Carole Cullen on Launching a Successful Group Practice with a Niche | FP 71

Are you nervous about hiring a business consultant because of the financial investment? What are some of the first steps that successful group practice owners have taken to scaling their practice? What are the unforeseen benefits to being a part of a group practice owner group?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Carole Cullen about launching a successful group practice with a niche.

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Meet Carole Cullen

Image of Carole Cullen speaking with Alison Pidgeon about her self-pay couples therapy group practiceCarole Cullen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, AAMFT Clinical Supervisor and public speaker. She is a Certified Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapist specializing in working with couples in crisis.

She has a group practice in Wake Forest, NC where she helps couples learn practical tools to reconnect with their partner and create lasting love.

Visit her website and connect on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

In This Podcast

  • Carole’s steps to becoming a group practice owner
  • Are business consultants good investments?
  • Carole’s advice for Christian counselors

Carole’s steps to becoming a group practice owner

1 – Hiring a virtual assistant: The first step that Carole took to allow her the time and energy to focus on growing the business was hiring a virtual assistant.

The assistant took over phone calls, getting back to clients, and handles the hardcore, time-consuming admin so that Carole could lighten her workload to focus on the group practice.

2 – Converted her 1099 employees to W2: This took a lot of work because there are a lot of checkpoints to go through; organizing payroll, sorting out a handbook, onboarding new clinicians, and so forth.

3 – Hired a social media director: This employee is also a W2 and works for Carole to handle the social media aspect of growing the business.

Are business consultants good investments?

I think you will not lose money if you hire a consultant, you can only make more money because that investment, even though it feels like a lot upfront …., it is truly an investment in your company because your company will grow and you will create a foundation that is going to help the structure of your company grow the right way so that you will make money on that. (Carole Cullen)

By hiring a business consultant, you can get the ball rolling on creating a solid foundation from the very beginning of your group practice. Otherwise, if you hire a consultant a few months down the line, you may have to take a few steps backward to right the mistakes you made before taking any steps forward with your consultant.

Carole’s advice to Christian counselors

Always be open and gracious, recognize that not all people believe or are a part of the same faith, so to be open to what your client has to offer regardless of their faith is important. Let your client guide you in regard to receiving faith-based counseling or not.

Free Download: How To Stop Being Stupid – 6 Practical Ways to Improve Your Relationship Today

