Creating Intensives and Starting a Practice with Ryan Russ | PoP 455

Creating Intensives and Starting a Practice with Ryan Russ | PoP 455

Are you considering starting a practice? What can intensives do for you and your clients? How can you improve your practice by investing in yourself?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Ryan Russ about creating intensives and starting a practice.

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Meet Ryan Russ

Ryan is the Founder of The Finding Place Counseling. He is a father of three, yoga enthusiast and married to Emily who is the co-founder and powerhouse Administrative Director). He runs 3-day trauma intensives, utilizing EMDR, Brainspotting, Mindfulness, and Somatic Experiencing.

Ryan is also certified in treating Sexual Addiction (CSAT) as his main niche and he has just hired 2 therapists in a bustling new practice, doing out of state custom intensives and cool excellent stuff!

Visit Ryan’s website, and connect on Facebook and Instagram. Contact Ryan at ryan@thefindingplacecounseling.com. For a free 20 min call on Intensives, contact Emily at emily@thefindingplacecounseling.com.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • The first year of private practice
  • Tips for a successful first year
  • Intensives and marketing
  • How to communicate the value of an intensive to your clients
  • The Killin’ It Camp experience
  • Slow Down School expectations
  • Advice for other private practitioners

The first year of private practice

Podcasts played a huge role in Ryan’s first year running his private practice. He discovered Joe’s podcast and listened to him while running. Having access to free, great content was incredibly helpful. Ryan quickly learned that he needed to take off some hats and get his wife, Emily, involved. This move was crucial to his success.

Tips for a successful first year

Your private practice is an external manifestation of the internal workings of who you are.

  • Do your own emotional work. Start with yourself. You won’t be able to take your clients further than you’ve gone yourself.
  • Good quality referrals. Having a reputation for doing good quality work will get you good quality referrals.
  • Ramp up your side practice before leaping into it full time. e.g. Ryan was doing 5 hours of practice on the side every week, he ramped this up to 15 hours a week before quitting his job. Allow yourself some life experience before rushing into opening your own practice.
  • Have a niche, find your voice, and invest in yourself. Develop your niche.

Intensives and marketing

Ryan first got into intensives while working at Capstone. He also worked with things like the Trauma Egg, EMDR, and Brainspotting, but found that these take a lot more time. Intensives are more effective in a shorter amount of time. Capstone only offered 90-day intensives so would refer all short intensives to Ryan directly. Existing clients would do mini intensives (4 hour time blocks with specific intervention in mind). Word of mouth did the rest, Ryan lets the quality of his work speak for itself and avoids pushy marketing.

How to communicate the value of an intensive to your clients

This is a thing, this is what we do, it’s very effective. Let’s get you on the books and knock it out.

You need to strike while the iron is hot. Get your clients doing intensives right from the start instead of them getting used to weekly counseling. In the beginning, there is an urgency and motivation to do the work. Be confident with what you’re offering.

The Killin’ It Camp experience

Just to have a peer group to reflect, compare, and bounce off of was very good and powerful.

Ryan and Emily thought that the Killin’ It Camp was incredible. They were blown away by this community of like-minded, energetic, young people all trying to do good work. There was an energy and freshness that you don’t often find at most conferences. Emily really woke up to her role in the business and they connected with other couples also running their own practices.

Slow Down School expectations

Ryan loves the concept of slowing down to focus. He hopes to have a powerful, uninterrupted experience, to be connected with other like-minded people, and to have a quality, meaningful experience. Collaborating with a cohort that’s supportive and has positive energy makes sense.

Advice for other private practitioners

It’s a life calling. Invest in yourself. Begin from the inside out, not the outside in. Do your own work, on your own story, in your own head game, and start from there.

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE]:
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 455.

When you’re in private practice, it can be tough to find the time to review your marketing efforts and make improvements where needed. Whether you are a seasoned clinician whose current website needs to be revamped, or a new therapist building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is here to help. By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers will create you a custom website catered to your specific marketing goals. Better yet, they provide unlimited technical support to make sure it stays updated, and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches, all at no additional cost. To get started, for $100 off, head over to brightervision.com/joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com/joe.

Well, I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and I am so excited to talk to you. Hopefully, you are staying safe and healthy. You know, I’m hearing from a bunch of people in our groups such as Next Level Practice, or our consulting groups. And you know, some people are doing great with online therapy, some are struggling, some are adding new streams of income through podcasting. There’s a lot of work that’s going on and most people are sick of their kids. So, I’m with you. Thank you for letting me into your ears and into your brain. This is a interesting time in our world.

