Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest Video Post: Creating a (Counseling) Business Facebook Page!

You guys just have no idea how lucky you are today.

Jennifer Del Castillo, a new friend I met through the MYOB conference, recently went above and beyond to help another member correct a problem she was having categorizing her Facebook business page.

The way she followed up with it demonstrated 2 things:

1) She cared about helping those who were new or unfamiliar with a process find clarity.

2) She really knew her stuff.

I wasn't born yesterday. I knew Jennifer had some skills I wanted to make sure you guys got a taste of. She agreed to do a guest post for you on how to create a Facebook page for your counseling business.

She's incredibly modest, so she probably won't take credit for it, but she did an absolutely amazing job.

Check out her guest video blog below:

Please thank her for her selfless and thorough instructional video in the comments below.

Jennifer Del Castillo is a licensed professional counselor and yoga teacher in the metro Atlanta area. You can find her website: Your Mindful Path Counseling & Yoga. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+.

After you finish checking her out, would you hop by my new Facebook page and give me a "like?" I just made it after watching this video (she inspired me that much!) and right now, I only have one "like." It's really lonely right now and could use some friends! 

Thanks again, Jennifer! You're amazing! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fear of The Follow-Up

Does this sound like you? 

You dread listening to your voicemail and having to return a new client call. 

You see outdated information on your website or your therapy profile, and you feel tired and apathetic.

You call a potential client or referral source and they don't answer, so you never try them again. 

It's a depressing way to be. You always feel like you're just "missing the boat." That no one likes you and wants your services. That you're lost. 

But it doesn't have to be that way. Once you know what you're looking at, the problem is quite solveable. 

So what are you looking at? I call it the "Fear of the Follow-Up."

Whether you're a newbie looking for hours or a private practice counselor needing financial support, we all must have clients to succeed in our business. ;) But we're unknowingly sabotaging ourselves by with this fear - a fear most of us don't even realize we have.

But this fear results in:
  • Clients not booking appointments.
  • Being unable to pay your bills. 
  • Plummeting self-esteem
Fear of the follow-up comes from a place within most counselors - most people, in fact - that hates to "bother someone else." We're afraid of being pushy, or sales-y. We don't want to sound like we have an agenda.

Those are all excellent things to avoid. But they don't necessarily correlate with following up. 

Following up is really just checking in. 

"Hi, so-and-so, I saw that you said you were going to call me back about making an appointment with me, but I don't have one on the books yet. Were you still interested in doing that?"

There's a bunch of easy ways you can accomplish the goal of following up without being pushy. Try this simple formula, accompanied with a patient, easy tone, and tell me for yourself whether it doesn't take away some of the fear of the follow up.

To segue into a follow up, simply reference the point from which your first contact was made. This might be when they called and chatted with you briefly, requested a phone call on your website, left a message on your machine, or requested through someone else, like a family member, that you give them a call. 

Then, after catching up to speed with their situation, ask them something along these lines: "Were you ready to make that appointment we talked about?" "Did you say Tuesday was good for you?" "If you still need more time to think about it that's fine, but we could also put something on the books and you have 24 hours before to cancel it if you like." 

None of these is rude, aggressive, or takes away the client's free will. 

After all, if someone reaches out to you to set up an appointment, they're displaying interest. If you follow-up with them once, and they don't reach back, or you never follow-up with them and they don't call back, it doesn't necessarily mean they're not interested. 

Instead, it could mean they're:
  • Tired.
  • Distracted.
  • On vacation.
  • Working.
  • Voicemail is full.
  • Walking the dog.
You get the idea. If they don't want what you have to offer, there's nothing in calling them and gently asking them if they're ready to make an appointment that will force them to meet with you. In fact, most of them will be grateful that you cared enough to encourage them to follow through with their plan. (Sometimes, clients have fear of the follow-up too!)

I wish I remembered the exact moment when I stopped being wishy-washy and started assertively following up with potential clients. But I do remember the first difference that happened when I put the power of the follow-up into play. 

Clients started making appointments. It was that simple. And I believe that it can be the same for you. I'd love to have you try it in your own practice and tell me what you think. 

Has fear of the follow-up ever cost you in your private practice? How did you deal with it? 

This is #6 of the 9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Private Practice And How To Stop. Listen to it by signing up here and going to our Facebook group through Thursday at 7c/8e.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Should You Be Emotionally Reckless?

Recently Jason Mihalko encouraged the young therapist to not be afraid to love. Tamara Suttle talked about naming and claiming fear in your practice for what it was. Jessica Grogean wrote about how listening wasn't enough...therapists need to reach inside and find greater empathy. And Ann Stonebraker touted the importance of depending on a community of flying monkeys

There seems to be a theme of late in the therapy community about tapping into your emotions to have success as a therapist. Whether it's conquering a fear, accepting that you feel love for your clients, learning to be dependent on the larger society of therapists and professionals, or internalizing a client's experience, the message I receive is that in order to be a successful counselor, you must constantly challenge your own emotional depths. 

But that idea goes against what we are often taught as practitioners, doesn't it? From the beginning of our education, brick by brick, we learn to build up a wall against too much emotional interaction with others. It can be expressed in multiple phrases:

"Professional boundaries."

"Leaving work at the office."

"Tough love."

I will be one of the first to say that I am not yet ready to abandon those principles. Unfortunately, if we do leave them behind entirely, there are those who will abuse and take advantage of others. But perhaps it's a bit like first knowing the rules so you can learn how break them safely. Maybe we need to go through that stage of overcompensation - building that wall sky-high - so that eventually, we can thoughtfully remove a brick or two where appropriate. Allow for some cracks in the foundation, so that our humanity can mix with our professionalism. 