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Meet Whitney Owens

Photo of Christian therapist Whitney Owens. Whitney helps other christian counselors grow faith based private practices!Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[WHITNEY OWENS]: Is managing your practice stressing you out? Try Therapy Notes. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and tele-health a whole lot easier. Check it out and you will quickly see why it’s the highest rated EHR on Trustpilot with over a thousand verified customer views and an average customer rating of 4.9 out of five stars. You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support seven days a week so when you have questions, you can quickly reach out to someone who can help. You are never wasting your time looking for answers. If you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code [JOE] to get two free months of trying out Therapy Notes for free, no strings attached, including their very reliable tele-health platform. Make 2021 best year yet with Therapy Notes.
Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host Whitney Owens recording live from Savannah, Georgia. I’m a licensed professional counselor, group practice owner, and private practice consultant. Each week through personal story or amazing interviews, I will help you learn how to start, grow and scale your practice from a faith-based perspective. I will show you how to have an awesome faith-based practice without being cheesy or fake. you too can have a successful practice, make lots of money, and be true to yourself. So in case you haven’t heard, I am launching a membership community for those that are starting a group practice, Alison Pidgeon, one of the consultants with Practice of the Practice, and I specialize in helping people start and grow group practices.
Over the years, we have found that some people don’t want to do individual consulting maybe for the price point or the time commitment or for whatever reason. And so we started this membership community to help give people access to all the information that they need to start a group practice. So let me tell you a little bit about how this works. It’s a membership community, it’s through Facebook. So you have other people you can chat with about struggles in your practice, wins in your practice and form a community and really friendships that can take you for a long time. You also will be able to attend live events at least once a week, if not twice a week, while you’re in this community so that you can learn all the steps to starting your practice. You will have videos that you watch each week with the follow-up webinar to discuss how to put these videos into action steps to help you hire one to two clinicians within a six-month period. We will walk you through the phases of getting systems and foundations set up, hiring and onboarding one to two clinicians, and then looking back at your practice, watching your KPIs and making sure that you’re having success. So if you’re interested in starting a group practice, sometime in the next six months, I encourage you to go to practiceofthepractice.com\grouppracticelaunch.
There, you’ll get lots of information about this exclusive community and you can join our email list. Make sure you join the email list so that you can get first access to this community. Doors open, yesterday actually. I think this podcast is going live on March 3rd so the doors opened on March 2nd. And so if you can go today, you will get the early bird access and save yourself $200 in your membership, but we will keep the doors open until the eighth. So March 8th, if you’re listening to this podcast after March 8th, we will relaunch in September of 2021. We’re going to launch every six months so make sure that you keep your eyes and ears open for that. And if you want to start a group practice in between, you can just send me an email whitney@practiceofthepractice.com.
Today on the Faith in Practice podcast I have Carole Cullen. Carole is a licensed marriage and family therapist, AAMFT clinical supervisor and public speaker. She’s a certified Gottman method and emotionally focused therapist specializing in working with couples in crisis. She has a group practice in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where she helps couples on practical tools to reconnect with their partner and create a lasting love. Carole thanks so much for coming on the show today.
[CAROLE CULLEN]: Thank you Whitney. I’m so happy to be here.
[WHITNEY]: Well, why don’t you go ahead and share with the audience a little about yourself and how you first started your practice?
[CAROLE]: Sure. So I am a marriage and family therapist and a certified Gottman therapist and emotionally focused therapist. I’ve been in practice specializing in working with couples for about 20 years. I started out in New York city and then moved down to Wake Forest North Carolina, about 15 years ago. So I’ve been practicing in North Carolina, 15 years in private practice and I’ve been a solo practitioner for all that time up until last year, pretty much when COVID hit March, 2020, I hired my first clinician. I’m also an AAMFT supervisor. So I have had clinicians in graduate school training with me and that’s been something that I’ve done since I think 2012. So I’ve had clinicians working with me, supervisees learning how to be a marriage and family therapist, but I didn’t hire my first clinician until March, 2020.
[WHITNEY]: Awesome.
[CAROLE]: And now we’re a group practice.
[WHITNEY]: So I actually want to talk a little bit about the difference between New York and North Carolina.
[CAROLE]: Oh boy.
[WHITNEY]: So I know that starting a practice in New York had to have been very different than North Carolina, is that right?
[CAROLE]: Yeah. And it’s interesting. The year that I started practice in New York, they did not have New York state licensure yet for MFTs. It didn’t happen. It didn’t exist. So the way you became eligible to practice was you became a clinical member of the AAMFT, and then you were, it was kind of like equivalent to licensure. So we didn’t have it there, and then when I moved to North Carolina, I had to almost start kind of all over again. I had to take my exam and I had to get licensure in the state of North Carolina and had to wait. I to had a waiting period of like eight months before I could practice in North Carolina.
