Gordon Brewer on Utilizing Google Workspace in your Practice | FP 97

A photo of Gordon Brewer is captured. He speaks with Whitney Owens about utilizing Google Workspace in your private practice. Gordon is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast

How can you optimize your practice for online work? Is Google Workspace HIPAA compliant? What are some considerations when choosing between an EHR and Google Workspace?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Gordon Brewer about utilizing Google Workspace in your Practice.

Meet Gordon Brewer

A photo of Gordon Brewer is captured. He is a therapist, podcaster, trainer, speaker and writer. Gordon is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast L. Gordon Brewer, Jr., MEd, LMFT therapist | podcaster | trainer | speaker | writer is a  licensed marital and family therapist and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast and Blog. The Practice of Therapy provides information and resources for clinicians starting, growing, or scaling private practices.

Gordon has worked in the human services and mental health fields for over 30 years. He has previously worked in agency settings and is currently in private practice as a therapist.

Gordon is the owner of a group therapy practice, Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC located in Kingsport, TN.   He has also served as an adjunct instructor and internship supervisor at East Tennessee State University.

Gordon is married to Mary “Sister” Brewer and they have one daughter, Rebecca who is an environmental educator.  Gordon is also a clergy person in the Episcopal Church (vocational deacon).

Visit his counseling website and Practice of Therapy website. Join the private Facebook page: Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) for Therapists Users Group

Listen to his podcast here and get in touch via email: gordon@practiceoftherapy.com

Gordon’s course: G-Suite for therapists and take a closer look at Google Workspace.

FREEBIE: Click here for 15% off G-Suite for Therapists Course

In This Podcast

  • Google Workspace
  • Benefits of Google Workspace
  • Choosing between an electronic health record or Google Workspace

Google Workspace

The thing that’s great about it is that it’s so economical, even for the very basic version of it, it’s only $6 a month per user. I really recommend that people get the Business Plan or the Business Plus. (Gordon Brewer)

Business Plan is $12 a month and Business Plus is $18 per user. What Google Workspace allows you to do is:

  • Set up your Gmail account with your practice URL alongside different aliases.

Benefits of Google Workspace

Why should therapists consider Google Workspace over other digital platforms?

Security

Google Workspace is HIPAA-compliant.

Versatility

There are so many tools that you can use in different ways. In particular, for practices that are self-pay, that might not need a full electronic health record system, or you can use Google Workspace in conjunction with an electronic health record system.

I use both. I use both Google Workspace and Therapy Notes for my practice. The way I delineate that is I use Therapy Notes for primarily the clinical side of things and then use Google Workspace for the running of the business side of things in terms of … email and communication. (Gordon Brewer)

Internal websites

You can set up websites inside Google Workspace that you can use to communicate and interact with your clinicians, who can log in with their Google account credentials.

Using Google Forms to create data and templates

You can use this to create intake forms for clients to fill out, and you can use this to write progress or in-session notes.

Choosing between an electronic health record or Google Workspace

Gordon explains that choosing between using only an electronic health record system or Google Workspace, or a combination of both, will depend on the setup of your practice.

The one thing about Google Workspace is that it’s not really specifically designed for mental health … or private practices whereas Therapy Notes is, and there are a lot of things that you do in Therapy Notes that you just can’t do with Google Workspace. (Gordon Brewer)

For example, if your practice is insurance-based, you cannot file insurance claims within Google Workspace, but you can with Therapy Notes.

However, what many practices do with Google Workspace that really helps them is to use it to help organize and run the business and administrative side of the practice while using Therapy Notes for specific in-house counseling necessities.

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful Links:

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] 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.

One of my absolute favorite things about being a part of this special community of Practice of the Practice is the friends, the long-term relationships that I get to make with people who really get me right. It’s hard to find people who understand running a practice, maybe even doing consulting, having a family, caring for our loved ones. And I have found those relationships in this community. When I look back on my experience in mastermind groups, some of those groups have been where I made my best friends. And then I also look at heading out to different conferences where I’ve gotten to know some of you that listened to this show and I just love when we all get together.

