Ask the Expert Clay Cockrell on Online Counseling | PoP 393

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Clay Cockrell on Online Counseling | PoP 393

Where do you start with online counseling? How do you market yourself and find clients? What are some of the logistics involved in online counseling?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks to Clay Cockrell about the opportunity of counseling online, how to start your online counseling practice, and some valuable tips on how to make it work.

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Meet Clay Cockrel

Clay Cockrell, LCSW is the founder of – a listing directory with the mission of helping clients all over the world to find the therapist or life coach that will best meet their needs.  The site also works through their educational resources and podcasts to help counselors work online in an ethical, responsible and legal manner.  This is a site for online therapists developed by an online therapist.  Originally from Kentucky, Clay moved to New York City with his wife in 1997 and started the concept of Walk and Talk Therapy – he walks with his clients in Central Park instead of meeting in an office.  He has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s The Doctors.  He has also been profiled in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. | Take Your Practice to a Global Audience.

Find out more about Clay on his website, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Clay’s story

Clay was born and raised on farmland in Kentucky and is familiar with the difficulties of rural small town life. Yet living and working in New York City has made him acutely aware of the stresses of city life too. Clay’s years on Wall Street have provided him with great insight into the unique pressures of the corporate world. He is both a small business owner and entrepreneur, successfully launching and running Walk & Talk (his own outdoor therapy sessions) simultaneously.

In This Podcast


In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks to Clay Cockrell about the opportunity of counseling online, how to start your online counseling practice, and some valuable tips on how to make it work.

Why did you start

Clay had a love for travel and thought to himself, “What if I could take my practice with me?” And so he did by starting counseling online which allowed him to work from anywhere. When starting out, he broke all the rules but then finally found the right way to do it. He thought again, “What if I could create a directory for online therapists that were doing what I’m doing?”

At the time, there wasn’t a site that broke down online therapists state by state. He then started interviewing people that were doing it right in the process. And so was born. What was a passionate side gig from online counseling, now became his full-time gig.

You don’t have to be stuck in one place… Your side gig can also become the gig.

What are some of the basics of online counseling?

There are two crucial essentials to get started. First, you need to have a license in the state where your client resides. This doesn’t need to be overthought. In fact, there is a site that can help called, Epstein Becker Green. They look at all the different states, requirements and laws, and have an app that can give you all the information you need.

Secondly, you need a HIPAA-compliant platform which you can use to counsel. For example, you can’t use Skype or FaceTime.

Once you’ve got that, you’re legally ready to go.

Other useful tips to consider:

  • Your background on your video is important and needs to be professional and clean.
  • Lighting is also important. You can invest in some equipment if you need to.
  • Maintain good eye contact with your clients and remember to blink.
  • Wear earphones to help with background noise and a more intimate connection. This also reassures your client that it is a confidential session.
  • Send your client a tip sheet on how to prepare for your upcoming session.
  • Have a Plan B link if the connection on your chosen platform doesn’t work.

How do you find clients?

The beauty of online counseling is that there are no restrictions to “where” you want to counsel. Now you have the whole world as potential client opportunities. And there is a massive need for online counseling.

It’s really similar to how you’re finding face-to-face clients.

Understand what your niche is and where they are spending their time online. It’s important to note that most of your current clients probably don’t know that online is an option, so communicate both to them. Have a page that explains online counseling and answers any questions they might have.

The logistics of online therapy

How do you take payment for self-paying clients? Clay suggests using PayPal or looking in iTherapy, as it is a one-stop-shop.

Average fees for online therapy varies depending on experience and state. For example, Clay started off by charging $150 a session to now charging $300.

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 SANOK]: I recently signed up for Gusto and I was paying almost $150 a month to my account and for payroll and I’m saving so much money now. Gusto offers modern easy payroll and benefits for small businesses across the country. They were even named best online payroll by PC Mag. Get three months free when you do your first payroll over at And don’t wait. Now is the best time to get everything organized for 2020. That’s
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok session number 393.
Well, I’m Joe Sanok your host and I hope that you are just doing awesome. You know, it’s so fun to do this podcast. You know, I just got an email from someone that a week ago she started listening to the podcast and she emailed me and said, “Hey, how do I access the very first podcast? I want to go back to the beginning too.” Because iTunes only lets us post the, I think most recent 300 episodes or so, and so I directed her back to the website because you have to go back to the actual blog posts. So, we have a category of the show notes that you can go back to. But I just love that there’s someone who just started listening. It’s like, “I want to listen to all of them. Every single podcast. It’s killer. It’s so killer.
We’ve got some really fun things coming up in September. We’ve got our Next Level Practice launch that is right around the corner for our cohort number 10. So, that’s going to be in September. So, if you want to join this membership community, make sure you go over to and then you’re going to get all the invite emails. You’re not going to miss it. You’re going to make sure that you are front in line. Every single time we’ve been selling out of this thing and it’s been amazing to see. It’s $88 a month and it helps you to start your practice.
We’ve got resources, webinars, we’ve got e-courses, over 30 e-courses. We have live events every single month, small groups. It is the support that you need to start and grow your practice. So, it’s really aimed at people that are up to that $60,000 a year. So, head on over there. We also have some webinars coming up. You can sign up for those webinars. It’s to talk about what you need to do quarter by quarter as you are starting your practice. So, if you’re at that beginning phase, jump on over there, get the help you need, that webinar, that masterclass is completely free.
I do that, you know, around the launch time for Next Level Practice because we want to get everybody together and say, “Hey, it is hard to start a practice if you don’t have support, if you aren’t in community.” So, head on over to forward slash invite or forward slash 100K webinar and you can get signed up for that stuff, and when we launch then you’ll be all set. You’ll get the emails.
Well, today on the podcast, I have one of my favorite people, Clay Cockrell. We just don’t catch up enough. Clay is an amazing guy who started I’ll tell you more about him during the interview, but he actually came in as one of our experts for Next Level Practice. So, with Next Level Practice, every month we have an expert come in and we have this ‘Ask the expert’ where it’s around a certain area that people are stuck, that they want to learn. In September, we’ve got an expert that’s going to be coming in to talk about Instagram.
She grew 20,000 followers in less than a year, and she has all these great strategies. She’s going to share how she as a clinician has grown and what it’s done to her bottom line in her passive income. So, she’s going to be doing the ‘Ask the expert’ with Next Level Practice in September. We have more people coming, when I have people on the podcast, I ask them oftentimes if I really like them, if they’ll go a little bit deeper with our Next Level Practice community. So, this was one of those. So, you’re going to hear people asking questions, we’re going to talk about online counseling, we’re going to talk about what you need to know, and we’re going to talk about the opportunity of it.
You’re also going to hear Clay say, “I don’t know,” which I think is really important that you hear an expert say, you know, “I’m not sure. Let me look into that,” because the experts you should run away from are the ones that can answer every single question and have confidence behind it. Because there should be areas that they’re like, “I’m not an expert. I’m not sure. Let me look into that. I’m going to ask more experts about that so that we can have an idea.” So, without any further ado, I give you Clay Cockrell from
Well, today on ‘Ask the expert’, our Next Level Practice, we’ve got Clay Cockrell. Clay is such an awesome person, a friend of mine, we’ve known each other for years and to see what has become, from just an idea to now just such a powerhouse. I mean, it’s hilarious. Not hilarious. It’s awesome to see how often Clay, your website and your Facebook group are referenced when people say, “Hey, what are some resources for online counseling?” And people are just like, if you are not in this Facebook group or following this podcast, you are missing out. And so, to see something that Clay, you had as an idea and now, it’s just so amazing to have watched you grow over the years and to have this be so influential for the field of counseling and private practices. I’m just happy that I know you, you know. So, welcome to —