[WHITNEY]: I’ve heard the process in North Carolina is challenging. And at least for LPCs that the education and hours that you need is a little bit more strict than a lot of States.
[CAROLE]: It is. And depending on what state you’re coming from, it can be, there’s a lot of extra requirements. So there’s a lot of challenges for especially folks coming from California. They have a little bit extra hoops to jump through, to become licensed in North Carolina because the education and training is different in the two different states. It’s not that one is better than the other. It’s just different. And so they have to meet a couple of extra requirements in terms of supervision and guidelines in order to be licensed in North Carolina. So, yeah, every state is a little bit different. Some are easier than others. You could get reciprocity pretty quickly, but California seems to be one that it’s a little bit harder to do that. If you’re coming from California to North Carolina, just make sure you make that phone call ahead of time to make sure …
[WHITNEY]: It’s funny. When we were in school in the ethics courses, I felt like every time they brought up an ethical dilemma and said this case, so-and-so case, so-and-so, it was always California.
[CAROLE]: California.
[WHITNEY]: This case in California and California. And I was like, “Do not go to California.
[CAROLE]: They definitely do things very differently in California with regard to MFT.
[WHITNEY]: Yeah, for sure. All right. So you moved to North Carolina, tell us when that was and like when you started your practice. How long were you in private practice before you hired your first person?
[CAROLE]: So I was practicing in New York for about four or five years, and I semi started a group practice up there with hiring one clinician back in the day. So I always knew I kind of wanted to grow that but then when I moved to North Carolina in 2004, I kind of had to give up that, the beginnings of what that group practice looked like in New York and kind of start fresh in North Carolina. So I’ve been practicing in North Carolina, fully licensed in 2005 and have done the solo practice since then. Started taking on supervisees into my solo practice, doing co-therapy and kind of just learning from me, getting the supervision that they needed through graduate school. I started that in 2012, but I didn’t hire anyone until March, 2020. And my first clinician that I hired was actually one of my graduate students. So I already knew her. We had a relationship, I trusted her, she did really good work. And so I hired her as a 1099 in March, 2020.
[WHITNEY]: Great, great. Yeah, it’s always nice to be able to hire someone that you have that relationship built and you don’t have to wonder what their clinical skills like because you’ve seen it in action.
[CAROLE]: Yeah, you already know, are they going to turn their notes in on time? Do they have a good retention for clients, you already get a sense of their personality and if you’re going to get along. So it’s nice to have that kind of relationship. And I’ve been lucky that the two W2’s that I have now were both supervisees of mine in the past. So I have that, a little bit of security there and knowing them prior and I like that. It works for me.
[WHITNEY]: That says a lot about you, that they want to come work for their supervisor.
[CAROLE]: Yeah, I really loved teaching. I think that’s just another part that I really enjoy doing as a therapist, just being able to teach new therapists. I think there’s just a part of me that wants to be a teacher at heart. So I enjoy mentoring new therapists and graduate students and teaching them the ropes. And I love their energy and how excited they get about learning about couples therapy and just their drive and enthusiasm for wanting to help families. And it kind of brings energy and likes back into my practice. So it never gets stale or old. It always feels like I’m learning from them just as much as they’re learning from me. So I think that energy is reciprocated and we just really have such a good time working together and helping couples and learning every day, something new together.
[WHITNEY]: That’s beautiful, the way you just described that when I think of your practice, I think of it as not only a therapy practice, but kind of an educational place, almost like a school for marriage counseling, I would say.
[CAROLE]: Yeah, we do. We call it a training clinic as well. So it’s a therapy practice, but also a training clinic. And I currently have three supervisees in terms that are in the practice. It really does bring life to the practice to have new energy and new methods, new theories, because they all have such a thirst for knowledge and then they bring that to the current therapists. They teach them, too, so we’re all learning from each other all the time. So I see it as a training clinic as well.
[WHITNEY]: Yeah, that’s great. Well, what was it like kind of when you hired your first person? How did that go? I know a lot of people might be listening, thinking, “Oh, I’m thinking about starting a group practice, but I’m a little scared to make that jump.” Can you kind of share your story and kind of speak to that?
[CAROLE]: So terrifying is the first word that comes to mind. And I know I’ve shared this with you in the past. Hiring my first 1099, even though I knew her and we had a good relationship, she really was the one that convinced me. She’s like, “Carole we can do this. This is going to be fantastic. We’re going to figure this out together.” And like she really said, “Okay, let’s do it.” Because I had a little bit of trauma myself from past experiences and like just the fear of losing that relationship with someone that’s working with you or being the boss and having to make these decisions. I just, I don’t like the confrontation and the conflict and it’s, in the past, it’s just been kind of rough for me when people leave. I don’t like when people leave, I want my people to stay.
So hiring someone and starting that relationship, I was just really worried about our relationship not surviving it if it didn’t go well. And she really encouraged me. So I really appreciate that because I think I wouldn’t have taken the plunge had she not encouraged me. But starting out, I think was overwhelming because there was, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it, and I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know. So hiring a 1099 is kind of like an easy way to kind of dive into it, I think, because going into W2 is a whole new world. So we started out at 1099 and it was, you know, it’s a contractor, so there’s less regulations, there’s less rules, there’s less things that you have to manage. So that was a nice way to start out.