So today I am interviewing the amazing Gordon Brewer on the show. He has been a dear friend of mine. I’ve been on his show a few times, the Practice of Therapy. If you haven’t checked out that podcast, please take the time to. He is awesome and he has some really good interviews. Gordon’s just all around great guy and I love listening to his voice. In fact, sometimes when I just like feel a little down about private practice or maybe I’m kind of sad, I just listen to his podcast and it makes me feel better. So anyway, check it out.

I met Gordon in a mastermind where we were in a mastermind together but even before that, there was this event that Joe did. If you don’t know Joe, he is the owner of Practice of the Practice and does some consulting and he was my first consultant. And he did an experience, I guess you’d say called Next Level Living Room. And that’s one thing I love about Joe and that I love about being a consultant and owning a practice is we can be really creative with the things that we do. So he came up with this idea that people would come to Traverse City, Michigan, which is where he lives and hang out in his living room and work on their practice.

I did it. I thought it was cool. So a lot of us flew out there, I think maybe 12 of us, this was several years ago and I had heard that Gordon was coming and I knew who he was because he was doing some consulting at the time. And I couldn’t wait to meet him because I’d heard so many good things about him and he also has a collar because he is clergy as well. And he’ll talk about that in the episode. So that was when I first got to know Gordon that’s actually when I first had the idea of doing consulting for faith-based practice owners, because we talked about that at Next Level Living Room. So God kind of was stirring that within me at the time.

And then after that we’ve connected many times and we’re actually in a mastermind together right now. So I’m excited that I get to introduce you to him. Also want to tell you that Gordon and I will both be at Killin’It Camp this year. If you don’t know what Killin’It Camp is, you’re going to find out about it the next few episodes, because I’ll be talking it up. It is a conference that we do with Practice of the Practice on an annual basis. And this year we’re going to be out in Estes Park, Colorado. Last year we did it virtually. And then our first year was in 2019 and we were in Estes Park. I made some awesome connections there. A lot of people that I met have now been involved in our membership communities or they’re consulting with me.

One person that I’m thinking of in particular, I met her at Killin’It Camp, just sat by her at a table during one of the talks and we started chatting about Slow Down School and our involvement with the Practice of the Practice community and then she signed up for consulting. We worked together for a year and she is killing it in her practice. She started a group practice and now she’s got, I don’t know, five clinicians or something. She used her profits not too long ago to take an amazing trip to Saint Lucia. She just bought her first building for her practice and that was only two years ago, not even two years ago that we actually met and she had a solo practice at the time. Amazing.

So I could go on and on about the cool people at Killin’It Camp, but I’m going to be there. So if you want to meet with me, hang out, please consider coming to Killin’It Camp. There are different tracks that are involved. So you can kind of pick a track that works for you. Pillars of Practice is one of them and those are kind of like the foundational steps if you have a solo practice. Then we have a group practice track and then we also have kind of like a side hustle track where you can really find multiple streams of income as well. Alison Pidgeon and I are going to be doing a pre-conference day where we’re going to talk about being a group practice boss and discuss kind of game planning for the next year. Strategic planning, helping you figure out what your goals are and how to meet those and have a hot seat format as well.

So the information for Killin’It Camp, you can go, you can just Google Killin’It Camp and it will pop up and go to the Practice of the Practice website. The conference is October 14th through the 17th and then the pre-conference, actually the pre-conference day is the 14th and the actual event is the 15th, 16th and 17th. But now I’m going to look at the website and make sure I’ve got that right. 14th, yep, that’s right. So we actually have the pre-conference day on the 14th and then we kick off the event the night of the 14th. So if you want to come to the pre-conference day, you’re going to want to come in on the 13th. There’s all that. So head on over to the website to get more information about that.

And then for today on the podcast with Gordon Brewer, he’s going to talk to you about how to maximize Google Workplace in your practice. When I started my group practice, I was so low kind of making that transition. I purchased his course, back then it was G-Suite and he’s updated it since then. And I found it super helpful for me to getting the email HIPAA-compliant, understanding all the different things I can use. So the course kind of takes you through each of the apps involved and you can learn how to maximize those for your practice, totally worth it, y’all.

