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Which colors compliment a therapeutic office space? What dual-purpose do rugs provide you within the therapy room? Why should you make sure to test out the furniture you buy?
In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Linda Murphy about DIY’ing your Office Space.
Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision
We made it another year and now it’s time to jumpstart your practice and gear up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online.
Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution.
And, during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!
For the entire month of January, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website – that’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision.
All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal.
Meet Linda Murphy
Linda Murphy is the founder of The Relationship and Divorce Counseling Center and her career has been grounded in connecting with people of all ages and backgrounds. Prior to becoming a counselor, she was a middle school teacher, working with challenging students who were held back in their education. Her ability to see past each student’s defensive layers was critical to her successful connection with them. Helping students envision a positive future inspired Linda to pivot to a career in mental health counseling.
Linda has herself experienced the heartbreak of divorce and the challenges of being a single mother. She knows how it feels to be overwhelmed and scared. She founded the RAD Counseling Center to help others through difficult relationship transitions by providing guidance and a roadmap for the journey.
Visit The Relationship and Divorce Counseling Center and connect with Linda Murphy on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Psychology Today.
In This Podcast
- Be intentional with furniture
- Miscellaneous objects
Cooler tones are popular in therapeutic office spaces. It is generally advised to avoid loud or distracting colors that can surprise a client or change the mood of the space.
Consider painting walls or coloring the office space with a gray cotton or off-white color instead of pure white, which can be startling or contrastive.
Gray colors are popular, and can easily be combined with shades of blue or brown to add warmth or depth to a place without influencing the calm atmosphere.
[With] a lot of [colors] I didn’t make anything permanent like a couch, I made it a throw or a little trinket in the corner here or there so that if those colors did go out of style or I wanted to mix it up I could easily do that without breaking the bank. (Linda Murphy)
Some office spaces have rules that apply to the entire building. Be sure to check with your contractor or rental agent before making any lasting changes.
Rugs are popular in therapeutic spaces because they provide softness and can break the hard lines of walls and corners in rooms.
An area rug can define the space that it is in. Carpets and rugs have a dual purpose of being aesthetic while providing another subtle layer of sound-proofing in the room for privacy.
Be intentional with furniture
Avoid purchasing furniture because it is simply a good deal, or because the agent sells it to you.
I ordered a couch that I had never sat on, based off of the saleswoman’s recommendation, and it did not work out … it was startlingly hard to sit on … And that is the number one spot in the office that you want people to feel comfortable [in]. (Linda Murphy)
Make sure to test out your furniture to make sure that it would be comfortable and pleasant for your clients. There is no point in having a nice space if it is uncomfortable or hinders the client’s comfort in therapy.
Purchase furniture that specifically complements or adds to the space that you are trying to create for your clients.
Consider adding these to your rooms:
- Throws over couches
- Soft background music
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Check out the Brighter Vision Sales. For the entire month of January, they’re completely waiving all setup fees!
- For inspired office-space design and great interior ideas try Therasuite!
- Visit The Relationship and Divorce Counseling Center
- Connect with Linda Murphy on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Psychology Today
- Faith in Practice Conference
- Group Practice Boss
Check out these additional resources:
- Introducing TheraSuite and How to Come Up with an Idea for a Side Hustle | GP 101
- Group Practice Launch
- Group Practice Boss: www.practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss $149 a month
- Email Alison: [email protected]
- PoP Group Practice Owners Facebook Group
- Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale
- Work with us
- Consult With Alison
- Alison Pidgeon on Therapy for Your Money Podcast
- Practice of the Practice Network
Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner
Alison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.
Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.
Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice
In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.
Visit Alison’s website, listen to her podcast, or consult with Alison. Email Alison at [email protected]
Thanks For Listening!
Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!
[ALISON PIDGEON] You are listening to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. Whether you were thinking about starting a group practice or in the beginning stages, or want to learn how to scale up your already existing group practice, you are in the right place. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host, a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a large group practice that I started in 2015. Each week, I feature a guest or topic that is relevant to group practice owners. Let’s get started.