Once we got to about August, she told me she’d really like to come on full time. And I was excited about that. She had done more clients, things were going really well. We were developing a good relationship, so I said, “Okay, well, that sounds good, but I think we’re going to think about going to W2. How do you feel about that?” And I was terrified to ask her that because I knew that that would mean a lot of changes for her and for me. And she was really good about it, which surprised me. She said, “That sounds great. That means a little bit more stability. We can build a culture.” I told her we can build a culture in the company that we really want and we can make it feel more like we’re more connected and we can work more closely together and we can really give better services to our clients under this new W2 work platform.
So January 1st I went W2, no more contractors and took the plunge. You helped me Whitney with consulting, which I could not have done it without you. There were so many questions that I had so many fears and worries about it, but having a business consultant help you with this to me was so valuable. I could not have done it without it, because there’s, like I said, there’s so much you don’t know until you start diving into the real small nuances and the ethics and the KPIs and how to track calls and how to grow the business. There’s so many things to learn about. It was a little overwhelming, but I’m so glad that I did it because now it’s been a couple of months and I feel like I’m settling in. And it was probably the best decision that I could have made for the company. We’re really developing a culture and it feels really good to everybody. Everybody in the company can feel it and they’re giving me such great feedback about how connected we are and the positive energy that we’re developing. It just feels really good for everyone, not just for me. So I’m so glad that we took the plunge, even though it was overwhelming at first.
[WHITNEY]: That’s so awesome. I love hearing that and like, not only are you changing your life, you’re changing the lives of the people that work for you. You’re changing the lives of the couples in your area because now you have these clinicians you’re training and it’s just all around. Awesome. Okay, so remind me kind of, where were you at when we kind of met one another and what was that like to the consulting? I know a lot of people, I do pre-consulting calls and they’re really nervous and they’re uncertain. So can you kind of also speak to that, what that was like for you?
[CAROLE]: Yeah. I remember the moment that I decided to take the plunge and do consulting. I had my 1099 and things were going well and it was over the summer 2020. And I just thought if I’d have one consultant, one 1099, it kind of would be good and we’d be fine with that. And I remember just searching through podcasts and I came across a podcast that you and Alison did. I can’t remember the exact name of it, but it was something like the 10 mistakes that were practice owners make. Do you remember that?
[WHITNEY]: Oh, yeah, I think it was the five mistakes group practice owners make. Yes.
[CAROLE]: Well, I made all five of those [crosstalk]. And I listened to that podcast and I was taking notes, writing everything down that you guys were saying, and I just couldn’t get enough. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, there’s so much here. I want to do this. I want to have a group practice, but I’ve got to get these five things in order. I got to get these five mistakes fixed.” And the very next day I went onto the website and signed up for I think it was like a master class, but it was no longer in, it wasn’t running at the time, but I paid for it anyway, because I wanted to be in it so bad. I’m like, “Maybe they’ll just take me.” And then I got the phone call that said, of course, that class wasn’t running at the time, but that you were available for consulting and I was like, “Yes, sign me up right away.”
Because I wanted to start group practice but those five mistakes were the mistakes that I was making and I wasn’t exactly, there was so much information just in that podcast. I knew that I alone didn’t have the answers and just the one podcast with information, wasn’t going to be enough to get me where I really wanted to be, which was to really grow this practice into something that was extremely successful. So, I wanted you to walk with me in that and help me and guide me. And you have so many resources. I’m still going through all the resources and haven’t gone through them all and it’s been a couple of months. I’m the type of person that I dive in and I absorb all the resources I can as quickly as I can and I still haven’t gone through all the resources because there’s a lot of information in the group that is available to help group practice owners figure out ways to track, measure, get conversion rates up and just grow the business to be incredibly successful. So that’s kind of where I wasn’t started. It was like, I didn’t know that I wanted it until I heard that and then I was like, “I want this and I can do this, but I need someone to help me out here.”
[WHITNEY]: Well, I consider it an honor, anytime someone sets to with me. So I appreciate it and I really enjoy the process as well and getting to see, I mean, it’s just so cool to see people on the front end of consulting and they’re so scared and uncertain and then when they get to the other side, there’s just even within just three months, it’s like, they’re so much more confident. They’ve made all these changes in their practice and most people have hired a few people at the end of that three months. That’s really neat. So can you share with people where you’re at now, how many clinicians do you have and what’s the setup kind of like with your practice?