And I am not a big course person. I really, really like attending live events. I struggle to sit and watch videos sometimes, but I definitely sat and watched this whole thing, got the notes. I’ve used it with my clinicians and then I know how to maximize it. And then today he’s going to be talking about the updated course that you can use in your practice. He also has a discount for you. So if you decide that you want to purchase the course, you can go to practiceoftherapy.com/whitney and get 15% off. Yay. So thank you for taking the time to listen. You’re going to love hanging out with me and Gordon. I always do. So we’re going to jump right into the episode,
[WHITNEY] Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. Today, I have my good friend Gordon Brewer. He is a therapist, podcaster, trainer, speaker and writer, licensed marriage and family therapist and AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Gordon is the person behind the Practice of Therapy podcast and blog. The Practice of Therapy provides information and resources for clinicians starting, growing and scaling private practices. Gordon has worked in the human services and mental health fields for over 30 years. He has previously worked in agency settings and is currently in a private practice as a therapist. He is the owner of the group practice, Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC located in Kingsport, Tennessee. He served as an adjunct instructor in an internship supervisor at East Tennessee State University. He’s married to Mary “Sister” Brewer and they have one daughter, Rebecca, who is an environmental educator. Gordon is also a clergy person in the Episcopal Church (vocational deacon). Welcome to the show Gordon.
[GORDON BREWER] Well, good to be here, Whitney. I’ve been looking forward to this all day. I was just so pumped.
[WHITNEY] It’s always good to podcast with friends. I mean, I like to meet new people, but it’s a lot more comfortable when it’s someone you already know and it’s a little bit more fun.
[GORDON] Of it is. There’s always that connection. Good.
[WHITNEY] Well, let’s start out talking about faith. I mean, you’re a clergy person. What does that all mean and how do you integrate that into your practice?
[GORDON] Yes, I love that question. And I listen to this podcast pretty regularly just because it has a good tone for me. And I guess the way I like to kind of frame this as far as faith in practice is I see my practice is not necessarily a faith-based practice, but more of a faith informed practice. I am a clergy person in the Episcopal Church and so, I’m a deacon, so for those not familiar with the Episcopal Church, a deacon’s ministry is really a ministry in the world. So my ministry is my practice. So I’m also assigned to a church, St Christopher’s and have my regular liturgical functions there, and also do some preaching and that sort of thing on a regular basis and also some teaching there and Sunday schools and that sort of thing.

So I’m very active in my church stuff, but in terms of how it works and my practices is that I’m very open with people about the fact that I am a clergy person. And what I always tell folks is that I want them to know that I also don’t have a religious agenda with my counseling and therapy. But I tell people that if they ever want to talk about those things, I love talking about those things and just have a lot of fun talking about those things, but they’re not necessarily going to hear it from me first, but it’s pretty amazing though, as you can probably guess that comes up pretty regularly and that people are struggling with issues of spirituality and that sort of thing. And sometimes as we get through kind of the therapeutic part of things, sometimes our sessions can kind of morph into spiritual direction and that sort of thing. So it’s very fulfilling to me to be in that kind of position of wearing kind of two hats of being a clergy person, but also being a licensed therapist.
[WHITNEY] I love that too, and the way God just brings people to your door. It’s like all of a sudden someone comes in and you’re like, “Man, this has to be God-ordained.” A lot of times the client never knows. Like they might say something that you’re immediately going through or something you’ve been through, or they start having questions about faith and you’re like, “God brought this person to me for this season in this time and it’s such a beautiful.”
[GORDON] Right. And it’s just a lot of fun. It just brings a lot of meaning in my life and just being able to share in that way and always feel like a big part of therapy. And a big part of what we do, not only on the clinical side, but the spiritual side is we’re there to plant seeds. And just always remember the parable of the sower of the seeds and that sort of thing. So, but anyway, I’m pretty, pretty glad to be in that position.
[WHITNEY] Definitely. I had someone, I don’t know if this was in a book or where it came from, someone quoted this to me time that someone needs 13 encounters with God before they accept Jesus or something like that. So the idea that we almost have to hear something 13 times before we actually do anything about it. So that planting seeds it’s like as therapists, sometimes we leave discouraged if someone doesn’t change things, they don’t find God, they’re jaded and you’re sad, but knowing that I could have been number five or number seven to help somebody get to that place of getting right in their faith and finding God again.
[GORDON] Yes. And I think everybody has to kind of find their own path to that. And I think that as we know God speaks to people in different ways and in different languages. And otherwise we wouldn’t have so many fricking many denominations. So, but I think everybody has to find their own path and their own way. And I think when you were talking about the hearing things in different ways where I think a lot of times when the right moment comes and the right words come, we hear it in the way we need to hear it in that moment. So yes, I think it definitely is a God thing.

