Meet Ashley Eder, LPC and her therapy dog “Angel.” While I know therapists who’ve brought their dog into the therapy office occasionally (it wasn’t necessarily “therapeutic” for colleagues or clients) Ashley is the first therapist I’ve met who uses a therapy dog as a purposeful tool in clinical practice.
It makes sense that certain clients would feel at ease and find contact with a dog to be calming during therapy sessions. In her Boulder, CO private practice, Ashley specializes in body-centered psychotherapy and mindfulness interventions to treat somatic complaints, such as body image, self-harm, chronic pain, abuse recovery, and eating disorders in young adults in their teens and twenties.
In addition to her clinical practice Ashley provides counselor education, training, community building and supervises other counselors toward licensure. See how Ashley spends her day balancing family (she’s a mom of one) and her clinical practice.
A Day In The Life
January 23, 2012
Wake up to the sound of my 15 month old son chattering to himself in his bedroom. He is currently my alarm clock, and this is excellent arrangement when he sleeps past 6AM. I listen to him babble and do a quick first check of email to see if there is anything I need to know heading into my day.
I have four children. Luckily, I still like the names my husband and I gave them. Their names fit them. Their names aren’t too common or too weird. Like naming a child, choosing a practice name that fits can be a difficult process that brings up anxiety for therapists. You want your practice name to be an accurate reflection of you, as a therapist, and also appeal to your ideal clients. You don’t want to regret your decision down the road, right?
Ten years ago I wrestled with the question of what to name my practice. Funny enough, it was just one month after my 3rd child was born and we didn’t name him for a couple of days because my husband and I couldn’t agree on his name. The name he’d picked for our son, Joshua, was a fine name but it just wasn’t him. He was Owen, not Joshua. I don’t regret taking a couple of days and “going to bat” for the name that fit my son.
I don’t regret the name I picked for my private practice either. I wrestled with a few different practice options and settled on Wasatch Family Therapy. Here are some common questions about naming your practice and some insight into how I made my decision.
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.
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.
Call it group therapy for therapists. Connect with other like-mined therapists in my closed Facebook group and share resources, ideas, practice building tools, successes and failures. Must be a licensed mental health therapist or therapist in training be added to the group.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.