Private practice consultation

The last job I ever had….

I launched my private practice in 2007 after being laid off by a county funded agency because they lost part of their contract and wouldn’t have enough money to keep all the Team Leads on the payroll.  They said, “We tried to do it fairly since you’re all good. So, Colleen, you were the last one hired, so you are the one we have to let go”Holy cow! That was it!  Go home and no need to come back tomorrow. The team was there to take over with my clients out in the community. This  agency had just signed off on my pre-doc hours to provide my clinical supervision for the next 12 months.  I had just paid my school over $4500 for the privilege of getting my hours (you know what I mean about that!), and just like that, I was $4500 in debt, with no job, no internship hours site, and as of that minute, not really sure how I was going to pay my rent in about a month. Uh, I had gotten into this field because I have a passion for helping others, I have loved and excelled in my work with the clients, and I loved the potential for helping people improve their quality of life.  What I didn’t love was the bureaucracy of the poorly funded mental health agencies in town. In the end, my last job working for someone as a W-2 employee came down to be the ONLY job I was ever laid off from. Not because of the quality of my work, but because of the lack of money.

Never, Ever Again!

I went home and cried for 24 hours, but then I started looking at my options. I had always wanted to be in my own private practice, but I was 8 years into my career and hadn’t made the leap yet. Why not now? Well, lots of reasons popped into my head: Imposter Syndrome, Fear, Lack of Business Acumen, no real Role Models. I could’ve quickly just put the idea aside and just started pounding the pavement again.  I was definitely employable.  For the last 4 years of my W-2 career, I had been in leadership positions, even at one point running one of the largest in-patient substance abuse rehabs for men in San Diego. I was a shoe-in for probably any job I went after. I was already licensed with my Master’s degree. BUT…..I just couldn’t bring myself to start applying, interviewing and, ultimately, leaving the fate of my employment, and my income, in someone else’s hands. As I was gathering my thoughts the next day, I remembered that a few months ago, on a whim, I had filled out an application to get approved to see foster kids as fee-for-service provider. In that split second, I went from crying about what to do to realizing that not only would I be able to survive, but that from here on out, I would be making at least double per hour than my agency job and would be in charge of my schedule, and would be able to grow at whatever pace I wanted……..and no one could ever lay me off again!!

What I did….

I dried off my tears, rented an office by the end of the week, and built my practice. Did I hire a business-building coach? NO. I actually don’t remember that as being a thing back then.  In fact, I thought it was kind of silly when I saw the emergence of practice-building coaches emerge through the therapist groups on Facebook.  These people were very “rock star -style” in their advertising copy and I got curious about them.  Were they rock stars in the field? I didn’t think so. What I discovered is that many had left their own private practices to teach others how to build theirs.  I get it, lots of people get good at a skill and then want to teach others, but for me,  they were like the law professor, or even the psych professor who does not actively work in their field.  I have never gravitated to those people as mentors. I want to know if someone is teaching me to do something today, they are still doing it and understanding the nuances of the field as it grows and changes.

Could I have used a coach? Absolutely! 

I wish I had someone who could have showed me the ropes.  I did actually make many mistakes.  One of them cost me my income for 3 months and ended up with my car being repossessed! I know, you’re reading this and thinking, “Why should I work with you if you couldn’t even get it right yourself? Well, I didn’t get it right in the beginning. Many business-owners don’t.  But why you should work with me is because I actually stayed in the game, even when times got embarrassingly tough. I stayed in the game so long that I’ve accomplished a lot! I have now carved out my own corner as a known expert in the field of psychology.  I’ve consistently had a full practice for many years now. I have consistently raised my fees as I felt necessary.  I’ve been a state-approved supervisor who often supervises therapists on probation.  I was recruited to launch a self-improvement show on Bloomberg Radio 5 years ago that turned into my still-running podcast that stays in the Top 200 of Apple Podcasts Social Services Category, I see a full caseload (well, during the pandemic and working remotely, I’m seeing about 10 more clients a week than I ever wanted to, so Ill say an over-full caseload), and I’ve been interviewed or quoted on over 150 major magazine websites, podcasts and radio shows.

Now, you may not want all the things outside the private practice as I’ve wanted, but I list those things because you probably can’t find another person in our field right now, seeking to coach you into your own private practice that has as much experience as I do in any of these areas.

What Does Our Work Together Look Like? 

We will initially schedule a call to find out where you are in your practice building journey. I love when someone is still working at their agency job and wants to see if private practice could really be for them. Unlike other coaches out there, I’m not going to position myself to you as a guru. I have some very specific areas of expertise. Based on what your needs are, I can design a package that is a pay-one-price deal or a pay as you need consulting type of arrangement.  I don’t do this in groups.  When you hire me. I work for you and you alone in our time together.  I will be invested in you getting off the ground and finding clients that fit the work that you love to do!

  • Private Practice Building

  • Networking and Marketing your practice

  • Writing compelling ad copy for directory listings!

  • Pros and cons of being on insurance panels.

  • Developing community relationships

  • Podcasting for building your practice/ Writing a book to help your practice grow

  • Pitching appearances and guest blog posts to major outlets

  • The importance of clinical consultation groups

  • Adding Clinicians to your practice

Call today to set up your 20-minute exploratory call – Let’s get you on the path to your own private practice!