[CLAY]: Thank you. I’m happy I know you too.

[JOE]: Awesome. Well, so, everyone’s muted other than Clay and myself right now. I’m going to ask some questions to Clay. If you haven’t been to one of our ‘Ask the experts’ kind of here’s the format that it’s going to be playing and I am going to kind of talk a little bit about just some questions that I have to get things rolling. During that time, if you have questions, go ahead and put them in the chat and I’ll look at them and then I’ll just say, “Oh, Kyle’s got a question or Kelly’s got a question,” if it relates to kind of what we’re already talking about. There’ll be other kind of big picture questions that we don’t hit on. We will have also an opportunity for you to unmute yourself and go a little bit deeper with Clay.
This is a chance for you to get access to experts that often costs, you know, hundreds or thousands of dollars an hour. And so, it’s great for you to be able to have access to these people in small groups, that are friends of mine. And that’s, you know, you’re a part of Next Level Practice. You get that access to people. So, Clay, kick this thing off. I’d recommend those of you, they have it right now on the gallery view, which is kind of the brady bunch view and you can see everybody. You might for this first portion want to click it over to speaker view. So, in the upper right, if you see speaker view, go ahead and click on that and then you’re going to see whoever’s speaking, whether it’s me or Clay. That just makes it a little bit easier, I think when we’re presenting versus kind of having all the other people kind of go on at once. So, Clay, why don’t we kick this off with, why did you start

[CLAY]: Well, because I was doing a lot of online counseling myself. I started this like a long time ago, because I love to travel and as an in private practice when you travel, you’re not making money. So, I figured what if I could take my practice with me and go stay in Florida for a month or Europe or whatever. And so, I started doing it and I’m very open, I did it very wrong. I broke all the rules. I didn’t even think there were rules, but I started the directory at because when I would be, I did a lot of couples counseling, marriage counseling online. And let’s say I’m in this process and the husband needs an individual online therapist and I’m like, “I don’t even know how to find one.” I mean, I guess you can go to Psychology Today and try to, at one point, I think maybe they still do have like a video option, but a lot of time is just like a video console. It’s not like they do video counseling.
So, I got the domain name online and said, what if I could create a Psychology Today-type directory for people who were doing online counseling? So, it would help the field therapist build their practices and then help people who are looking for that type of service, help them find it. Because there was no site out there that broke it down state by state. I think everybody knows now, and this may be changing, but for right now you have to be licensed in the state where your client sits, where they are a residing. So, there’s no other site that breaks it down state by state and it gets really frustrating. You find a great therapist, but they’re in New Mexico and you’re in Connecticut.
So, that was the service that we created. And then, what I realized because I’d been doing it for so long and kind of figured that other people were doing it, is that there was a lot of fear, a lot of questions about how to do online counseling ethically, effectively, how to market your practice, all that kind of stuff. So, I created the Online Counseling podcast and I went and I interviewed other people who were doing it and then people who were providing services to the field, like the different platforms and the HIPAA compliant people and just bringing in kind of what Joe is doing, bringing in the experts and just asking them questions. So, yes —

[JOE]: And the excess of people that you have interviewed, it’s just mind blowing, like how influential they are in the world of kind of online counseling. Like who are some of the people that you interviewed that you were just super geeked out about interviewing?

[CLAY]: I loved interviewing Philippa Weitz who in the UK and all through Europe, she is the go-to person. She wrote the book Psychotherapy 2.0. She trains online counselors in the UK. In fact, she started like their version of APA, their association of online counseling therapist in the UK. She was wonderful. I found, I interviewed a big guy at Zoom, the founder of iTherapy, the founder of Nous Talk, and then just day to day therapists who are doing like, you know, just starting a practice. And the tips, the things that they learned that I didn’t know, that’s kind of the cool thing that I love.

[JOE]: Yes. And I think even though we’re talking online counseling today and we’re going to really kind of dive into that, I want you to just notice that Clay’s a therapist that was doing something he was passionate about that. But then, he leveled up his career to move into consulting and podcasting and I mean the walk and talk therapy and, was it Good Morning America?

[CLAY]: Yes.

[JOE]: So, it’s like, you know, we don’t have to just be stuck where we’re at. So, even if right now you’re starting a practice, you’re growing your practice, this is the phase you can still say, “But I also have this big idea. I also have this passion. I also have this other thing that might be a side gig for a while.” I know Clay for you, this was sort of a side project for a while that was draining a bunch of funds, you know the [inaudible 00:10:54] thing, but then at a certain point those side gigs can often become big gig. I mean I’m in the midst of selling my counseling practice right now and we’re in the final stages of that. Once it’s through, I’m going to share all sorts of ups and downs from that.
So, I’m going to be completely done doing counseling. And so, we can go through these phases and we’re not going to really dive into how he did all of that consulting side of things. But keep that in the back of your mind. because even though you’re just starting out, there’s probably those big ideas that are starting to brew and just notice those because you never know where they’re going to go. Imagine if Clay had just kept doing online counseling and never went after this. The field would be different, but also Clay’s life would be different. And so, I just want to get it out before we dive too into online counseling.
So, Clay, you interview all these experts, you’ve become one of these experts by interviewing those experts. What are maybe some of the things that you notice that are just some of the basics of online counseling, either doing it right or doing it wrong that you just think are essential if someone’s going to do online counseling that they need to know you.

[CLAY]: You got it, and I will say that, the success that I’ve had is a large part due to Joe Sanok because I hired him really to kind of help me with my walk and talk counseling practice and take it to the next level and as we’re getting off that first call, I said, “I kind of got this idea, I got this domain name and maybe I do,” and he’s like, “Oh yes, we need to do this.” So, you know —

[JOE]: Man, you own Online Counselling. Are you kidding me?

