Are you wanting to evolve your practice to attract clinicians and clients alike? What can you do to create a powerful and compassionate workspace for your clinicians? How can you structure your faith-based counseling services to assist clients who are not faith-based?
In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Beverley Boothe about running two different group practices.
While there may still be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure – your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure that your private practice website attracts your best-fit clients and gets them to call you.
Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!
From now, until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website! Head on over to brightervision.com/joe to learn more.
Meet Beverley Boothe
Beverley Boothe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Virginia. She established Life Enrichment Counseling Center, Inc., in 2005, a group practice serving children, adults, and families in three locations in the Northern Virginia and DC area. She is the founder of Marriage Healing Center, LLC., a group practice that serves couples who desire to improve their relationship.
Beverley established GrowingMyPractice.com to help clinicians start and grow their own private or group practice. Ms. Boothe has over 20 years of experience in the social services field. She has provided supervision, mentoring, and training to non-licensed and licensed clinicians. Ms. Boothe is passionate about serving the needs of both clients and mental health professionals alike.
In This Podcast
- How Beverley’s group practices work
- Beverley’s advice on scaling up your group practice
- How faith-based practices assist people who are not faith-based
How Beverley’s group practices work
They both share administrative staff and some therapists who are qualified to work in both practices to serve two different sets of clients. Beverley does keep separate tax ID’s and different accounts for each practice.
Having interconnection between the two group practices means that referrals can transfer back and forth between them, allowing each group to support the other.
Since the pandemic, Beverley has hired telehealth clinicians and will keep them on board the team even after the pandemic. She has digitized everything for both of her group practices, so that new clients can easily send information and that counseling sessions between clinician and client can run smoothly, whether online or in person.
Beverley makes use of Therapy Notes and Simple Practice in order to pay her clinicians and keep track of paperwork. She has also hired extra support staff in order to make sure that everything runs smoothly between the two practices.
Beverley’s advice on scaling up your group practice
Being known within your community and having good clinicians makes a big and important difference in growing your practice. Hiring out professional assistance to help with your website and organizing your search engine optimization (SEO’s) are important too by keeping up your search results when people look up therapists in their area.
For me, when I hire people I really believe in flexibility, letting them know that family comes first and they need to take care of themselves. I don’t really demand that they have to work four evenings a week or that they have to work on weekends. (Beverley Boothe)
By giving clinicians flexibility and working to accommodate them, you can greatly increase the work quality and quantity of your clinicians while creating a secure and friendly work environment, which will attract more clinicians to perhaps apply to work with you.
Planning ahead is also important, thinking three to six months ahead is your job as the CEO of the practice and it will allow you to adequately plan the evolution of your practice by setting goals in place, knowing when to expand and hire new clinicians and keeping the practice on track in all aspects.
How faith-based practices assist people who are not faith-based
Beverley’s practice has their own philosophy of helping any patient ‘mind, body and spirit’.
It is not so much the bible-preaching but more looking at the whole person, so everybody for the most part has some idea of how to maybe include mindfulness … even for clients who do come in and don’t want a faith-based piece, we still look at … where and who they are. (Beverley Boothe)
Most of Beverley’s clinicians have the faith-based component, but they only include it in a patient’s counseling if they request it themselves.
- Kate Fisch on Building a Group Practice and then Starting Other Businesses | GP 48
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Meet Alison Pidgeon
Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.
Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.
Thanks For Listening!
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Well, we did it. 2020 has finally come to an end. And we have made it out on the other side. And while there still might be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure, your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure your private practice website attracts your best fit clients and gets them to call you. Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. And during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year. From now until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees, and only charging $39 a month for the entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe.
Grow a Group Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you grow your group practice. To hear other podcasts like the Imperfect Thriving podcast, Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Hello, and welcome to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. This is Alison Pidgeon, and I want to wish you a Happy New Year. This is our first episode in the new year and I hope everybody is feeling more hopeful about 2021 compared to how 2020 went for most of us. So I have a great interview for you today with a woman named Beverley Boothe. She’s an LCSW from Virginia. She established a group practice called Life Enrichment Counseling Center in 2005, where they serve a wide variety of children, adults and families in three different locations around the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area. And she also founded another practice called the Marriage Healing Center, which is a group practice that serves couples who want to work on improving their relationship. So we’re gonna talk about both of her practices and why she has them as two separate businesses.