I mean, it’s just like, yes, as we’ve all maybe experienced those of us that have a background in faith the different gospels of the new Testament, you have many of the same stories. And if you read it in Mark or you read it in Luke or John or Matthew, there are a lot of the same stories there about Jesus, but sometimes you hear it from a particular gospel and then it just resonates differently with you. So you come to a new understanding about that and it creates more meaning for you in your life. So yes, at least that’s the way I see it for now in my own journey of faith.
[WHITNEY] I love that. That’s beautiful. Well, I am excited to talk about this course that you have recreated. So Gordon, if y’all have heard of Gordon Brewer that he had created the Google G-Suite course years ago, and I can attest to the fact that I took that course when I had a solo practice and going into a group practice. It was great. It had all the recordings and all the documentation that I needed, and I was able to take G-Suite at the time and reconvert it to use it for my practice. And it’s been super helpful. I even have the course available for my clinicians if they want to take it, or they can just look at my notes from it. So it was super helpful to me. So I’m excited to hear kind of what changes you’ve made and we can kind of go into some of the details of how it’s valuable in case people haven’t seen the course or heard about it.
[GORDON] Well, thanks. Yes it’s been quite a journey with Google G-Suite. And I’m still having trouble of calling it by its new name, which is Google Workspace. Back in September of 2020, Google changed all the branding on that. So it’s now known as, G-Suite is now known as Google Workspace. So if you’ve been using G-Suite, no fear, you’ve probably already seen the updates and all of the changes that Google has been handing down. And one of the things about this that got me excited when thinking about using Google Workspace was back when I was first getting really kind of getting started with my practice, I was looking for a way to use my practice URL for my email. And also I knew that it needed to be HIPAA-secure and HIPAA-compliant and all of that.

So I started looking at different ways to do that and then I came across the fact that Google does that. And if you get, most of us are familiar with Google, like Gmail, and a lot of us have used the different applications of Google maybe in college or high school or in graduate school, because it’s been around for a long time, so like Google Docs, Google Sheets Google Forms, Google Slides, all of those things, Gmail, all of those things are part of Google Workspace. And if you get the business account, if you get a paid subscription to that, Google will give you the BAA that you need for HIPAA-compliance. Plus, it’s just, the thing about Google is that it’s so secure anyway, because really their whole business depends on that of being able to make it as hack proof as possible and being able to keep data and information secure.

So when you go to sign up for Google, I’ve actually got on my website, if you’ll go to practiceoftherapy.com, I believe it’s Get Google Workspace, you can get the subscription and sign up for that. And the thing that’s great about it is that so economical. I mean, even for the very basic version of it is only like $6 a month per user. I really recommend that people get the either the Business plan or the Business Plus. So those are $12 a month or $18 a month per user. But what it allows you to do is set up your Gmail, I mean, just like for those of you who are familiar with Gmail, you just go in and log in with your business account, and then you can use your practice URL plus aliases with that.

So like, if for example, with my email it’s lgordonbrewer@kingsportcounseling.com, but also I have gordon@practiceoftherapy.com and it’s all in the same Gmail account. I don’t have to have separate accounts. So it’s really versatile in that way of setting those things up. But anyway, when I started playing around with all of this stuff and really figuring out that, “Oh, wow, you could really create just a whole practice platform, which a lot of people are doing now,” I thought, “Okay, let me teach people how to do that.” So I created the course G-Suite for therapists, and it’s been out there for quite a while now really. I was looking back like I originally recorded it back in 2017, but obviously after that amount of time, it needed some updates. So I’ve really kind of done a deep dive this past year and really updated, I’ve gone through, most all of the videos are new now with the new Google branding and also just some more hacks and ways that you can use Google Workspace.

