and earn client's trust.
I know first hand how starting a business is a challenge. I’ve been there and I fully respect your feelings. I left my corporate career to pursue my passion and committed to turning it into a business helping one person at a time. And I am here today to share with you six steps I believe can help guide you to building a practice that will help you and your business to thrive.
Pause Before Posting About Work On Social Media Pages (part 2) Guest post by Kimberly Sandstrom, MFTI
We all have days where we need to let out a little steam about a difficult day at work. Social media is not the place to do it.
In the first post on this topic, my goal was to bring awareness to our community about the hazards of posting personally about clients. Although our clients may not see our personal posts (see Julie Hanks Digital Dual Relationship Dilemmas), our own personal communities will, and our reputation is built on that community.
Pause Before Posting About Work On Personal Social Media Pages (part 1)
We all need to vent about a hard day at work, but clinicians should think twice before posting on personal social network pages.
Guest post by Kimberly Sandstrom, MFTI
Have you ever have a long day at the office and wanted to vent your frustration to someone? Me too! We are containers of all sorts of confidential information and sometimes our containers get full, or we get triggered by something that happened during the day. It’s hard to hold it all in at times—especially when it touches or triggers some reaction in us. Yet, we are called to an oath of confidentiality, and sensitivity to our client’s information. For most, venting to a trusted colleague or a relaxation activity can be enough. Yet, some therapists use their personal social media accounts to release stress about their clients. Can’t believe clinicians do this? Read on.
The Hazards Of Being A Therapist
Guest post by Regina Bright, MS, LMHC
I have been working in mental health for about 12 years. I listen to clients in crisis for many hours a day, providing support, empathy, interpretation and direction. As therapists, we can easily lose track of our own issues, ignore our own problems, and at times have difficulty shutting off the therapeutic processing.
In order to be a good therapist, it is necessary to take care of ourselves — our clients depend on it. Just because we know everything there is to know about stress management doesn’t mean that we are immune from becoming mentally exhausted. If you are feeling detached or apathetic toward your clients, yourself, or your relationships you could be experiencing emotional fatigue.