Prelicensed in Private Practice

Prelicensed in Private Practice

There are a lot of things to consider if you are going to go into private practice as a pre-licensed clinician.You may first think about things such as fee splits, entity formation, and which supervisor to choose. That's totally normal (and all important stuff) but here are some things that any pre-licensed clinician can do BEFORE they start their private practice. 

If you are considering going into private practice here are some top tips to get started.

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Tips for Getting Your Paperwork Done On Time

 by Dr. Maelisa Hall, Documentation Expert

by Dr. Maelisa Hall, Documentation Expert

What’s one of the most common problems I see with students and recent grads? They have trouble getting their paperwork done! I’m the Quality Assurance Manager for a community mental health agency and it’s my job to make sure I give all our students and therapists the best tips and tools to make the documentation part of their job easier. I know, I know, you thought my job was to make their lives miserable, right?  

As a student or a recent graduate you usually have external requirements for your paperwork. You have deadlines, you have people reviewing your notes, and someone else has likely chosen the template for you. If you’ve had multiple supervisors you’ve probably also gotten disputing opinions on how much to write and what should go where. But I’m sure you also got one overarching message- get your paperwork done on time!

Easy Tips for Timely Documentation

Here are some easy tips for getting your paperwork done on time. You can start using these right away. Warning: Not every method works for every person! Be disciplined about sticking with a method for at least two weeks and then evaluate whether or not it’s working for you.

1.     Write in chunks. Some people are able to see a client for 45 minutes, write a 10 minute note, see the next client for 45 minutes, etc. If you can, stick to it and more power to you! Most of us aren’t able to do that, though. An alternative is to write notes in chunks. For example, see 6 clients on Monday from 11am-5pm and then spend an hour writing notes for all those clients. The time you select will depend on your schedule and flexibility, but try to keep it within 72 hours of your session so you don’t get backed up or forget what happened. When I worked at an agency I always scheduled assessments in the morning and made sure my afternoon was clear so I could finish it that same day (and then it was off my plate!). For regular sessions, I often saw clients in the late afternoon/evening so I didn’t want to stay until 8pm writing notes. I would schedule an hour or two in the mornings the next day and do all my previous day’s notes then.

2.     Be consistent. Regardless of whether you write in chunks daily, every other day, or hourly you have to be consistent! Missing one day’s notes means adding an extra 60-90 minutes on the next day you come in. Find the schedule that (realistically) works for your lifestyle and then write it in your calendar. Documentation time has to be kept as sacred as a client’s weekly appointment time and your lunch break or you’ll always find other things to do.

3.     Create a plan to catch up. If you do get behind in your notes (and most of us do, at some point or another), the workload can spiral out of control very quickly. Be honest with yourself and create a plan as soon as you notice the problem. A common mistake new therapists make when catching up is neglecting their current notes to complete the older notes. This keeps them in a constant battle of catch up. Stay consistent with your current notes schedule and make additional time in the short-term for writing the overdue notes. Start with the oldest notes and just move forward until they’re all done. Once you catch up, you’ll be glad you stayed up on your current notes and you can get right back to your regular schedule!

4.     Get support. If you’re having difficulty figuring out which schedule works for you or find that writing notes seems to take you longer than your colleagues, seek out help from your supervisor. Tell them your struggles early on so you have someone to keep you accountable as you problem-solve. Also, talk with colleagues to find out what strategies work for them. It’s great to stay connected with others so you know your struggles are normal and you can also find others who have worked through them. If you’re not a part of the MFTGuide Facebook group, click here to join and connect with likeminded therapists who are making the transition from student to working professional.

Follow these tips and you should be successful in completing your documentation on time! I know it’s not the most exciting part of what you do, but it’s just as necessary as being present during sessions. If I’ve learned anything from reviewing hundreds of client charts it’s that timeliness has a significant impact on the quality of documentation. I can tell when a therapist wrote an assessment or progress note within 24 hours and I can definitely tell when they waited 24 days!

