Psych Central

Archive for February, 2012

[Video] Peek Inside A Child’s Dream Play Therapy Room

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

What impressed me most about this video tour is Shannon P Overland’s amazing play therapy room.

I think it would be difficult to get child therapy clients to actually leave the session! I bet a lot of play therapists will envy Shannon’s set up at her private practice Overland Child and Family Services in PA. Thank you Shannon for sharing your beautiful presence and amazing office with us.

Learn more about Shannon Overland MA, NCPC, FGDMF practice at

If you’re interested in submitting a YouTube virtual office tour video get details here.


A Shrink’s Guide To Self-Publishing (part 2)

Monday, February 27th, 2012

In part 2 of “A Shrink’s Guide To Self-Publishing” Stephanie Adams, LPC walks you through the process of organizing and completing your book and preparing it for publishing. Read part 1 here.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Salem (MA) Public Library

Last week, we talked about how self-publishing can be a shrink’s dream second income AND do wonders for their practice by increasing awareness of their expertise. But at the same time many of you who might consider this path worry that no matter how much you like the idea in general, you could never actually write a whole book.

I’m telling you now, don’t sell yourself short! Think about it. What is therapy? A large part of counseling is simply listening to the client’s story and creating together a different, better story of a life they can choose to lead. Probably at least once a session, you will find yourself doing things like attributing meaning to an event in the client’s past, explaining a difficult concept to them, teaching a technique, or painting a verbal picture. That’s storytelling, and you can do it on paper just as easily as you can do it in person!

Peek Inside An Office Overlooking A Lake!

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I’ve had an amazing response to my call for therapists to let us peek inside your office by submitting a virtual office tour video. It’s been so fun to see inside the waiting rooms and offices of other shrinks. I never realized how many therapists shop at IKEA!

Our first virtual office tour is the office of Peter Hannah MA LMHC, in Seattle, WA. I love Peter’s video because his warmth and genuineness really comes through on the video. And I have to admit that I am SO jealous of his view. Water is amazingly therapeutic. Thanks Peter for letting us peek into your office space!

To learn more about Peter’s practice visit

If you’re interested in submitting a YouTube virtual office tour video get details here


Adventures In Private Practice: Vocational Social Worker Dawn Vincent

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Dawn Vincent Specializing in vocational rehabilitation and work/life issues, Australian social worker Dawn Vincent has been  in the mental health field for 25 years. Like many therapists, she considered opening a private practice, but says she lacked the confidence to actually do it.

Read how one private practice course helped her muster up the courage to open her private practice in Camberwell, Victoria, Australia where she helps clients work toward mental health and well-being and navigate changes and choices in life and in work.

Why did you decide to open a private practice?

I had thought about it for about 10 years, but lacked the confidence to go ahead.  After spending over 20 years in vocational rehabilitation I decided to take my long service leave and think about my options.  After an overseas trip I came home and enrolled in an Introduction to Private Practice course run by the Australian Association of Social Workers.  At that time there were only a small number of Social Workers in private practice and it was still somewhat controversial here in Australia.

The profession has a very strong welfare orientation where most Social Workers are employed by the Commonwealth or State governments or work in hospitals and community based settings. Having worked for a large government bureaucracy myself, I liked the idea of the independence and autonomy private practice seemed to offer. I had been a bit of a workaholic and I wanted to move to a better work/life balance and be able to work my own hours.  The course helped me to decide that private practice was what I wanted and I committed to this goal.

The Shrink’s Guide To Self-Publishing (part 1)

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I’m thrilled to introduce to you Stephanie Adams, LPC – my very first guest blogger on Private Practice Toolbox. Stephanie’s passion for counseling and develop multiple streams of income, like offering online counseling and webinars, and self-publishing her first book are impressive. For all of you shrinks who’ve been thinking about writing a book, I hope Stephanie’s guest posts will encourage you to take action!

