Kelly Higdon on Faith as an Asset in Private Practice | FP 26

Kelly Higdon on Faith as an Asset in Private Practice | FP 26

How can you integrate faith into your private practice? Should you integrate faith into your private practice? Can faith be an asset to your private practice and not a hindrance?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks to Kelly Higdon about faith as an asset in private practice.

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Meet Kelly Higdon

Kelly Higdon

Kelly Higdon is an LMFT turned business coach who co-founded ZynnyMe and the Business School Bootcamp for Therapists where she helps therapists improve their clinical outcomes while increasing their income.

From her training in seminary to her experience as a private practice owner to now becoming a coach, these experiences have all influenced how she sees private practice as a place for innovation and creativity in mental health care. It is her hope to reduce burnout and to increase personal growth in each therapist she works with.

Visit the website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Kelly’s background
  • How seminary rocked Kelly’s faith
  • Kelly’s thoughts on Christian counseling as a business
  • Should you niche as a Christian counselor?
  • Expressing your Christian values in your practice in an appropriate way
  • How religion can lead to burnout but faith is an asset
  • Kelly’s Coaching and Business school
  • What every Christian counselor needs to know

Kelly’s background

What a lot of people don’t tell you about seminary is that it can really shift your faith and change perspectives for you and so as I got more into counseling I decided, you know, I don’t want to be in the church doing this, I want to be in the world doing the work.

How seminary rocked Kelly’s faith

Statistically, people lose their faith for 6-7 years, on average, after completing seminary. Kelly went through a post-modernist deconstruction of her faith because of seminary, which ended up playing into how she helps people in her practice today. She attracted people who were wrestling with where they land in their beliefs and how it impacts their lives. It’s one thing to go to church and read scripture, it’s a whole other thing to dissect origins and the evolution of your faith. There are a lot of absolutes that we get taught growing up and you start to see that maybe things aren’t so absolute.

Kelly’s thoughts on Christian counseling as a business

I also believe in a world of niche that our practices should reflect the communities we serve. We need black therapists, we need therapists who are immigrants. We need therapists who speak other languages. We need therapists of all different faiths because that is the community we serve. They are different colors, different genders, different sexual orientations, all of that.

We do a service to our communities and the mental health field when we niche. It allows us to enhance our training when we have a focus on what our clinical skills are. When you have a niche, like Christian counseling, it can really help inform your training, education, ongoing supervision, and clinical consultation.

Should you niche as a Christian counselor?

Fear comes with any niche but you are not here to serve everybody. That is impossible and wrong. We all need each other, we all have our place and parts we serve, so it’s more a matter of wanting it to be how you show up clinically. Even in Christian counseling, there’s a lot of variety, so it comes down to what is being used as a tool in the room. Even if you say that you provide Christian counseling, you’re going to have to do better in describing what that means and how it shows up in the therapy room.

Expressing your Christian values in your practice in an appropriate way

It starts with your website – it needs to be clear about who you serve and how you can help. You won’t lack variety, in terms of clients, but you will get focused on where you market your practice when you’re working from a Christian lens. Your messaging needs to be on point and you need to be clear as to how you use faith as part of the clinical intervention. Where you land in terms of your integration, ends up in your messaging and that messaging ends up in how you talk about your practice. Your faith will change the way you do an assessment for example. How do you ask questions about faith, religion, spiritual practice, etc? You may ask for more details that someone who doesn’t have that experience in their life. It can show up in subtle ways and also very direct ways.

How religion can lead to burnout but faith is an asset

Religion, in terms of Dogma, has a set of tenets, rules that structure the relationship of boundaries versus faith. Faith in your relationships gets mirrored back to you – who you are, who you were created to be, what your gifts are. There’s discernment happening but when we are unbalanced and living in rigidity because of the rules, it can squelch the dynamic part of having faith. If you are stuck and really trying to meet the status quo and follow the rules to the tee, you will burn out. When people are rigid, they have certain expectations and goals. Sometimes these can be motivating, but sometimes they can be used to oppress ourselves. Faith can bring in that creativity that is lacking. When you look at outcomes, it is attunement and the ability to connect and build trust that is the number one thing that creates positive outcomes in therapy.

Kelly’s Coaching and Business School

Kelly works primarily online and runs Business School Boot Camp with her business partner, Miranda. It’s the largest online training system for therapists and covers everything from starting to growing, to group practice – everything that you weren’t taught in grad school. Their focus is on how everything you do in your business influences the outcomes and looks at how to increase your income while improving your outcomes clinically.

Kelly also has coaching clients who she sees throughout the year and they have a retreat once a year. She also offers 10 hours of free training and suggests the one on “niche” – it is good to look at if you are grappling with who to work with in your practice as a Christian business owner for example.

What every Christian counselor needs to know

That they are enough as they are. That just showing up as themselves, holding that space for love and attention and attunement is enough, and that is the gift that they will always be giving to their clients, whether they call it Christian or not.

Click here to access over 10 hours of free training.

Useful Links:

Meet Whitney Owens

Whitney Ownens | Build a faith-based practiceWhitney 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.

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