As therapists, we deal with such ambiguous but powerful feelings and ideas. Much of what we do is intangible and it’s sometimes difficult to put into words. Combine that with the stress of studying for exams, dealing with client crises, and lapses in memory over time and you have a recipe for disaster when you procrastinate writing notes.

If you’re looking for more tips on time management and making documentation more relatable to your clinical work, check out my free online training: The Private Practice Paperwork Crash Course. Regardless of what stage you are in your career, there are helpful tips that apply to therapists working in all settings. Now, use the strategies above and map out your plan to get your paperwork done in no time!

 Dr. Maelisa Hall of QA Prep

Dr. Maelisa Hall of QA Prep

Author Bio:

Dr. Maelisa Hall is an expert in clinical documentation who loves teaching therapists how to create rock solid documentation so they can spend more time focusing on their clients and less time worrying about paperwork. Click here for instant access to her Private Practice Paperwork Crash Course for mental health professionals.

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!

Understanding the Difference Between Law & Ethics

The California MFT Licensing exam, and several other state licensing exams for LCSW, LPC, Psychologist make a clear distinction between our legal requirements, and our ethical requirements. For many pre-licensed, and licensed individuals the two can easily get jumbled together in the carrying out of our daily duties. 

In addition, sometimes, cultural norms within our professions can be perceived as ethical duties or legal requirements- when there is no such requirement. Not only can this hinder us when attempting to pass the licensing exams- it can be confusing in our future independent clinical practice. And that is what licensing exams are about- it is the licensing boards best effort to ensure we are ready to practice on our own without forced oversight. 

I wrote an article for ZynnyMe about Is it Ethical for me to ________ in private practice? While the questions I answered might not be on your mind for a bit if you aren't in private practice yet- definitely check out the recommendations for developing a clear understanding of your ethical obligations, and developing your own personal code of ethics! 

Here are some of the questions I cover: 

 

  • It is unethical not to accept insurance. 
  • It is unethical not to offer sliding scale to everyone who calls you. 
  • It is unethical to charge a certain fee. 
  • It is unethical to hire contractors to work within your private practice- no matter the situation. 
  • It is unethical to refer a colleague to any other business if that business offers any sort of thank you, or perk, for that referral. 
  • It is unethical to offer coaching if you are a licensed or unlicensed therapist. 
  • It is unethical to start to market or brand yourself prior to licensure. 
  •  

    Read the entire post about common ethical questions in private practice here. 

    Did you know that one of the things people search this site for is free study materials? The ethical code of your professional organization is one of those free study guides! Go and read it, soak it in, understand it- it will help you prepare for your exams and doesn't cost a dime! 

    AAMFT Code of Ethics

    CAMFT Code of Ethics

    NASW Code of Ethics

     

    Why Blogging Is Awesome (for Pre-Licensed Therapists)

    I started a blog in March 2013 without really knowing where I was going to go with it. At the time I was considering family/parent coaching as a way to build my name before I was licensed. I was also having tons of conversations with professionals who would really dig what I was saying about parenting and how to help parents. So, I started blogging and directing people to my blog as another way of networking. As I started writing more, I began to develop my voice and began to see that I had a ton of information to give to others. I also realized that I was really getting to know my niche.

    So, how did I start blogging as pre-licensed therapist?

    I started with a free WordPress blog and I committed to writing one blog a week titled The Weekly Skill, since I was focusing on parenting developing their parenting skills. After I got the flow of blogging, I also committed to doing one series blog a month (i.e., do a series on parenting concepts posting one in the series a month). I created a schedule of how the series would span out over the next year (so, this was May 2013). With that schedule set, it gave me motivation to begin this task of getting my ideas out of my head and onto “paper”!

    Beginning the blog with a schedule set for how I would post made it easier to digest and I felt more confident that I could actually pull this off. But, it did feel like a lot at the time because I was still in my full time community mental health position. As I began to network and share my posts, I began to get feedback that people were not only sharing my posts, but they liked them! And, that was great motivation.

    Now, why is this a good thing for you?