Like books
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mark J P

Among therapists, “multiple streams of income” is a phrase with buzz. For good reason: though we all love our one-on-one work with clients, it gets nerve-wracking to rely solely on “dollars for hours” income. Those times when a client gets sick – or we do – can mean a major hit to our paycheck.

That’s why more and more, smart therapists are looking to diversify their methods of earning income. Self-publishing a book for your main client group is one excellent means of doing just that.

Therapist Roll Call: Can We Peek Inside Your Office, Please?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

53/365 Sneak a peekThe physical “space” you work  in says a lot about you. Does your office space appeal to your ideal client? Does it speak about your tastes and preferences? Would you be willing to give other shrinks a tour of your office? Why or why not?

Every time a new client comes into my office they comment on my denim couch. It feels cozy and casual, which is how I want my clients to feel when they’re in my office. The color scheme of the office decor coincides with our logo and website colors…and that’s no accident.

I thought it would be fun to peek into the offices of private practitioners to share ideas and get inspiration. So, if you’re willing to let the world (or the readers of this blog) see YOUR office space follow these simple steps by Feb. 29th, 2012.

5 Twitter Tricks To Promote Your Practice Online

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

TwitterDo you have a Twitter account for your practice but you’re not sure how to get more followers? Do you feel like your tweeting into thin air and no one is “listening”?

Here are a few tricks I’ve learned that have help me grow my Twitter following and promote your private mental health practice online and build your professional identity.

1) Search and follow

Use the search box at the right top of your Twitter homepage to search your specialty areas and interests. Follow people who are tweeting helpful and relevant info relating to your practice areas and let them know that you like what they’re sharing online.

Adventures In Private Practice: Pastoral Counselor Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LMHC

Monday, February 13th, 2012

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMFT, LMHC

The Reverend Christopher L. Smith combines his spiritual insight as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church with impressive mental health and marriage and family therapy training in his New York City private practice Seeking Shalom.

Christopher offers a variety of mental health, EAP, and consultation services with the overarching theme of helping clients and professionals seek peace in their life. See how Christopher balances his ministry and private practice.

Why did you decide to open a private practice?
As someone who has been gifted in different ways and who enjoys the peace that comes from balancing different interests, I was interested in working on a part-time basis and to preserve some degree of flexibility.  The easiest way to do this while being able to maintain control over the way I would practice in helping others was to formalize my own practice.

Formalizing a practice in the same building that I also serve as a pastor both added a degree of efficiency in my work as well as adding to the quality care in a community (Harlem and Washington Heights) that was lacking in some of the services that I offer.

5 Common Myths About Private Practice

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Five1) If you build it they will come

One of the most difficult challenges of private practice is finding consistent referral sources. Come up with a marketing plan and secure a few referral sources before you hang up your “shingle.” (Read Private Practice Marketing Made Easy)

2) My only overhead expense will be leasing office space

Not so. Plan on buying software for billing and record keeping, malpractice insurance, business license, incorporation fees, professional consultation, website costs, paper goods, furnishings, marketing materials…

Private Practice Marketing Made Easy

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

2009-fa-ruimte3_MG_7035 as Smart Object-1.jpgLast week I spoke to group of local therapists on “Marketing Your Private Practice” and a record number of people attended the presentation. Why? Because therapists in private practice feel ill-equipped and uncomfortable with the business aspects of private practice.

It’s rare that a marketing course is included in a mental health graduate school curriculum, and few internships and practicums offer marketing mentorship. In my graduate program in social work, just the words “private practice” were treated as “bad words,” as if making money while helping people was somehow morally wrong.

For some therapists  the word marketing brings up feelings of anxiety, even dread. “I am not comfortable with self-promoting,” I’ve heard many therapists say.  “I’m not in this for the money so I hate to think that I have to market my services.”

Over nearly 10 years in private practice I’ve learned that marketing isn’t as difficult or scary as it sounds. Most therapists already have the relationship skills that make marketing effective. You’re already good at building relationships and communicating. You just need to apply your skills differently.


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