Hi, I’m so glad you joined me today. We are doing a podcast series all about interior design for therapy office spaces. So if you listened to the first podcast that came out at the beginning of January, I talked all about how I’m launching a new business called Thera Suite. If you want to check it out, it’s www.thera-suites.com. I have created a website that allows you to either buy a board that contains all of the links that you would need for furnishing and decorating an office in different styles or you can contact an interior designer who is familiar with therapy office spaces and can design a custom design for you.
So I decided to interview practice owners and also interior designers on their kind of best tips and tricks around designing and setting up a therapy office space to make it calming and professional and all the things that you want it to be when your client walks through the door. So today I interviewed Linda Murphy. So Linda was in my mastermind group, one of the last times I ran a mastermind group to launch a group practice. So we now have a program called Group Practice Launch. So that the mastermind group kind of morphed into Group Practice Launch.
She is a licensed mental health counselor from Tampa, Florida. She owns a group practice called The Relationship and Divorce Counseling Center where she and her team specialize in counseling individuals and couples with relationship and or related issues. Linda really took the information that she learned in the mastermind group, and started growing her group practice and grew quite quickly. So it was amazing to see her learn and grow. Then obviously along with expanding the group practice came adding more offices and the need to furnish those offices and so she talks about how she figured out how to furnish and decorate their new office spaces.
[ALISON] Please enjoy my interview with Linda Murphy. Hi, Linda, welcome to the podcast.
[LINDA MURPHY] Thank you so much, Alison.
[ALISON] It’s so great to have you. It’s been a little while since we talked. I’ll let you introduce yourself, but just to let folks know that you were one of my kind of start a group practice members and you started your, well, I’ll let you introduce yourself, so tell us about you and your practice.
[LINDA] Yes, I was in your group practice group learning how to start a group practice. So that was really helpful. Hello everybody, I’m Linda Murphy. I own The Relationship and Divorce Counseling Center in Tampa, Florida, where we help individuals and couples with relationship related issues. Something that’s kind of different about us is that we also will work with people who are going through a divorce to help that process be a little less stressful.
[ALISON] That’s great. How many folks do you have working for you now?
[LINDA] Right now I have two tonight I have another person that I’m interviewing. So we have three office suites, so I have room for some more people to join us in the evening hours and during other hours that the other two or myself are not working.
[ALISON] That’s exciting. So I know there was a point at which you realized you needed more space because you were going to grow this group practice. So tell us about the process of kind of deciding on the space that you wanted to get and how much space and all of that.
[LINDA] I’ll even rewind a little bit before that. When I was the only person in my office, I put a whole lot less thought into what my office space looked like because it was just me and it only had to be aesthetically pleasing to myself and my clients. I could utilize the space how I wanted to, but when I was thinking about hiring somebody on, I thought, oh my gosh, I’ve really got to make this space work for other people too. So it did really start to change the way that I viewed all the items in my office. So yes, the first step was just taking the one office space that I had when I hired somebody else on.
I was still working from home because of the pandemic. So she actually wanted to be in the office and so I was designing it really to be a beautiful space for her and for the clients. Then once I realized, oh, I’d really like to hire somebody else on and I’d like to return to the office, I needed a much bigger space. So I ended up finding a suite that had three offices and then the designing work to expand into that space became a whole lot more of a challenge. Because now, like not only am I trying to design one little room, I’ve got a waiting room now, I’ve got essentially three living room spaces that needed to be designed. So that was a challenge.
[ALISON] Yes, for sure. So what was your thought process when you realized, okay, now I have multiple spaces? I’m sure you probably wanted to furnish them all about the same time because you knew you needed to use the space. So were you thinking like you wanted each office to be the same, you wanted them all to be a little bit different? Like what were you thinking in terms of that?
