Creating Your Perfect Work Week (part 1) This guest post is written by Ashley Eder, LPC. Ashley is a counselor and supervisor who believes we each have the potential to create a more satisfying life. Located in Boulder, CO, she works with clients and therapists through curiosity, self-awareness, and acceptance in order to create lasting change.
A successful private practice is not just defined by how many clients you see or how much income you generate. One critical stream of non-monetary compensation is the satisfaction your practice brings you.
That’s right--as a business owner in an inherently flexible field, part of your “payment” is the freedom to create a work week that works for you.
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:
Who’s Afraid Of Online Counseling? Eleven years ago I ventured briefly into the world of providing online counseling services. It was short-lived because there was not enough interest from potential clients in online counseling. At the time, there was a sense that online interventions would revolutionize counseling, and that it might even become a preferred method of treatment for many.
While online counseling, also known as telemental health, and e-therapy, hasn't "taken over" the field of therapy in the past decade, electronic delivery methods have steadily grown.
According to APA’s Center for Workforce Studies, the use of videoconferencing jumped from 2 to 10 percent between the years 2000 - 2008, and the use of email for service delivery tripled during that same time frame.
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...
What They Don’t Teach You In Grad School If you're a graduate student in the mental health field planning on going into private practice, here are a few things that you won't learn during your program. Most of what I learned about psychotherapy and private practice came after I graduated.
After 17 years of practice, here are a few things I wish I'd known earlier:
1) Clients don't care about your degree
I'm rarely asked what degree I hold or what school I attended. I've found that very few clients know the difference between an MSW, MFT, PhD, MFCC, PsyD or any other degree. What clients really want to know is that you're qualified to do therapy, and if you can help them.
A Day In The Life: Meet Body-Centered Therapist Ashley Eder, LPC [caption id="attachment_1955" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Ashley Eder, LPC & Angel"][/caption]
Meet Ashley Eder, LPC and her therapy dog "Angel." While I know therapists who've brought their dog into the therapy office occasionally (it wasn't necessarily "therapeutic" for colleagues or clients) Ashley is the first therapist I've met who uses a therapy dog as a purposeful tool in clinical practice.
It makes sense that certain clients would feel at ease and find contact with a dog to be calming during therapy sessions. In her Boulder, CO private practice, Ashley specializes in body-centered psychotherapy and mindfulness interventions to treat somatic complaints, such as body image, self-harm, chronic pain, abuse recovery, and eating disorders in young adults in their teens and twenties.
In addition to her clinical practice Ashley provides counselor education, training, community building and supervises other counselors toward licensure. See how Ashley spends her day balancing family (she's a mom of one) and her clinical practice.
A Day In The Life
January 23, 2012
Wake up to the sound of my 15 month old son chattering to himself in his bedroom. He is currently my alarm clock, and this is excellent arrangement when he sleeps past 6AM. I listen to him babble and do a quick first check of email to see if there is anything I need to know heading into my day.
A Day In The Life: Meet Expatriate Relocation Specialist Jill Kristal, Ph.D [caption id="" align="alignright" width="80" caption="Jill Kristal, PhD of Transitional Learning"][/caption]
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.
A Day In The Life: Meet Professional Counselor Stephanie Adams [caption id="attachment_1633" align="alignright" width="184" caption="Stephanie Adams, MA LPC, Beginnings Counseling & Consulting"][/caption]
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.
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:
Quicdoc: This is a great program for documenting and following patients progress as well as helping with insurance requirements.
Therapist Helper: Billing software extraordinaire!
iCal: It is fantastic for billing and keeping track of patient hours.
A Day In The Life: Meet Anxiety Expert Marla W. Deibler, Psy.D. [caption id="attachment_1511" align="alignright" width="110" caption="Marla W. Deibler, Psy.D."][/caption]
Peek into a work day in the life of private practitioner and licensed clinical psychologist Marla W. Deibler, Psy.D. Founder and Director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, LLC. Her outpatient behavioral health group practice specializes in the treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders.
She's also a wife and a mother of three children and has found a nice work/life balance working 2.5 days per week at her clinic, and spending time the rest of the time home with her children. Thanks to email, phone, and text, Dr. Deibler operates her business remotely "in spurt" during the days she's at her home. And apparently, she doesn't sleep much!
Here's a day in the life of one of Dr. Deibler's "work" days: