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Private Practice
with Julie Hanks, MSW, LCSW, BCD

Adventures In Private Practice

Adventures In Private Practice: Healthy Eating Expert Karen R. Koenig, LCSW


When I launched this blog in July I had no idea that one of the perks would be connecting with so many amazing therapists who've created successful practices. I've been inspired by shrinks around the globe who demonstrate the varied ways to make a living, and make a difference with their clients and I thought you'd be too.

I'm thrilled to interview Karen R. Koenig, LCSW for the first in an ongoing series "Adventures In Private Practice" so you can learn from her experiences to improve your practice. I first learned of Karen's work when I bought her  "Food and Feelings" workbook that I used with several of my eating disordered clients.

I've been impressed by Karen's passion for helping clients struggling with food issues, while writing to raise public awareness of how to relate with food in a healthy way, and maintaining excellent self-care.


A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of A Private Practice Therapist

After reading my recent posts on multiple income streams for therapists, Psych Central Associate Editor and blogger, Margarita Tartakovsky asked me how I, and other therapists, juggle so many different aspects of private practice. I've been thinking about her question and thought it might be fun to start a series that peeks into "a day in the life" of therapists in private practice. I thought I'd start with me, and start with--today.

Just to give you a little background...I'm a wife and a mother of 4 children ages 5 to 21. I've been in clinical practice for 16 years and I serve as director of  Wasatch Family Therapy, a private outpatient clinic that I founded in 2002. Recently, because my clinic has grown significantly, I've stopped taking new clients in order to spend more time leading, training, and pursuing other passions, like writing, media contributing, etc.

You'll notice that my "day in the life" doesn't include seeing any clients. I am currently on a month-long sabbatical from clinical work, and from as much administrative work as possible, during the month of November to dedicate time and energy to finishing up my first book. After being approached by a publisher a few months ago I decided that it was an opportunity I didn't want to pass up, but it would require cutting back on a lot of other responsibilities in order to make the deadline. I will resume seeing clients, running staff meetings, and training therapists the first week in December.


Business

Are You Ready For The Mobile Marketing Explosion?

Ok, private practice therapists, you can't ignore the mobile marketing revolution any longer. I predict that private practitioners who don't embrace mobile technology will have a difficulty building and maintaining a thriving in the coming years.

Look at these statistics about the astronomical growth of mobile usage predicted over the next few years.


There will be nearly 1 mobile device per capita by the year 2015. That suggests that by 2015 there will be approximately 7.2 billion mobile devices.
Global mobile data traffic will increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015.
There will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015. (source: Cisco.com)


Here are 4 ways to get your practice ready for the mobile revolution: 

1) Visit your practice website on a variety of mobile devices


Have you visited your practice website on a variety or smartphones, iPad, etc. to see if your website is as effective on mobile devices as it is on a computer screen? With more and more people going "mobile only,"  make sure that your website translates well on smaller mobile screens.


Business

Multiple Income Streams Soothe Therapist’s Financial Anxiety (part 2)

Developing multiple income streams is crucial to maintaining income stability in private practice. "Having different income sources allows me to be a bit less stressed when my main funding source, private practice, takes a dip," shares Jill Kristal, President of Transitional Learning Curves.

Reducing financial anxiety is not the only benefit of developing additional income avenues. Multiple income streams allow therapists to fully express their many talents, gifts, and passions.

Writing and speaking provides former actor Frank J. Sileo, PhD with creative fulfillment as well. "I used to be an actor in a past life so getting up in front of others has helped get that need met, " Sileo adds. Additionally, multiple income streams allow therapists to make a difference on a larger scale, reaching far beyond the therapy office. "I had a desire to have more impact on troubled eaters than one-to-one sessions or even workshops and talks could provide," shares therapist and healthy eating expert Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed.

If you missed "Multiple Income Streams (part 1)" click here



Business

Multiple Income Streams Soothe Therapist’s Financial Anxiety (part 1)

Relying solely on direct clinical hours may leave private practitioners financially vulnerable to income instability. Since client hours in private practice can vary greatly depending on the time of year, state of the economy, number of new referrals, and several other factors, developing multiple income streams can help you to create a more stable income. "By having the other income streams in place, I have been able to be less susceptible to the ebbs and flows that occur in private practice during difficult economic times," says The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT. In addition to providing income stability, diversifying your professional activities with multiple income streams allows therapists to explore a variety of interests, to express creativity, and to get paid for their passions.
In addition to clinical hours, I own and serve as clinical director of a private therapy clinic where I oversee and supervise 10 therapists, write for PsychCentral and other publications, work as a relationship and emotional health media contributor, do public speaking, provide consultation to therapists building a private practice, and I'm currently writing my first book.  Curious about what other private practitioners are doing to add to income stability I reached out to several successful colleagues to see what additional income streams they've developed. Here's a sampling of what other therapists are doing to diversify their professional life and achieve greater income stability.