Today, you know, we’re gonna be talking with Ryan Russ. Ryan Russ is one of our Killin’ It Campers and he and his wife Emily came to Killin’ It Camp, and it was so awesome to meet them and talk with them. And Ryan, he started a practice and then started doing intensives and really, it’s just an interesting model of how he did this. And Emily actually offered, and I don’t know if she says this on the call, or if Ryan says it, but she’s offering a free 20-minute call about intensives. And so, when they have their contact information at the end, you can reach out to Emily and get that free 20-minute call about intensives. They’re just trying to help the Practice the Practice community, especially during this time around creating intensives and thinking through it. So, without any further ado, I give you Ryan Russ.

Well today on the practice of the practice podcast we have Ryan Russ. Ryan is the founder of The Finding Place Counseling. He’s the father of three, and married to Emily, his co-founder and powerhouse Administrative Director. He’s a yoga enthusiast and does three-day trauma intensives using EMDR, brain spotting, mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing, Ryan, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[RYAN]:
Thanks, Joe. It’s great to be here.

[JOE]:
Yeah, well, I mean, we met in person at Killin’ It Camp. You started your practice just over a year ago, and just out of the gate, let’s talk about how that first year went. You started in January of 2019?

[RYAN]:
Correct. And it actually went really well. I was going to start the private practice six years prior, but then I took a job at Capstone Treatment Center, where I really got to get extra trainings that gave me a lot of additional confidence. But yeah, I started it January of 2019. And it really took off pretty quickly.

[JOE]:
Now, take us through that first year, and maybe even the prep before you actually opened your doors. Because for a lot of people that are in our Next Level Practice community or other folks that are just starting a practice; they may have followed some podcasts, they may have read a whole bunch of blogs and then they open their doors and they don’t have an amazing first year, like, what was helpful in the prep? What was helpful in that first year? And then maybe we can dive into some of that, kind of, intensives as part of your financial side.

[RYAN]:
Sure. So, my first lead in would be ROI behavior I have, and I know you talk well about return on investment. But it’s when I would go running and I would listen to podcasts or various media, and I was on iTunes, looking for therapy practice development podcasts, and you were up there, man. And so, I was excited. I told Emily, I was like, I found a guy that’s a good communicator, that has good content. This is great. And so, I had all that free content. And so in that last year, running up to full-time practice of taking that lead, just listening to your podcast and going on those runs, I can visualize even now, doing that and just getting excited because I knew the vision.

[JOE]:
Do you have places like when you run there, you remember aha moments from the podcast?

[RYAN]:
Absolutely. There’s a fire station down the road, and then there’s a certain section as well, where I just, I put those pieces together. Just how your mind operates with business and yeah, and like there’s visuals in my brain like, flags planted. Yeah. So, I do.

[JOE]:
What are some of those flags? It’s just interesting as a content creator to hear that but also, like I have those for myself that remember Pat Flynn was interviewing Chris Ducker and I hadn’t heard of Chris Ducker at the time, and I was out for a run, which is rare, I’m not really an ‘out for a run’ kind of guy, but I still remember I was right by the water at this marina. And Chris Ducker was talking about this list of things that you love doing and you should be doing; things you love doing and shouldn’t be doing, and things you hate doing and you shouldn’t be doing. And it was like, yes, I should not be doing all these things and the outsourcing began in that moment.

[RYAN]:
Yeah, I think, I don’t have one exactly right now but the concept of taking off the hats, or the unnecessary work, hit me and then how… Yeah, so I’d say me incorporating Emily more into the practice was a big aha. It was just a huge resource that I had. And just the idea of freeing her up to quit her part-time job to get extra childcare to be there. I know that was a huge aha. I think it’s just your mindset with how you look to be flexible to make the most of the opportunities in front of you. So.

[JOE]:
Yeah, yeah. And I think that for you to say, okay, I want to take hats off from day one, that probably set you apart from the average person starting a practice, like what did that do for you?

[RYAN]:
Yeah, that mindset was huge, because it’s counterintuitive. And I thought I just had to be Herculean; I thought I had to do more of everything. And that’s not how the successful people pull it off. And that feedback came to me and I took that to heart. And so, I’m a perfectionist by nature, as far as the art of therapy. That’s my number one. And so, I’m a therapy snob, but I knew I didn’t know the business side of it as much. And so, I had things to learn and I wanted to be a student of the business side. So yeah, taking hats off was important for me. And just gleaning tidbits from you, I think and how you operated. I’ve just internalized that quite a bit.

