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Private Practice Kickstart
with Miranda Palmer, LMFT
& Kelly Higdon, LMFT

Private Practice: Marketing & Sustaining During a Pandemic

People are struggling with life and relationships now more than ever. There are so many beautiful gifts within this terrible pandemic, and one is that mental health is coming front and center, losing its stigma, and regulations are being rapidly changed to ensure people have access to quality mental health care. Why? Because we all need it, right now, more than ever. But we have questions and fears.

      • • Why aren’t the phones ringing in my practice?
      • • Who is going to be able to afford therapy?
      • • How do I market in a way that is ethical right now?
      • • Should I reduce my rates due to covid?
      • • Should I charge less for telehealth?


Today, we want to answer some of these questions for you. We also want to invite you to a free LIVE marketing masterclass where you can learn in more depth what will make sense for YOU and your unique practice, and ask some of your burning questions about how to sustain, grow, or even launch a private practice during this time in history. You can learn more and sign-up here.

If people need therapy during COVID, why are therapy phones silent?

Not all therapy phones are silent. In fact, some therapists are turning new clients away right now because they don’t have space. What we are seeing across the country is that phone calls are down, but conversion rates are up. People who are reaching out are REALLY serious about finding a therapist right now and they don’t want to talk to and interview a ton of therapists. We also found that a lot of therapists FEEL like they aren’t getting any client requests or that things have gotten REALLY bad.. but when they look at their numbers: sessions per week, income overall, etc. what they are feeling is not always related to what the reality is. We do find that as communities transition, there is an initial dip in calls, but then things get to something manageable.

We have LOTS of examples like:

  • Calls are down, emails are up, and income is up.
  • The therapist thought the practice was going down significantly and income went up $1,000 month over month from February to March.
  • Calls are down, the conversion rate is up, so still growing.

Yes, there are changes happening, and not everyone is growing right now. So, be sure to look at DATA and not go by feeling right now. Our bodies are on high-alert and that makes looking at numbers harder, but also more powerful. We want to base our decisions on truth and reality, not on fear.

None of my clients want to do teletherapy! My caseload is dangerously low

Many people thought this would be a simple two-week distancing and we’d be back to normal. And most therapists did NOT sign-up to be virtual therapists. And, that has meant a lot of ambivalence about moving to teletherapy. And guess what, that ambivalence, discomfort, or even anger at what is happening in the world may, in fact, be getting in the way of your clients getting what they need. If your clients have said no teletherapy and they want to “pause” until all of this gets back to normal PLEASE watch this free video training (no email needed). Learn what your ethical obligations on regarding teletherapy. And know that yes, there are therapists doing great online therapy in unlikely modalities play therapy, EMDR, somatic therapy, and so much more. There IS a way to meet clients needs right now, and we can come together as a global community to find it!

Who is going to be able to afford therapy?

Should I reduce my rates due to COVID? Should I charge less for telehealth? We have clients that have reduced hours or who have lost their jobs, we see the unemployment rates and it is staggering to comprehend. We are therapists. We want to jump in and help! But, cutting our income to something less than livable (when statistics show us that therapists are often barely getting by) isn’t always the answer. You are running a business. This is your profession and your primary income. You have bills to pay like everyone else and it is OK (and necessary) for you to keep charging for your services. Just like, it is OK for restaurants to keep charging for the food they provide. Noone is suggested that food establishments should give away their food for free, and your work is no less valuable. There are people who are struggling right now, and there are also people who have MORE hours right now, and who are making MORE income right now. Focus on keeping your business stable, and then look at the ways YOU want to give back on your personal time. Donating to worthy causes, volunteering on crisis lines or with a local non-profit. Keep your business stable so you can keep the doors open and be a place of comfort for your clients. If you are terrified about paying rent or your mortgage, that is going to draw from the energy you need to see clients.

How do I market in a way that is ethical right now?

Great marketing is just about showing up for our communities and being of service. We KNOW it can feel tricky right now when you are tapped and exhausted from just living this new way. But, clients ARE out there searching for you. The trick is reconnecting with your inner knowing of who you want to serve, figuring out where those people are, and what type of marketing really connects with you. You don’t need a list of 100 ways to market your private practice. You don’t have time or energy for that. You need to learn how to discern what will work best for YOU and keep your mindset on being of service. Therapists who are operating from this perspective are getting steady calls and able to keep their energy up. We are coming together as a community to have this conversation and we’ll be sharing real stories from the last 30 days about effective ways therapists are marketing their practices to help inspire you, and help you develop your discernment of what makes sense for YOU right now. Join us for this FREE weeklong Marketing Masterclass for Therapists COVID edition.

You are needed. Therapy is valuable. You are essential.

Private Practice: Marketing & Sustaining During a Pandemic

Miranda Palmer, LMFT

Miranda Palmer, LMFT is passionate about empowering therapists to be extraordinary. Palmer trains therapists how to develop private practices that not only thrive financially, but that provide excellence in clinical care through free private practice marketing trainings, the Business School Bootcamp for therapists, and free study group for licensing exams for pre-licensed therapists.


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APA Reference
Palmer, M. (2020). Private Practice: Marketing & Sustaining During a Pandemic. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2020, from