Clinicians Need to Embrace Change

Clinicians Need to Embrace Change

Change is Inevitable 

In our resistance to embrace change we run the risk of operations being outdated and clunky. Clinicians are busy and scheduling, billing, and statements are the last thing on our agenda every day, with client clinical care taking a front seat, as it should.

Do an honest assessment and ask yourself if you’re making the basic process of accessing and utilizing your services arduous? If your clients are slightly annoyed but put up with some of your outdated policies or techniques because you’re a great therapist, it’s time to consider pivoting.

Make it Easy on the Client, Make it Easy on Yourself

Take a quick inventory? Is it easy to set appointments with you, and can they be re occurring? Are you storing a form of payment on file, or making clients pay every session? Are you sending everyone, great insurance ready statements or superbills? How do you bill for late cancels, and no shows?  How do you handle and bill for consultation?

What are you doing to streamline your private practice? Remember, in giving to others we stand to receive the greatest gifts. Imagine the ability to focus on what you do best, all while having a progressive client-centric practice. Get out of your own way, ask for help, embrace technology, make patient healthcare and financial data safer, and starting today create a business that is sustainable and perhaps even has a foundation for growth to occur! Organization and streamlined operations are the soil in which abundance and freedom grow.

Use Intuition to Bring Abundance to Private Practice

Use Intuition to Bring Abundance to Private Practice

Use Your Intuition to Bring Abundance to Your Practice

Wayne Dyer is famous for saying “Abundance is not something we acquire, it’s something we tune into.” Clinicians are pretty attune. We get called empathetic, intuitive, emotionally gifted, even witchy at times! Most therapists have a good understanding of how they ended up here with this unique set of skills. We certainly use these gifts with clients, and most often we are the people in our community that friends, and family seek out for emotional wisdom. Why then, do we pull the plug on using this intuitive emotional sensitivity to promote our expertise or services?

Just when it comes to explaining what we do or helping those most in need to find us, we draw a blank. In the traditional business market, emotionally intuitive people are celebrated and highly utilized and often are in roles as CEO’s, Ad Executives, etc., In other words they help people to make money. Maybe you’re not going to write ads for Nike anytime soon, but perhaps you can give yourself permission to use your sense of how and when people need to hear information to inform your promotion of your practice. If you can’t do it for you, do it for prospective clients, because they are looking for you.

Improve your bio, re-write your service offerings, write a welcome letter, send a referral card out doing what you already do best. The very best sales campaigns identify and solve other people’s problems, and let’s be honest you’ve made a career of that. Don’t be afraid to use it to help the public find your unique expertise and offerings. There is nothing ugly or dirty about simply helping someone to find help; in fact, it is a blessing that creates abundance and gratitude.

Benefits of a Media Diet

Benefits of a Media Diet

The Benefit of Media Diets

More and more we hear clinicians talking about feeling distracted. If this is you, you’re not alone. In a world full of blogs, podcasts, facebook posts, instagrams, news feed, apps and more, how does a simple clinician get a break? After all your job is to listen carefully and to respond with expertise and insight; not the ideal role in which to be mentally saturated. If you haven’t already, consider a media diet.

What is this thing called a media diet? This is a technique experts in self-mastery have been speaking quite often about; a genuine intentional goal of slowing the content down that clutters our mental space and distracts us from our core goals.

Turn off the Noise

Not sure what should be considered on your “what to cut out” list? Make note of anything that keeps you from business cultivation, that drains or sucks time, and that has limited return on investment. Turn it off, ignore it, and refocus on what matters most to you. Do less and do what you do choose to do better.

Want to learn more about “Low-Information Diets” check out what Tim Ferriss calls “Selective Ignorance”.

Successful Morning Routines

Successful Morning Routines

Tips for Successful Morning Routines

Business experts, consultants, motivational speakers and self-help gurus all around the country are talking about morning routines. We’ll save you the time of finding every podcast, and article or metabolizing on the psychology of why this is so important and just deliver this info in short.

Getting up and starting your business day out right is directly correlated to satisfaction, discipline, productivity and increased earnings. It’s important to consistently do the following:

  1. Make your bed
  2. Avoid technology first thing: Try a 5-10 minute meditation (Try using an app like Headspace or Insight Timer)
  3. Make a list of top objectives for your day (keep it small and focused – monitor negative talk, and tasks that really don’t drive business but contribute to distraction)
  4. Exercise or stretch
  5. Organize yourself around your professional values & goals (try to channel your best you)
  6. Set out with objective to turn down the noise (Social media, texts, emails, chatter/politics) & be present; do business tasks one at a time with focus & discipline

Above all, don’t be intimidated. The first step is just to start.