[JOE]:
So for people that maybe haven’t listened to the podcast for a while, and they’re either planning to launch a practice in the next, you know, say six months or a year, or they’re in that first year or two, what are maybe three to five points that, boy, if you nail these things in your first year, you’re going to have the Russ success?

[RYAN]:
Well, I’ll tell you, the first thing is to do your own work. And that has a lot of subheadings, but essentially, the head game is so important. I have ADHD and anxiety by history and the fact that I got that worked through and dealt with, and I sure didn’t conquer it, you know, I’m anxious coming on the call today. But the fact that I did my own work first, is everything. Your private practice, it’s an external manifestation of the internal workings of who you are.

[JOE]:
Ooh, say that again. Say that, yeah, say that.

[RYAN]:
Your practice is an external manifestation of the internals of what you are within. And so, if you don’t have your internal act together, at best you could create a house of cards are a sham. People shouldn’t start with marketing first, I believe. You should start with who you are because who you are… well, that’s all of life, but that’s what you’re providing for your clients, and even to your family. And I don’t know, I just think you’ve got to start with yourself. So that’s number one.

[JOE]:
I love how you start there, because when I figured out – and it took me so long to figure out what you just said, you had figured out before you even get started. So, I’m a little bit jealous. But when I had a group practice going, I think it was probably about the time that I left my full time job at the community college, and I realized I didn’t want to hang out with the people that I worked with. I felt really bad about it – I didn’t want this culture where we all felt like a family. I’ve talked about this on the podcasts. But I realized I wanted to show up, I wanted to work, I wanted to make money and affect my clients, and I wanted to go hang out with my friends and my family that I actually wanted to be with. And when I realized that that’s really… I’m just driven at work, I get stuff done and that’s how I approach it, I attracted other people that were like that too. We were nice to each other. It was fun working together. But we weren’t spending half an hour at the end of our day hanging out and getting a beer together or something. So, knowing that that’s how I approach work as just like, I’m going to tear through it, I’m going to get it done, and then I’m going to go relax outside of it, that internal manifestation you just articulated something that you know, for a long time I felt guilty and bad about but was not at all helpful for me to not realize, that’s who I am. That’s how I’m approaching it.

[RYAN]:
That speaks to me about guarding your time and being assertive to guard your time, rather than getting caught up with poor time boundaries. So that’s so important, but I would say even more so than that. My advice to new practices is, do your own emotional work as far as recognizing your own underlying issues. In fact, some of the most effective training I’ve ever done as a clinician, essentially, was they were doing group therapy on us. There’s a good group out of Florida that did a lot of our trainings. And that was it. Basically, your story was dealt with in a group context and your issues came forward. And I know a lot of people have issues with personal boundaries and privacy. But if you can create an atmosphere of healing and have good, personal trauma history, or everybody has attachment issues. If you’re alive and you love things, you have attachment issues. If you’re willing to allow that look to occur, it’ll change how you interact with therapy. In fact, that’s one of my biggest buzz lines as far as being a clinician, you know, you won’t take clients any further than you’ve gone yourself. If you’re not comfortable with your own Deep End, how are you going to do with theirs, so finding opportunities to really get cut open emotionally… I don’t know. That’s just… I think that’s the best kind of training there is. So.

[JOE]:
Yeah, well, I mean, if you have, whether it’s a consultant or a counselor that hasn’t done their own work, they can only take you so far, you know? But if they know that landscape, then they can guide you so much better. So, after you do some of this internal work, what were some of the practical things? When did you start maybe implementing the marketing or blogging or networking? What were the things that you did that you feel, man, that was what really made a difference in having a successful year one?

[RYAN]:
Okay. Well, you know, I think the biggest [unclear] success was, I came from Capstone, which is an hour outside of Little Rock, I commuted every day. They had really quality referrals they were sending to me to do these intensives, and I know we’ll get into that later, but having really… basically having a reputation of doing quality work and having the trust of their management was big, and then having a presence locally. I’ve been doing it on the side – private practice – for about nine years here in Little Rock. So, word of mouth referrals, man, those are the best kind. So I already had that going for me, I had a ramp up period as well, where I was doing just five hours a week on the side at night, I ramped it up to about 15 hours in the evenings. So…

[JOE]:
I want to pause you there and underline and highlight that, because that is, I think one of the most essential things to say, okay, I’m leaving this full-time job. I’m going to leave on good terms, I’m going to make sure that they know about it, so they can be a great referral source. And I’m going to have a ramp up period, because a lot of people think, okay, I’m at four hours a week, and then they leave their full time job, and they don’t take a chapter to work really hard in that ramp up. And how much better if you know, okay, I need to be at 25 hours a week and now I’m at 15, so I have this ramp up and this extra savings and all of these things to make it so much easier for you to launch?

