Psych Central Professional

Business Advice for Therapists

Real Self Care for Therapists by Jamie Stacks, LPC

Thanks to Jamie Stacks, LPC for this guest post. To learn more about Jamie, check out her bio at the end of the article.
Why self-care?
As a helping professional you wanted to make a difference, you were enthusiastic and ready to take on the world one client at a time. You had dreams, ideals and visions.  Then you discovered paperwork, productivity requirements, the emotional energy therapy takes and all the “other stuff” they didn’t teach you in grad school.  You are tired and frustrated.  You feel overwhelmed, like you will never catch up or make a difference. You are not able to fully be there for your clients, yourself or your family.

What is missing? Self-care is often the answer- one of the biggest ideas that as helping professionals and advocates of holistic healthy living you preach to your clients- you forget to practice. Learning to live with intention and renew the energy you need to take care of your family, your clients and most importantly – YOU is self-care.

We all need to practice self-care and in the life of a helping professional the act of self-care including total mind-body-spirit health becomes even more vital. As therapists, social workers, psychologists and other helping professionals we see and hear a great deal of trauma and extreme tragic stories. The idea of compassion-fatigue has been around for a while now. Compassion fatigue is estimated to affect between 15 and 85 per cent of health-care workers, and predominates in first responders, emergency medicine professionals and those involved with psychiatric patients and the terminally ill (Hooper, Craig, Janvrin, Wetsel & Reimels, 2010; Beck, 2011).

Self-care and self-compassion are vital to living a fulfilled life, however when I talk with clients, friends, family and especially colleagues and ask them what their self-care program is, they tend to look at me blankly. Most people do not have an active, living and thriving self-care program.

Business Mindset for Therapists

3 Myths of Being A Counseling Graduate Student

“I’m just a student.” I heard this hundreds of times at the ACA conference. I get it. You are probably told that a lot in school. But that quick little statement holds power and it can hold you back. “Just” minimizes you and opens the door for a few other commonly held beliefs about being in graduate school.
I don’t know anything
You can’t know everything and you never will. That’s what makes our field amazing. You will continue to grow and learn with experience. Yet, here you sit in school, your nose in books, observing, practicing, and learning. You made it into a program somehow and even at this stage in the process you are developing skills. You have a passion and a curiosity that is allowing you to build an expertise in relationships, in the human mind and being.

Business Advice for Therapists

Therapists – are you suffering from DIAS?

Do you have post-its stuck all over your desk? Does your inbox look like it hasn't been touched in months? Do you have headaches, ruminating about business plans and website designs?
You might suffer from Do It All Syndrome.
This is something many people have and don't even know it, especially when they are starting their counseling practices.

It's something a lot of people don't talk about either. Sure you knew when you started your practice you would be doing a lot of different things - finding an office (real estate agent), working on marketing and networking (website designer and PR), managing the money (accountant) and dealing with the day to day business stuff (human resources department).

It's a lot of hats to wear and if not managed, DIAS can take over which leads to serious burn out.

Business Mindset for Therapists

Do I need a Psychology Today Profile?

Online directories for therapists are one of the ways that you can get referrals for your private practice. In fact, Psychology Today says “Let Psychology Today find new clients for your practice.” Sounds nice right? Pay a monthly fee and get the phone ringing. But do you really need a profile?

An online directory seeks to appeal to your desire to have help with filling your practice. However, for a directory to really make sense, you have to work at it. It is not a passive process. It takes constant tweaking and testing. No magic wands here! Truth is, it usually takes getting 1 new client a year from an online directory to offset the risk of having a listing. That is not a bad entry point at all. But let’s face it, you want more than 1 client, right?!

Business Advice for Therapists

6 Steps to Dreaming BIGGER for your Private Practice

I remember when I got licensed. I passed my test, walked out of the testing center and there was no parade to greet me, no angels coming down from heaven, just me, walking back to my car with this surreal feeling of relief and a little bit of "now what?" and "is that it?" in the back of my brain.

My dream was to get license. But with that in the bag, it was time to ask what did I want for my life and my life's work?

Just a couple weeks ago I was in Palo Alto with Miranda interviewing Irvin Yalom. I went from no vision many years ago to asking for what I wanted and amazing unexpected things have happened. Several people have emailed or commented how they wish they could or they can't imagine they could do what they want in a big way.

Private Practice Business Planning

Social Media Management Tools and Costs

So we have talked about why you need social media, how to plan your strategy and tips and tricks for posting. Lastly, I want to share with you the tools we have used to get our social media out to the world.

This by no means is an exhaustive list. Google any social media management list and you will find a ton of information. These just seem to the be the ones we recommend to our coaching clients, have used ourselves and have a low cost or no cost entry point.

Keep in mind, with tools you want to see not only the function of the tool but any analytics that come with it. Often for a single clinician in a private practice, there is no need to upgrade and most of us can get by on the free stuff. So let's get started!

Business Advice for Therapists

17 Quick Tips to Creating Social Media Posts

Social Media doesn't have to be complicated, it can be fun. Here are 16 quick tips to help you create your social media posts for your counseling practice.

Put your website on your images so people can trace the post back to you.
Use images that you have permission to use. We have a Pinterest board with a list of places to get free images.
Include your authentic healing message in your posts
Follow the 80/20 rule and seek to serve. 80% of your posts are for the direct benefit of your reader and only 20% should be about you, and those posts should still have a purpose of connection.

Business Advice for Therapists

7 Keys to Creating a Social Media Plan For Your Counseling Practice

If you've got a twitter account, maybe a facebook account...instagram, linkedin, google plus (you get the point) how do you balance it all? You need a plan and the tools to help you bring the plan to life. After several years of operating a few businesses, I have a flow. It didn't happen overnight. A lot of it has been testing and trial and error. But over time, I have learned a few key things you need when planning your social media.

Private Practice Marketing

Getting Started With Social Media

Getting your social media accounts set up when you start your practice almost seems to be a given these days. Yet, some of you have posted in other forums asking - what's the point?

Fact is, many people have built amazing practices without social media. It doesn't mean that you can't do the same. Social Media is simply another avenue to reach the people you seek to serve.  Think of it like this, you can stand in a crowded room and shout for attention only to reach people in your nearby vicinity, or someone can give you a microphone so that everyone can hear you. Social media is a reflection of a cultural shift in communication and you can choose to join in the conversation or not.

Let's talk about if it is right for you and then let's look at what you need to get started.

Business Mindset for Therapists

Website Dictionary for Therapists

I've been watching therapists in Facebook groups talk about how to build a website. Sometimes the information provided is FANTASTIC! However, sometimes, people with limited knowledge are spreading incomplete, or incorrect information. I'm a therapist. I've launched a cash-pay private practice from nothing. I've also built at least a hundred websites for other therapists, and helped hundreds of therapists get their websites on track. So, when I provide information it isn't just from a "this worked for me" place. It is from a place of having hands-on knowledge in working with a lot of therapists in a lot of different places.

Where should you get your website information from?