What’s your morning routine?

Enhance Your Patient Experience

Enhance Your Patient Experience

How do your patients experience your practice?

There they are for the first time, your next new client; nervous, hurting, and mercifully asking for your empathy, intuition, guidance and expertise. I sat quietly in my lobby the other day and remembered again why auditing your business – examining your patient experience from the first touch point – is so important.

Creating a client-centric experience drives excellence in clinical care, improves earnings and professional satisfaction, and improves the likelihood of quality referrals. Above all, we do this for our “customer”, our clients. To ensure we are creating a brand and experience that resonates with those we wish to serve most.

Occasionally take a seat in your lobby and ask yourself some questions:

Is it comfortable?

Is there current reading material?

Is there a great welcome letter for new patients?

Is quality tea and coffee served?

Are our plants in bloom and looking healthy?

At the end of the day auditing your business from when a new client hears about your services (who are your referrals, how did they schedule) and throughout their entire clinical experience is necessary to understand your business and practice brand. It’s a quest to create the very best clinical space and service. To attract optimal referrals and to share our gifts with the world in the most beautiful manner possible.

So take a seat, grab a magazine, listen to the music and use your intuition to see what needs to change. And while you’re doing that take it a tiny step further, look at your intake paperwork, call your voicemail, search for your website, look at your GoodTherapy and Psychology Today profile and your business card and ask yourself if they are representing your area of expertise and reflect the heart and soul you put into clinical care.

Money Shame in Private Practice

Money Shame in Private Practice

Our Industry’s Sad Money Story

By Jessica Dolgan, Psy.D.
Founder Therapy Partner, Private Practice Adviser

I remember the first time I heard a supervisor say, “you don’t go into this for the money,” I thought well uh oh, I’ve made a massive miscalculation because I’m gonna default on all those student loans if you can’t earn a living doing this. I like many clinicians here, didn’t go to graduate school in psychology to get rich, or let’s be honest with the idea of money or earnings in mind at all.

I went like many others did because I had been told I was “intuitive,” “helpful,” “empathic,” etc., You know you heard the same things. I had also heard I had a sound business mind in other jobs, but I certainly didn’t mention this in my application interview for graduate school.

Now, here we all are in a sea of online marketing, people branding themselves, advertisers studying our buying habits and more. We’re inundated by data and much of it is from companies promoting their services. As consumers we are often glad for this branding and marketing it directs us to the best books, products, tools for our children and more; it also keeps us safe as we can compare and contrast using the very best professionals and services.

And where were the clinicians for so long?  We have important services to offer right? Nothing could be more important than the psychological well being of the people we love; the public needs us, and we were in hiding. In a profession where we were only encouraged to hang a shingle, cross our fingers, and expect to be paid poorly how are we supposed to compete, operate great practices and clinics, and to pay our bills. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have. Stephanie Newman, Ph.D. in an article for “Psychology Today” stated…“For years mental health professionals have examined money, fees, paid, and unpaid balances to better understand their patients and attempt to heal their wounds. Therapists view money as a sort of movie projector, revealing and laying open for understanding many aspects of their patients’ psychologies. It is a given for them that money, like dreams, symptoms and fantasies, is often an important way in which patients’ inner struggles are revealed and can be explored. But while they routinely think about how patients unwittingly use money to communicate in action what remains out of awareness, they themselves remain loathe to share their personal conflicts and experiences in matters financial. And even after years of clinical work and long personal treatments, clinicians have mostly kept silent about their income and its intricate interweave with their patients’ financial situations. Money remains difficult to talk about-on both sides of the couch.”

Lastly, an entire field has actually arisen around therapists helping the public with money shame and the emotional impact of financial issues. It appears we are starting to heal ourselves and now healing others as well.

For more reading on the psychology of money in business consider checking out:

Money Talks, in Therapy, Society, and Life, edited by Brenda Berger, Ph.D. and Stephanie Newman, Ph.D., )a coterie of esteemed psychoanalysts reflect on their patients’ feelings about money and their own struggles with money, both in the clinical situation and in their own lives).

