How can you make space for God in your practice? Are there moments throughout the day that can better connect you to God? What can you do to notice these moments?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks about finding God in your practice.
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.
In This Podcast
- Fill your life with people who speak the truth to you
- Allow space for God in your day
Fill your life with people who speak the truth to you
I want you to think of this year as moment to be open to what God might want to do in your practice.
Place people in your staff and add in people into your inner circles who speak the truth to you, that can hold you accountable and that are sincere to you from a place of love for you and love for God. If you are not finding this person in your staff, then you can find a mentor or a consultant who you connect with who can provide this necessary relationship to you.
Allow space for God in your day
Even though your days might be fully booked up sometimes, and you are running on a tight schedule when moments happen that strike a chord with you, allow space around them because that may be God trying to connect with you.
When you plan your day, and you do the best that you can to plan your day, be available when God changes it, because He is probably changing it for a reason because there is something else that he needs you to do.
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Meet Whitney Owens
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.
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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.
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 private practice from a faith-based perspective. I’m going to 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 as I was sitting and thinking about this year and the podcast and what do I want to say starting out 2021, I thought of this episode. Being able to listen to God and know direction in your private practice. And we know that’s not easy, right? Well, I guess sometimes it feels easy. But then we’re not really sure how to enact things. We’re taking risks. So I wanted to talk about how do we make this a year where we let our practices really be formed and shaped by God. I think it’s a very, I don’t even know the word for this but almost it’s this perfect little way of saying it, oh, we’re gonna listen to God, it’s gonna be perfect, right? But to tell you the truth, it’s not that easy, right? I mean, I think I hear God or I’m not sure what God’s saying, and how do I do this in my practice? So I wanted to talk about that experience for me, in hopes that it will give you direction in your practice.
What I really love about consulting, is I get to help you grow a faith based practice, like that is so cool, like you have a practice that you’re helping your community. And you’re basically sharing Jesus’s love with other people in your practice, like that is the coolest thing. And if I am able to create a podcast that helps you find God in the midst of that and helps you build that business so that more people get healing and counseling, man, there’s nothing better than that, right?
So I had a recent situation that is kind of the reason I decided to do this episode, because it inspired me. Alright, so just a few days ago, I was getting inundated by applications for internships, because people are needing internships, and evidently, because of COVID, it’s becoming more and more difficult for people to finish and get licensed and get their clinical hours. So they were reaching out for that. And we were getting so many applications and honestly, as a group practice owner, I’m doing so many other things that I said to my assistant, okay, I want you to take all those and put them in a file, because I can’t look at them right now. But maybe in the next week or two, I can take a look at them.
So then my office manager who’s honestly more like a personal assistant to me, and I’ve talked about her before, her name’s Christina, she is like, honestly, she’s a little bit like God’s little voice in my ear, because I’ve asked her to hold me accountable. Like when I am making decisions for the practice, I need someone to talk to that understands and knows the practice. And that’s who she is. She’s going to tell me the hard stuff. She’s also going to pray for the practice. She’s praying for me, and I know that she does and that she just loves the Lord and finds the mission of what we do to be very important. So she calls me up and says, you know, what do you want to do about these interns? And I said, oh, I already told you know, the other assistant that I just wanted to put them in a folder. And she goes, I just wanted to let you know that one of these really piqued my interest. And I think that she’s faith based and I think we should consider her.
So if Christina is telling me something, I probably should listen. You probably have those people in your life that you know that when they mention something to you, you need to open up, be ready. I want to encourage you. This is, I’m going to interweave a few tips here in this podcast episode. So one of them would be, make sure you have people in your life that can speak truth into you, they can hold you accountable, and that they truly love you. You know, and they truly love the Lord and the work you’re doing. Okay? It’s important to have these people in our lives. And if you can have that on your staff, that’d be great. If you can’t then find a mentor, consultant, maybe, or someone that really can know you and your practice.
So she says to me, I want you to look at this one. Well, of course, “ironically”, right, I had multiple clients canceled that day. So I was supposed to have a packed day and now this time just opened up. So there’s another thing that we need to be paying attention to, right? Sometimes God’s going to open up moments for you to do something. And so when you plan your day, you do the best that you can to plan your day. But be available when God changes it, because he’s probably changing it for a reason. Because there’s something else that he needs you to do. Now, things just happen sometimes and I don’t want to over spiritualize it, right. But I also want to say, hey, just consider, just consider that something else that God has for you to do. And so I had this time open up, and she says, consider this one and I’m like sitting in my backyard, because I’m trying to get as much sunlight as I can on these cold days. And I look at my phone and I’m seeing this application, like hmm, this woman is checking a lot of boxes for me and my practice.