[CLAY]: Yes. It’s like, we go to run with this. I’m like, “Really? You think?” And so, you know, here we are today because of that conversation. So, here’s some basic tips to think about. There are a lot, so Joe, interrupt me because I get wordy and go off on this because it, I kind of geek out on it. The basics I think everybody knows is two big things. Like I said, you need to have a license in the state where your client resides. Now don’t overthink this. People go, “Well, what if they go off to college? Or what if they’re on a business trip and they’re in New Mexico when I’m licensed in New York?” Don’t overthink it. Nobody’s really ever gotten in trouble because they broke state lines. And like I said there’s a lot of change coming to that.
But if you want to know, and then some States, one or two don’t really have laws. But here’s this great site called Epstein Becker & green. They are a law firm based in New York and DC and they have gone state by state by state, and looked at all the different requirements and laws and then the ethics of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, LMFT’s, everybody. It’s a massive, massive, they call it survey and they do it every year and now they have an app that you can download and put in your state and get all the information if you have questions. So, there’s that.
The other thing that was really big is that you need to have a HIPAA-compliant platform. So, you can’t use Skype or FaceTime or Google Hangouts. You need to have, and there’s free ones out there, there’s things to pay for. I use Zoom, but you have to pay for their higher level so that you can get a business associate agreement, which is a simple, little thing, and so, you use a HIPAA-compliant platform. So, those are like the, once you get that, then you’re kind of legally good to go.
So, here’s some logistics maybe to think about. One is your background and, when you think about it, look at my background. It’s somewhat professional. It’s a little messy, but I’m lit from the front. There’s a window in front of me. So, lighting is really important. It’s the things, they don’t teach you lighting and camera work in grad school. So, to know that you’re lit from the front and that your background is clean. I interviewed a couple of therapists who work for my marriage counseling site and they sat down in front, one sat in front of an unmade bed, their desk was in their bedroom, and their bed was unmade and another person sat in their kitchen and there were dirty dishes in the, like, no, no, no. This is professional. You need to take it up to the next level and be professional with it.

[JOE]: Just because you can do therapy in your pajamas doesn’t mean you should.

[CLAY]: Yes, exactly.

[JOE]: Yes. I love that. The lighting thing is actually something that I just am shocked that more people just in general when they’re in professional meetings, I mean even just like right here, I have a light and just the difference between, and I have a giant window right there, the difference between that and that it is pronounced.

[CLAY]: Absolutely.

[JOE]: Putting a light on your face just makes all the difference.

[CLAY]: If you want to get fancy, on Amazon, they sell a circle light that photographers use and it makes you look really nice. I don’t have mine set up, but it makes me look like I’m in a TV studio and it costs like under bucks. It’s real nice.

[JOE]: I feel like I clicked on that on Instagram and have it in my like, maybe to-buy section.

[CLAY]: It’s really worth it. I wish I had mine set.

[JOE]: Is it called the Luna light?

[CLAY]: That sounds familiar, but it’s a big circle.

[JOE]: Yes. Cool.

[CLAY]: So, there’s that. Eye contact. So, right now I have pulled my little Zoom window up to the top of my computer near, well, I have a built-in camera up there. So, but if I were looking, if it had down here and I’m, this is not therapeutic, you’re not seeing my eyes. I could be looking at you, but you’re just looking at the side of my head. So, make sure that you’ve got some, that’s just a little thing that some people don’t think about. The other thing that I didn’t realize is that when we look at television, when we look at a computer screen, we don’t blink a lot, which I had one client said, “You’re kind of freaking me out. You’re not blinking.”
I never, so, just kind of think about that. I blink all the time when I’m in a session, face to face, but somehow about looking at a screen, we don’t blink very much. So, —

[JOE]: You put a [crosstalk] when you are near the screen [crosstalk].

[CLAY]: Remember to blink or it’s just like, “My therapist is on something.” I wear earbuds and I found that for some reason that helps. I’ve got the new ear pods, not as good. I think a hardwired earbud is important because it’s helping with the Wi-Fi, it’s helping with the internet connection, it helps with the background noise. And I encourage my clients to get earbuds as well. It’s just a more intimate connection because they’re right in my ear.

[JOE]: I think it also signals to the client that you are in a confidential setting. If you don’t have earbuds in or some sort of thing, they don’t know for sure that it’s a confidential setting and that your family is not walking around or you know that someone’s going to come into your office. So, just the visual I think is really good as well.

[CLAY]: Absolutely. And then something is when I start and I start most of my online clients, as online. It’s not like I meet them in the office and then go to online. So, I send them a little tip sheet on, “Here’s how to prepare for your upcoming session and make sure that you’ve got earbuds, make sure that you have closed out all your other browsers so that it’s not sucking any kind of internet away from you.” Because if you’re like me, I’ve got 2,500 different tabs open and everything and that is going to make the connection lost. I also have a plan B, you know, “Like this is the cycle you’re going to go to, whatever HIPAA compliant platform that you have.”
I send them that link and if that is, sometimes Zoom is having a bad day, “Here’s an option. We’re going to try this one. Here’s my phone number.” Sometimes the video is great and the audio is just in and out. So, I just mute the audio, I call them on the phone and so, I’m talking to them on the phone and looking them through the computer and it’s like a little hack to work around. I just made a couple of things here. Any questions coming to mind for you, Joe, I’m not covering?

[JOE]: Yes. So, I think we’ll kind of hit all the, just nuts and bolts of it and then the question that I get more than any other question is how do you find clients? So, I want to make sure we kind of spend some time on that because I think that the jump to just come to regular therapy in person for people is hard. And then you add the element of online counseling. It feels like I another layer of difficulty. All right. And so, if there’s any other nuts and bolts you want to make sure you hit those and then maybe we can move into marketing yourself as someone that does online therapy and what have you seen work to actually get people to sign up for online therapy?

[CLAY]: Okay. One of the things I made a note here is to make sure that you have a wired connection to your internet and not Wi-Fi. For some reason, that just gives you that extra little bump. You want to have a really good broadband connection, and generally just about everybody has that. Just going through my notes before we jump into a little bit of the marketing. Oh, about the state to state issue. This applies here in the United States, but outside the United States you’re good to go, other than Canada. Canada has some restrictions, but if your client is an expat living in Dubai, which I have or in the UK there are no any restrictions preventing you from working.
So, now instead of Traverse City being your target audience, now you’ve got the whole world who speaks English or you have another language, that language too, it just ups your target audience, potential clients.

[JOE]: Yes. And I remember you told me, I don’t know what the updated stat is, the ratio of therapists to people in India. I forgot what it was, but of English-speaking people in India, it was like shocking how few therapists —

[CLAY]: 100 and 300 or 400,000 people, one therapist and that, yes. So, it’s a massive need for mental health care in India. And English is one of their official languages. And they’re up and coming economy so they can afford it. That’s just India. You look at Australia, who’s had a huge mental health crisis. They don’t have enough therapists. So, it’s, you know, the whole world is in need of what we are providing. It’s just, how do we connect with them?