She also established a consulting business called Growing My Practice Dot Com where she helps clinicians start and grow their own private or group practice. She has more than 20 years of experience in the social services field. She’s provided supervision, mentoring, training to a variety of clinicians, and I’m very excited to introduce you to her today. She definitely is a true entrepreneur that looks at opportunities in the field and figures out a way to make it a win win not only for clients, but also for herself as a business owner. So please enjoy this interview with Beverley Boothe.
Beverley, welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. [BEVERLEY]:
Hey, Alison. Thank you so much for having me. [ALISON]:
Yeah, so we connected at Killin’It Camp this year. And I thought you’d be a really interesting group practice owner to speak to because I know you have two different group practices. And then you also are starting a new business doing some consulting. So I was hoping you could start out by telling us about the two group practices that you have. [BEVERLEY]:
Sure. I actually started my first group practice called Life Enrichment Counseling Center in 2005. It’s been a while now. And at the time when I started, I actually had a vision of being able to expand it. And at the beginning, I thought about whether or not it should be a faith based practice or just, you know, regular [unclear] practice. I went ahead and just decided to, to have it as a practice that can serve anybody and everybody and then to actually have a component of it, which is also faith based. And started out in Gainesville, Virginia, and started out with one intern who then became licensed and then brought her on board full time to be able to work with me. And then we started to grow. I actually was interviewed in my community about the practice starting up and, and that really helped for people to see that we were there. And then we started to grow. And then eventually I expanded out into a second location. [ALISON]:
Very nice. How big is the practice today? [BEVERLEY]:
So currently, we have about 16 therapists. And we’re near full again. So I’m trying to bring some more people on for January. [ALISON]:
Oh, nice. Yeah, so you’ve really grown it over the years, it’s quite large now. [BEVERLEY]:
Right. At the time, what I did was we were actually serving children, adolescents, adults, families and couples. And then I decided, in 2018, to, to branch off a little bit, and to have all of our couples counseling separate. And so at that time, I decided to incorporate a second practice called Marriage Healing Center, where we really focus on, you know, helping couples to really do some intensive work. And we know one of the things I realized is when couples come, especially since Life Enrichment Counseling Center is insurance based, wanted to not be not bound to insurances as it relates to couples. So I went ahead and did a out of pocket for Marriage Healing Center. [ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s awesome. I’ve actually had a similar idea, because I know we, my practice mostly takes insurance. And for couples counseling, you have to bill the family therapy code, and then they pay around here, they pay like $20 less when couples counseling is like, so much extra work. So I actually had the same thought, like, oh, I could open up a separate business, do couples counseling, and not take any insurances. So I think that’s really smart that you did that. So how is it that like, how is it managing, like, the two different practices and kind of like, how, how much are they connected or not connected? In terms of like, sending clients back and forth or like, you know, do they share administrative staff? Or how does that work? [BEVERLEY]:
So I do, we do share administrative staff. And, and actually, some of our therapists who are really skilled and do couples work there, they actually work on both LECC or Life Enrichment Counseling Center, as well as Marriage Healing Center. So there’s only a few of them that do both. But I do have different tax IDs. And I do keep separate accounts for each one. But they are connected in terms of, you know, many people that are on our Life Enrichment Counseling side that might be doing individual work, may also be doing some couples work on the Marriage Healing side as well. [ALISON]:
Yeah, so there’s that natural passing referrals back and forth? [BEVERLEY]:
That’s correct. [ALISON]:
Nice. So how many clinicians do you have in the couples counseling practice? [BEVERLEY]:
Well, the couples counseling we currently have six clinicians. And we’re actually growing with that as well with referrals. So we’re trying to add some more people on board in January. [ALISON]:
Oh, excellent. So I’m guessing the pandemic has been good in terms of more referrals and more business for you? [BEVERLEY]:
Yeah, it’s actually interesting because before the pandemic, we were actually doing a combination of telehealth as well, as, you know, in person counseling sessions. We weren’t as busy with telehealth. With the pandemic, you know, the first probably the first three weeks, you know, it was an adjustment both for therapists as well as for our clients. So the ones that we were seeing, probably about 70% decided to move to complete telehealth, and majority of our therapists, they were also doing telehealth, I think we had about three that were going into the office still doing both. And then after three weeks, you know, the anxiety started to rise and we started getting a lot of calls. And we were able then to get everybody filled up and then I had to hire more people. So in the last couple of months I’ve actually hired strictly telehealth therapists and you know, they’re now full so we’re gonna try to get some more telehealth or people that can actually do both hybrid as well as, both telehealth as well as in person. [ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s really smart. I think because one of the biggest expenses for group practice owner is usually rent and having to furnish the office when you first open it and all of that kind of stuff. So to be able to hire and not have those extra expenses just makes it that much easier. Are you planning to keep those people telehealth even after the pandemic is over? Is that the plan? [BEVERLEY]:
Yeah, definitely. I think honestly, the way things are going, you know, telehealth I think is here to stay. And it’s becoming more popular, people are getting more and more used to it. There, we do have some clients who really do prefer to come to the office. So, you know, I do plan to have additional therapists who are more local, that’s going to be able to do both. [ALISON]:
Very nice. So is there anything that you’re doing differently now that you’re kind of, obviously pivoting to start this whole telehealth part of the practice in terms of like, how you’re managing things, or how you’re setting things up? [BEVERLEY]:
Mm hmm. Well, one of the things I’m realizing because we’re growing so quickly, is, especially when we have telehealth therapists, as you know, we don’t get to really, you know, they’re not in the office for us to have these team meetings. So, you know, we do have, I took a look at how to include them through our administrative meetings through telehealth and, and one of the things that I do is really support them through our telehealth platform as well. So, you know, I use like GoToMeeting, and I will support them by you know, if they need any kind of help with a case. So it’s really just providing support, even though they’re, they are farther away. And they also get to meet the other therapists through the telehealth platform as well. And the other thing that I really focus on now, as we expand is making sure that all of our systems are in place. So I had to look at making sure that everything is in digital format, so that it’ll be easy for clients to be able to send information as well as the therapist, all therapists can actually access information very quickly. [ALISON]:
So are there any specific tools that you use to make everything kind of virtual or virtually accessible, that you weren’t using before the pandemic? [BEVERLEY]:
Well, you know, actually, for my management, I was using TherapyNotes, actually, for both my Life Enrichment Counseling, as well as Marriage Healing, that’s always been pretty efficient for me. I decided, though, to just also add Simple Practice. So Simple Practice, I use for my Life Enrichment Counseling Center now, and I use TherapyNotes for my Marriage Healing. And the reason why I decided to do that is, it’s also important for me to be able to have a payroll system. And Simple Practice also gives me that as well. So it just makes it a little bit more efficient. I have also decided to bring on another part time administrative support staff as well, just to help us with all the calls that’s coming in. I do have an answering service, but this person also will also support us in returning calls and scheduling appointments. Yeah, just additional support staff to help sort of help us do it, as the main thing is just having a really good system to just manage everything, to sort of know where your numbers are, to manage the insurance companies and payments. [ALISON]:
Right, right. So yeah, that was my other question, obviously, with having, you know, two practices, and between the two, having over 20 therapists or maybe even more than that, is there a certain structure that you have in place, just so that you’re not, you know, kind of spending all of your time managing the two practices? Like, do you have other people who are in leadership positions? Or what does that look like? [BEVERLEY]:
You know, actually, my office manager has been with me for a while. So she’s pretty good with just managing the day to day operations of the practice. And the additional support staff that I brought on is also been a big help. And I think for me, I do still see some clients, I don’t see a whole lot. But what I do is I really structure my time where I actually keep my numbers very, very low. And I’ll keep them on specific days. And so I keep my administrative days, you know, down to maybe two and a half to three days, and then I’ll only see a few clients on the other days. So as long as I can keep things structured it sort of helps me to manage. I also have only hired licensed clinicians as well. I think that has been helpful for me, because, you know, I don’t have to do a lot of hand holding, I usually just usually when I bring somebody on board, you know, sort of help them through the beginning process. And usually they’re pretty good unless they need some support, then they will just, you know, send me a text or or, you know, we do a conference call just to go over some things that they need, but for the most part, you know, you know, most people are pretty experienced, which is really nice. I do have a combination of therapists who are, you know, may have 20 years experience, and I have those who may only have three or three or four. And so the ones that are, you know, with less experience, they may get a little bit more support, but for the most part, you know, we may just have maybe once a month meetings just to make sure that they’re going to be okay. [ALISON]:
