courageous counselors

If It Doesn't Light You Up, You're Not the Right Person For the Job

Danielle La Porte | Purpose in Counseling | Therapist Purpose | Meaningful Work

What would change if instead of referring clients out only when we know they're not right for us, what if we got better at what we're best at?

What if we trusted there are enough clients for all of us?  

What if we honored what is best in each of us and shifted to a strive for mastery, instead of focusing on filling hours?

When I shifted from taking nearly any client who walked through the door, to serving only the clients I absolutely know I can help.  When I moved from scarcity-based open doors on my practice, to more carefully selecting clients who I LOVED working with.  

Our clients deserve a provider who is lit up about working with them.

I realized quickly I needed to create a stronger referral list.  I started asking other counselors who lights them up in their work.  I focused my energy on building a referral list of providers I could be proud to share on the internet (actually bragging about their strengths).  

It became clear, when I focus only on the work I am great at more of the right clients started showing up. 

The more clear I got the more it happened.

The more I could speak directly to them online and in person the more they started saying yes.  

But what's even better is once I started referring out more clients I received more referrals.  The more I fortified my web of referrals the more it nourished me and my therapy business.  

My point: don't be afraid to focus your work and refer out.  You and your clients deserve to be lit up by this work.

Give yourself permission to focus on your true joy in your work.  

Give yourself permission to say no to clients who don't fit your dream practice.   

Shoft your focus to only the work that lights you up this week.  Notice what changes.  


If you want help identifying your niche with real focus download this free 5-day e-course today:


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media.

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

30 Reasons to Hire a Private Practice Business Coach

Reasons to Hire a Counseling Practice Coach | Business Coach for Therapists

Not every therapist understands how hiring a business coach can improve private practice.  Here's a quick list of thirty reasons you might hire a coach in private practice:

  1. You want to help more clients

  2. The mere idea of putting your face on a website scares the heck out of you

  3. You're super overwhelmed by technology

  4. You moved to a new area and are starting over

  5. Leaving agency work behind seems like a far off dream

  6. You worry you won't get any clients if you start a private practice

  7. You want to make more money in private practice

  8. Building a website sounds like a drag

  9. Social media intimidates you

  10. You have trouble staying focused on business tasks

  11. You want an accountability partner to help you keep on track

  12. You want support for your writing

  13. It's time to switch focus in your counseling practice

  14. You're ready to take your private practice seriously

  15. Counseling is great, but you want additional income streams

  16. You know hat you need to do, but somehow manage to put it off every time

  17. You want to market your work without sounding salesy

  18. There's so much great general information out there but you want help applying it to your dream clients

  19. You don't know what to write on your site

  20. You want sustainable private practice income to fill the gaps on slow weeks

  21. Your goal is a full private practice

  22. You want to podcast but starting one is daunting

  23. Trying to understand SEO gives you a headache

  24. Your intakes have slowed (or stopped)

  25. Your clients aren't paying you enough

  26. There are already so many therapists out there you worry you won't stand out

  27. Imposter syndrome sets in and says "Who do you think you are?" every time you think about making a private practice website

  28. You want more credibility and notoriety

  29. You have tried everything you can think of and still there's no traffic on your website

  30. You want greater confidence talking about your therapy business at networking events

If you want help from a community of supportive therapists, join the private Authentic Marketing for Therapists in Private Practice facebook group here so we can help your business grow!


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Six Resources for Online Counseling in Private Practice

Six Essential Resources to Provide Online Counseling | Virtual Counseling | HIPPA Online Counseling

So you're considering offering online counseling to grow your private practice.  This can be a great way to offer you and your clients some flexibility and ease of access to services.

But before you begin there are a few considerations and resources you're going to want to check out to be sure you're offering confidential and ethical services.  

Your Starting Place for All Things New and Exciting

As with any major change in your practice moving online has specific implications depending on where you are practicing.  Each US state and many national countries have their own unique provisions related to virtual counseling.  Without guidance it can get confusing so find the Licensing Board in your area to start on the right path.  