[JOE]: One other kind of nuts and bolts thing that I have; I had a client from the States that was in, I want to say he was in Japan I think, and we used G-suite. So, it’s HIPAA compliant, all of that for our calendar scheduling, and for some reason his default was GMT. And so, whenever I sent him an invite, it went to GMT, which is like England instead of Japan. So, just making sure that if you’re going to send a calendar invite that you also maybe send a follow-up email and say, “I just sent a calendar invite in our sessions, 11 o’clock my time. That should be, you know, 9:00 PM your time or whatever it is,” it doesn’t look that way in your calendar. Because I had people that showed up at like four in the morning for them and they had no idea why. And I’d say, you know, “Go click on the, like default, is it set to GMT?” They’re like, “Yes, it is.” I would say, “Set it to your own time zone.” So, that was just, another little thing that I noticed when I did it.

[CLAY]: A great site for that is and you could put in, mine’s New York times zone and let’s say I’ve got somebody in London and they put in London and then it’s like this slide bar that, you know, every hour or two o’clock is actually seven o’clock their time. So, it’s a nice way to double check and it’s free.

[JOE]: Oh, that’s awesome.


[JOE]: Yes. And I also put in the chat and we’ll put that for anyone listening in the future. We’ll put that in the notes and then also I’ll put that law firm. I’ve found their website and I just dropped that into the chat too.

[JOE]: Clay, we have a question from Kelly. How does liability insurance cover working with folks outside of the United States?

[CLAY]: Well, there is, two different companies and I need to have them on the podcast that are providing. A lot of liabilities companies are providing. So, let me get back to you. And that’s a really good question because there are two companies right now based in the UK that are providing international malpractice liability insurance. I’ll get that to you.

[JOE]: Okay. Super. I love that you said, “I don’t know and I’ll get back to you.” Like I think that’s a sign of a good expert. [crosstalk] That’s great. All right, cool. Well, let’s talk a little bit about marketing and online practice. What have you seen that works for that? Maybe what are ways that people screw it up? So, how do people find clients?

[CLAY]: Well, you know, it’s really similar on how you’re finding face to face clients. A couple of things that I think is important is to have this as an option on your website. It is not just a tab saying you know, ‘services offered’ or an online therapy as part of your menu, but on your home page. Face to face and online counseling is offered because a lot of people aren’t necessarily even thinking about this as an option. They’re just, they put us in a box where we have a little couch and you go to the office and they don’t think, “Hey, I could actually do it that way.” So, put it on your homepage. I think that it’s also important for you then to have a page dedicated to online counseling so that it explains what it’s like, answers any questions like ‘frequently asked questions’, is this secure, is it ethical? All this kind of stuff, kind of go through that.
On that page have a video of you saying, “Hi, this is Clay Cockrell. I offer online counseling and it’s very similar to what you’re seeing right now. It’s a screen on your computer and we’re able to connect this way. If you have questions …,” really about a 30 seconds video. So, they get a sense of who you are and what the, you kind of give them a taste of what online counseling is. So, all the stuff that you’re doing to market your practice now, networking, having a blog, an email list; same thing. It’s just that, you know, they’re going to come to you and go, “Oh, here’s an option.” I think directories, just a plug for mine are important to put this on your Psychology Today profile to sign up for the online counseling directory, which we’re getting ready to launch a free version. So, that’s —

[JOE]: I had no idea of that. That’s awesome.

[CLAY]: That’s our new thing that I was talking to Aaron about today. We’re going to have a free version of the Online Counseling directory. So, that’s, but if you’re on good therapy or any of those things, put that in your profile that you offer face to face and online counseling. All the networks that you’re doing, tell the psychiatrist that are referring to you. “If you’re a part of Business Networking International or other networking groups, talk about it to people so that they know.”
Another thing to think about is expat communities. If you’re really interested in doing expat work with international expats, go to some of those sites that cater to those people. Because I spent six weeks in Rome and there was this great site of ‘Here’s a great place to get cheap tickets for the Coliseum’ and ‘Here’s a mover for people who are moving to Rome’ and ‘Here’s a lawyer that’s focusing on expats’ and it’s like a little directory community for expats. So, go find those sites. And it’s like, you know, understand what your niche is. Those that are your target audience, your clients, where are they online? Where do they hang out? Do they hang out at Pinterest? Do they hang out on Twitter? Do they hang out on Facebook or is there a group of women who are suffering from depression after menopause? And that’s your niche.
Well, there’s going to be a Facebook group about that. And for you to go in there and just participate and say, and again, you have to be careful. It’s not like you’re drumming up business, but that you’re offering free content and free advice and ‘Here’s a great site’ and you create relationships online in that Facebook group. People are going to then directly message you and say, “Hey, I read that you’re also a therapist.” So, you create those relationships, kind of in an altruistic way, you’re giving them information, helping them, but you’re building a brand and a reputation for somebody to trust in that community.

[JOE]: And I think that when you connect with the admin and say, “Hey, I’m a therapist, I would be happy to do a co-Facebook live where you ask questions,” and you know, to be able to offer extra value to the admin. Admins of Facebook groups are constantly looking for new content, how to engage their members differently, how to have their Facebook group be better than other Facebook groups. And so, if you can befriend a couple of those admins and focus on just one specialty at a time. I think that’s going to take you farther faster than if you try to go too broad. So, I think about a friend of mine who, he’s an automotive engineer and so, you know, they’ve been, they go to Shanghai for two or three year stints and then they come home for a couple of years and it seems like every few years he’s moving somewhere with his family.
So, his wife is a massage therapist, but in Shanghai. Like she just can’t make any money at that. So, she just stayed home with the kids and you know, got really lonely. I mean, she got connected with the culture a little bit, but I’m thinking that type of family, is from the States and may only be there for a couple of years. I mean, if you’re a Gottman certified therapist, they could totally use your help if you help with parenting or all sorts of other kinds of changes. So, just finding, you know, say I’m going to focus on the Shanghai expat community for a while, connect with people within that. Understand that unique culture. You really could find some, some other folks there.
The other thing that came to mind, Clay as you were talking is even on your intake form online, you know, when people are, the ‘Contact Us’ form or your name, you know, what are you looking for; do you even just have a dropdown that says, are you looking for in-person, online or a mixture of the two. People might say, “Oh, I never even considered that. Yes. If my kids have a snow day or my kid’s sick, I still want to do therapy, I’m up for some online counseling, but I also want some of the in-person counseling.”