Yeah, I think that’s so important, especially if you don’t want to be, or that’s not a passion of yours to do more of like molding and mentoring, hand holding with, which comes with a younger therapist, or, you know, an unlicensed therapist, or to focus on hiring licensed therapists. I do the same thing because I want them to be as independent as possible. And that seems to work out really well. Basically, anything that comes their way, you know, 99% of it, they’re able to handle it so it definitely makes your life as the boss easier. [BEVERLEY]:
It really does. It helps a lot. [ALISON]:
Yeah, yeah. So if someone maybe has like a smaller group practice, and they’re looking to, you know, like, really scale it up, and, you know, into the 15-20 therapist range, or I’m also curious too about if you would have any advice for someone who maybe already has a group practice and wants to do something similar? Where they are looking to start a second one for whatever reason, like, do you have any specific like, tips for them or anything? Maybe to think about that you learned along the way of, of doing those two things? [BEVERLEY]:
It’s a good question. You know, I think one of the reasons why I expanded, I’ve been around, especially in our Gainesville area, as well as Alexandra is our other area in Virginia that we focus on. And I think one of the things that has helped is to really be known in our community, having really good clinicians has made a big difference, because, you know, our reputation is really good. And people really recommend us. And even though in the past, it started out with print ads, um, you know, or was able to be interviewed. And I think, actually, during the pandemic, I also got to, someone reached out and said, hey, can you do an interview again? So people in the community was able to, again, hear about what we were doing. So that really helped a lot.
But I also have hired throughout the years, someone that can actually help me with my website, and to do search engine optimization, that really keeps us up to, you know, page one, page two of the Google search engine, and that’s really helped a lot of calls coming in, in addition to just, you know, referrals from the community, and also from other people that’s had our service. And so that’s, that’s, that’s made a big difference. And also, for me, when I hire people, I really believe in flexibility, letting them know that, you know, their family comes first, they have to take care of themselves. So, you know, I don’t really demand that they have to, you know, work, you know, four evenings a week, or you know, that you have to work on weekends. So we do have some therapists who say, you know what, we only want to maybe do two evenings or choose to work part time. And then I have some therapists who want full time. I’ve also played with the model of 10-99, as well as W-2 as well.
So I give people a lot of flexibility to look at what works for them. And then I accommodate them that way. And for expansion, you know, I believe that when you do good work, what’s going to happen is you’re going to have people going to be calling and requesting services. And I really plan ahead. So for example if I know if I’ve kept my numbers, and I realized that I’ve got a certain number of therapists, and they’re near being full, I start planning ahead to look at three months out what I should be doing to bring on new people. And so especially when you deal with insurance companies, it does take a while to get them panelled. And so you have to plan ahead anyway. So it’s always sort of thinking that way.[ALISON]:
Yeah, I’m glad that you brought that up, because that’s something I do as well. And I think people are surprised to hear that I’m actually always thinking three to six months ahead of time, because my therapists are obviously just in the day to day of seeing clients. And it’s not their job to think about the big picture like a CEO would. So yeah, I think that’s really smart. Because then you’re like you said, you’re getting prepared for you know, if you’re getting full, making sure you have another person to bring on and that type of thing. One thing that I wanted to go back to that you mentioned about kind of just creating a really good work environment for your staff, is there other things that you do that you think makes therapists want to come work for you as opposed to go work someplace else? [BEVERLEY]:
Well, you know, one of the things that as I said, the flexibility is important. I think people love the flexibility. And I also really work, as a group practice I was able to really look at, looking at, especially with insurance, like, right now I’m in the middle of negotiating with one of our insurance companies. And because I have a large group, it really helps to, you know, to look at how to increase our rates, so people will be a little bit more happy. So I try to do that as much as I can. And so that really helps them because you know, the money does help in terms of when you really work hard, it’s good to be compensated for the work that you’re doing. So I really focused on that.