[RYAN]:
It’s huge. You got to fight the scarcity mindset, which is the biggest, biggest bad guy Boogeyman in this whole thing, is the scarcity mindset. And being prepared is huge. And that’s one thing I had was taking that additional six years of Capstone, I got super prepared, as far as trainings, my niche, and experience and referrals. So.

[JOE]:
Yeah, I mean you got paid to network.

[RYAN]:
Yeah, and just not rushing in. I mean, just allowing yourself to have some life experience and self-awareness, before you rush in, can be quite valuable. I know not everybody’s in that position. But if you can find a scenario to do that, that can really speed up your process.

[JOE]:
And you can see how other organizations run things, maybe in a way you don’t want things run, or in a way that you do want things run. And even just to see an organization – and I’m not saying anything about the organization you worked at – but to look at any of the organizations I worked at and say wow, I would never do it that way, and they’re still successful. So, it kind of shows to you that even if people do things in a kind of rough way, they still can be successful.

[RYAN]:
I must say Capstone was a great experience, but in the eight years prior to that I had some horrible jobs. And, man, I was paying my dues as far as community mental health, and billing Medicaid. And I did like working with lower socioeconomic status people, but obviously, that’s a big motivator to me about why I’m in a group practice now is I hate sucky jobs. And I got burned and [unclear] by that, man.

[JOE]:
The title of your podcast episode, I Hate Sucky Jobs.

[RYAN]:
I like it, man, I like it a lot. But that’s a huge thing. Now that we’re bringing other people on it’s… I want my therapists to have great jobs, a great place to work. But I know we’re getting ahead of ourselves there, but as far as tips for… go ahead.

[JOE]:
No, no go ahead.

[RYAN]:
Yeah, man. Number two is to have a niche and to find your voice. That takes a while. But I think as a clinician, you can’t do everything. I think you got to find a niche and then reach out for trainings. And I know I was still working those crappy jobs, man, this is about seven years ago, and I came across Patrick Carnes’ sexual addiction… certified sexual addiction therapy. And I remember it was like 1500 bucks, back then, to do a one-week training. And I presented it to my wife, and I said, I don’t know, she said, you need to do it, just do it. She had some money, and she convinced me to take a risk and just to do it. And it was amazing. And that’s how I met the director of Capstone. And he offered me a job. I mean, I took a risk to invest in myself. I did some work on myself as far as taking a niche goes. And it really launched me, propelled me forward. So that’s what I would say. And if you don’t have a niche, I would say, step back and really scratch your head and say, what am I passionate about? What do I care more about? And then go ahead and get trained, or really study up in that area.

[JOE]:
So then, intensives were already a part of what you were doing. Maybe take us through what your intensives look like, what helped you kind of amplify those, and then we’ll get into how other people can start to learn from your experiences. So, take us through what they look like and how you market them.

[RYAN]:
Sure. So, they started with Capstone, as far as the quality of work we’re doing, I realized at the residential level, it was like high speed internet versus dial up. We were doing so much more breakthrough, powerful work. And so, I always want to do quality work. So, we were naturally doing these kind of intensives. We have a family week intensive at Capstone, where the parents of the young men come up. Those are my favorite week, we got so much done. So, I just naturally started doing it on this… Even before I left Capstone in my part time practice. But finding good trauma treatment interventions like the trauma egg or doing EMDR or brain spotting. These interventions are wonderful, but they take time. And I just wanted my clients at the outpatient level to have the breakthroughs in the efficacy I was seeing on the inpatient. I was so frustrated by it, because you get in there, you get checked in. And then the sessions done. And for… I like to say the typical outpatient felt like riding a bus, you get on, it just stops, you get off. But if you really want to go far, it’s like taking a flight, where you hop on a plane. And if you set aside time for big changes, and there’s this anticipation effect coming from the clients, you get to see some amazing things happen. There’s that concentration effect.