General

Lights. Camera. Therapy! National TV Debut Tonight

I let a camera crew film two therapy sessions for the TV series "Secretly Pregnant" airing tonight at 10:00 PM ET/8:00 PM MT on Discovery Fit & Health. While I have a lot of TV experience I've never been this nervous about it. I think it's because I have NO idea how the therapy sessions will be edited and I don't know how much of the sessions will actually be included in the episode. Oh, and this is national TV, not local TV.


How did I get on national TV?


One word: Google. Several months ago I got a call from a NY based casting company who had found my practice information online, saw that I had TV experience, and that I specialized in working with women's emotional health and relationships. They asked if I’d be willing to do some pro bono therapy on camera with a Salt Lake City woman for a women’s health documentary show about women who are hiding their pregnancies. I agreed and the next day a producer, crew, and new client “Jen” came to Wasatch Family Therapy to film the first of 2 sessions for the show.


Business

Therapist Media Cheat Sheet: Get More Clients By Maximizing TV Interviews

While TV interviews and appearances rarely lead to an immediate increase in new clients, they do raise awareness of your private practice and your specialty areas, expose thousands of people to your practice, and set you up as a credible expert in your field. Marketing experts say that it generally takes 7 exposures to your business brand before a client will actually try your products or services.

In recent posts I share how to get TV interviews and how to present your best self during interviews. Here are some tips for getting the most mileage out of interviews to build your credibility and increase referrals to your practice.

1) Be explicit about how you'd like to be introduced


Reporters aren't worried about your branding, they're concerned about their story. It is your responsibility to protect your practice name and brand by being explicit about how the interviewer should refer to you on camera. After having a few interviews where they say my practice name incorrectly, or didn't mention it at all, I've learned to clearly spell out how I want to be introduced. In email correspondence with media contact I request something like this:

Business

Therapist Roll Call: Join The Private Practice Facebook List


Thanks for your fantastic response to my roll call for private practice therapist using Twitter! Therapists from all around the globe have joined the list. I'll will continue to add therapists to the list so feel free to join anytime by commenting on that post.

I wanted to do the same thing for Facebook Business pages to help you connect to other like-mined therapists to share resources, ideas, practice building tools, and referrals. Only licensed mental health therapists will be listed.

Here's what you need to do to join the Facebook List...

Post a comment below and include the following information:



Facebook page name &  page link (Facebook business page, not personal profile)
your name & credential
your city & state
specialty areas

As the comments come in I’ll post comments and paste your info in the body of this post below to make it easy to click through and "like" the Facebook pages listed.  I look forward to connecting with you. Feel free to forward to colleagues.

Business

Therapist Media Cheat Sheet: Look Good And Sound Smart On TV

TV interviews are a great way to educate about relationship and mental health topics and to raise visibility for your private practice. Over the past few years, I've actively sought out interview opportunities and have found that over time, they have bolstered my credibility, fostered trust in my knowledge and clinical skills, and raised visibility of my private practice.

Thanks to social media, TV interviews can reach beyond the viewership of the live broadcast to a larger audience. One example is this short, live interview for a local Utah TV lifestyle program.  "How To Handle A Narcissistic Mother" has had over 9000 views on YouTube (and yes, I'm still working on not saying ,"um").

Business

Your Office Is Ugly! Get Creative

Many therapists have ugly offices. Does your therapy office reflect your personality, practice specialty, and appeal to your ideal client? Here's one creative solution.

During a private practice consultation meeting a few weeks ago psychologist Kimberly Sieber, PhD expressed excitement about securing a large office space at an amazingly low rent for her private practice Good Medicine Healing Community. New to private practice she was concerned about the costs of furnishing such a big space. We estimated a budget and listed the basic furnishings she'd need to start seeing clients: a couch, chair and desk for one office, and a few chairs for the large waiting room.

She turned to me with a worried look and asked, "But what about the walls? They're blank and white and ugly!"