[LINDA] Yes, I wanted the space to all feel like it was consistent throughout so that no room was jarring, like, oh, this is a super modern room and this is the country room. I didn’t want that feel. So I learned quickly that shipping costs matter. So I actually decided to go with a boho, God, a mid-century modern feel in the office. So I decided that there were pieces I wanted to spend money on and there were pieces I did not. So the ones that I wanted to spend money on were the bigger pieces, like the couch and the chairs. That was because not only did I want my clients to feel comfortable while they were sitting in the office, but I really wanted the contractors that work with me to come in and feel as though the chair they were sitting in all day was a comfortable one.
So I splurged on those pieces. I actually got all of those pieces from West Elm and then I got the more decorative pieces from places like Target and Home Goods and places where you can find a much better deal. The colors I chose, I tried to spread them throughout each room. So for example, in every room, there’s a piece of brown kind of that, like nutty saddle brown color. So I have that color as the leather piece in each room and then grays and like a Navy grayish blue and a blush color throughout. So there’s just a mixture of that feeling throughout every room.
[ALISON] I love that. Let me ask you some questions about that. So the first one is I love the boho mid-century model and look. How did you decide on that? Was that just something you figured out just from looking at stuff online or do you just notice you gravitate towards those things or?
[LINDA] Yes, I gravitate towards it in my own home. So whenever I’m watching HGTV or anything about design, when that aesthetic would come into play, I’d always like those spaces better. I like things that have a lot of texture. I love plants. So that’s another piece in my office. I have plants hanging on walls or from the ceiling. I just like to have instead of pictures, I like a lot of plants, so I do have have paintings too in the office. In fact, my sister who’s also a counselor is a painter. So she paints all the pictures and they’re very meditation-like. We do, two of the counselors in our office both do internal family systems as a theory that we follow and use with our clients. So the paintings have a lot of message that are very IFS oriented about the self and mindfulness.
[ALISON] Oh, that’s cool.
[LINDA] So even the art follows you throughout the office.
[ALISON] I like what you said about spending money on the pieces that really matter and then maybe choosing less expensive options for other things. I think that’s really smart because that’s just such a great way to make sure you’re staying within your budget. I think like probably paramount is the therapist chair, because they’re going to be sitting in an eight hours a day or whatever and yes, that’s definitely the first thing you’re going to hear about, is if that chair is uncomfortable.
[LINDA] Yes, and I wish I knew exactly what they wanted. I wish they really could have come from store to store with me to try it out. I did end up having to get some pillows for the chairs as well, just to make sure that it was as comfortable as possible, but that’s pillows, throws, they’re all over the office. Anybody who needs more comfort, you have options.
[ALISON] Nice. So do you try to put like a blanket in each office space in case the client wants to use it or is there like a certain number of pillows you include?
[LINDA] Yes. So every couch actually, I need to get two more pillows, I’m just remembering that now, but every couch has four pillows on it as options. Every couch has a throw that’s thrown over it as an option and I’m also always called, so I also have a throw for every counselor, just in case.
[ALISON] Oh, nice. Very cool. I wanted to ask you too, about the color palette that you chose. So again, was that something that you just kind of figured out, like you really like those colors or is that something you found on Pinterest? Because I think that’s one thing that’s challenging for a lot of people, is they don’t necessarily know how to put different colors together and they just end up picking everything that’s like beige because they’re afraid of trying to put colors together. So I’m curious what your thought process was around that?
[LINDA] Well, I’m always drawn more to the gray tones, the cooler tones. So I started with that. I actually had my office painted my favorite color, it’s throughout my house as well, which is cotton gray. I just love that color. So it’s kind of a neutrally light gray color throughout.
[ALISON] What paint company is that?
[LINDA] Gosh, I think it’s something from Home Depot. It may be there. I can’t remember whether it’s that or Sherwin Williams. So I love that cotton gray color, but I also like to mix in some browns. So that’s why I always chose to have like that saddle leather color in each room so that it wasn’t all cool tones, that there was some warmth in there and —
[ALISON] And that’s a very popular color right now, right?