    How can blogging benefit ACSW and MFT Interns while accruing hours (or waiting on hours to be approved)?

    Well, I’m glad you asked.

    Here are 5 ways that blogging is great while you are pre-licensed:

    1. It gives you a space to carve out your niche, or ideal client, well before you break out on your own.
    2. It can help you get your ideas and thoughts about helping clients sorted and organized
      a. Note:  When I first started my blog in 2013, I just wanted a place to put my thoughts about parenting out and keeping them from being unorganized in my mind
    3. It allows you a creative space to develop your voice without the pressure of solely marketing to client.
    4. As you write, you will begin to nurture the confidence in how much knowledge you have about working with your ideal client, or within your niche.
    5. It’s also a great place to for others to find out about who you are.
       a . It can be used in connection with your other social media profiles to give a whole picture about you and your work! 
    6. It let's Google "get to know you" so when/if you launch a private practice you won't be starting from scratch! 

    Now that you see the benefits, and understand how having a blog can add value to your work and development as a clinician, what can you do to start blogging?

    Blogging Tips for Therapists Starting Out

    Pick a platform

    WordPress.com and Blogger.com are two of the most prominent blog platforms, and I would honestly start there. Both platforms have free accounts so you can begin immediately. The benefit of using either one of these platforms is that there are tons of help on forums, Google, and Youtube to help you get started. But, to be honest, the simplest way to begin blogging is to sign up, pick a cool theme, and start writing!

    Decide on a schedule

    One of the biggest barriers that I have heard from other prelicensed clinicians about blogging is knowing when to blog and how much to blog. The short answer is that it’s really up to you; do whatever you feel is comfortable. But, the longer answer is that you should start with at least once a week for at least a year. I give this suggestion because you will see so much progress in your writing, inspiration, and voice if you write more. Essentially, the more you blog the more comfortable you will become.

    Write about what you’re interested in

    Of course, a pre-licensed blog should focus on helping clients, but also it should talk about who you are clinically and professionally. I recommend not worrying about focusing on an ideal client for each post just yet, but write about topics that interest you in the field (mental health awareness, gender roles and its effect on society, gay rights, advances in psychotherapy).

    Find a blog challenge

    There are a few cool blog challenges that are swimming around on the web right now. One that I used is from Julie Hanks’ Private Practice Toolbox blog (you find the challenge here).  These challenges give you inspiration for thinking about blog topics that can really get your creative juices flowing. It can be difficult to think about relevant topics sometimes, so having a list of topics that you can chose from will help with the writer’s block or the barriers that come with writing your blog.

    Don’t worry and have fun

    Lastly, just have fun! Blogging does not have to be stress inducing or anxiety provoking. Understand that you’re not building a website yet, and you’re not worried about SEO, search engines, or marketing yet. And, look eventually you can link it to your website, but right now, just enjoy!

    Here’s a little bonus, you can add a separate page to your blog and add your resume/curriculum vitae. By doing this, you can send the blog link to potential supervisors or add it to your email signature when you’re looking for an internship. It will give them a good picture of who you are as a clinician and they’ll be pretty impressed too (trust me!)

    Overall, blogging can be a real benefit to your prelicensed journey if you are willing to use the steps above and use it to enhance your already impressive skill set.

    Happy blogging!

    *A huge thank you Mercedes Samudo for reaching out and offering help to other MFT Interns and ASCW who are the journey to being licensed as a therapist. Check out the awesome resources she provides parents at http://theparentingskill.com/ This may be a great resource for the parents you work with who are struggling, or parents of children that you are working with! 

    Marketing a Counseling Practice Can Make You a Better Therapist

    Many pre-licensed therapists and student therapists enter a graduate program with the express intention of working in private practice. 

    Unfortunately, not many (if any) psychology, counseling, or social work programs are developed to prepare you for launching a private practice. The focus for most psychology students and graduate students is "after I'm licensed I will..." The vision is that once they go through this strenuous process of licensure- the other pieces will come together. 