So anyway it’s out there now, rereleased it. I took it down for a while, but it’s back up there. So you can still access the course. In fact, Whitney for those listening to this particular episode, if they’ll just go to practiceoftherapy.com/whitney they can get access to, they can sign up to enroll in the course, plus get a 15% discount if they do it through that URL. So anyway, just it’s been a pretty amazing journey with all of Google Workspace.
[WHITNEY] Sure. Well, thank you so much for offering that link to the audience today.
[GORDON] Yes.
[WHITNEY] So can you kind of talk through, maybe if you could narrow it down to the top few reasons why Google Workspace is so helpful for practice owners? Like, why is it so important they do this over some of the other platforms out there?
[GORDON] Right. Yes, that’s another great question. Well, I think number one is that we know that we can make it secure in a Tampa comply. And I think that’s something that we all have to be cognizant of. But the other thing is just the versatility of it. There are so many tools within Google Workspace that you can use in different ways and particularly those practices that might not be insurance-based and they might not need a full blown electronic health record system. Although I use both, I use both Google Workspace and Therapy Notes for my practice, and I use really, the way I kind of delineate that is that I use Therapy Notes for primarily the clinical side of things, and then use Google Workspace for running of the business side of things in terms of just email and communication.

One of the things that Google Workspace has as a way to create websites or webpages within Google Workspace. So I’ve set up not only, I’ve got a staff portal for my staff, and so it’s just a web page they can go to and they have to have their password or their Google login actually to get access to the page. So I’ve got all the links for all the things that we use the most, anywhere from forms to their clinical hours form, just a Google form set up so they enter their hours each month in order to get paid. So all of that is set up through Google Workspace. The other thing too, is just, which that’s really, the other thing about Google Workspaces that you can really quickly create dashboards. For those that might not be familiar with dashboards, it’s just a way to track data, being able to, one of the hidden gems of Google Workspace is Google Forms.

With a few tweaks, you can create a Google Form and do a lot with it in terms of creating intake forms for clients to use, you can create something that I developed called the session of helper, which uses an add-on called form publisher to be able to quickly write progress notes or session notes just by clicking off some boxes within a Google form that I created. And then it uses an add-on called Form Publisher that’s also HIPAA secure that converts those responses into a Google Doc in a narrative format. So you can take that and then just cut and paste into your electronic health record system, which is what most of us do in our practice. And it’s just a big time-saver by doing that.

Then there’s just a lot of different ways and hacks that you can set up different automations within Google. Within Gmail there’s the ability to create templates for your emails. So a lot of times we respond for emails, just all in the same way, say somebody has an inquiry about serving an appointment and instead of typing out an email with the same stuff, every single time, there’s a way to set up Gmail in order to have a template. They use just a few clicks and you’ve got the email written for yourself. So there’s a lot of little hacks like that. So the course basically takes you through all of the different applications of Google Workspace from just being able to set it up. There’s a whole module in there on HIPAA and what you need to understand about HIPAA and HIPAA-compliance about how to use Google Drive, which is the cloud storage that is just a, if you get the Business or the Business Plus version, it’d be very hard to fill up the amount of space that Google gives you with that.