So as far as marketing them, a lot of former Capstone clients and families were very interested, and Capstone, they don’t do these short intensives; they only do the 90 days. So, they were just sending them my way. And already my existing clients – this is the best part, because I love results – if I’m just doing standard outpatient therapy with a client, and they’re at an impasse or I really want them to make a breakthrough, I just, let’s schedule a mini intensive. So, a mini intensive would be a four-hour time block where we have a specific intervention in mind. And it really organizes the treatment for progress.

[JOE]:
Now, real quick, so thinking about some consumers to say okay, it’s one thing to pay for counseling once a week for four weeks; now to pay for, you know, a four hour session or an intensive, how do you… just from a marketing, copywriting just communication, how do you communicate the value of an intensive compared to someone that maybe is used to just weekly counseling?

[RYAN]:
Well get them before they’re used to weekly counseling, I believe. On the front end, you know, strike while the iron is hot. There’s an urgency or a motivation to do the work. So, I’m pretty high energy, I’m pretty proactive. So, I get in there early and demonstrate to them, this is going to feel different. If you had a counsellor that kind of nodded their head and smiled at you, this is going to feel different. So, they already catch a different experience from me. And then essentially, I do believe people wish to be led. And if you say this is the thing, this is what we do. It’s very effective. Let’s get you on the book and knock it out. Then they do it and for me, marketing… I’ve never wanted to be pushy. I feel like when you try to get pushy is when it activates that counter will that… you know, I’m a skeptic, the harder somebody tries to sell me the more I’m going to pull back. So, I think that I let the quality of the work speak for itself. And then I just I just say, hey, this is something that’s very effective. Let’s get em on the book. So.

[JOE]:
I think that’s so smart. Our daughter just started doing a reading intensive and I’m actually gonna have the owner of that company come on once she’s been in that for a little bit longer. But it’s four to five hours a week. It’s an hour every day that she meets with her coach, and the idea is that in six to eight weeks, they can bring her up a full grade level in her reading. And it’s like, okay, I can have her be at, you know, some tutoring once a week for the rest of her life and she can feel, you know, like she’s struggling or have these emotions around what not being able to read as well as her peers looks like, or we can invest a crap ton of money into this and time into, you know, let’s try to do the one and done kind of thing, which is their approach over six to eight weeks per grade. And so, to me, the value is okay, you know, theoretically by the end of the school year, she could feel like she’s at grade level, we aren’t having this be an ongoing struggle. It’s done, rather than years of carting her back and forth to tutoring. The same sort of thing with our emotions. I mean, not that any traumatic experience we’re just going to totally erase, but with an intensive, depending on what the trauma is, to say, do you want to hold on to this for the next six months of therapy? Or do you want to just attack it and do the best that we can over a short period of time to feel some relief and then how much more effective will any other future [unclear]…?

[RYAN]:
Precisely. The power of breakthrough, and the power of the focused effect. And with every intensive I do pre- and post-intensive phone calls for follow-up so; you can do a mixture of both. But I don’t know, I feel like it’s something we should be offering that a lot of clinicians just naturally don’t see, they get stuck in a rut here. So.

[JOE]:
Yeah, do you ever have people fly in from other states for your intensives, or is it all…?

[RYAN]:
Yeah, I have people come from all over. So, really, Capstone attracted a national audience. So, I have a lot just from Minnesota, Ohio, Florida. I mean all over. Even close here, in the South. I have some local referrals from Arkansas as well. And a lot of it’s word of mouth. And my niche as well, with sexual addictions. So, I do structured disclosures and I also do polygraph-backed disclosures where partners who’ve been persistently deceptive or unfaithful can have a polygraph to verify that they’re… that they actually are sexually faithful and sober. So, I offer a wide variety of intensives. There’s several kinds of them that I do. But word of mouth is…

[JOE]:
I think it just shows the ability to be creative with what you’re interested in. Yeah, you know, and just say I have the basics… the basic skills, advanced skills in these areas. Now, how do I then take these to a new level, to a new market? I mean, we live now in a world of really creative ways to take our clinical skills out to the masses in a different way. So, I want to talk a little bit about, maybe, you guys signed up for Killin’ It Camp, what, six months or so into your new practice and came to Killin’ It Camp?

[RYAN]:
Yeah.

[JOE]:
Now you’re going to be speaking at it this year. Talk a little bit about that experience and the breakthroughs that happened there.

