We've all been there. And I am currently "there". The end of the school year comes and goes. Your clients take a vacation, no-shows, cancellations, reschedules, or your teenage clients oversleep and miss their session…
And you start to freak out! Rent is due, as well as all of your other private practice bills - website, Psychology Today profile fee, liability insurance, license fees, membership dues, CEU's, etc.
Here are 5 simple things you can do right now this summer if your private practice is slower than usual:
1. Review and refresh your intake paperwork.
- I know, I know... super exciting, right? Trust me. This gives you a chance to speak directly to your ideal client.
- Make sure to include your cancellation/no-show policy! Crafting your paperwork to align with your values is another great way to show your clients that you are being thoughtful and mindful of your words. "Your vibe attracts your tribe". Plus, you can do this while at home cranking up all your favorite tunes!!!
2. Update your website, LinkedIn and Psychology Today profiles and your social media pages.
- Having too many social media pages going at one time can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Especially for us Highly Sensitive Therapists. I have learned from experience and by research, that using one primary social media page for your business is marketing "best practice".
- Perhaps consider using additional marketing tools such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.
3. Connect with one other local therapist to learn about their practice.
- This can be a tough one for more introverted therapists, but it is an amazing way of increasing more appropriate referrals for you and your clients.
- We want to trust our referral base, and what better way than to meet face-to-face over coffee or cocktail to learn about another nearby therapist and their practice?
4. Volunteer on a Board or join and get involved in your professional organization.
- This is a fantastic way of meeting your community and to learn about referral sources.
- Linked here are the websites for some organizations you can check out:
Minnesota Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
Minnesota Psychological Association
Minnesota Women in Psychology
Dissonance: Music + Mental Health Minnesota Non-Profit
Minnesota Art Therapy Association
Music Therapy Association of Minnesota
5. Take a vacation!!!
- You're damn right I said it! As mental health therapists, we need to practice what we preach to make sure healthy self-care is a ritual and a habit. Take a break and allow yourself to feel comfortable with disruption, ambiguity and fear. This is one of the many ways we can use discomfort as a way to join with our clients who may be experiencing ambiguous loss, deep hurt or a flood of different emotions.
- Try a new activity or hobby like forest bathing, off-road biking, meditation, yoga, paddle boarding, paddle board yoga, kayaking, sign up for a 5K, 2K... or a half K! It doesn't matter. As long as you try to enjoy some relaxation time. It rejuvenates the soul and allows our brains to rest.
As I sit here in my office with my own low-grade anxiety of a slow summer start, I am sending the private practice community all the positive vibes for a fun and relaxing summer.
You totally deserve it!