[LINDA] Yes. It’ll probably be out of style within the next five years, the whole thing. So I’ll have to start over, but right now it’s very in. The grays, I guess the grays and then the Navy blue grayish color, I just, I do tend to be drawn to that. I’m not a huge fan of white. I would prefer cream color and then blush also I think is just a really in color right now too. So I threw that in as something that wasn’t anything permanent. That’s what I did a lot of color. I didn’t make anything permanent, like a couch. I made it a throw or a little trinket in the corner here or there so that if those colors did go out of style or I wanted to mix sit up, I could easily do that without breaking the bank.
[ALISON] I’m really glad that you brought that up because I think that’s such a smart way to go about it because like you said, the furniture, as long as it’s neutral is probably always going to be workable. Then if you want to change the accent color, you can use that with the pillows and that kind of thing and it’s not going to be expensive to switch out pillows and stuff.
[ALISON] So what about your, sorry, go ahead.
[LINDA] I was going to say, I also chose things that were really easy to keep clean, so not glass surfaces where every, every spec of dust was going to show up immediately. So I have a lot of surfaces that just easily clean off and that’s helpful too.
[BRIGHTER VISION] We made it another year and now it’s time to jumpstart your practice, this and gear up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online? Whether you are a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year.
For the entire month of January, they’re completely waving all set fees and only charging $39 a month for your entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe.
[ALISON] I was going to ask you about the flooring in your office. Did you have any say in what it was or did you just inherit what was already there?
[LINDA] Well, the office building requires us all to have the same flooring, which is just what are those square carpet, tile things?
[LINDA] Yes, they stick in. Luckily the office that I got had been occupied for 30 years prior to me by the same person. It was really, really worn out. So all the walls needed to be re-textured, all the floors needed to be ripped up. So I really was able to move into a space that felt very fresh. So yes, the carpet, it’s a dark gray. So luckily it goes with everything, but I also am a huge fan of area rugs in a counseling space. So each room has an area rug that ties in all the colors. That’s probably the thing that I think the most about is choosing that rug for the room because it really sets the tone for the room.
[ALISON] Yes, I agree. I really like when you have the area rug, because I feel like it really defines the space where you have the therapist chair and likely a couch. Yes, I love area rugs as well, even if you have carpet and you’re sort of putting a carpet over top of a carpet, but I think it still works.
[LINDA] I agree. It’s also good for the sound in the office. You want anything that’s going to absorb sound and not let it get out into the common spaces or other offices.
[ALISON] Is there a favorite place that you use to buy rugs or do you just.
[LINDA] I like to go to Home Goods because they’re all hanging there. You can feel them, you can see the whole thing, you know whether or not it’s going to be a tripping hazard just by the look of it. And this is the best part, you can bring it to your office, put it on the floor and decide if you like it. If you don’t, it’s a pain to bring it back, but it’s way easier than trying to repackage it and send it back.
[LINDA] So I do like that aspect of it that you just can get lots of options, which I typically do. I just get a few options at a time, lay them out, see how it looks. There have been times when I’ve chosen one based off of the colors and realized what was I thinking? That’s completely a modern look. It’s not going to go with my office and had to ship it back.
[ALISON] I also find too, depending on how tightly they roll it up. Sometimes it takes a long time and, or never that it like completely unrolls.
[ALISON] Or release flat. You know what I mean?
[LINDA] Yes. and you’re having to put that section under the couch, so nobody sees it.
[ALISON] Yes, yes, yes. We’ve both done that, sounds like. So anything else that maybe you learned just from kind of making a mistake that you can share with us that might be helpful to the audience?
[LINDA] Yes. I ordered a couch that I’d never sat on based off of the sales woman’s recommendation and it did not work out. It was the funniest thing. It was a very hard bottomed couch, almost startlingly, hard to sit on. Then when you’d laid back to rest your back, you felt, well, actually, if you didn’t catch yourself, your head would hit the wall because there was no support.
[ALISON] Oh no.