[RYAN]:
Man, it was a trial thing, okay? I loved your podcasts, you brought good content, you seemed to be a genuine guy who knows his stuff, but I’m a skeptic. And I’m like, well let’s just…

[JOE]:
‘Seemed’ being the word, there.

[RYAN]:
Right man. I’m always… Yeah, it’s just weird, but… I said, let’s give it a shot, Emily, I don’t know. We’ll check it out. And it was incredible. You have a community of people that are like-minded, energetic, young, some not so young, but most of them young. And they’re all trying to do excellent work and has an energy and a freshness that some of the older conferences, that are more stuffy and traditional, didn’t carry. And we were blown away. My wife really woke up to her role in this business.

[JOE]:
Yeah, you guys connected with some other couples that were running businesses together.

[RYAN]:
Yeah. And that was great. Just to have a peer group to reflect, compare and bounce off of was very good and powerful. And even Andy and Carrie Sears, you know, Blue Boat Counseling, just listened to their podcast this morning. It’s inspiring to see how a husband and wife team in this day and age can collaborate and do excellent work and do therapy better in a different way. So, we loved it, Emily really caught fire and I’ve almost had to slow her down a little bit. She’s so eager to do the next thing and that’s awesome, but she… administratively, in details she’s structured and motivated. I mean, that was a big surprise to us. If there is any surprise here, it’s just how much she has lit a fire inside herself to propel and she’s such a valuable piece of the puzzle that I really didn’t see coming. And it’s been great.

[JOE]:
Well, and then we talked probably… I talked to Emily maybe a week or so ago, two weeks ago. And you guys are now coming to Slow Down School; maybe talk a little bit about what you hope to get out of Slow Down School and then we’d love to take a little time to just give some advice to people that are listening.

[RYAN]:
Yeah. So, Slow Down School, I just love the concept; slowing down to focus, and kind of like an intensive really. Have a powerful, uninterrupted experience. To be connected with other people, like-minded. But these are like planting flags in your memory where you can remember, when we were at Slow Down School. And the way I heard your people talking about their experiences, the way you talked about it, I thought, yes, I want to create a quality meaningful experience. If we’re going to get the business side of this taken care of, why not collaborate with a cohort that’s supportive and has positive energy? It just makes a lot of sense. And the price point is perfectly fine. And, and I don’t know, so it just seemed like a no-brainer to me. Emily had to come around to it, but she’s on board now fully, and so I’m thrilled about it.

[JOE]:
Yeah, I’m excited for it. As we see, every year, each cohort that comes together and the people that are there, and just taking time to slow down in nature, and go for hikes, and bring in massage therapists, and yoga teachers, and then to run full-tilt towards your business for a few days – it’s so much fun to watch the aha moments happen in real time.

Now, I want to go back to really kind of practice development. Now, as you see, you know, 18 months or so at the time of this recording of success with the practice, how do you look forward to say the next year or two? What are you dreaming about, thinking about? How do you consider the use of your time? Because I think sometimes, you know, we plateau, and it’s like, well, now what do I do? Or how are you thinking through the next year or two?

[RYAN]:
Yeah. So, I want to grow slow. I never want to be a big box. But we have three therapists that joined us back in February. And so, we’re onboarding them now, and we’re equipping them, but I want to grow slow. I want a quality product. Our motto is ‘Where the art of therapy matters’. I want the art of therapy to be paramount. So, I see us growing slowly and me taking off some hats, maybe doing more intensives exclusively and fewer local clients here, and also try to pour more into my clinicians as well. Yeah, beyond that, I’m not sure. I think Emily’s gonna have a bigger role. I think we’re going to take off more hats. We’re going to automate, and I want to try to get more home-work balance in place. In fact, the whole time I’ve been doing this I’ve been noticing I call it the caboose; the caboose is basically back home. How are the kids doing? How’s the energy back with the family? Wanting to try to be excellent at work but try to find a way to enjoy home more.

[JOE]:
Yeah, yeah, I think that’s so important. For me, giving very clear bookends as to, you know, being done. So, I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then you know, what can I squeeze in on a Monday or Friday because I love my work? So, like, when do I allow myself to do that, setting those rules? And I mean, we cover a lot of that at Slow Down School too. But just, what are the exceptions? So, for example, I have a book agent that’s trying to get me a traditionally published book deal. He submitted the manuscript or all of the proposal last Friday, which was the worst timing because right now we’re in the midst of this whole – at the time of this recording – the whole pandemic, and we’re on lockdown at home. And hopefully, by the time this goes live, that’s no longer our case. But it’s like, you know, he wanted to do a conversation on Monday because on Thursday of this week, we have a meeting with a publisher. And so of course, I’m gonna make an exception for that. But even just being able to say when is my work week over, when is my workday over? When does fun with the kids begin? What exceptions will I have to that?