Just to go back a little bit, back in July, when the terrible things happened surrounding racism, which of course has been happening for all too long, but something about the summer was the moment where God hit me upside the head, and I got pretty convicted about my own racist thoughts and the lack of diversity in my practice, and I had started really praying that I would be able to bring more diversity, so we could meet more needs in our community. And so this particular application, this woman had lived in three different countries and she also had had some experience with the church. And then just as a bonus, she actually had private practice experience, because evidently, in England, you can do private practice with a bachelor’s degree. So I thought that was pretty cool. You don’t usually get interns with experience.
So then, I was like, okay, I guess I’ll call her. You know, of course, it’s not like I have time later to call her, if she doesn’t answer now, we’re probably not going to move forward. Because I’m busy later, right? So I gave her a call and she answered immediately. The one thing that was really funny about it all was all these connections. And I think that there’s something to be said for like, God creating connections, where you have all these ways that you know somebody, right? So this is going to be my sad story here. But one of my employees that I hired, I hired her about a little over a year ago. She’s fantastic. She’s one of my clinicians. She was my oldest daughter’s teacher in preschool, like five years ago. How odd, right? And then my assistant, the one I just am raving about, we actually went to college together. We didn’t really know each other all that well but we had a mutual friend. And then, as we got to know each other better, we had all these other crazy connections. I had mentored her cousin in college 15 years ago. And her husband and a guy I went to grad school with are brothers. It’s like a small, small world.
So anyway, this woman that I called about the interview for the internship, I give her a call, she answers. She’s literally four blocks away from my house at a school down the street with a bunch of kids. She already had met someone who leases space at my office and so we had multiple mutual connections. And then she was totally available for an interview later that day, she loves the Lord, her husband’s a pastor, had been to seminary. It was just crazy. And then we did our interview and she was fantastic. She had great references. So we went on ahead and hired her. And so I’d always considered having an intern, but nothing seemed to really feel right or pan out, right. And then all of a sudden it was bam, bam, boom, and this girl’s coming on. She’s gonna start a couple of weeks from you listening to this episode. And if I had been so set on my own agenda, or if I hadn’t been willing to listen, I would have really missed out on this chance to hire this intern. And some of the really great things about hiring her is not only am I helping her to get her hours towards her internship, but I am a cash pay practice. This way I can offer therapy services to people at a lower cost so I can meet more the needs of the community and she’s going to bring greater diversity to the practice.
And so I love this idea that our practice is fluid. It’s also representing God in the world. And honestly, we do ministry, right? So it’s important that we’ve listened to what God might want to do in our practice. And I have found that almost every hire that I have made has been someone who knew someone, or or God just opened some door, and this perfect person just made it through. And I’m not saying that I don’t have problems along the way, because I certainly do. And I certainly have conflict, and I have to figure things out. But I want you to think of this year as a moment to be open to what God might want to do in your practice. I think it’s so easy for us to get bogged down in the numbers, or to get bogged down in marketing. And those things are important. And I’ll consult you all day long on those things. But if we miss sight of God working within us, we’re going to have a really hard time, right? If we are constantly doing outward work, working on our business, doing our clients, helping our employees, you are going to get burned out. And so it’s in that time of slowing down listening, and the inner work is where God will be able to do something.
Now, I will also say that I’m a mother of two, one with special needs. We’re in a pandemic, I’m running a practice, I’m doing consulting, like to get real with you guys, it is hard. And I know you get it, because you’re doing so much of the same kind of work, running your practice, helping clients, getting back to people, it’s exhausting. And then you’re managing your family and helping them. So I can’t say that every day, I have times to get up and have prayer, or to be quiet, or to journal, or meditate. I do it when I can. In an ideal world, it would be daily. But sometimes my children wake me up before that, right, or sometimes crazy things happen at my house that I have to care for. And I just want to say to you guys that that’s okay, that God can meet you right where you’re at. And God can do amazing things in your practice. And that is how he forms you. Like, I think back on risks I’ve had to take in my practice and how scary those were. But it was in those moments of risk that I felt close to God and that he spoke to me, and he was near to me. So yes, we need that time alone. But also within relationships within our practice, God can form our hearts and bring us into closer relationship with him. So I find that to be equally valuable. But I also find that the slowing down as much as we can and listening to be valuable too.
So, I hope that this inspires you, as you consider this year, that you would put people in your life that can really speak to you, that you would slow down, look at your schedule. When things change, look for opportunities where God might be working. And enjoy the ride. Like following God is a journey. When I think back on my solo practice days, like when I got to Savannah and I started a private practice here, I was so scared. I’m like, God, you better do this, like, hey, I feel like I’m called to this. But I don’t really know if this is gonna work. And I’m just going to have faith and trust and I’m going to move forward in what you’ve put before me. And every decision that I’ve made, has just been pointing me towards God, it has been pointing me towards helping others and helping clinicians like yourself grow your practices.
