I’ve been on conference calls with people in Florida talking
about 80 degree weather, people in California are always chuckling about how
sunny it is over there, and I just talked to someone who was getting ready to
head to the Carolina beaches after work today…
But if you are practicing in the Midwest, you know this past weekend was
the first truly beautiful weather weekend we have had in 2012 – and by
beautiful, I mean over 50 degrees.
For me, that means hammock time – and hammock time means
hammock thoughts. Those lazy thoughts
that drift away from the day-to-day of private practice and start to think of
all the cool and amazing things being in private practice allows us to do. With the free time we give ourselves, we get
to explore different aspects of ourselves, our businesses, and life in general.
For me, that hammock-day, I started pondering all the cool
business things we get to do when we are not 1:1 with clients; when we are not
focused on marketing and providing the best therapeutic treatment known within
I started to envision “Private Practice 2.0 – beyond the
office”… or something like that. Things you and I can, and should, be doing as
we find our practices operating at the pace we want, allowing the financial
freedom we desire, and, most importantly, the extra time we dreamed of when we
were working a 40+ hour work week for someone else.
Here’s what I came up with – I would LOVE to see what you
We need more great therapists like us out there! Too often, I hear the stories of those who
aren’t doing great work, who aren’t returning calls in a timely manner, who
aren’t helping their clients but also not referring them…. Guess what, those
people impact us ALL, when one of us performs poorly, behaves unethically, or
does more harm than good, the name of our profession and the good work we are
doing suffers. So why not take an active
part in helping the rookie therapist aspiring to greatness? We can do that through the hard working of
accepting interns, or by providing supervision for those working on
licensure. There are a variety of ways
to do it, both in the name of altruistic pro bono-ism and for a fee. The important thing is that we do it – shape those
therapists to be as great as you are.
It’s lonely at the top – most 18th century dictators
knew that, so what did they do? They
went out an built empires. For us, that
might be a little different than attacking the neighboring therapist, probably
just as risky, but hopefully far more successful.
By empire building, I mean joining with other therapists in
an agency-like setting; sharing the benefits of collectivism and a communal
kitchen, but without the hassles of community mental health work. I’ve know many therapists who have achieved
great success by bringing on therapists for a fee-split, and hiring out the
billing and marketing for them. Very
Me, I am far too lazy for that kind of liability. I would much rather offer therapists a
rent-share agreement where we all do our own marketing and billing, but still
get to enjoy the benefits of operating out of the same building. I’ve had a bit of experience owning and
managing buildings / rentals / etc, so that isn’t such a hassle, but might not
be for everyone.
Either way, I think empire building can be fun and lucrative
for the therapist who is looking for more ways to help clients outside 1:1
What is the first thing you think of when you read that word?
Right – teaching Psych 101 to Freshman who really don’t want
to be in that class anyway… Yes, I’ve
been there. Actually, it wasn’t that bad
– after I got over the initial jitters it was actually rather fun and provided
a nice little bit of stable income. I
recommend it for anyone getting started in practice, or anyone who can find a
school that offers a strong workload to payment ratio. Eventually, for me, when my practice really
got hopping, it was a money decision that the time I spent in the classroom
wasn’t worth the time I was giving up.
But there are other ways.
What about offering CEU’s in your area of expertise? One of my partners / sharers of the communal
kitchen is The Greatest Play Therapist in this part of the state – she trained
with the creator of sand tray therapy for Pete’s Sake! Do you think she has anything to offer? Well, 10-20 therapists each week, who are looking to work towards their 150 hours of CEU’s for their play therapist certification
certainly think she has something to offer!
And at $100-$150for 6-8 CEU’s per student, that’s not a bad Friday for
student or teacher, is it?
What about you? Are you experienced enough in your area of expertise to offer CEU trainings for
your peers? In most states, all you have
to do is submit your outline and presentation materials, and you can be
authorized to provide CEU’s to your peers.
And don’t even get me started on all the great opportunities
the internet provides for you to reach out and educate your peers, clients,
community, and tribe – you have been building a tribe, haven’t you?
I could go on for days about why, where, and how you should
be writing, but this flow of ideas has already gone on too long… Suffice it to say, we should ALL be writing
and sharing our knowledge – the internet has made it that much easier. Newspapers, magazines, trade mags, blogs,
websites, ebooks, self-publishing. There
are SO MANY ways for you to be sharing your genius through writing. Start now.
OK – so what suggestions do YOU have?