    I help licensed therapists market their psychotherapy practices daily. And guess what? The process of getting licensed doesn't necessarily prepare you for the process of opening a private practice successfully. 

    Good news for pre-licensed therapists who plan to go into private practice! 

    Here is the good news. Actually, here is the great news. The process of preparing for private practice WILL make you a better therapist, counselor, or clinician. How cool is that? In fact, the process of preparing for your future private practice might even help you gather hours faster, develop a better clinical intuition, navigate the process of licensure with more ease, pass your licensing exams, and get paid better! 

    Preparing for private practice WILL make me a better therapist? 

    Ok, that might be a bit of an over-statement. If you prepare for private practice the right way, I believe it will. Here are just a few ways you can prepare for a future private practice and how it can make you a better therapist now and in the future:

    1. Successful private practices have referral sources. 

    Now, this might sound simplistic, and redundant. Stick with me for a second. In order to have a consistent pool of clients, people have to know you exist. Simply putting up a website, or sharing your business cards won't magically fill a private practice with paying clients. You need to be known. People need to know what you do, understand the value, and be excited enough to remember you and share your name with others. 

    How does this make me a better therapist? 

    It forces you to build relationships in your community. This doesn't mean you have to be an extrovert, or be on TV if that isn't your thing. However, you do need to build solid relationships with people out in the world. That means getting to know them as well. This means you will have more access to resources when your clients need them. This also means you are less likely to be isolated, stressed out about getting clients, and burn out in the future. All of that means you will be a better counselor!

    2. Successful private practices understand their unique value. 

    I know you may have been taught in school about many theories, psychotherapy processes, evidence based practices, etc. However, here is the truth: You bring something unique to the table. I agree that in most cases, just bringing your "you-ness" without any background or training won't be clinically impactful. I also believe that really great therapists begin to understand why they are good at what they do, what they are good at, what they need to work on, and who they should refer out. 

    How does that make me a better therapist? 

    If you can't identify what you are good at, how you can identify what you aren't doing well in? If you don't believe what you specifically do as a therapist has value, why would anyone else believe that and pay you for it? If you don't believe what you do has value- will you be looking to your clients to validate your work? How will that impact your clinical work? 

    3. Successful therapists in private practice can convey their value to others

    This may seem like a repeating of #2- but it isn't. Many therapists who understand they bring something deeply unique and valuable to their work- struggle to convey that in words to others verbally and in writing. This ability to convey our value in words is an extension, or sometimes even a precursor, to finding our deep clinical voice. 

    How does that make me a better therapist? 

    Seeing a therapist tap into, and settle into their deep clinical voice is like watching your child take their first steps. It is an amazing, beautiful, tear producing, scream in delight sort of moment. And hearing how that newfound confidence and peace transforms their work with clients- it is the stuff that makes my job awesome. 

    Have you ever met a therapist where it just feels good to be around them. When they talk about what they do- it makes you smile? That is someone who has tapped into their passion, into their clinical voice and they have the words and confidence to convey it. 

    I'm just an intern... 

    But, you don't understand... I'm just a student... I'm just an intern... I've got years for these things to naturally develop! 

    Truth moment: These will only develop if you give them attention. Just like we teach our clients, where we put our focus and energy is where we see development. If you focus your attention in these areas starting today, you will see major shifts between now and licensure. If you focus on simply "getting licensed" you will find you "get licensed" but not necessarily feel confident, be known, and know who you truly are as a therapist. 

    The coolest part? When you focus on these aspects of your development, you will find major opportunities will come to  you. You will find out about jobs before they get posted online, you will get letters of reference that land you interviews, you will get people offering you opportunities that they just wouldn't offer to someone they didn't know and believe in. 

    Go out, get to know your community, let your community get to know you- and get to know and love yourself. All of these are pieces of successfully marketing a private practice now and in the future! Go! Be great! 

    Now, comment below what you will do TODAY to go out into the world and be great! And, of course, if you want more fun stuff like this- feel free to get on the list for free tip sheets, podcasts, and trainings geared towards the needs of pre-licensed therapists and clinical supervisors. 