I highly recommend reading more on HIPPA compliance and ethics concerns from Roy Huggins at Person-Centered Tech.

Distance Counseling Training and Online Therapy Certifications

Before starting services you might want to consider getting some real training in the considerations, ethics, and technology implications for you and your clients.  Both the Zur Institute and the Center for Credentialing and Education offer Distance Credentialed Counselor Certifications to help you really know what you're doing.   

HIPPA-Ready Video Chat Platforms for Online Counseling

Once you have checked with your board and feel equipped with training there are HIPPA compliant platforms to consider as you begin online counseling.  It is essential to use a service that takes client privacy seriously.  

Check out the list below for three options on pricing and features:

Combating Isolation

Before you begin actual client work you might want to consider getting professional support in the form of supervision (check with your licensing board for credentialed supervisors in your area) and collegial community.  

There are many online professional groups for therapists working in this arena and finding one can be incredibly useful for your long-term plans in the field of online counseling.  

Best of luck to you on this new online endeavor!


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Eight Non-Therapist Business Coaches You Should Follow

Eight Non-Therapist Business Coaches You Should Follow | Amplified Practice Business Coach for Counselors

Yes, as therapists we work in a unique field unlike any other.  We have intense relationships, navigate powerful ethical decisions, and support people through some of the most intense moments of their lives.

When we want to grow our work it makes sense to rely on private practice business coaches who have built successful practices.

But in the day-to-day business of it all, there is a LOT to learn from people outside the field of psychotherapy.  Here are five of my favorites.

Jenny Shih

Jenny has been a favorite of mine for a long time (and not just because she's also an Oregonian).  She's been an incredible business coach for online businesses and solopreneurs for many years- but here's why she's great for therapists: Jenny really emphasizes human connection and meaningful 1:1 interaction.  

Of all the big name coaches I have followed, Jenny offers the most personalized attention.  You really feel cared for even though she has a HUGE following.  As therapists we want our clients to feel that kind of care online too.

Tara Gentile

If you are shy about selling Tara is the teacher for you.  She offers incredible online resources for free all the time (check out the 30 days of videos she's offering right now on facebook).  You can also take classes with her on CreativeLive.  More than that she created a model called the Quiet Power Strategy all about authenticity in selling and marketing online.  I know you're going to love her.

Erika Madden

Generosity is key in online marketing and it is a critical part of demonstrating credibility and expertise as a therapist.  Erika runs a site called Olyvia with an outstanding library of resources and tools for online marketing and branding.  I mean lists upon lists upon lists of really useful stuff just waiting for you over there- go get it. 

Holly Gillen

Holly is my go-to for all things video.  She is clear and to the point and offers video tips almost every day on facebook, youtube, and periscope.  Holly's real talk and enthusiasm will get you through the most stuck parts of video creation.  As internet marketing turns more and more to video following Holly will help us all move in the direction of the future.  

Marie Forleo

Marie founded B-School, the source my original awakening to marketing online.  She has more recently focused on general well-being in her quirky videos, but the content she does share on copy, marketing, and branding is clear, easy-to-follow and priceless. I mean literally priceless; she posts free well-produced videos online almost every day.

Amber McCue

Most therapists I know struggle to organize their administrative processes.  This is why you need to follow Amber.  Her strength is in streamlining systems for maximum efficiency (and doing it with style and spunk).  One of my favorite tools she offers is a yearly "Planathon" in November where she supports thousands of business owners in getting organized for the year ahead.  You don't want to miss it- join me there!

Yes Yes Marsha

Marketing as a therapist is all about authenticity and connection- and this is why you need to follow Yes Yes Marsha.  Her focus is on being unforgettable, and her videos certainly are.  She dances, wears costumes, and plays all while making clear points about connecting more meaningfully in person and online.  Yes yes, you can be silly and professional.