[LINDA] It was very weird and so bad that I actually did have to return it and order a new couch, which meant paying for shipping twice, which was a pain, but it was so worth it because that is the number one spot in your office that you want people to feel comfortable, is sitting. Wherever the client’s going to sit, they need to want to sit there for an hour. And there was no way, every single time somebody came into the office while it was still in the office, I just had to warn them, please be careful.
So that was one issue. The other issue was I chose a rug that was hand woven. I don’t know if all hand woven rugs are this way, but it shed like crazy in the beginning. I really should have believed it when it started happening, but I really loved that rug and it still in there. Now it doesn’t shed as much, but man, was it rough to get through in the beginning? I almost broke my vacuum.
[ALISON] I think that isn’t that true with wool rugs that they tend to shed?
[LINDA] Yes, and I do believe this is a wool rug.
[ALISON] Yes, which is great. But at the same time you have to deal with all the shedding, which isn’t great when you’re trying to look professional.
[ALISON] Oh, sorry, my rug is shedding all over you.
[LINDA] Yes. And choosing, the other thing I would say is choosing plants that really will survive. Because lots of plants are really cute and you want them in your space and then you get them in there and they’re not capable of living in the environment. So choosing hearty plants that can handle it so that you are not dealing with dead.
[ALISON] Yes, that was something I was going to ask you about because I am not a good plant caretaker. So I end up really only buying fake plants, but I know it can be really nice to have real plants. So what do you do? Do you do fake, real, a mix of both?
[LINDA] I do all real, except for two, I have two little kind of decorative succulent looking things for one of the rooms that has no window in it. So I’m trying out to cactus like plants in there right now to see if we can keep them going. I don’t know if they will last, but I’m crossing my fingers on that one because I’m really much more of a fan of the real. I’m sure everybody is if you can keep them going. I like the plants that, golden, something golden. I wish I could remember the name. They’re very common plants and they kind of grow like vines down the side of a pot. But I like those because when they are in distress, they wilt and they give you like a sign, like I need help. So other plants, they just turn yellow and you didn’t know they needed you, but these plants will really let you know. It gives me a minute to give them something that they need if they need it.
[ALISON] Well, you can bring them back to life.
[ALISON] That’s cool. So did your three offices, did they end up having like the exact same furnishings and décor in each of them or are they all a little bit different or how did you approach that?
[LINDA] Yes, they’re all different common themes throughout. I do actually have a very similar coffee table on all of them, but just a couch, two end tables, a chair and a coffee table in every single one. I also have a little basket or something for files because we don’t keep any client files. So it’s just like handouts you may want to give. But I prefer it to not look like an office with a desk in it. I prefer it to feel like a living room.
[ALISON] Oh, so you don’t put a desk in on a purpose?
[ALISON] Oh, okay.
[LINDA] To make it cozy, just hang out spot that you’re talking and it doesn’t feel, I don’t know, work-like in there.
[LINDA] Whenever we have online sessions where we need something to place our computers on, I have rolling carts that can come in and out of the rooms for the counselors to use. Each room has all the same materials, but not the same furniture. In every room there’s a gray like woven piece of furniture and then there’s the saddle leather piece of furniture. Then I have the coffee tables are the live edge wood. Do you know what I’m talking about, where it looks like they just took a piece of wood and cut it? Also I have a dark metal going on throughout each one. So that’s consistent as well. The end tables are made out of a dark metal.
[ALISON] Nice. So when your therapists saw the rooms, what was their reaction?
[LINDA] They loved it, thank goodness. And even more important is like when clients come in for the first time and they see it and they love it, I get a lot of reaction of, “Wow, it’s so beautiful in here.” Because I did really put a lot of time in to try to make that the feeling that they got. The other thing that I have that I really love and I think other counselors might want to do this too, is I put a TV in the waiting room and the TV plays peaceful, yoga like music all day long. It has a screensaver, I think it’s Apple screensaver that just goes through all these images of underwater scenes and cityscapes and nature. It’s just beautiful, seems from throughout the world. So when you’re waiting there, it’s not just a quiet room. It’s a room that has something to look at and is peaceful and kind of gets you in the mood to be in your counseling session.