     

    Private Practice Internships

    FINDING A PRIVATE PRACTICE INTERNSHIPGetting a private practice internship isn't easy. And truth be told, getting one is easier than having a successful private practice internship.

    What you don't know about private practice internships: 

     

    1. In California, and some other states, you are required to be a w-2 employee. That means you get paid for everything you do in the business. 
    2. If you don't have any clients, and you are spending 20 hours a week working to find clients- technically your employer should be paying you for all of those hours.
    3. That is good right? Yes, and no. What if you spent 25 hours a week for 10 weeks looking for clients, or even just learning on the Internet, but you don't see any clients? Even if your employer/supervisor was only paying you $10 (a bit above minimum wage)- they have just lost thousands of dollars! 
    4. In addition to your pay, they have to invest in payroll taxes, insurance, worker's compensation, provide oversight, training, etc. They may have lot even more income in lost wages. 
    5. Taking on a private practice intern is a big deal and a bit of a gamble. 
    6. Most clinical supervisors don't have time to walk you through every aspect of getting clients. 
    7. But won't they just give me their overflow? What if their overflow doesn't click with you? What if you dont' instill confidence on the phone? What if you slide the fee everytime? 

     

    For a therapist in private practice who is primarily seeing clients as their income- they are looking to invest their time and energy into an intern who will be a good investment. You are kind of like stock! You need to show them that you have done some pre-work, you know your stuff, and you are ready to hit the ground running and you know how to not just do good therapy- but how to get good therapy clients. 

    A private practice internship will help you start your private practice

    I know that can be overwhelming and anxiety provoking. However, it will be an amazing training ground for your future private practice. I recommend that anyone who plans to go into private practice in the future- start today! 

    Wait- I'm still getting my Master's degree- can I start today? Yes. 

    Wait- I'm not done with my hours- should I start today? Yes.

    It may be a period of time before you can legally start seeing psychotherapy clients in private practice. However, that doesn't mean you can't start the process of growing a practice today. 

    What can I do as a psychology student or pre-licensed therapist to prepare for private practice? 

     

    1. Launch an online presence. Commit to blogging at least 6 times per year (I'd recommend 12) on the topics you are most passionate about. Bonus points if you already know what area you want to specialize in- write on those topics. 
    2. Launch a community presence. Commit to attending at least 6 trainings per year, and follow-up with 2-3 people you meet at each of those trainings after the event. 
    3. Develop a list of people to refer to. Get to know what people are passionate about- if they are awesome- refer people to them. 
    4. Start creating a vision for your practice and add in 3 business trainings per year- even if you don't think you will need it now. Start to create a mental foundation or schema for what building a profitable private practice will look like. Here is a free private practice 101 training you can watch today. 

     

    There are more things you can do to build a private practice- but let's keep it simple! Post your private practice internship questions below. Did you do something awesome to snag a private practice internship? Tell us about it! 

    Interview: What you need to know about marketing

    Ernesto from http://www.fylmit.com/ was kind enough to interview me last week as part of his presentation to pre-licensed therapists about marketing a private practice. Give it a watch and find out what I shared with his classes to help shift their mindset about being a pre-licensed professional. 

    What I wish I’d known about a Private Practice Internship

    by Kimberly Sandstrom, LMFT

    Well, first, I wish I’d known that private practice would challenge every “I’m not good enough” crack in my “I’ve got it all together” veneer. Yep, people think I’ve got it all together. I don’t. Every time I called a client and they asked if I took insurance or how long I’d been in practice, or what my fees were…the hesitation took over.  “The ruse is over. They will know I’m a poser.” If they find out, they are going to run for the hills…or the therapist next door!”

    These are things I wish I could tell you as you begin your journey in private practice as an intern.

    1. No one will EVER ask you what your GPA was in grad school. (Well, one client did, but his son was in my practice for anxiety…hmmm.) So, don’t stress it while you are studying. Just learn what you are supposed to and enjoy the journey—you will miss the opportunities to learn and discuss (but not the papers and exams).