The, what I did decided to do about a year ago was to look at the W-2 structure, because you know, most group practices really focused on doing 10-99, which is a model that, you know, most people are used to, and most clinicians are used to as well, but I decided to also look at the W-2 structure and provide health care for someone that may not have access to it. So that really helps a lot. I also, just in terms of just in terms of expanding the practice, I look at how to diversify my staff. So diversification for me, looks like you know, I’ve got staff members who are African Americans, East Indian, Spanish, you know, Caucasian, so it’s very diversified, which is really nice for the environment as well, because, you know, we’ve learned from one another. And I also have the faith based component, which is also really nice, because we have a lot of clients who are looking for that particular type of service. So just have and then we also have therapists who are young, and some who were more seasoned. So diversification is also an important thing. And I think we also then make the environment rich for people to be able to want to be part of our practice.[ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s great. And I love how, you know, I’m assuming then your staff is kind of representative of the different types of ethnicities that are in your community? [BEVERLEY]:
That’s correct. [ALISON]:
Right, which I’m sure like potential clients appreciate that they could go see a therapist who maybe is the same, you know, racial background or something like that. Yeah, one thing I’m curious about, too, is like, was that something that just sort of happened organically, that you got such a diverse staff? Or was that really intentional? And if so, like, how did you attract diverse staff to the practice? [BEVERLEY]:
You know, I think at the beginning, it wasn’t as intentional when I first started, I think at the beginning, it was really about, you know, how do I find people, you know, to work for the practice, and especially being in Gainesville. Gainesville, is in the suburbs. And, you know, I think when I first started out there weren’t as many clinicians who started to get their own practice going, you know, doing their own private practice. And so, it wasn’t as intentional, I was really about trying to get someone that was licensed. And, and I think, after a while, especially since, as I was interviewing, and obviously, you know, you can’t say I want this particular ethnic, you know, clinician. But really, I think, as I started to grow, I got more and more people interested in wanting to be part of the group. And so, I think, as I interviewed, you know, I’m always sort of looking to see who’s got experience in what particular area, but I also, you know, sometimes I realize, okay, you know, we need to have a Spanish person here. So then I may put there, you know, I do, you know, a bilingual person is preferred, but even if I don’t put it, you know, if I got I think the last time I interviewed for a telehealth person, I think I got about 25 applicants. And so I was able to, you know, go through and look at who would be the best match for the practice based on who we were getting. [ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s great. I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about your newer business, which I know you’re doing some consulting. So I was hoping you could tell us about that. [BEVERLEY]:
Sure. So I’ve got, my website is called growingmypractice.com. And, you know, I think throughout the years I’ve been really mentoring some of our therapists because you have therapists who come on board and they might be with me for 10 years. And you have those who come on board and they’re with me for you know, one or two years and because they really want to start their own practice. You know [unclear] they also are mentored, and, and they branch off and they sort of do their thing. And, and one of the things I realized that I was doing was just sort of, you know, helping them to know how to start their own practice, as well as just to look at, you know, how to, just to provide support for them to be able to do it effectively. And, and I had to sort of learn to really appreciate that they’re not all gonna come to stay, you know, and it’s okay to let them go. Because that’s part of the role that, you know, we do as clinicians, you know, especially when you’re sort of running your own thing.
