I have wholeheartedly embraced social media to build my therapy practice and to educate the public on important emotional health and family relationship topics.
Technology and social media have allowed me to grow my private practice free of managed care during difficult economic times. Facebook is the #2 referral source to my private practice website, topped only by Google. A common challenge for private practice therapists is learning to effectively manage social networks in a way that maximizes their time and draws people to their practice.
People often ask how I stay on top of posting and interacting regularly on my social media networks. Just to give you an idea, I manage 3 Twitter accounts, 8 Facebook pages/profiles, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Ping.fm, 3 Ning accounts. One of my favorite social network management systems is HootSuite, a social media dashboard. Although I can’t manage all of my accounts from HootSuite, I can manage the largest networks. I pay only $5.99 per month which includes the ability to add one “team member” to can access and manage my social network accounts.
Peek into a work day in the life of private practitioner and licensed clinical psychologist Marla W. Deibler, Psy.D. Founder and Director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, LLC. Her outpatient behavioral health group practice specializes in the treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders.
She’s also a wife and a mother of three children and has found a nice work/life balance working 2.5 days per week at her clinic, and spending time the rest of the time home with her children. Thanks to email, phone, and text, Dr. Deibler operates her business remotely “in spurt” during the days she’s at her home. And apparently, she doesn’t sleep much!
Here’s a day in the life of one of Dr. Deibler’s “work” days:
WordPress is a fantastic platform for your private practice website. Originally a blogging platform, it’s commonly used for websites because it’s user friendly, functional, and easy to customize. I’m completely “in love” with it. For clarification, I’m talking about WordPress.org that is installed on your web hosting system, not WordPress.com – a web-based blogging platform.
Since I changed to WordPress about a year ago for my practice website, I’ve been able to create a more dynamic and interactive website with fresh content, social media interaction, and an integrated a blog. So here’s more about why I love WordPress:
What does it take to build and maintain a private mental health practice? Terrie Browning, LPC, DCC, CFC was among the first to respond to my request for therapists to track their activities for a day to shed light on what it takes to be in private practice. Friday, the day she uses for last minute crisis appointments, online counseling appointments, website meetings, phone consults, and runs errands, was the day she chose to track her activities.
Terrie provides in person, and online counseling, in addition to providing court testimony as part of her private practice, Alternative Therapies. Terrie is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Forensic Consultant, Distance Credentialed Counselor, and holds a Masters Degree in Science of Psychology, with specialization in Counseling Psychology.
To learn more about Terrie’s practice visit her website TerrieBrowning.com.
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.
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.
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.
Here are 4 ways to get your practice ready for the mobile revolution:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.