    2. I would feel like a poser for a while. Sometimes I would catch myself in the middle of a session thinking, “Wow, look at me! I’m a therapist!”

    3. I know more than my clients do. Telling clients I was an “intern under supervision” was one of the scariest things in the beginning. I was sure they would say, “I’m outta here. I want someone who can actually help me!” No one did run or tell me that. In fact, once they were in the office, they stayed—I’m good at connecting with people. My life experience couples with my clinical training and awesome supervision gave me the edge I needed.

    4. I can charge what I’m worth. I thought I would have to charge $25 per session because that’s what all the interns before me did. I sat down and made a list of what I knew and what I need to learn. Surprisingly, all the extra training and interests, books I’ve read over the years, and my life experience being married 20+ years, raising 3 daughters, actually gave me a competitive edge. I started out lower than I am now, but worked my way up. I’m worth it. You are too. You have unique experiences no matter how old you are. You have a reason you pursued this career. Capitalize on that and think about all the work you’ve done in that area for yourself.

    5. Helping people heal is like taking ecstasy! Well, I’ve never taken ecstasy but I hear it’s like the love drug. That’s exactly how I feel when a couple I’m working with begins to heal, lowers their escalation and begins to fall in love again. All the dopamine centers in my brain begin firing. It motivates me while working with the tougher couples I work with. There is hope and I’m a vessel for healing in their lives (not the only one, but one vessel they can access).

    6. Transparency is okay in the therapy room. Remember #2? I thought I had to pretend I knew everything. I don’t. When I’m stuck with a couple, it’s okay to share that. “Hey guys, I’m feeling like we are getting stuck in this same place, are you feeling that too?” Usually this opens up conversation for where they are getting stuck and I don’t have to do all the work.

    7. Opportunities don’t “present themselves” you have to go find them! During my practicum, the site I was at had to send me clients and there was no shortage—they took on students to provide for their clients and I needed the hours to graduate. Private practice, no one hands you clients (my supervisor was very generous with referrals). You have to go out and get them. This meant asking people to meet for coffee, asking people if I could blog for them (like here) and emailing audiences I wanted to speak to and asking them if they needed me. My name was unknown and I had to make myself known to others. While you may not like to speak, you can certainly put yourself out there in other ways. I networked with key people in my area and the referrals begin to trickle in. Now licensed, I have a steady stream of clients and community referral sources that I can rely on to keep my practice full. Oh, and about “full”…

    8. I don’t have to see 45 clients a week. I’m exaggerating, of course, but I found a good number of clients that I feel comfortable with each week. They get the best of me when I stay within that client-hour range. There was one month during my internship that I saw 25+ clients a week. I was exhausted, irritable with my family, and not doing my best work. I got sick the moment I slowed down. I made a decision that this was not in my best interest. So, I raised my fees a bit with new clients and see less.

    9. The BBS does eventually approve your hours. The past few years it has been a long seemingly endless wait for hours to get approved, but it meant I got an extra year of supervision and experience. Silver lining.

    10. I don’t have to know everything and I don’t have to figure it all out on my own. Are you seeing a theme here? There are people out there, like Miranda, who LOVE to help you succeed. There are free resources available and ones worth paying for. They are investments in your current and future practice. Take advantage of them!

    Want more specifics on how I did it? Feel free to contact me. Miranda has amazing resources and is so willing to connect with you and connect you with others, don’t miss out on what she provides.

    A note from Miranda: Ahh thanks Kim! A huge shout out to Kim for sharing a piece of her journey with all of you! Comment below with what you learned in today's article, or what wisdom you would like to share with others! (Maybe even just say "Thank You" to Kim for taking the time to give back to the MFT Interns out there!) If you aren't on the list yet- be sure you are getting these awesome articles delivered right to your inbox! If you are looking to start a private practice internship, here are some other articles that might be of interest: 

    Finding a paid private practice internship

    Learning to network to find a paid position

    Your MFT Resume


     

    MFT websites for pre-licensed therapists

    Did you know that a lot of established therapists feel a bit jealous of the next generation of therapists? Seriously. They are jealous of how many more options you have for marketing your practice. They are hopeful that you will have or develop the skills to have a great online presence and reach clients who need you. 