But being able to share files with people, being able to create PDFs, all those things that I go through, basically through most, all of the applications within Google Workspace and teach people how to use those in the context of private practice. So I feel like it’s a good course and it’s well over six hours of instruction and when somebody signs up for the course, they get lifetime access. So as I add updates and update things, they’ll always have access to the updates within the course.
[WHITNEY] Yes, because we know things are changing all the time.
[GORDON] Oh yes. Oh yes. It’s hard to stay on top of it for really a lot of people.
[WHITNEY] Yes. I love how, at least when I took the course and I’m going to guess this is in there, just the importance of like which documents you have to make secure and which ones can be shareable. I even heard from a practice owner, I can’t even remember when this happened, but it was like he was using a form for clients, but somehow had not done the settings correctly so other clients could see it from other clients filling it out? So I’m going to guess from the course, you go through that and how to make not shareable.
[GORDON] Yes.
[WHITNEY] Yes, and that’s so important. So it’s like the time that business owner, especially if you’re not tech savvy, the amount of time that people are spending, trying to figure all that out like if they just grabbed your course, they can figure it out in five minutes and do it the right way instead of wasting their time, which is money.
[GORDON] Absolutely. And that’s the reason that I created it. With really any of the courses that I create, it’s because I’ve spent a lot of time learning it the hard way, and I don’t want other people to have to do that. The other is I’m an Enneagram two, so I have to help.
[WHITNEY] I love that you just brought the Enneagram today.
[GORDON] Yes. I knew it would happen at one time or another?
[WHITNEY] That’s right. That’s right. Well, as a sidebar, even just today with one of my clients, I finally convinced him to read The Road Back to You and boy blown away, blown away. I’m just saying the Enneagram in all the things we do can make such a difference in our lives and with our clients.
[GORDON] Ditto to that. And again, this is getting way off on a tangent, but because of you and your husband, James, that was my Winton discipline this year. I did The Road Back to You and so it was a great Winton season for me doing that deep dive for myself.
[WHITNEY] Oh, I’m so glad to hear it. We can talk about, I can talk about the Enneagram. I do want to mention the, I do want to go back to the course because I just think the Google Workspace is so great and what you’re doing with it, but I use it very similar. Like before, believe it or not, there was a moment I didn’t have an EHR. Like I can’t believe I went so long before getting an EHR, but we used it a lot for client stuff and like a client database on the Google Sheets and stuff like that and so your course has really helped me and kind of getting that set up. Now we do the same thing you do. We use Therapy Notes for our notes, and then I use Google Workspace to really run everything business wise and with Practice of the Practice. Like I use it for that coaching side too, but it’s everything you said, like those Google Forms, I use it to track inquiry calls and it has been life-changing. And even with my consulting, that is usually the thing that people say, “This was the most helpful part of working with you was learning how to track these calls because so many practice owners don’t or these dashboards.”

Like you just said, I have dashboards for how many calls we’re getting, the clients, how many clients did each therapist see and how are my Google analytics and how are my podcast listens? Like all that’s tracked on a dashboard, which is all in Google.
[GORDON] Right. And that’s really the power of making a business solid, is basing it on actual numbers and not just basing it off your gut feeling about things. So Google Workspace just has all of those things available. This morning I was just setting up, was just talking with my admin person just about tracking her time differently. And it didn’t take me long at all to set up a Google Form for her to track her time. The one thing about Google Form, just to get a little techie here is that Google Forms, kind of the default output for Google forms is to create a spreadsheet. So you can set that up and then use the spreadsheet and put in formulas and that sort of thing so that it calculates stuff out automatically again. So now with this time sheet I created, because my admin person works virtually. So her time throughout the day just kind of varies. So she was just looking for a better way to kind of track that. So we set up the Google Form and now it’ll take her just boom, boom, boom and she’s done.
[WHITNEY] Yes, that is really great. Yes, and we do all our time tracking through Google as well. Every therapist has a Google Spreadsheet that my assistant creates before the pay period, for every pay period. Actually I think, never mind, I think it’s for each person and then at the bottom, there’s the tags for each sheet and they can, she sets it up for them and it adds it for them. So all they have to do is put their time in for the day and then it adds it all up at the end of the two weeks so that we can do payouts. And it’s been really great way to track time. And every therapist, at least on my end, each has a folder. So any kind of documentation, if it’s them signing that behavioral plan or if it’s their offer letter signed or whatever it is, like all that stuff can just go into a virtual file instead of having all this paper and all these files here in the office. t’s really nice.
[GORDON] Yes, absolutely. My office now is virtually paperless and that’s both because of Google Workspace, but also Therapy Notes. And well, let me explain a little bit here because if you can do all this stuff with Google Workspace, why do you need an electronic health record system? Well, I think it depends on your practice number one. The one thing about Google Workspace is it’s not really specifically designed for mental health practices or private practices, whereas Therapy Notes is. And there are a lot of things that you do in Therapy Notes that you just can’t do in Google Workspace. For example, for those of us that are insurance-based, you can’t file insurance claims through Google Workspace, but in therapy notes, it’s connected to the clearing house and all that kind of stuff, not to get too technical.

