Private counseling practice

Virtual LPC Podcast #14 featuring Rebecca Wong, LCSW

A short exert from Rebecca's "About" page:
"I guide my clients into reconnecting with themselves, each other and their dear ones by teaching sustainable ways to infuse more intimacy, fun and ease into their relationship, family and into daily living."

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE ON ITUNES HERE!

WOW!  This is an episode full of wonderful insights!  During the episode, Rebecca discusses how "we get to manifest our ideal day."  That really stood out to me.  WE get to decide and create our day.  Rebecca discusses her journey into the creation of her private practice and how she has developed a thriving practice.

Currently, Rebecca is running her private practice, as well as developing some really cool projects such as (RE)SPARK- an online parenting couples class.

Below are some of the resources Rebecca shared that are helpful in her practice:

Wellness: yoga, walking, and training her dog

Book: "Creatures of a Day" by Irvin Yalom; "Passionate Marriage" by David Schnarch; and "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl.

Internet Resource: Zynnyme.com (great website full of helpful information on starting a private counseling practice)

For more information about Rebecca and her work, check out:

Website: Connectfulness.com

You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by searching for "connectfulness"

You can also click here to listen to the episode directly from your browser

Virtual LPC Podcast #12 featuring Dr. Maelisa Hall

Dr. Maelisa Hall specializes in teaching therapists how to connect with their paperwork so it’s more simple and more meaningful. The result? Rock solid documentation every therapist can be proud of! Check out her free online Private Practice Paperwork Crash Course (https://qaprep.leadpages.net/paperwork-crash-course/) and get tips on improving your documentation today.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST ON ITUNES BY CLICKING HERE

Who knew talking about paperwork and therapy documentation could be so much fun!

What a wonderful interview with Maelisa!  She is the owner of QAprep, a site dedicated to helping therapists bring meaning and value back to the paperwork part of our work.  If you're like me, paperwork gets pushed back until it NEEDS to be done.  Maelisa reminded me why it's important to value the note taking (and other paperwork) experience.  We no longer have to look at paperwork as a necessary evil.  Let's make it a crucial part of the therapy process. 

Also in the interview we talk about the overwhelming feeling of lots of ideas, and how to channel that into focused energy.  We also talk about the need for a professional support system, and having people to bounce ideas off of.

Below are some resources highlighted by Maelisa in her interview:

Wellness Exercise: utilizing a mastermind group

Book: "Get Rich Lucky Bitch" by Denise Duffield Thomas

Internet Resource: Mailchimp

If you want to learn more, Maelisa is currently working on a brand new project called "Meaningful Documentation".  For more information, go HERE.

Maelisa can be reached by going to her website: QAprep.com, or you can find her on Facebook HERE.

You can also hear the podcast directly from your browser by clicking: Virtual LPC Podcast Episode #12 featuring Dr. Maelisa Hall.

If you get a chance, please leave a positive review on iTunes (if you like what we are doing).

Virtual LPC Podcast Episode #9 featuring Jen Kind, MA, LPCi, CDWF

Jen Kind, MA, LPCi, CDWF

Jen Kind, MA, LPCi, CDWF

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE IN ITUNES BY CLICKING HERE!

Welcome back!  Episode #9 features Jen Kind (formerly Jen Anderson).  Prepare to be inspired by her charisma and energy!

Jen is based in Portland, and operates Daring Happiness, and counseling and coaching practice.  Jen identifies herself as a "Happiness Alchemist".  This is a great term!  Check out her website for more info on her work.

In the episode, Jen and I talk about her journey to become a counselor in her 30's, and the obstacles she has overcome in the process.  We also talk about her training as a CDWF  (Certified Daring Way Facilitator) based on the work of Brene Brown.  I would recommend you check out the link above to learn more about this type of training.  Also, if you haven't read Brene Brown's book "Daring Greatly", I would highly recommend it.

Jen offers some wonderful resources and tips she uses in her life and practice:

Wellness Exercise: playing with her dogs.  I can totally identify with this one.  

Below is a picture of my dog Willie.

What a face!

What a face!

Book to read: "The Big Leap" by Gay Hendricks

Internet Resource: Headspace- it's a mindfulness/meditation app.  I have used this app, and it does work well.  Admittedly, I need to do a better job of using it daily.

For more information on Jen, visit her at Daring Happiness.  You can also email her at jen@daringhappiness.com.  Finally, you can follow her on Facebook at Daring Happiness.