    How cool is that? While some of you MFT Interns and ACSWs are "digital natives" many of you are coming to psychotherapy as a second (or fifth career). You decided to give yourself permission to do what you are have always dreamed of doing in your deep down heart. 

    However you have gotten here, be happy! Be inspired! Be joyful. You have a wonderful journey of growth and passionate work ahead of you! So, here are a few tips for developing a website as a Marriage and Family Therapists, MFT:  

    1. Learn about how great therapy websites work. Whether you have any technology background at all- a business website is a bit more complex than a regular website.
    2. If you aren't in private practice yet, start a website anyway. Start letting google get to know you, and start building an online reputation- even if you have no services to offer yet. Just start the process of sharing expertise. 
    3. Start to develop an expertise or passion you feel comfortable sharing. You don't have to be the all-knowing guru to have something amazing to share! 
    4. Get over your fear of sharing your passion. Your clients deserve a fearless therapist! Ok, well maybe not fearless- but let your passion for connection overshadow your fear of judgment from others! 
    5. Start learning private practice marketing skills now. The sooner you learn them, the more clients you will be able to help! 

    Side note: I have wonderful clients who send me notes when I miss typos on my private practice website. They are still happy to work with me and are comfortable that I'm not going to be teaching English anytime soon! 

    Don't think you are tech savvy enough to build your own website or blog as a therapist? You are! Seriously. It is easier than you think to get started! 

    Click here or on the pretty picture below to get started! Also, know that your clinical supervisors might like this free course too! So, share away! 

    Pre-Licensed Private Practice: Going Paperless

    Are you a supervisor hiring interns in private practice? 
    Or an intern in private practice? 
    Or an intern who wants to land a private practice internship? 

    Awesome! I LOVE working with interns in private practice internships. Why? Because I love seeing interns who are working on the full suite of skills that they will need to run their own private practice someday. Unfortunately, the clinical aspects of a private practice are often overshadowed by the business aspects: 

    • How to market your private practice.
    • How to get full fee clients. 
    • How do I set your fee. 
    • How to negotiate sliding scale clients (and when to avoid them). 
    • How to track the financial side of the practice. 

    I work with a lot of licensed therapists in private practice over at http://zynnyme.com and many of them are finding that "going paperless" isn't just about getting rid of paper files. A practice management system can start to develop some automation in not just sending clients appointment reminders, but also in putting together your financial picture. 

    A good practice management system allows you to see how much income you have outstanding, how much money you made this month, makes it easy to print off receipts for clients, and so much more.

    What does this have to do with pre-licensed private practice? 

    Supervisors are finding empowering their supervisees with a practice management system is letting both the supervisor and the supervisee get the business side of the intern's private practice experience on target! There are a few programs that are set-up for allowing interns.

    One of our favorite programs just released not just an update to make it all kosher and legal for interns to use the program, but they are offering an ah-mazing discount! How cool is that?

    Why? Because the developer of Simple Practice the therapist paperless office is also the original creator of TrackYourHours. He has a passion for pre-licensed MFTs, LCSWs, Psychologists, and Licensed Professional Counselors- and it comes out in everything he does!

    Their program is designed with California MFT Interns and Associate Clinical Social Workers in mind. These individuals are not allowed to practice independently and must be employees in order to practice therapy prior to licensure. Outside of California? You may qualify, here is link to an article that describes who qualifies for the discount. In short: 

    "If you do not have your professional license, are not able to collect money directly from your clients and are required to work under the guidance and supervision of a licensed clinician, then you most likely qualify for our discounted rate." 

    I know is some states, although you are required to get supervision, you are allowed to practice independently prior to licensure. Independent practice does not qualify for this discount. 

    Check out the amazing special offer he is making just for pre-licensed professionals