[CLAY]: Yes, absolutely. Another thing that came to mind is Reddit. I think has like an ‘Ask the expert’. You can log in and say, at this time I’m going to talk to, you know, your target and ask the marriage counselor how to improve my relationship, whatever, whatever. So, those have been, Amber Lyda, I don’t know if you all are familiar with Amber Lyda, L Y D A. She has an incredibly vibrant Facebook group dedicated to online therapy. She’s got three thousand, five thousand people on there and it’s an incredible resource on finding things about insurance state laws, HIPAA-compliant platforms, and then just support for people who are going this direction. So, she’s got a great resource there.

[JOE]: So, we’ve got a couple of questions. We have one question, What’s an expat? So yes, I could see we could find that from the beginning. Yes.

[CLAY]: Good, good, good, great question. An expat is somebody that says, let’s say I worked for Goldman Sachs here in New York and they’ve got an office in London and they’re going to transfer me to London or let’s say Paris. So, I am an expatriate, meaning that I am living and working for an extended period of time; one year, five years, 20 years. I’m still us citizen, but I’m living in a different country. So, what happens is my entire family has to go over there, I’ve got to acclimate to a different culture. And one study showed that 40% of expat placements fail because of the stress of living abroad.
These families are going through, even if they’re successful and making a lot of money, they’re going through a tremendous amount of stress because they’re isolated, they don’t know the culture, they’re away from family and friends, sometimes the spouse isn’t able to work. So, it’s just a lot of stress and they need help. So, that that’s an expat.

[JOE]: Yes. I mean, imagine you could connect with an HR department that was moving people around and that just included in their move was a couple of sessions with you, like an EAP-type thing.

[CLAY]: Yes.

[JOE]: So, we have another question that’s, logistically, can you speak about how you take payment for self-pay clients? That’s a great question.

[CLAY]: Oh yes, absolutely. I use PayPal. Well, I just use PayPal from the beginning. It takes a little junk. There are some, and maybe we should talk about this. There’s some, some one stop shops out there like iTherapy, just the letter I the word It’s kind of a buffet of different services. They can provide a HIPAA compliant video connection. That’s it. And that’s a certain monthly fee or they have partnered with, I think Simple Practice and so you can have all your billing, all your notes going through them. You can have a credit card on file and take payment. They also have a directory for online counseling. So, you can go to iTherapy and it’s a one stop shop versus, “I’m going to get Zoom for this and Simple Practice for that and PayPal here and G-suite for my counseling,” which you might be able to save a little bit of money.
But really iTherapy is a great stop and there’s a couple others out there that are starting to do this and it’s kind of affordable. I would encourage you to invest and not look for the cheapest because there’s Zoom, there’s iTherapy, Nous Talk, and new is spelled N O U S like the Greek spelling of new talk, and they also offer HIPAA compliant. There’s, which is a free HIPAA-compliant video and they’re great. But you know, I always say my rent for my office in Manhattan is like $2,100 a month. That’s kind of expensive but it’s Manhattan. Be willing to invest in your tools, have a good computer, have a good connection, have a good platform. So, if this is just seamless, you want to be as professional as possible to your potential client.
While I’m on this, there are two different types of HIPAA-compliant platforms. One that the person has to sign up for like a VSEE, which is the letter V and then the word see, S E. E. They’re great, but your client has to sign up and download and put that on their computer and it’s kind of a hassle versus is you just send them a link, you click on it and you’re there in your office. So, you can incorporate something like or iTherapy into your actual website, make it as seamless as possible and easy for yourself, but also for your client. It makes you feel more, it makes them kind of look at you in a more professional way and not way off track.

[JOE]: Yes, I know there are some platforms that, no, that’s great. There’s some platforms that you can even have their credit card on file and it just charges them for the session. I know [crosstalk] still does that and I think a few other ones do. Great. There’s a question here. Questions around fees and insurance. Do you take insurance or know of insurance companies that accept teletherapy self-pay? What is an average fee range to have for online therapy payment? How do you do payments? You hit on that. I think those came in at the same time.

[CLAY]: Okay.

[JOE]: Did iTherapy, but why don’t you do, excuse me. My coffee grounds, it had a little ground in it. I am going to take a break and get some water.

[CLAY]: Okay. Let me ask some of those question.

[JOE]: I’m feeling coffee grounds right now in my throat. [crosstalk].

[CLAY]: I’m going to answer a few of those questions. The, now I kind of forgot what some of them. The payment, yes, you can do that through iTherapy and a couple of those, Oh, he’s going to be mad at me. He’s going to come back and I’m not answering the question. All of you are on mute and I can’t.

[Speaker 2]: Can you see the group chat?

[CLAY]: Yes. Oh.

[Speaker 2]: It’s alright now there.

[CLAY]: Okay. I don’t take insurance, never take insurance face to face or online and I’ve been doing this for 15, 18 years. Never took one insurance. What are the fees? Yes, there are some insurance companies that are accepting tele-health. It is a different code that you have to build for but more and more insurances are accepting tele-health, but I don’t. What are the typical fees? I would recommend that whatever your face to face fee is, some people say, “Well, maybe I should charge a little less for online.” I’m like, “Dear God, no, no.” If anything, charge more because you’re offering this convenience that they’re not having to pay for parking or go across town or anything else. They are boom, they’re right there are at their home.
I started out at $150 a session, went up to $200 a session. Now I’m at $300 a session and I’m kind of looking at increasing that. So that’s, I’ve been doing this a long time. That’s my standard rate for here in New York, but look around and see what, what fees are typical for you.

[JOE]: Okay Clay, quick question on that. Do you feel like by having and the consulting and the podcast that that has helped you also want to like charge more in your counseling practice? Like, I know for me as my consulting rates go up or Next Level Practice grows or the sponsorship, like it was easier to then raise my prices and my counseling practice because I knew that my hourly kept going up. Was that part of the equation for you or was it just like that’s what New York fees are?

[CLAY]: It’s a little bit of both. Certainly, when I have a podcast and a blog and a website and I’ve been on Good Morning America and then the wall street journal and all this other stuff that gave me a sense of, you know, about kind of arrived at, that I can have a high fee. But also, it is the kind of a typical fee in my area, and also, I think that when you say, “I’m worth this,” other people believe you.

[JOE]: Yes. That’s great. I love that. I think that whether it’s doing a side gig that is like consulting or even having 1099 contractors or W2, and having multiple streams of income, when one starts to take off, it’s a lot easier to raise your prices in the others, then they kind of all grow each other.

[CLAY]: Yes.

[JOE]: So, we have a question about PayPal not being HIPAA-compliant or providing a business associate’s agreement. What are your thoughts on that?