Danielle LaPorte

Danielle is a total badass.  For the therapists who wonder about how to integrate beliefs, spirituality, soul, and a touch of woo into their online marketing Danielle is a great role model.  Her blog will make you laugh and cry and leave you inspired to do better in the world. She's also a writing coach and a highly successful speaker.  Imagine a rockstar, a poet and a shaman all came together and you have Danielle.     

If you want support from a coach with IS also a successful therapist give me a call for a consultation, I am happy to help you find success.


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Whats the Benefit of Therapy?

Attract More Clients | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

You aren't selling therapy...

I know that most of us cringe at the idea of selling sessions to our clients, and they truth is, most of us are trying to sell therapy.  But most client's aren't looking for therapy when they are searching.  They want solutions. 

... but you are selling

You can call it something else if you want to but the bottom line is our clients are paying our business for a product (our sessions).  Modern web consumers usually consider many different sites when selecting a therapist and they want to know what the benefit to working with you will be.

Clients are not searching for therapy- but they are searching for solutions.  It's the job of a great website to make it clear to potential clients just how you help them solve problems.  

We're not talking about making false promises (no snake oil here) but identifying the specific problems you are great at helping clients address.  

There are unique and specific benefits to working with you.  Think about how clients benefit from your work together.  How might they describe those benefits to others?  Using their language make a list of all the benefits of your work.  
 

 
Therapist Website | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists
 


Simple edits for your counseling website

Now use your written list to add helpful content to your private practice website.  Could you add a blog post about one solution to your client's specific concern?  

Can you more clearly articulate how your therapeutic orientation (a phrase that means little to most clients) helps them resolve issues?

Update your website copy regularly to help it grow and change with your practice.  a few simple edits can make all the difference to your prospective clients.

 

If you don't have a clear idea of who you serve best, enroll in the free Find Your Niche Mini-Course for therapists to get clear before your get going:


Counseling practice | Full private practice

Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Networking for Therapists: How NOT to Get Referrals

Private Practice Networking | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

I hate networking events for therapists.  There.  I said it.


One of my biggest pet peeves in the professional world of therapists is networking.  Not networking itself- I love meeting other people to talk about this work i love doing and hear how they are doing something similar.

But the way we network often feels different.  More closed off.  

We get in a room together, share our degrees and certifications, and expect folks to refer clients our way.  It's often the most passionless introduction imaginable, "Hi, I am Gina. I am an MFT, CPC, CDWF and I work with couples."  

It's strange that in a profession full of people trained to be warm sometimes our events feel so cold. 

There are two major flaws I see standing between a networking event and the connection and referrals we all want.  I am writing about them here because I have started hosting alternative events for therapists all about meaning, connection, and authenticity (JOIN US) and I have seen incredible friendships, business partnerships, and connections result. 

And yes, more referrals too.

Here's what we do different. 

Stop focusing on referrals

When we head out for an event with a set outcome in mind, it is so much harder to allow space for connection.  When we want something from someone else it changes the nature of our interactions.  The agenda can get in the way of our purpose.  

Truthfully the goal of getting referrals is often based in scarcity and fear.  We're worried about money, or our practice's long term success and really want more clients.  But when we approach one another from a place of fear all that anxiety comes right along with us.  

Of course we want referrals from other providers.  But what I have seen as a result of groups of us setting this focus aside if groups of healers creating more meaningful connection and understanding of our work.  

Now, when we gather we get to know one another and our work better.  We understand the gifts in the room better- and can make referrals with MUCH greater efficiency for the client because we know so much more.

Stop hiding behind jargon

As mental health professionals we are uniquely gifted in the art of defense using psychobabble.  But when we hide behind what we know, it is so much more difficult to really get to know each other.  

Well before I started hosting events, I challenged myself to connect more with others at these counseling networking functions.  I stopped talking about what I do, stopped listing my trainings and credentials, and instead started talking about who I work with and what I love to do. 