And so and so along the way, I’ve had therapists who would say, you know, can you help me, and I’ve done that. And so one of the things that I wanted to do more of in the new year was just to be able to support, you know, more clinicians, and because I really enjoy doing that, and I enjoy helping clinicians to be able to look at how to start as well as to grow their private practice or their group practice. And so, you know, there’s different techniques, different things that I’ve learned along the way. And, and I’ll actually have that on my website as well, for download for those who would like to, to have that. And, and so yeah, so I really wanted to help mentor, and to support and just to be a consultant for those who need to know how to do it. And, I think it’s a big reward and being able to see how many people you can actually serve and how many clinicians that you can actually serve and making sure that your practice is going to be successful. There’s some things that I didn’t know starting out. And, you know, I think I’ve learned a lot in looking at how to make it a practice that, uh, one day I’m going to eventually sell, you know, and so yeah, so this is something that I’m going to be focused on in January.[ALISON]:
Oh, nice. That’s great. So if someone is looking for a consultant, what would you say you kind of specialize in or who would be your ideal client, so to speak? [BEVERLEY]:
So the ideal client is the one that wants to branch off and start their practice. As well as someone who has a group, a group practice, might be small, or they may have a private practice, and they want to switch over to a group practice and being able to mentor them. And looking at a combination of possibly doing a hybrid model, like what I’m doing both with telehealth as well as in person counseling sessions, as well as being able to just to look at, you know, what they want, setting a vision, putting things in place to help them to be able to grow, making sure your manual policies are in place. So those are some things that’s really important when you actually have a good practice to have documented things and to be able to have your clinicians sort of know what direction that you’re going, and to be a part of that buy into that. So just helping them to be able to look at all the different things that they need to do, the various systems to be able to be successful. [ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s great. And I think, too, it sounds like from our conversation, you are really good at setting up systems and processes. And it sounds like you’ve learned a lot about how to really refine that and make sure those things are running efficiently. So I’m assuming that’s one of the big things that you could be helpful with as well. [BEVERLEY]:
Definitely. And the other part, too, that I think we’ve been very successful with is just the faith based component. That’s a big piece of our practice as well. But not the only thing. So we again, bring in different people because of it. So for those who do want to be able to look at how to bring that in, able to offer that as well. [ALISON]:
Yeah, and I know, that’s something we didn’t touch on earlier that I’m curious about, because I know you said you have kind of I don’t know how many clinicians but there’s like kind of a subset of clinicians who do the more faith based counseling and then there’s other clinicians who, who maybe don’t, I don’t know if calling them secular is the right word, but so how do you sort of like manage that? Because I feel like sometimes the community then kind of wants to label this practice as oh, this practice is, you know, all Christian based or this practice is not or whatever. And it’s like, how do you kind of still help those people who don’t want faith based counseling, feel comfortable coming to see the other therapists who don’t do faith based counseling? Is that been a challenge or is that not been an issue? [BEVERLEY]:
No, actually having a faith based part has been really super helpful just because it is a need. And I think actually, when I started, one of the things I think I should have told you, you know, with a faith based piece, I didn’t really want it to be you know, completely known as Christian. I wanted it to be a component of it, you know that we offer that. And one of the philosophies for the practice is, you know, being able to support people mind, body, and spirit. And I truly believe in having a comprehensive way of helping people, and including the spiritual piece. So the spiritual part might mean, it’s not so much the Bible preaching, it’s really more of looking at the whole person.
And so everybody, you know, for the most part, they have some idea of how to maybe include mindfulness. And even for those who do come in, clients, and they don’t want a faith based piece, we still look at part of our assessment to look at where they are. And and that’s one of the questions that’s part of the assessment as well, just to look at, you know, the spiritual part, where they are, what they want. And, and we never, even for those clinicians, and we probably have probably a good 70% do have a faith based component. But it doesn’t mean that they actually will. It’s only incorporated if the client requested it. And, but we do look at how to include some spiritual piece of it. Because I believe that, you know, it’s an important thing to at least bring up and raise with people, and then look at where they are, and where they want to go.
