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.
Social Media Bootcamp For Therapists Webinar Feb 27
Social Media Bootcamp: Attract Self-Pay Clients to Your Private Practice
Date: Thursday Feb. 27 5:00 pm MST (4:00 pm PST, 6:00pm CST, 7:00pm EST)
Presenter: Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW
Attract more self-pay clients to your private practice by effectively and ethically using social media.
Therapist Blog Challenge #3: Current Research On Love
Summarizing current research makes great blog article topics and helps you stay informed about relevant studies in your field of practice.
Since we celebrate Valentine's Day this month I want you to pick a current research study related to love and relationships for your Therapist Blog Challenge #3 topic. Summarize the study, then add your take on it. You may want to discuss why you picked this study, how your readers can apply the study's findings, what surprised you about the study, and what you learned. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Get blogging!
Feel free to find your own love-related studies or choose from these news stories on recent research from PsychCentral News:
2013 Therapist Blog Challenge
Build your practice and attract more clients to your practice by creating regular content on your private practice website. I'll make it easy for you!
Welcome 2013! I tell my private practice consulting clients is to have an integrated blog on their private practice website and become a regular online content creator. Potential clients are searching online for your services and I want them to be able to find you more easily. Here's how blogging can help.
Why I Happily Woke Up At 3am Last Sunday…National Interview
I love sleep. I need sleep. Very few things can get me to happily wake up at 3:00am, especially on a Sunday morning. The only one I can think of right now is going to the hospital to have a baby. But last week, I added another reason I'd sacrifice my precious sleep---the invitation to interview live on the national Fox News Channel.
Last Wednesday I received an email from Fox and Friends Weekend inviting me to interview live on Sunday morning at 7:20am to give tips on how to stop whining. They'd seen my interview in The Wall Street Journal a week ago in the article "A Nation of Whining: Therapists Try Tough Love." I called the show booker to discuss the interview details and confirm my availability.
I quickly realized that the 7:20am interview was Eastern Time, and would be 5:20am Mountain Time, and that I would need to arrive at 4:50am. That meant I'd need to leave my home at 4:15. So, I set my clock for 3:00am to give me plenty of time to get ready. Unfortunately, I didn't get to fly to New York City for the interview, but I they did send a car to transport me to and from my house to a local studio in Salt Lake City.
5 Common Myths About Private Practice 1) If you build it they will come
One of the most difficult challenges of private practice is finding consistent referral sources. Come up with a marketing plan and secure a few referral sources before you hang up your "shingle." (Read Private Practice Marketing Made Easy)
2) My only overhead expense will be leasing office space
Not so. Plan on buying software for billing and record keeping, malpractice insurance, business license, incorporation fees, professional consultation, website costs, paper goods, furnishings, marketing materials...
8 Real World Marketing Strategies From Successful Therapists Learning about marketing your private practice and actually doing it are very different things. I recently interviewed several successful private practice therapists about marketing strategies that have worked for them in the "real world".
My goal is to inspire you to effectively market your practice. You don't have to do all of these to build a successful practice. Just start with one that speaks to you and build from there.
1) Public Speaking
Public speaking not only educates your community, but also raises visibility and attracts clients to your private practice. "I did a lot of public speaking in neighborhood institutions - schools, churches, synagogues, hospitals to get my name recognized," says Dr. Roberta Temes of New York City. Parenting After Loss founder Amy Luster, M.A., LMFT also offers community presentations on on her specialty areas: infertility, high-risk pregnancy, and miscarriage patients as well as to the health-care providers that treat them as part of her marketing strategy. Presentations on hypnotherapy have proven tan effective marketing tool for Dr. Mary Sidhwani. "The community learns more about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy and also creates exposure for my practice and services," Sidhwani says.
5 Tips For Overcoming Blogophobia Blogging is a great way to talk to potential clients about your private practice services and specialties. You can set up a blog account for free at wordpress.com, blogger.com, and many other blogging sites. Since blogs are search engine friendly and blog posts are easy to share on social media sites they are a great tool for attracting new clients to your therapy practice.
In addition to reaching potential clients, blogging is also an avenue that allows you to provide valuable resources for current clients. In spite of the many business benefits of blogging, many therapists are hesitant to venture into the blogging world. This hesitation or anxiety about blogging is known as "blogophobia."
Why Therapists Need An Elevator Speech: Crafting Your Basic Message (part 2) An elevator speech, or practice message, is the building block of marketing your private therapy practice. Getting comfortable saying what you do and how your work helps your clients is essential to drawing additional clients to your practice. In case you missed it, here's a link to Why Therapists Need an Elevator Speech (part 1).
A great resource for developing your basic practice message is Lynn Grodzki's book Building Your Ideal Practice. Ms. Grodzki outlines four styles for crafting your basic practice message. Try these out and see which one flows most naturally.