[CAROLE]: Yeah. So the first thing that I remember we talked about was I needed to get a virtual assistant. And let me tell you that was one of the best decisions that I have made in starting group practice, because I needed to remove, my caseload was full and booked. I was seeing way too many clients, even for just my regular schedule as a solo practitioner, and I needed to find a way to delegate some of the additional work that was coming in, returning calls and just gathering data, getting back to clients. So hiring a virtual assistant was one of the best moves that I’ve made as a first step and she’s doing a fantastic job. I just adore her and she’s fantastic and we have a really good relationship. And she’s also part of the culture of our team, even though she’s virtual.
So hiring her was the first step in getting organized and freeing up some of my time so that I could focus on being the CEO. I needed to focus more on the running of the business which I believe maybe was one of the five mistakes. So [crosstalk] I started thinking like a CEO and started figuring out, “How do I want to run this business? What do I want my strategic plan to look like? How do I want to grow the business? Where do we want to go?” So got that virtual assistant hired and then immediately started working on how do I create the company so that it’s structured to have W2 employees. So converting my 1099 over into a W2 was the next step and there were quite a few steps in there for sure, payroll, creating a handbook, onboarding. There was a lot of steps in there, but I tackled all of that.
I think between November and December, I think it was like two months it took me to go through the process of converting and getting everything ready for payroll January 1st. And so it took a month, January to do that conversion and make sure that we got everything working smoothly with onboarding and then I hired my second W2 February 1st. So now I have two W2’s, a virtual assistant and two graduate student interns. My third graduate student intern will start April 1st. And I also have a social media director. We call her my social media director. She is one of my students from last year and she wants to stay on board and as soon as she gets her license, which she takes her exam next week, she will be coming on board as well as a W2. So I’ll be up to three W2’s by the end of the year and three interns.
[WHITNEY]: Awesome. So when you talk about this question in advance, so it takes some time to think for a second, but people always want to know about money. Like isn’t the money I invest in consulting going to be worth it if I’m going to make enough money by running a group practice? So what would you say to that and how is your finances for what you’re paying yourself compared to what you were paying yourself a year ago?
[CAROLE]: Okay. So that’s a good question. I think you will not lose money if you hire a consultant. You can only make more money because that investment, even though it feels like a lot upfront and it did to me too, I mean, it did to me too, I was like, “Oh boy, this is an investment.” But it is truly an investment in your company because your company will grow and you will create a foundation that is going to help the structure of your company grow the right way and so that you will make money on that. If you don’t do that, like I think about doing the 1099 first, I felt like I kind of went backwards. Like I had to go backwards to go forwards, to be doing the W2, and it’s kind of like that if you don’t hire a consultant and you just kind of chug along, you may almost have to take like four steps backwards to undo what you did to get it right, rather than starting right to begin with, if that makes any sense.
You want to start the right way and go forward rather than try to like use band-aids to fix things and pull things together and then find out you’ve got to start all over again. That’s going to cost you more money than trying to do it the right way first. So I think I caught that pretty early on with you know, I had my 1099 but would I have liked to have started straight out of the gate with the W2. I think that that might’ve been probably the best way, but I caught it quick enough and switched over to W2 quickly. So for me, I felt like I caught it soon enough, but if I had gone any longer and not on the consulting and then grown, I think I probably would have to take a few steps back and it would have cost me money. So I think, yeah, it’s a little bit of an investment upfront, but in the long run, it is worth the money because you’re going to grow your company the right way. You’re going to have a good foundation and you’re going to make money. You’re going to make more money by doing it that way. I truly believe that.
[WHITNEY]: You’re preaching it. Love it.
[CAROLE]: I am. I am.
[WHITNEY]: That’s exactly what I say.
[CAROLE]: I appreciate everyone I know.
[WHITNEY]: Yeah, because unfortunately, sometimes people call for consulting and they’ve got four or five people, but they’ve made a lot of those mistakes you’re talking about in the front end and then we’re having a real change, a bunch of stuff, and it’s really tough [crosstalk]. And then they honestly, miss out on a lot of money, you know, and a lot of headache. So yeah. So now that you have kind of gone through some consulting, you’ve got one, hopefully another W2 coming on board soon, you are a part of Group Practice Boss. So can you share with people what that is and the value that you find in that?
[CAROLE]: Group Practice Boss is a Facebook group for group practice owners that are either starting out or are established already, but are looking for resources and connections to grow their practice, or maybe fix the foundation a little bit, but it’s also an extremely supportive community and we’re there to help each other. You can just pop a question in Facebook and within a few minutes, literally you will have like 10 answers to your question. Everybody is offering resources and advice and you know, it’s just a great way to get answers to questions, especially when you don’t, you’ve never done something before, like you’re just starting something new, like a phone system or a payroll system and you just don’t know. You can shoot it out there and you’ll ask the question and everyone will say, “Well, I’ve tried this and it’s great. I’ve tried this and it’s not so great.” And you get lots of feedback.