But again, I think what has worked well for me in my practice and what other people are finding is to use Google Workspace for really kind of running the business and administrative side of your practice and then use therapy notes to run the clinical side of things. And that’s always been a helpful thing for me and just thinking about private practices. General is just thinking about the two different aspects that is kind of unique that the kind of business we have, or really anybody in healthcare, you’ve got the business side and then you’ve got the clinical side and those two sides need to be kept separate.
[WHITNEY] Yes, I appreciate you saying that. I do it the exact same way and I encourage people to get Google, everybody I consult, I pretty much I’m like, “Do you not have Google Workspace? That’s how you make your business run more effectively.” And I can say hands down, no one’s called me back or said, “Google Workspace was a bad decision. That didn’t work well for me.” Like I’ve never, everyone loves it that uses it.
[GORDON] One thing I’ll mention, Whitney, and I didn’t mention it before, there is a Facebook group that I set up and it’s just grown. There are like over 5,000 members now. It just blew me away how much it grew last year, especially during COVID, but it’s just called Google Workspace for therapists. So it’s a whole community where you can just go in and ask people questions about how they’re using Google Workspace or different problems they’re running into. I’ve got another consultant that’s been kind of helping me moderate that, his name’s Ed. Ed has a practice where he uses Google Workspace exclusively for everything. Now he’s not insurance-based.

You can theoretically do this if you want to put in all the work and there are several ad-ons you need to get and that sort of thing, but somebody could use Google Workspace for their whole practice management system. And for some people that works well, but I found again, for my type of practice and the way I do things, having both of those systems, Therapy Notes and Google Workspace together works really well for us.
[WHITNEY] Yes. Gordon, I didn’t realize that you were the moderator on this group. I guess I should have realized that. I just looked at it. You’re a 5.8k.
[GORDON] Oh, wow. Yes, yes.
[WHITNEY] How did you get this, to grow so big and fast? Now I’m picking your brain about that.
[GORDON] Yes. I will have to admit it was the magic of the Facebook algorithm that I had nothing to do with. Like we’re saying maybe it was just a God thing, but it grew during COVID, which was really interesting. I mean, it was just, when I first started out during, when the COVID pandemic hit, it just kind of caught on for some reason, and it just went out the roof during COVID.
[WHITNEY] Wow. You know, I think I interviewed Amanda Landry. I interviewed her last year. I want to say it was May, 2020. I don’t know. Sometimes, time is crazy when you think about the pandemic, but she said the exact kind of thing to me was it’s like all of a sudden your Facebook group just boom. Like you don’t overnight and that you worked so hard and you grow it and grow it and then all of a sudden, everyone finds out at one second.
[GORDON] Yes, it exploded. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it’s just that it was a relevant topic for people, especially because I think so many of us were working from home. So I think people were looking for ways to better manage their time and be more productive in their practices.
[WHITNEY] Most definitely. Well, hey, I just went and joined, so hail for me, Whitney Owens just joined and learning more about that group. Let’s get it to 6,000.
[GORDON] There you go. There you go, yes.
[WHITNEY] Well, Gordon, I always love chatting with you and I obviously think the world of your course. So everybody listening, if you are interested, please go to Practice of Therapy website and learn more about the course, and then use that code, say it again.
[GORDON] Yes, it’s going to be practiceoftherapy.com/whitney and folks that will use that way to get 15% off the course.
[WHITNEY] Perfect. Perfect. Well, thank you so much. I’m going to ask you what I ask everyone that comes on the show, what do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know? Well, I think one of the things that I’m kind of repeating myself from earlier, I think what we do in this field is this both noble and sacred work. And I think when we are in sessions with people, that to me is holy ground and we really don’t know for sure what seeds we’re planning, but I think just being present with people, being able to share the love of Christ in your own way, whatever that means to you or the love of God is how we’re going to get ahead in the world and how we’re going to really, and a lot of the division and the polarization and all of that sort of thing. So keep it up, keep doing what you’re doing because you’re making a difference in people’s lives.
[WHITNEY] Well, thank you Gordon. I really appreciate that. And thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been real fun.
[GORDON] Oh, me too. I believe we’ll do it again.
[WHITNEY] 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. 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, 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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