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Private Practice
with Julie Hanks, MSW, LCSW, BCD

Business

Are You Comfortable Asking Clients For Money?

During my graduate school practicum placements I never had to think about the financial aspect of seeing clients. Billing specialists took care of collections. That was their job. After graduation I worked in a private practice setting where I was required to ask clients directly for...money.

It was awkward at first to have clients share their pain with me, open their hearts, and be so vulnerable, and then ask them to pay me.

Adding to my money anxiety was the fact that I was charging the same rate as my clinical supervisor and I didn't believe my services were worth it. My supervisor helped me gain confidence by explaining that clients aren't just paying for my time and skill, but they're also paying for her years of expertise. I hadn't thought about it from that perspective before.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life: Meet Relationship Expert Dr. Meredith Hansen



When I "met" Dr. Meredith Hansen on Facebook and Twitter recently I was struck by her cohesive online presence. Rarely have I come across such an impeccable private practice website and a therapist who has such clarity in her private practice message: "Helping individuals and couples find love, get love, and keep love."

If you want to see an example of a powerful practice website and clear practice message visit DrMeredithHansen.com. Dr. Hansen projects a nice blend of accessibility and professionalism that make me feel confident referring clients to her practice.


Business

Put These Free Practice Building Webinars On Your Calendar

I've been researching webinar platforms lately and trying to find the time and muster up the courage to host my first webinar. Until then, check out these excellent, and free website building and social media webinars. I've personally attended webinars from both presenters listed below so I can vouch for the quality and relevance of their presentations. Maybe one day you'll sign up for one of my practice building webinars, but until then, put these on your calendar!

Jan. 11 "The Facebook Divide" with Laura Roeder


Social media marketing maven, Laura Roeder is offering a free Facebook webinar about the new Facebook changes, how to separate your personal and professional life on Facebook once and for all, and how to build your business (or your practice). I love Laura's down-to-earth style and her gift for simplifying aspects of social media that overwhelm most people. She's funny, practical, and endearing. Though this webinar is geared for any small business owner, and if you are in private practice you are a business owner.
Wednesday, January 11th at 1PM pst / 4PM est
Register by clicking here.


Adventures In Private Practice

Adventures In Private Practice: Parenting Expert Dr. John Duffy



When it comes to parenting and family relationships, particularly during the tween and teen years, Clinical Psychologist Dr. John Duffy has become the go-to expert. Not only does he have a thriving private practice in the Chicago area, he also published a book last year called The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens (2011), and blogs regularly for The Huffington Post on relationship topics.

Learn more about how Dr. Duffy parenting niche found him, how he manages the stress of being "the boss" and how he's built a thriving private practice.

Why did you decide to open a private practice?

From the day I began grad school, I knew I wanted a private practice. To be honest, it started much earlier as I idealized characters played by Bob Newhart and Judd Nelson. Later, I realized it was the model I could thrive in. I had spent many years in a VERY corporate environment working for other people, and I knew I wanted to work for myself.


Business

Your 2012 Practice Vision: WHY Do You Do What You Do?

As therapists we 're skilled at talking about what we do ("I'm a play therapist who works with children", or "I help older adults improve their mental health"), and how we do it ("I use DBT, EMDR, and CBT" or "I help clients work through resistance to change through psychodynamic therapy"), but we don't often talk clearly about why we do what we do.

I was recently introduced to this video by author, business guru, and optimist Simon Sinek a few months ago and found it to be incredibly inspiring and clarifying. It reaffirms that " why" is crucial to personal and business success. I wanted to share it with you as we begin 2012 to help you clarify your practice vision for the year.

Here's my "why" for my therapy practice:

I believe that loving and accepting relationships have incredible healing power.


Business

Paper Or Electronic? Why I’m Grieving My Paper Files

Call me a bad therapist. It wouldn't be the first time. But I write my case notes during sessions. It's not "writing" really. It's more like "jotting" a few important things down as I go. I sign and date the note at the end of the session and I'm done. Call me crazy, but I like to complete all work, notes, letter writing on behalf of the client during the session. I have resistance to adding and hour or so at the end of my day for case notes.
If you haven't been able to tell from past posts, I tend to be an early adopter when it comes to technology. I had a therapy website in the early 2000's. I've been on Facebook and Twitter for 4 years (which is a long time for the over 40 crowd). I love my iPhone and iPad. I developed an app. But, I haven't yet transition to electronic notes and health records, until now.

Starting today my therapy clinic is finally transitioning to an electronic records and practice management system. After a lot of research we decided to go with Care Paths.


A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life: Meet Expatriate Relocation Specialist Jill Kristal, Ph.D



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.


Business

Best Of Private Practice Toolbox 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I wanted to review which posts have had the most views since I launched this blog in August 2011.  It also gives me an idea of which topics are most relevant and interesting to other mental health private practitioners. Is your favorite article on this list?

Here are the most viewed articles for 2011:



What I wish I'd Know Before Starting...

Happy Holidays To My Fellow Shrinks

As 2011 comes to a close I am incredibly grateful to John Grohol PsyD and the PsychCentral team for the amazing opportunity to create "Private Practice Toolbox" blog this year. It's been delightful to get to know so many therapist and learn more about...