And so even though we have the Christian piece, we do have people that come from every faith, and those who don’t believe in God at all. So we do have people that call and they say, we only want a Christian therapist, doesn’t mean they’re going to, they come from a clinical perspective anyway. But we have the understanding that, you know, that they, that whatever they bring that they you know, will be able to let the clients take the lead. So we really come from that perspective.[ALISON]:
Okay, nice. That’s great. One thing I wanted to kind of circle back to, when we were talking about how you have, you know, the two different practices, I was curious if, you know, if you had to do it all over, would you still have the two businesses be separate? Or would you have them be combined, like, does that pose some, like, unique challenges having them separated in terms of managing both of them? [BEVERLEY]:
Honestly, at the beginning, we actually had it combined, because we actually incorporated or actually had the marriage or couples counseling as part of Life Enrichment Counseling Center. One of the big reasons why I separated it is because I didn’t want to keep Life Enrichment Counseling with insurance. And actually, for the insurance, we’ve really streamlined it down just to two. And so what I looked at what I was actually looking at, you know, should we stay on insurance or not, so something that I toyed with earlier, or a few years back, and I decided to just look at staying on with just the insurances that paid well, this is one of the reasons why I kept my my good clinicians, because I realized at the beginning, when I was doing this, that the insurance that paid very, very low, you know, people would be working a number of hours and still not getting, you know, what they deserved. And so I decided just to stay with a couple of them that paid well, and that’s worked out really well, we stayed really full with just the couple that have kept on and obviously we could get, you know, way more clients if we actually took other insurance. So, um, so I think part of what’s worked for us is being able to allow our client, sorry, I messed up there, I forgot what the question is. [ALISON]:
No, that’s okay. I was just asking you if, if you felt like you’re glad that you separated them like, is there anything that’s difficult in terms of managing because they are two separate entities? [BEVERLEY]:
Yeah, no, I actually think it’s better. And for me, one of the reasons why I decided to separate is because of the insurance. You know, with couples work, there really is no couples code, in terms of what the insurance is going to reimburse for, you know, again, we don’t want to do it on the family code. It’s not really an individual session. And, and for us, the best way to do it was for the work that we put in it was to be able to separate it, because it was just just, it just was just better. In terms of, you know, finances, financially. The managing piece really isn’t that much of a difference. I think that the only thing that has been somewhat of a nightmare is the scheduling. You know, so because I have people that are on both, most, most people are on both. And so you have to almost like manage the scheduling piece, at least with our office manager. But you know, it’s worked out really well. It’s a little bit more in terms of, you know, for tax purposes, you got to make sure you maintain everything differently. But again, I think for the most part, just having the cash pay has made such a big difference. And now it’s really growing a lot as well. I do have clinicians who only want to be on the Marriage Healing side in the new year, because it is growing so, so, so quickly. [ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s great. And I think that’s really smart to keep them separated out, like you said, because of the insurance versus self pay. So you, you’re inspiring me to maybe go forward with my plan to do the same thing. [BEVERLEY]:
Wonderful. Yeah, it’s really nice to compare, you know, because I think at one time, I was really nervous about just doing out of pocket, making sure everybody stays full. And I took the risk when we were getting so full with Life Enrichment Counseling Center anyway. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t going to be, you know, a lose for me, you know, I mean, so because we were getting so many referrals, just with adults and adolescents and so forth, that I thought, okay, you know, let’s go ahead and just branch off. I think for a lot of our couples, though, when they do call in, you know, they’re looking for, sometimes they’re looking for people that will take insurance. And you know, if they don’t we just say, you know, I’m sorry, we don’t. And for the most part, a lot of clients do, because they want to have specialized types of counseling.
So for that, I only have clinicians who’ve got a minimum of five years, not just with, you know, five years with some kind of training in couples. So it could be Gottman, it could be Harville Hendrix, it could be, you know, anything that’s very specialized in couples is who I really have on that side. Because when couples come in, they are near divorce. And they really want someone that can actually support them. And we want to also move beyond just doing counseling, and to really do more retreats, people are calling for couples retreats, even now through the pandemic. So we’re trying to look at how we’re going to do that. We’ve also done Valentine’s couples events as well, people come out, just have fun. So it goes beyond just doing counseling.[ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, I’m super impressed with everything that you’re doing, Beverley and the businesses that you built, and if folks want to get a hold of you, what’s the best way for them to contact you? [BEVERLEY]:
So one way to contact me is through Life Enrichment Counseling Center, we do have an answering service, they would redirect the call to me, and that is 703-754-0636. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, you know, that’s probably the best way as well, just through email, or email@example.com. [ALISON]:
Okay, great. And I know you said you’re just launching your consulting website. So can you give us the URL for that as well? [BEVERLEY]:
So it’s growingyourpractice.com [ALISON]:
Okay, excellent. Well, thank you so much, Beverley. I appreciate your time. And I learned a lot and I hope, I hope the listeners did too. [BEVERLEY]:
Thank you so much, Alison. It was wonderful being here with you.
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This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.