What do you think? Is it too dangerous to allow your emotions some leeway in your practice? 

And, as beginning counselors, how do you think is the safest way (for you and for clients) to break the rules? 

In one week, I will kick off the Mind Your Own Business Virtual Conference with, "9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Private Practice and How To Stop." Sign up to find out how to attend free! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can You Keep Up?

Yesterday, Jessica from the LinkedIn Beginning Counselor Group, posted a great question. She asked if we could recommend any good websites to help refresh a counselor's clinical knowledge/skills and keep us updated on new theories and treatments. I started to type an answer, but soon realized I needed more time to do some research. So I did, and here's what I came up with:
A source of continuing education, humorous cartoons, and blog articles, was created by Victor Yalom (yes, related to that Yalom, but he has a great deal of talent all on his own) and one of my favorite places to go to brush up on my clinical knowledge. The blog articles are great. Not all of them are theory-based, but the ones that are have great content. I recommend:

Psychoanalysis Is Alive And Well by Kim Chernin, PhD

The Miraculous (Or Not) Efficacy of Solution-Focused Therapy by John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD

Working with the Unemotional in Emotionally Focused Therapy by Sue Johnson, EdD (American Counseling Association)
Featuring webinars, a great blog, and tons of articles, it may be the best source for clinical development out there. (But that's a member's biased opinion. :)

Webinars include:

Depression: New and Emerging Treatment Strategies

Developing Your Own Integrative Theory of Counseling

The DSM-5: Navigating the New Terrain

The ACA Blog features treatment perspectives from the best and brightest:

The Transformative Power of Metaphor: Three Examples by Anita Knight (Anita consistently writes well in the area of clinical knowledge.)

Recognizing "Change Talk" in Your Clients by Barbara Jordan (On Motivational Interviewing. I have spoken with Barbara and found her to be a counselor and coach of high integrity.)
Though Tamara Suttle excels at writing about marketing, networking, and the rest of the nuts and bolts of private practice, she also writes and hosts some great articles about consultation, supervision and professional development.

Getting The Most Out Of Clinical Supervision (Guest Post by Lauren Ostrowski)

Online Resources For Evidence-Based Treatment In Counseling (American Psychological Association) 
Great articles, and CE options if you're looking for it!

Clinical Topics Index 

Free Clinical Psychology Courses 
Courtesy of Open Culture, downloadable Audio and Video Courses from Universities like UC Berkeley and MIT.

Course List
Ones I'd like to check out include, Scientific Approaches to Consciousness, Communication and Conflict in Families and Couples, and The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food!

Online Therapy Institute
OTI has free resources on online therapy, ethics, research and more. 

Check out the Reading Room
Subscribe to TILT Magazine (Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology) FREE

What resources would YOU add to this list? Let us know - comment below! (Hey, that rhymes!)

You can hear directly from Tamara Suttle, DeeAnna Nagel, and myself absolutely free at the Mind Your Own Business Virtual Conference for Private Practice Therapists. Enrollment is free, and we'll start the free training with my training, "How You Are Sabotaging Your Own Private Practice And How To STOP!" airing for free 48 hours starting July 23. Sign Up Here. (Did I mention? It's free.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

FREE Virtual Conference for Private Practice Therapists!

What if I told you to Mind Your Own Business?
You'd probably think that I was being incredibly rude. But I'm not! 

I'm actually letting you know about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from a team of experts how to turn your private practice dreams into a thrilling, fulfilling, and successful business. 

Oh, yeah, and did I mention it's all FREE? 

I'm talking about the Mind Your Own Business Virtual Conference 2013: A business-building teleconference series for private practice counselors. 

You see, as the "fearless leader" of Beginning Counselor, I hear comments like this all the time:  

I am considering starting my own practice. Does anyone know of any resources to pull together what is necessary to make it happen? 


I hear these comments, but I have had nothing I could say to them. Because no one has had the answers to these kinds of questions before. And I've wanted to change that, SO BADLY, but it's a big undertaking! I knew I didn't want to do it alone.


That's why I (along with Dr. Deb Legge of Influential Therapist, who is amazing!) have collected a team of private practice superstars, including DeeAnna Merz Nagel, Tamara Suttle, Elizabeth Doherty Thomas and more, who will be sharing their business know-how FREE of charge with you as we come together as a community to grow our businesses, learn from each other, and better serve our clients. 


There will be giveaways for everyone who attends.


You will get exclusive, content-rich trainings developed just for you!

You'll get special deals on private practice products and services like TherapySites and TONS more.

But you only get it if you come to the conference! 

It's easy, click here for more details about speakers like:

DeeAnna Merz Nagel, Online Therapy Institute
Elizabeth Doherty Thomas, Doherty Relationship Institute
Sarah Schwab, My Client Communications
Wendy Kier, The Queen of Twitter
Lynn Ruby, Ruby Marketing Systems
Greer Van Dyck, TherapySites
Trudy Scott, Write Your Book, Grow Your Biz
Stephanie Adams, Beginning Counselor
Dr. Deb Legge, Influential Therapist
Tamara Suttle, All Things Private Practice
Lisa Braithwaite, Speak To Engage
Julie Migneault, Intuitive Business Coach

On Topics Like:

Video Marketing
Client Attraction
Therapy Websites
Public Speaking


Find out ALL the details and sign up here! It's free.

We value your privacy and will never spam you or sell your email address. Also, you will only receive what you signed up for - details on this virtual conference. If you ever need it, there's an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. 

Are you ready? The address is 
for the FREE Mind Your Business Virtual Conference 2013. I'm so excited and I CANNOT WAIT to see you there!

Do you know another therapist who would like some free training? Click below to share with your friends!