And the other thing is that we also do challenges, monthly challenges to see the different things that we’ve all been working on and share our goals. We have been reading books and doing like book sharing and talking about the topics within the books and how to use them to grow our practice. That’s been a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed that, but also, outside of that, the folks that I’ve met in Group Practice Boss, we’ve become friends. So I have friends all over the country now and we do like virtual coffee and phone calls and if we each have a question, we kind of just check in with each other and say, “Hey, I’m coming across this problem. Do you have a few minutes to chat it out with me?”
And I’ve really enjoyed that because it can be kind of isolating and lonely to be a group practice owner and it’s nice to have other friends that are in the same situation as you or kind of going through the same kind of struggle you’re going through at the same time and you can share resources and support. We also support each other personally like in our personal goals and what’s going on in our families. So that’s been kind of nice to do that, even outside of the group, but I wouldn’t have met those folks, had it not been for the Facebook group that we’re in now. And don’t even get me started on the resources that are available. Like I said, I still have not gone through everything that is there and I am someone who just like absorbs everything immediately and has to read everything.
I’m still trying to get through it all because there’s so many resources available to help you to grow your practice. So it’s been, for me, it’s been fantastic, not just for the business, but like personally it’s really helped me to feel supported. And it’s really helped me to be a little bit more confident as a boss. I shared that in the beginning, I was really nervous about managing people and making those decisions, but I feel more confident now in making those decisions. I can make those decisions and I can be a boss, but I can also have good relationships with my employees and build a culture where everyone feels appreciated and it’s okay to do both of those things and they can help you with how to do that. And before I felt really alone in that, like, “Am I making a good decision? Is this the right thing for me?” And now I can just put it out there and get lots of feedback and feel confident in how to manage my employees and not feel so alone. So it’s been really great. I am going to be in that group for a long time.
[WHITNEY]: That’s awesome. I love how you’re talking about the resources. I’m actually this week working on getting more resources put up on there, believe it or not.
[CAROLE]: Awesome. I love it.
[CAROLE]: So, Carole I know that you have a download for the listeners. This will be in the show notes, about How to Stop Being Stupid, Six Practical Ways to Improve your Relationship Today. Can you kind of share what that’s about?
[CAROLE]: It’s well, get real in there. You can tell by the title how to stop being stupid. And you know, that comes from like the phone calls that I get from, from couples. I’ll get a call saying, “Oh, I did something stupid and now my partner is really mad at me.” And that’s usually how we start off. “All right, well, what happened? Let’s figure it out.” So I said, let me just put together the top things that I work on with couples who call me in those situation. Like, “I made a big mistake. How am I going to fix this with my partner?” And I just started really listening to my clients and jotting down some things and I said, “Let me put this in a PDF that can help lots of couples.” And I put it together with some practical tools. There’s some worksheets at the back of the PDF and you can go to my website and just download that for free.
That can get you started before you actually can get into your session and start talking and working with your therapist. You can start working on repairing your relationship right away. You don’t have to wait. So that’s available right there on the website.
[WHITNEY]: Well, thank you for sharing that. And I ask you the same question ask everyone on the show. What do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know?
[CAROLE]: I think the most important thing is to always be open and gracious. What I mean by that is to recognize that not all Christians, not all people of the same faith believe in the same thing. So being open and listening and honoring what your client has to offer regardless of their faith perspective is so important. So honoring whether or not they want to introduce or incorporate faith into their therapy or not is also part of that and equally respecting their faith and whether or not they want to do faith-based counseling. So just being respectful of that and being open to that is so important and just not putting, a general ethic is to not put your beliefs on your clients, but to be open to what their beliefs are and letting them guide you in where they want to be with regard to faith-based counseling. So open and gracious is how I think about it.
[WHITNEY]: Yes. Well, thank you for those words. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to come on today and share about your practice. You have worked so hard, so, congrats to you. A pat on the back because you know, the consulting can help, but if the person doesn’t work hard, they’re not going to get where they need to be. And you put a lot of the hard work in, and the compassion that you have for your staff. So really happy to have worked with you and the success you’ve had.
[CAROLE]: Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done it without you.
[WHITNEY]: Well, thank you for coming on the show today.
[CAROLE]: Okay, thanks so much.
[WHITNEY]: Again, thank you so much to Therapy Notes for sponsoring the show. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and tele-health a whole lot easier. And if you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your client’s demographic data free of charge during your trials so that you can get going right away. Use promo code [JOE] to get two months to try out Therapy Notes for free.
Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also there, you can learn more about me, options for working together, such as individual and in group consulting, or just shoot me an email, whitney@practiceofthepractice.com. We’d love to hear from you. .
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard 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.

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