If you enjoy the podcast, I appreciate you taking the time to give the show a positive rating on iTunes.  

You can also listen to the show directly from your browser by clicking here: 

Virtual LPC Podcast Episode #9 featuring Jen Kind

 

Virtual LPC Podcast Episode #7 with Stephanie Adams, LPC

Stephanie Adams, LPC

Stephanie Adams is the creator of MYOB Counselor: Creating In Community Private Practices That Are Purposeful, Profitable and Passionate, and a speaker and writer who has worked with distinguished organizations like the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselor Association. Join the free MYOB community at myobcounselor.com

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE ON ITUNES HERE

Happy Memorial Day!  It's important to take some time today to celebrate our military and remember all the men and women that have given their lives for us.

It's always fun to get an opportunity to interview a fellow therapist in the great state of Texas.  On a side note, if you are from Texas (or a fan of Texas), check out the new History Channel series that will be starting today (Memorial Day) titled Texas Rising.  Pretty cool.

Stephanie operates a private counseling practice, as well as two other sites specifically designed to help counselors.  She owns Mind Your Own Business, a site dedicated to helping counselors develop a thriving private practice.  She also owns and operates BeginningCounselor.com, a website designed to help new professionals engage with each other and grow a counseling practice.

During the episode, Stephanie talks about her struggles the first couple years in private practice, and how she overcame those obstacles to grow a prosperous business.  Stephanie stresses the idea of knowing how to run a business.  In graduate school, we learn a ton about theory and the art/science of counseling; BUT, we don't learn anything about business!  Stephanie talks about the need to grow your counseling business by learning effective business and marketing strategies.

Stephanie has a FREE ONLINE conference titled "Marketing Your Practice" that will be available very soon.  For more details, check out her website here: MYOB

Some helpful resources she offers during the episode:

Wellness: prayer, and making time to prioritize.

Book: "Marketing for the Mental Health Professional" by David P. Diana.

Internet Resource: CounSol.com- practice management software.

Thanks again to Stephanie for joining the show and sharing her expertise.  To learn more about her work, click on the links above to go to her websites.  You can also email her at stephanie@stephanieadamslpc.com.

You can also click here to listen to the podcast episode directly from your device

As always, if you like the show and find the information inspirational and helpful, give us a positive review on iTunes.  Thanks again for tuning in!

Owning and Operating a Traditional Counseling Practice: A Reality Check

It's become very difficult to survive in a typical private practice as a professional counselor.  With health costs rising in all other fields, mental health reimbursement has remained about the same, and even decreased in some instances!  Why is this?  Why are mental health professionals the only ones in the health profession struggling to receive appropriate compensation?

These are questions I don't have an answer to, but one of my assumptions is due to the counselors desire to help outweighing the desire to run a functional business.  Let's do some simple math (this is based in Texas where I live): 

General Monthly Costs: 

Rent- $800

Electric/Water/Trash- $200

Phone and Internet Service- $100

Copy machine and paper: $100

Grand Total: $1200 in general expenses

We're not done with the costs yet, but let's look at what your potential monthly income: 

Let's say you schedule and average of 35 clients per week (I won't even discuss the time it takes to establish a practice and build up to this amount of referrals) .  In Texas, an average amount billed for a counseling session might be $65 per hour session.

35 Clients X $65 per session= 

$2275 per week

$9100 per month.  Not bad right?  That's over $100,000 per year. 

But wait, let's go back to expenses: 

Subtract from gross income-

$1200 in general expenses

credit card transaction fees (2% of your credit card payments) could be a cost of $160

Insurance Billing Specialist- $1365 (15% of $9100.  This assumes you are only billing insurance.  Private pay clients would not cause a loss of income for billing)

Now, you can do you own billing and reduce this cost, but prepare to spend quite a bit of time reconciling your books.  This typically means you won't have the time to see as many clients, or you will be working 50-60 hours per week. 

After these expenses, your net income is: $6375. 

But, this is gross income.  Operating a private practice means you owe the government 30% (which is why you write off as many expenses as possible).  30% of $6375 is $1912.50. 

After taxes, your net income (or take home pay) is 

$4462.50

If you are paying for your own health insurance and retirement, reduce this number even further based on current insurance costs. 

Keep in mind, these numbers are based in 35 clients per week at $65 per session.  This doesn't include "no shows" which you won't be paid for.  This also doesn't include a bunch of general expenses that we ddn't cover in this article.