So, we do done-for-you podcasting. And so, if somebody, one of our highest end clients, is paying 18 to 20 grand for us to launch a podcast, if they’re freaking out at 5pm over something that I can answer with a quick text, yes, I’m going to text em back and not just wait till the next morning. Or if it’s on a Thursday night, wait till Tuesday, but also knowing, you know, I’m not going to be available 24/7 either, for somebody. And so that’s such a, I think, natural movement. When you’re first starting a practice, you’re wanting to get the clients in there, you’re growing, you’re scaling, but there are those times that you choose to plateau and really lock down your systems so that the next level of growth, you can then really amplify and know that the basic systems and Emily’s time, and everyone else is just like, you can rock that out. It’s a long way of me saying it’s really smart you’re focusing on that.

[RYAN]:
Thanks, man. I’m trying because I’ve always wanted to have that work-life balance, it goes back to my story and, as a kid, you know, making time for the family versus always working. I do want to add one thing though I can about what I’m looking at…

[JOE]:
Please do.

[RYAN]:
Yeah. So, some of my best training was when I had to do my own work and so I am doing and have done, for therapists, they’ve come to do their own intensives. Looking at their own trauma or attachment history. A lot of us that get into the field have family of origin reasons why we did, and we’re not fully aware, myself included. And so, I’ve had clinicians fly from out of state to do their own work. And so, it’s kind of a hybrid, it’s… we could say professional development but essentially doing your own trauma history, exploring your own work-life balance and attachment issues… I’ve done those and I’ve absolutely loved those, and I want to develop more of those, because as a therapist, local clinicians may not be fully safe, or you might know their baggage or…

[JOE]:
Or you just don’t want to see him at a coffee meetup.

[RYAN]:
Yeah. So, who are you going to turn to, to do your own couples therapy, or your own work? And so, having a seasoned, excellent clinician that knows what they’re doing with it, in intensive, I love that. So, I think we are developing the professional development intensive, but it’s gonna look a lot like just with standard clients though. I’m gonna have people dip deeply into their own story. So, I’m excited about developing that component here soon. And it would be tax deductible too for them because it could be a business expense. So, it’s something [unclear].

[JOE]:
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s awesome. Well, Ryan, the last question I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world we’re listening right now, what would you want em to know?

[RYAN]:
I would say, it’s a life calling. Invest in yourself. Begin from the inside out, not the outside in, do your own work on your own story, on your own head game, and start from there.

[JOE]:
Oh, that’s so awesome. Well, Ryan, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. If people want to connect with you, hear more about what you’re doing or maybe even work in an intensive or refer someone, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?

[RYAN]:
Emily does all the intakes and communication, so my wife Emily: she’s emily@thefindingplacecounseling.com. For me, I’m ryan@thefindingplacecounseling.com. And of course, the website thefindingplacecounseling.com.

[JOE]:
Awesome. Well, thanks so much for being on the podcast.

[RYAN]:
Great. Thanks, Joe. Thank you for having me.

[JOE]:
You know, now is a time to think creatively and Ryan gave some awesome… I almost combined the words great and gave… great, he great he gave some great and gave some great, and now my mind is just scrambled. Gave some awesome tips there. And so, I would love for you to think about what would, especially during this time, an online intensive look like? Especially when things are disrupted like this. This is a time to think creatively; to think about whether that’s with small groups, therapeutic small groups. What would that look like, to start to capture your process in a way that’s not just individual therapy? And Ryan did a great job doing that, and it really helped him to grow in a number of ways.

And also, today I wanted to think Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision is the best website solution out there for practices and such a great discount, giving huge discounts to our Next Level Practice community. So, if you’re a Next Level Practice person and you’re new to Brighter Vision, they give you six months for free, which is incredible. So, make sure you head on over to brightervision.com, connect with them, follow those links in the show notes.

Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. In the next episode, which is going to come out in just two days, Duff Gardner is gonna be talking about startup thinking and it’s just an awesome interview. So really excited to talk with Duff in the next episode. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing, safe day and stay healthy.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. This podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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