Also consider reading The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness, or an adapted article overview of the book at Elephant Journal: How to Recognize & Get Past Money Shame


How to Make Consultations an Income Generating Activity

How to Make Consultations an Income Generating Activity

How to Make Consultations an Income Generating Activity

Fact: Performing clinical consultations that are structured, scheduled, documented and billed can be one of the top ways to increase revenue in your practice, all while performing a task that improves patient care and sets a professional precedent regarding your investment in both standards of care and patient improvement!

How do successful clinicians consistently get paid for consultations?

Consultation and care coordination with colleagues and referral sources, as well as clinical consultation with patients outside of session is a critical component of providing quality clinical care. It is also ethically required as a standard of care.

Many clinicians complete this consultation unscheduled and on the fly, subsequently avoiding consultation as it is cumbersome and inconvenient. Poorly scheduled, documented and billed consultations can create a liability for your practice.

Consultation with both patients and professionals you are coordinating care with should be a scheduled and billable event. Using progressive practice management technology, you can designate from a simple drop down the type of consultation you are performing (patient phone consultation, emergency consultation, professional consultation, psychiatric/medical consultation). Additionally, you can use the appropriate billing code to properly document these incredibly important services!

Billing for consultation starts with explaining your methodology to patients both verbally and in writing. Ensure your intake documentation lists consultation as one of your billable services.

Using progressive technology that allows you to store a form of payment on file easily allows you to document and process a payment for the consultations you choose to charge for.

Use this handy script to explain consultative fees:

“Some of the most effective treatment can come from paying our health care providers to connect with one another to coordinate and jointly create a meaningful treatment plan. Periodically, in order for you to receive the most comprehensive treatment in our practice, we may request a consultative meeting with your other providers to best coordinate your care. This may be your primary care physician, specialists you see, a school counselor or psychiatrist.

Periodically, you may personally need a session outside of your normally scheduled appointment, this may include standard additional support care or emergency sessions.

We don’t charge for the first 15 minutes and will inform you when these consultations are being scheduled and how they will benefit your care plan. Your form of payment on file will not be charged unless you have been notified of the scheduled consultation. As a patient in our practice you don’t need to worry about whether you will be provided with the most comprehensive care possible and this is an integral part of your treatment. Helping you to heal is something we feel you should expect from all professionals you see.”

Business Development Needs Intention

Business Development Needs Intention

Create time to grow the private practice of your dreams

Nothing is better for your personal, professional, and financial growth than feeling that you are exercising intention in your business. The key is to take time to focus on what you want your business to look like so you take strategic intention to build a practice in alignment with your needs.

You won’t grow a dream private practice by crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Start by consciously documenting what you want for your business:

    • Write down how much you want to work, who you want to see, what you want to earn, and how you want to feel. Set time aside to then back your way into a solution.


    • Make a list of all operational tasks you complete. Look for redundancy, and in particular items that take a great deal of time but don’t support your highest and best use. (Examples of these tasks include using multiple devices or strategies to serve patients,  scheduling, billing, managing files, handling credit cards, issuing statements, communicating with patients, handling cancellations and consultation, entering progress notes, tracking revenue and handling accounting).


    • Create explicit time in your schedule each week for Business Operations and Business Development. Schedule this time just as you would patient appointments, and try to stick with it. Businesses that meet their goals are ones that have allocated time to work on change.


    • Operational time should be used on administrative tasks: secure communication with patients, progress notes, and managing and tracking revenue. A practice management software is a great way to consolidate this process. *Remember clinicians that store a form of payment on file and utilize practice management increase revenue overnight.  Mastering this will give you your time and freedom back!


  • Business development time is allocated for business of practice education, advising or professional services, writing and updating an annual business plan, financial forecasting, marketing and advertising, working on brand development and outreach to optimal referral sources. Build this into your schedule weekly.


“Our Intention Creates Our Reality” -Wayne Dyer

Bonus: Ask Yourself The Following Questions:

    • How do you manage your time and energy?


    • How much money and time is going toward practice administration?


    • Have you allocated specific, dedicated time to look at and reorganize your practice management processes to create maximum efficiency, safety, and revenue?


    • Have you created space and time for business development including business of practice education, advertising and marketing, cultivating referral sources, and clarifying your brand and offerings?


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