[CLAY]: I don’t know. Maybe I, [crosstalk]

[JOE]: I’ve noticed that like, and I see some, a lot of, I try to keep up with a lot of these things. So, there was a big kind of a ruckus for a while, a couple of years ago about me promoting Grasshopper, which is a voice over internet solution because they wouldn’t sign a business associate’s agreement. And I asked Verizon, my cell phone carrier if they would sign a business associate’s agreement because they’re capturing phone numbers all the time. And they said no.
So, I’m assuming also AT&T and these other places wouldn’t sign one too. When I talked to Roy Huggins who has Personal Centered Tech, he’s a former Silicon Valley IT guy-turned HIPAA-compliant guru. He said, you know, if we were to 100% follow HIPAA, we can never be in business because the cost of doing business would be so astronomical. So, we each are always in the gray zone and doing our best. And so, I think for me, and each of us has to decide with our own attorney, our own conscience, our own code of ethics where we fall on this. For me, I look at a few different factors. I look at the ease for the client. Okay?
So, like the best way for clients to pay online is through PayPal, Stripe. Square doesn’t accept that. You always have to then authorize every single order? So, those are kind of the big ones for online payments. There’s other ones too. I don’t know each of them if they are going to sign a business associate’s agreement for you. If we then look at also, you know, technology solutions, we are going to be in that gray area no matter what. It’s just where do we want to best protect our clients and also then let them know the risks of doing kind of business with them.
So, I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on that because it’s something that we all try our very best to do. And especially as consultants like Clay and I, we’re trying to give good advice to the best of our abilities, but also say, you know, we still use Grasshopper. They won’t sign a business associate’s agreement for the price and for what it works, it works really well, but you know, Spruce, you know, it’s way more expensive and they will sign a business associate’s agreement. So, I think there are new technologies out there and it’s good to make sure you’re asking those questions.

[CLAY]: Yes, absolutely. And I would echo Roy Huggins and Rob Reinhardt. They actually have a podcast now talking about technology and they’re wonderful people. They’ve been on my podcast.

[JOE]: You always leave terrified though.

[CLAY]: I always leave terrified. And that’s why I don’t overthink some of this and maybe I should, but I kind of, it’s not that I’m loosey goosey, it’s just that I do the best I can. I’m going to mess up a few times and I try not to let the fear stop me. And so, I would encourage you to do the best you can. Sometimes you can get it wrong.

[JOE]: Yes. And Kelly, I kind of said in regards to if there isn’t a PHI being passed or writing, what the payment is for, wouldn’t that be okay? So, protected health information there. So, Kelly, because I am not an expert in this area, I’m just going to say that sounds like a great point, but I don’t know. I don’t want, especially because we’re recording this [crosstalk]. And then David says, “I use Ivy pay just for payment. It’s phone-based and wish they had a web version. It’s bank encrypted and HIPAA-compliant.” Awesome. That’s great. You know, there’s so many of these solutions that they come out and that’s what we’ll put all of this when we kind of put this into teachable for you, put all these together. So, thank you for that.
All right, next question for you and, in just a minute, we’re going to open it up where you can interact directly with Clay. As a reminder, you’re being recorded, so it’s going to all go into teachable. So, anything confidential, please don’t say. If there is something you want to ask Clay that you do want the recording stopped, it’s extremely hard for us to go back and edit that out. Just ask us to pause it. It saves us all some time and headache if there’s anything confidential that you don’t want recorded.
So, Amy is asking, “I’m curious how you handle your risk analysis for HIPAA compliance. It’s my understanding that if audited it’s necessary to provide a copy of your company’s risk analysis and what you’re doing to improve. The fear I have of the outrageous fines for knowingly breaking compliance.” So, Amy, let me feel this one. I’m not sure that Clay is an expert in specifically the HIPAA compliance and the audits. Is that correct Clay?

[JOE]: That’s true, plus I don’t take insurance so I’m not really getting audited.

[JOE]: Yes. So, and maybe I should have, let me put Roy Huggins down. Maybe one of the ‘Ask the experts’ that we can have after this round. So, we’ve got Clay this month, next month we have Perry from Brighter Vision who’s going to be talking about websites and everything you need to have, and then the month after that we have Natasha Moore, who she was kind of where you guys are all at, and then added six people to our practice and grew a group practice in like three months. She just exploded. So, she’s going to be talking about that in August. So, maybe in September or October I can have Roy come for one of the ‘Ask the experts’. So, let me put that down. I’ve got a cell phone. I’ll just text him and see if he wants to.
When I’ve interviewed Roy, he’s been on the podcast more than most people just because HIPAA compliance is something that we need to look at. In the three times he’s been on, and then we also have hosted a number of webinars together because I just don’t put in the time, he puts into it. The way he’s described it to me is that the people that tend to be audited and fined are usually these large medical practices, like just mega practices that usually have been doing substantial fraud or have a reason that they’ve been reported. It’s very rarely, and from what I remember from the last time I interviewed him, I think he said out of the last 10 years, there was only three or four major audits that happened where people got fined.
So, just statistically, they’re probably not going to go after you. With that said, you do want to do your best kind of audit of where you’re at. And I would highly recommend going to Roy’s website and looking at that. He has, you know, an audit that he can do or kind of examples, and the outrageous fines, obviously we don’t want to knowingly break compliance while also understanding the way the law is written. We can never be in compliance. So, we’re always breaking it. It’s just figuring out how do we reduce the risk as much as we can and then let our clients know.
So, I think, we’ll have an ‘Ask the expert’ where we go even deeper on that. But I think it’s good, Amy, that you’re asking those questions because we want to make sure that we do a good job to the best of our abilities. Amy, I don’t know if that kind of satisfied your question. We can go deeper if you want. Cool, got the thumbs up. If you do want to talk to Clay and kind of go a little bit deeper with a question, you can either just unmute yourself and kind of jump in when you have a chance. You can also raise your hand virtually.
There’s that function, and I forget what it’s, when you’re not the admin exactly where that is. I think it’s under participants or chat, and there’s a little hand raise thing. And so, when you do that, that just lets me know, “Hey, I’m ready to talk.” All right, so we’re going to answer Kelly’s and then we’ll kind of open it up. We’ve got approximately 20 minutes after this for us to land this plane. So, Kelly says, “How many therapists on your directory?” Clay, do you have any outcomes regarding how many hits you get from gaining clients?” Good question there —.

[CLAY]: Very good questions—

[JOE]: What’s the ROI on the investment?