When I spoke this way, the room shifted and got lighter.  People wanted to talk about my work because I spoke about it authentically and passionately.  Instead of the introduction example I gave earlier, I said something like

"Hi, I am Gina.  I am a therapist in Northeast Portland.  I have really inspiring clients- I mean, these folks are just awesome- in my coaching practice focusing on realigning their careers with their passions and I've been working with couples who are considering non-monogamy and REALLY love helping them through infidelity troubles."  

The more I connect with the passion and care in my work when I speak, the more other people connect with that passion and care too.

This is how I filled my practice with referrals from providers- my introduction stands out and is memorable because I am honest about what I love in this work.  You can be too. 

Let's change the way we connect with others in the profession.

Here's my challenge.  Consider the questions below and practice introducing yourself and your work in a way that includes your answers.  Maybe ask colleagues at your practice or next consult group.  

Spice it up and get a little deeper with your colleagues.  I promise you will learn something new if you do.
 

Networking Tips for Therapists | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists
Networking for Therapists | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

Continue the conversation about authenticity and marketing with us at the Authentic Marketing for Therapists facebook group online.  We'd love to hear what you have to say!


counseling practice | coaching for therapists | business of therapy

Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

The Generalist vs Niche Private Practice

Niche vs Generalist Counselor | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

The Generalist Private Practice Problem

Far (FAR) too many therapists I coach try to build a generalist therapy practice because they fear creating a niche will turn off too many clients.  They're motivated by scarcity and worried about paying the bills.  

But they're missing the mark.  

Marketing for your private practice is all about inviting the right clients to come work with you.  Let me give you an over-simplified example, if I invite you to a party you might come, but you won't know it's a costume party and you may show up unprepared- it might not be a good match.  

If I invite you to a Halloween costume party on a Saturday night I know some of you might not be interested and know its not for you.  But those of you who are interested will be there with literal bells on.  

When we talk about niche we mean being specific about what you have to offer who you are offering it to.  I am not saying don't build a generalist practice- but I am saying, your marketing materials need to be specific about what you are offering and who you work best with.

If you're not into costumes, maybe my Halloween party isn't the best fit for you.  

The "Niche" Private Practice Problem

I've worked with many others who try to confuse niche with therapeutic orientation, specific diagnosis, or technique.  

They're clear and specific- but they're missing the mark too.  

Using the party invitation from before, this is like me wanting to host a halloween costume party on a Saturday night but sending invitations for an Orphan Black Halloween party.  A few of you might know who the characters are from Orphan Black (it's a great show on BBC), but those of you who don't might get confused or overwhelmed by a theme you don't understand.  

Worst of all you might not think I understand or connect with your Halloween party needs and you might not show up at all.

Okay maybe I stretched the metaphor a little far there, but I think you get where I am going.  If your potential clients don't know what you're asking for because you're using therapeutic jargon they won't find you.

When we talk about niche we're not always clear what this means.  

A solid niche has the following:

1. Client based language (ONLY use terms your dream clients can fully understand)

2. Specificity and clarity (it isn't a niche if it doesn't leave someone out, but that's okay, there are other great therapists to help those folks).

3. Clients willing to attend

That third one is the real challenge.  Niche can be location-specific in this way.  If you are the only therapist in a 50 mile radius you might not have the same kind of need to specific with clients because their motivator will be seeing someone close.  

But most of us have others around us.  We're listed in huge therapist directories, or sharing street addresses with many other providers.  We need to stand out and get specific.

Your challenge

Take a look through your website- are you clearly identifying your practice focus area (niche) in language your clients can understand?

Think about the way you introduce yourself to others- are you inviting people to your work with clarity?
 

If you want to continue a conversation about clarity in counseling private practice hop over to our private Authentic Marketing for Therapists facebook group to chat with other professionals on the field.

And if you want help clarifying your niche, download the free Find Your Niche Mini E-Course below.  Over 600 therapists have used it to clarify their dream client descriptions and market counseling practices with clarity and ease.  


counseling practice success | counseling practice building

Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.