[ALISON] Nice. I was going to ask you, what was your approach to furnishing the waiting room? Was that a little bit different, just because you needed obviously multiple chairs?
[LINDA] Yes, we went with, I actually got dining room chairs from West Elm that are a material covered in a material. I wanted to do that because now with COVID people do need to sit farther apart. So I wanted chairs that you could spread out enough that people could sit if they weren’t coming in together for couples, that they’d be able to sit far enough away from each other.
[ALISON] Nice. So you just have the dining room chairs in there or do you have side tables or do you have like a table where they can get a drink or something like that?
[LINDA] Yes, I have the tables or the chairs. I’ve got two tables as well with some lamps on them. Lighting is a big thing in my office too. I hate the fluorescent overhead lighting. So in every room there are two to three lamps that give it more of a soft lighting in the room. Then I have the TV and underneath, I have a console table with waters and mints for clients to take and just refresh themselves if they need it.
[ALISON] I think that’s a really nice touch to have something like that in a waiting room. Makes them feel cared for, like you thought about those little details.
[LINDA] And books too. I like to have any books that clients might enjoy reading, especially if they are based off of work that the counselors might be doing with them. So we have books that are based off of acceptance and commitment therapy and internal family systems and just the topics, divorce, things like that, that if the client wants to take a look at it while they’re waiting, they can get a sense of the book and whether or not they’d want to read it on their own.
[ALISON] That’s awesome. Any last kind of tips or suggestions for people who might be in the same position of needing to decorate their office space or maybe redecorate?
[LINDA] Well, the one other thing I’m thinking is sound is so important in the office because we don’t want to be able to hear each other. My office to begin was not fabulous in that way. You really could hear quite a bit through the walls. So I put in every room and the waiting area a sound machine that plays the sound of water. Then I also put, for COVID, for just air quality purposes, but also for sound, I got an air filter for each room that makes a beautiful, perfect humming sound. It’s a white noise. That’s not distracting and allows that ability to just not be hearing the other counselors around you. Then we also had to do a little bit of soundproofing on some of the areas between the walls, but that’s another story.
[ALISON] That’s another story for another day. That’s great. We actually did the same thing. We put in air filters in each office and that makes that really nice white noise sound and purifies the air at the same time.
[LINDA] Exactly. Less dusting.
[ALISON] Yes, That’s right. Well, Linda, it’s been so great to talk to you about your process for decorating and furnishing your office. If anybody wants to connect with you, what is the best way for them to get ahold of you? Or do you want to give us the URL for your practice website in case they’re interested to look at that?
[LINDA] Yes. The best way to contact me is to go to my website. You can go to relationshipanddivorcecounseling.com and my email’s there, my phone number’s there. Anybody who wants to ask any questions, they’re free to reach out. If you’re in the Tampa area and want to stop by and see my office, I’d be happy to show that to you as well.
[ALISON] Oh, that’s really nice. Well, it’s been so fun talking with you, Linda. I love talking about interior design and it sounds like you did an excellent job with putting your office together. So thank you so much for sharing all of your wisdom.
[LINDA] Thank you for having me. It was fun.
[ALISON] Thank you so much to Brighter Vision for being a sponsor of this podcast. We love your websites. I have a Brighter Vision website for my own practice. If you want to participate in the deal we were talking about at the beginning of the podcast, just hop on over to brightervision.com/joe.
Thanks so much for listening. I hope you enjoyed learning about how other practice owners decorate and furnish their spaces. If you want to check out my new website, Thera Suite, it’s T-H-E-R-A-S U-I-T-E.com. You can get inspiration. We have a blog. We, you can look at the boards. You can take a quiz to figure out what your design style is. So definitely fun things to look at. I will talk to you all day.
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This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards 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.