[CLAY]: That’s so hard. So, I would say right now we have about 1500 to 2000, but this is what happened recently about four or five months ago. I partnered with Better Help. Now there are two majors, and we should talk a little bit about this two major, I don’t know what you call them, like online clinics. They’re corporate companies where you can sign up as a therapist. They are Talk Space, you’ve probably heard of, and Better Help and a few others out there, but they’re the two big daddies on the market. So, Better Help approached me and said, “Hey, you’ve got this great directory and you’re kind of competing with us for Google rankings. What if we put our therapists on your site for a small fee and you’d have more options?” So, we did that.
So, we went from probably having four to 500 therapists on the site to having 2000 people on the site. So, those people who were paying a monthly fee, all of a sudden, they weren’t getting as many referrals because there’s more competition. But instead of having a hundred people visit the site a day, a hundred potential clients, we’re getting 600 people coming to the site a day. So, it’s still trying to kind of wash itself out and what’s, is this a good thing is this a bad thing or are the Better Help people taking away from the people who are paying a monthly fee? That’s why we’re going to change it to a free thing.
So, like in California, there are ton of therapists just because there’s a lot of people in California and Florida and New York I think, and then a lot of therapists. But if you’re in New Mexico or North Dakota here, there’s not a lot of competition on the site for those people. Alaska —

[JOE]: You know? Yes. And so, like to Alaska, Jeremy Zog from Practice Solutions was telling me that a lot of the Alaskan insurance companies, like they used to fly people to Seattle for therapy because it was cheaper really getting therapists up there and then they figured it out if [inaudible 00:47:36] really high amounts and say, “We don’t care what state you’re in as long as you get licensed in Alaska,” which really doesn’t, you know, isn’t that hard of a process that people are getting 150 to $200 insurance for teletherapy. So, he said that’s a great opportunity for people. All right. Kelly, you raised your hand. Let me unmute you and let’s go ahead and lower that hand and, go ahead Kelly.

[KELLY]: Yes. So, I’m glad you brought up Clay, Better Help because I am on there. I’ve been on there since November and it’s really easy to get clients. I mean, I have to turn myself off from taking new ones because I just can’t do it because I’m still in a full-time job. But the reimbursement for me is just pitiful, and so hence why I really want to move into my own because I’m just not in terms of ROI. It’s not there. So, I guess that’s, I’m really interested in to know like whether your directory can provide, it wouldn’t, I doubt it could provide as many clients as Better Help does, but, because that’s, it’s pretty astonishing how many I can get. But I think even if I got an eighth of the amount at my regular rate, I know it would be worth it. So, that’s why I asked that question I guess was just kind of adding more content to it and that is definitely something to think about whether the Better Help ones are taking away from those that are trying to make a living otherwise.

[CLAY]: Absolutely and better help really doesn’t pay very much at all. If you’re starting out and you’re trying to get used to the concept, it’s a great way to dip your toe in there, but you’re not going to make a lot of money from [crosstalk].

[JOE]: Awesome. Great. Thanks Kelly. Other questions? You can either unmute yourself and jump right in or you can raise your hand virtually or you can raise your hand physically and because I can see everybody right now too.

[CLAY]: While we’re waiting for that, there was maybe something I could talk a little bit about.

[JOE]: Yes, jump on in.

[CLAY]: While it’s not required that you get training for this, I think basically if you listen to the podcast and just your participation in today, you get the basics. But there are training institutes out there. In fact, there is a new distinction, a new credential that you can sign up for now that just like six months ago they came out with. Some of the big ones are the Zur Institute. Ray Barrett has the Telemental Health Training Institute, that’s a good one. There’s a couple of different out there that, on online, if you click on the toolbox as, one of our pages, they have, I’ve listed some of the better training programs out there that you can go through their training program and sometimes they offer a credential that, you know, you get more letters after your name, but certainly some of the nuts and bolts they’re going to help you to think about.

[JOE]: Yes. What are the things that, as you kind of see like different states, are there certain states that are more locked down or that you know, are really kind of regulating or you know, like is there any state by state or region by region differences that you notice in regards to how people sign up or how the states look at it? Any sort of big picture [inaudible 00:51:01] you see.

[CLAY]: Absolutely California. California, and this is from like the 1980s, they put in a law saying that, this is when they were doing phone therapy, that you and your client must be licensed in the state of California and you must be within the borders of California. You have to be actually inside their borders, which is a little different, and harder —

[JOE]: Do you have to be licensed in California and both of you have to live within California?

[CLAY]: Live and be there presently. Like you can’t go on vacation.

[JOE]: Oh wow.

[CLAY]: You have to be within the borders of California. They are real sticklers. I don’t know if anybody ever got in trouble by not doing that but I do know that they have a really, and it’s hard to get licensed in California like reciprocity and why would you? Because you’d have to move there in order to see anybody. But here’s the thing. All of this comes down to state credentialing boards who get a lot of money from tests and your yearly money to them for your license and all that. They don’t want to give up that power. But as our, as the mental health crisis in our country and around the world happen, they’re being forced to change.
Kentucky recently changed and I think it was Arizona. Arizona recently changed saying that if you’re licensed within the U.S., you can see our people because we don’t have enough licensed mental health therapists. We need you. So, we’re not going, but a lot of the state licensing boards are fighting that and it’s just because they’re incentivized to keep their little world to themselves. But it’s changing and that’s where —

[JOE]: Yes. You said that Arizona is changing. Are there any federal things happening or is it mostly on a state by state kind of level?

[CLAY]: There was a bit of movement on the federal, but it’s really more state by state out of need when you know, people are in crisis and they don’t have the providers to meet the need.

[JOE]: Wow. Hey, you know, someday there’ll be a universal license. I was talking to, who was it? Oh, it was the ultrasound tech. They were checking my thyroid because I had it removed a number of years ago and they were just kind of checking it. And she was like, “Oh yes, I just went to New Mexico and worked down there for a couple of weeks and then I went over to California. I worked there.” And I was like, “You don’t have to get licensed in each state? And she was like, “Oh no. Our national like council figured out a way to just have a universal license.” I’m like, “How come you guys can figure that out, not us? Come on.”

[CLAY]: I don’t get it.

[JOE]: I know that’s a much bigger political conversation. So, yes. All right. Kelly raised her hand. Go ahead Kelly.

[KELLY]: I’m sorry, I’m all over the place.

[JOE]: No, glad you’re asking questions. Go.

[KELLY]: So, are there any states that you think super easy in terms of getting licensed? So, I’m in Virginia, and I consider it to be, have pretty strict requirements and so I feel like that sets me up potentially for getting other States. So, are there any that you just know are pretty easy and so that could just add to the pool of potential clients?

[JOE]: Great question.

