Have you ever been to a terrible conference? I have. While I’ve found something beneficial at EVERY conference I’ve ever attended- it is often because I am determined to make that experience worth my time. I go out of my way to make sure it is the best conference experience possible.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t conferences that are easier to get value out of. I was speaking to someone a few weeks ago about conferences and realized I am still talking about a conference I attended a few years ago. The Psychotherapy Networker conference rocked my socks off.
If you are starting out in private practice, your budget for trainings and conferences is pretty tight. So you really want to ensure you are investing in trainings that will truly inspire you and build your psychotherapy skill-set.
Why the Psychotherapy Networker conference was amazing:
1. Psychotherapy Networker focused on fun and connection.
Every conference organizer does their best to get great speakers. However, often the culture isn’t one of fun, community, and connectedness. I felt like from moment 1, the Psychotherapy Networker conference was focused on creating strong community. They had dozens of people who were volunteering- and having fun doing it. They had music, dancers, and lots of events that were focused on getting people laughing and smiling.
2. Psychotherapy Networker gave ways to interact with top-level experts
While you can go to many conferences and there may be an expert or two who speak, often it feels very disconnected. At this conference they had book signings, and so many great names that it was impossible not to stumble into someone amazing while milling around.
3. Psychotherapy Networker are very careful with their presenters
Ever looked to see how to apply to speak at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium? You probably didn’t find a big call for speakers easily on their website. Why? They focus on known quantities and for the most part invite the best of the best to speak at their conference. This isn’t a training ground for new presenters, this is a showcase for top-level experts in the field of mental health.
How to pick a great mental health conference:
So, what if you can’t logistically make it to the East Coast for the Psychotherapy Networker conference? How can you determine if a conference is worth your hard earned money and time off? Here are a few questions to ask:
- Who do you know that has attended? What do they look like when they talk about it?
- Who is speaking? What topics are being covered? Is this basic information or high level training you can’t get elsewhere?
- Is there fun and community built into the conference? Are there ways for you to really connect with new people easily?
If you are starting out in private practice, build in a little fun, connection, and some high level training that will inspire your work and make you even more amazing at what you do! And, of course, if you can swing the Psychotherapy Networker Conference- I’ll see you there!
Miranda Palmer, LMFT is a therapist and business coach who sees how business decisions impact clinical work- for good or for bad. She wants to teach therapists how to make business decisions that allow them to do the best therapy work possible.