But I would say the biggest risk I ever took was back in 2017 when I was a solo practice owner. I’d been doing the practice for three years, two years, something like that, had my second baby during that time. And the practice was growing. I honestly didn’t really want to see clients more than three and a half days a week. I think I was doing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, half a day on Friday. And that was enough for me. I think I was seeing around 18 to 20 clients and that felt like a lot with two young children at home and a husband working full time. And I could not see everybody. I remember having a little sticky note on my desk with a waitlist. And then I would start referring those people to someone else. And I thought gosh, like I don’t know if these other people do faith based work. These people are coming to me because they want faith based work and now I can’t fit them in. What am I doing?
And at that exact same moment was when I was in a Facebook, like a free Facebook challenge group where Joe was like leading us through, actually it was writing your first book, which I never did finish, by the way. But sometimes we enter into things not because of the actual agenda, but maybe God has a different agenda. And it was through that experience that Joe and I got on a call together. And he said, you know, I think you should consider joining this mastermind. And it was so crazy you guys like, I remember, Joe had some kind of competition, right? We’re talking about lots of names in this competition. And the night before, and I’d already been kind of having some stirrings in my heart about starting a group practice. But I kept throwing those fleeces out, right? And I was thinking oh, should I do it, should not? Well, maybe, maybe I will, maybe I won’t. And then I said to my husband, well, if I win this competition tomorrow, or my name gets drawn, honestly, then I’ll take that as a sign. And of course, my name got drawn. And I win this free consulting call with Joe, which, as you know, was like hundreds of dollars. And then he got me on the phone and immediately told me, you know, to raise your rates and hire an assistant and join this mastermind so that you can start your group practice.
And I thought, really? Like, really? And of course, you come up with every excuse why not to, like God can keep giving you sign after sign after sign. And I’m so glad that I joined it after a lot of prayer and talking to my husband, because the financial commitment when you have a solo practice of hundreds of dollars to do a mastermind group, every month is super scary. I was super worried. But I did it. I had someone hired within three months and had another person hired by the end of six months, and I was on my way. And now I serve way more people in that community. I make ministry more accessible with counseling, faith based practice, there are seven of us, seven clinicians. And when we bring this intern on, there’ll be eight of us. And that’s just amazing. Like, we can do so much more this way.
And so if you’re listening to this, and you’re having those stirrings and you’re thinking, I’ve been thinking about starting a group practice, I’m not really sure about it, not sure if I’m in the right place, because that’s exactly how I felt. I was like, ah, I don’t think I have what it takes, or I don’t know if I can be a boss. And so fortunately, Joe got me on the phone and told me otherwise. So I would love to talk to you about your practice. And I’m not going to tell you to start a group practice if I don’t think that you’re at the right place for that, because honestly, there are definitely some people that need to take some time to really work on their solo business first. But this mastermind that I’m going to start in January is to help you do that. And we’re going to integrate faith as a part of growing your business. So I would love to have you join that group, that mastermind group is going to last for six months. And we meet every other week over Zoom. And I walk you through the steps of hiring your first clinicians and creating a culture for your practice. I also have tons of resources. So if you’re needing contracts for contractors or offer letters, onboarding stuff, how do you do an interview, here’s interview questions to help you. I go through all that as well and give you all those resources.
So I’d love to jump on a call with you to talk about that. You can find me so many different ways, you can email me email@example.com, you can go to practiceofthepractice.com/faithmastermind, I would love to connect with you. If you go to that page, it’ll give you lots of information about the mastermind group. So I’ll be taking applications for that over the next week because I need to get the group set by then. And also other things you get within that group is access to NLP which is through Practice of the Practice membership community with tons of resources, courses, and a place to ask questions, attend live webinars, all that’s included. And then you also get one consulting call with me as part of the package in joining the mastermind group. And then you have access to me for quick questions and things that you need along the way.
I have seen people do masterminds and do awesome things. One of the girls in my current mastermind who’s about to, that one’s about to end, she joined as a solo practice owner, wasn’t really sure if she wanted to join and I said, I really think you can do this, like on the pre consulting call I said, I think you can start your practice and I think by having a group you’re gonna have more income. She’s raising her son. And so she was like, okay, I’m doing this and, and she has just blown me away with the work she’s done. So she started the mastermind group, this was back in the summer. She hired two people within about six to eight weeks. They already started seeing clients, she started changing her schedule. She stopped taking sliding scale or EAP clients and started taking more other kinds of clients. She also has a cash pay practice, and now she’s hired an assistant. And I mean, she’s running a legit group practice and we still haven’t finished our mastermind group. Like, that is really amazing. And I say that to encourage you to say you can do the same thing.
So I hope you’ll get in touch with me. I’m excited about the group obviously. And I love helping people grow group practices because we’re making healing counseling more accessible to so many more people from a faith based perspective. Well, I thank you for taking the time to listen to this podcast. I love hearing from you guys. So if you’re listening and you’re thinking, I love what Whitney’s saying, shoot me a text if you’ve got my number, send me an email. Let me know what the podcast means to you, write a review. This helps me know the best ways to make podcasts accessible and better for you and your needs. Thanks for listening.
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 group consulting, or just shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Would 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, the 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.