[CLAY]: Yes, really good question. Obviously, Alaska is a good one. I have heard in addition to California being difficult that Florida is difficult. I don’t know how accurate that is. I think that there is something between Virginia and DC, which you might want to look into, DC, Maryland, as your, kind of your neighbors’ states might be easier to create that for people living on the border. I’m kind of going through the map in my mind. There is, I think it’s on the Epstein Becker & Green. They talk about these few states that are changing so that, if you’re licensed in any state, you’re licensed in their state.
But also, I’m just remembering, iTherapy has a state licensure assistant so that if you sign up for them, they will help you get licensed in other States and they will kind of give you, I’m sure they’ll know then which ones are the easier ones to target. But you know, the other thing is, you know, North Dakota. How many people are there in North Dakota that are going to, I don’t know, you know? So, look at the population and it’s just like, you know, your key words on Google. Which one do you want to go after and which one’s going to be the best for you?

[JOE]: Yes. Good, good point. Dante? Yes, go ahead.

[DANTE]: Hi Joe. Hi Clay. So, my question is, I recently, so I practice fully online and I have my first couple session this Saturday. And—

[JOE]: Yay.

[DANTE]: Thank you. My only concern is after I said, “Okay, see you Saturday,” I was like, “Oh my gosh, how am I going to get the intake?” Like, should I send the intake separately? Do they need to be, you know what I mean? Like I don’t know how I want to do it. One document, two documents?

[CLAY]: Well, what platform are you using?

[DANTE]: I’m using Simple Practice.

[CLAY]: Okay. So, they could, with Simple Practice, can you send the document to them, have them sign it and send it back?

[DANTE]: They can sign it and send it back, but I need them to fill out the information. So, this would be the one where they fill in the intake part? Like their problems? Yes.

[CLAY]: Yes. I would just kind of email them and say, “Here’s stuff that you need to complete before the session. I need to have it 24 or 48 hours before the session,” and just have them do that work and then send it back to you. Is that —

[DANTE]: Well, —

[JOE]: I mean, also if you, because it’s Saturday, you could say, “If you don’t mind answering these questions and just emailing it back,” Do you have G-suite for business? The paid version?

[DANTE]: Not yet.

[JOE]: Okay. So, you know when you do it that, they’ll sign a business associate’s agreement. So, you could set up, and this is a little piecemeal, but you could set up a Google form that just has all that information. They just each fill that out. So, that that would be an option. Another option depending on like how you want them to do it, is to just have them fill it out and then some people will have them email it back just like a photo of it because most people don’t have scanners at their house. Or I believe DocuSign, that has the option to be able to type into it and then also have it be signed. It’s not very expensive. A lot of realtors will use it. I can’t speak to whether or not they’ll sign a business associate’s agreement.

[DANTE]: Well that’s okay. the main thing was, would it be best to have them fill out one document or should I send it separately to the couple and then have them send me their own personal intake form? Does that make sense? I don’t know if that’s easy.

[JOE]: Yes. I always have couples fill out the, they fill out the main signature one as a couple, but then there’s different sections that they each fill out. And then I love using, whether or not you’re Gottman certified, the Gottman checkup. It’s like $19. You charge the couple the amount of information you get from that. I always do that after session, so I’ll do one intake with the two of them, see each of them individually, and then the fourth session we go over the Gottman assessment and just the level of information you get from that is insane. So, that, it’s great, you know, to have them spend the 20 bucks or whatever on that. It’s so worth it.

[DANTE]: Okay. Thank you.

[JOE]: Alright. Clay, anything else that you would add to that?

[CLAY]: No. I think that, I always do the separate for couples. Interesting. Dante, or are they going to be in the same place? Are they located —?

[DANTE]: Yes, same house. Same video.

[CLAY]: Okay, good. That’s good. I’ve worked with couples where, let’s say that she kicked the husband out and he’s in a hotel, they’re now living apart or they’re military who were deployed so that you can do the three cameras. So, when you’re looking for a platform, find out if it’s only offering one-to-one or you can do a group or a mini group so that you can have three people talking at the same time.

[DANTE]: Yes, thank you.

[JOE]: Awesome. Thank you. Good question. Other questions? We’ve got about five minutes left. This is your chance to ask the one and only Clay Cockrell. Not that he’s going to disappear, but final questions for Clay. Clay, I think you covered it all.

[KELLY]: I enjoy your podcast. Just FYI.

[JOE]: Thank you Kelly.

[CLAY]: Thank you. I haven’t. I’m getting ready to relaunch it because I kind of took a year off my personal practice got so crazy busy that I took a year off and we are relaunching. We’re going to talk to Epstein Becker & Green and all the developments that have happened in the last couple of years and also starting a new podcast on how to find a therapist. So, you know, when my family members or people back in, I’m from Kentucky, so people back in Kentucky family, friends say, “I need a therapist. How do I?” It’s hard to tell them, you know, how to go look for a therapist.
So, I thought I’m going to start interviewing different people so we can explore the difference between a psychologist and a social worker and a psychiatrist. because people say, “Oh, I need to go see a psychiatrist with therapy.” God help us. And, then they, you know, what to look for as far as education and training and experience, how to evaluate a person’s online presence, to get you information, how to interview a therapist to see if they’re going to meet your needs of different types of CBT and DBT and, you know, the things that, just some rudimentary information on therapy one-on-one and how to find a therapist for your needs. So, yes, if you have any ideas into my way?

[JOE]: Well, that aligns really well with kind of what is doing too. So, it’s good that all those brands kind of match each other. Well, Clay, thank you so much for coming and being one of our experts. Thanks for all you’re doing for the field. Thanks for your friendship. Well, thanks for all you’re doing, all of you that showed up today, thank you. All of you that are watching this recording, go take action. I’m sure you’ve all taken notes and have action items.
Please put those in the Facebook group. It’s inspirational to hear what you got out of this. Other people in the Facebook group will ask you, you know, because you are here and will ask you what you took away from it. And when people are asking questions about online counseling, you’re now one of our resident experts in Next Level Practice. So, thanks for coming and thank you so much Clay, and all of you that came. Have a great day everybody.

[CLAY]: Thank you. Bye.

[JOE]: I hope you got tremendous value out of that ‘Ask the expert’ that was hosted in the Next Level Practice community. If you want to join that community, our next cohort is opening in September and then you won’t be able to get in until I think early December is our next one. So, if you’re ready to start and grow your practice and want to be around dynamic people that are asking good questions, that are growing fast, if you want to get more clients in your practice that you love, those kinds of clients that are your ideal client and if you want that support to just grow faster, head on over to and you can sign up for that cohort today. And also, as Clay said, amazing resource there.
Lastly, make sure you check out Gusto. Gusto is the best payroll solution out there. They help with so many different things, especially if you’re going to have a payroll taxes and you’re going to add clinicians and all of that. You want to make sure that you have the right solution. Head on over to and you get three months for free. When I signed up using my own promo code, the Gusto person was like, “Whoa, how did you get three months free?” They don’t usually offer that except through invites to people like us. So again, that’s and I’ll talk to you guys next week. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brains.

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 need a professional, you should find one. And special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy. We love your intro music.