Paying It Forward with Dr. NaRicia Futrell | GP 159

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Paying It Forward with Dr. NaRicia Futrell | GP 159

Do you run a practice with 1099 contractor employees? How can you maintain a healthy and positive relationship with contractor employees that leave the practice? What does “paying it forward” look like in private practice?

In this podcast episode, LaToya Smith speaks about paying it forward with Dr. NaRicia Futrell.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

An image of Therapy Notes is captured as the sponsor on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Therapy Notes is the most trusted EHR for Behavioral Health.

As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using TherapyNotes. They make billing, scheduling, notetaking, telehealth, and E-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available 7 days a week.

You don’t have to take my word for it – Do your own research and see for yourself – TherapyNotes is the #1 highest-rated EHR system available today, with 4.9 out of 5 stars on and on Google.

All you have to do is click the link below, or type promo code JOE on their website, and receive a special 2-month trial, absolutely free.

If you’re coming from another EHR, TherapyNotes will import your demographic data quickly and easily at no cost, so you can get started right away.

Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time, and try TherapyNotes.

Meet Dr. NaRicia Futrell

A photo of Dr. Naricia Futrell is captured. She is a LCSW and group practice owner. Dr Naricia is featured on Grow A Group Practice, a therapist podcast.

Dr. Naricia Futrell is a Licensed Clinical Social worker, licensed in Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas who has been practicing for more than 10 years. She currently holds a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters and Doctorate in Social Work. At Gihon, her group practice, they work with adults, children, couples and family systems using a holistic approach to help individuals tap into their own strengths in working through problems.

Visit Gihon Counseling and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Psychology Today and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Supporting your contract clinicians
  • Pay it forward
  • Help the people that come through your door

Supporting your contract clinicians

There is often movement in private practices that work with contract employees. They may come, gain experience and expertise, and move on again.
This is natural and normal, and this movement can even be beneficial to the practice and both the owner and the contract clinician.

When you’re deciding that you’re going to step out and do something else, or you need to leave, just communicate that with me, and let’s see what that looks like … maybe we can be referral sisters.

Dr. Futrell

Even when contract clinicians decide to move on, it doesn’t have to mean an official goodbye. You can both continue working together by referring to one another.

Pay it forward

There are many ways that private practice owners can support and care for their clinicians, and pay it forward.
Consider offering supervision, be open to sharing wisdom and information, and offer guidance to those who work with you and for you.

Whatever you need to know, I’m not one of those people [that says], “Well, I’m not sharing any information. I’m the [main] person” … like, hey, I probably give too much!

Dr. Futrell

Help the people that come through your door

You don’t have to give everything to your employees, and there definitely is a fine line between helping someone and feeding someone information that they are not working to understand themselves.
However, have an open mind, heart, and hand with those around you. If you have resources to share and ways to raise people up – while running a successful business – then do those things.
Pay it forward, because there were probably many people that helped you too when you were starting as well.

[Decide] first what it is that you want to do and how you want to do that. How [do] you want your name and your company to be represented, and how much of the help [do] you feel like you could give someone without hindering them or making them dependent on you?

Dr. Futrell

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet LaToya Smith

An image of LaToya Smith is captured. She is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling. LaToya is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website. Connect with her on FacebookInstagramStrong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

Apply to work with LaToya.

Email her at [email protected]

Podcast Transcription

[LATOYA SMITH] The Grow A Group Practice Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice Network, a network of podcast seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like the Practice of the Practice podcast, go to You are listening to the Grow A Group Practice Podcast, a podcast focused on helping people start, grow, and scale a group practice. Each week you’ll hear topics that are relevant to group practice owners. I’m LaToya Smith, a practice owner, and I love hearing about people’s stories and real-life experiences. So let’s get started. Welcome back to the Grow A Group Practice Podcast. My name is Latoya Smith, your host. Today I think, I always say it’s a special topic, but when we were communicating about exactly what we were going to talk about today, I knew this one was going to be the one because this sounded exactly like something that I enjoyed doing. So I was like, ooh, this is some good stuff to talk about. So I’m already excited for this guest. I’m already excited to hear her expertise and her wisdom and all of what she wants to share with the podcast community. Dr. Futrell out of Memphis, Tennessee, welcome to the podcast. [DR. NARICIA FUTRELL] Hey, hey, thank you. [LATOYA] One thing I told, this is for the audience, I told Dr. Futrell, I said, woo, that your accent is strong. Tell us a little bit about yourself, doc. I hope you don’t mind me calling your doc, just shorten it up like I knew you. [DR. FUTRELL] No, it’s fine, it’s fine. My accent is strong. [LATOYA] It’s strong, but it’s good. I love your personality. I like your videos on Instagram, your sense of humor, I can tell you’re funny. So I love all that. [DR. FUTRELL] Thank you. Well, yes, I’m Dr. Futrell. I am a group practice, private practice owner here in Memphis, Tennessee. I’m licensed in the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas. What about me? My license in LCSW, I have my doctorate in social work as well, I got my doctorate from Capella, and I received my master’s from UT Knots and my bachelor’s from Christian Brothers University here in Memphis. It always seems like when I say how long I’ve been practicing, it makes me feel, oh, but it’s well over 15 years. But I tell people too, like, yeah, I include from the moment I got my master’s degree because I intend to count all of the grunt work that I have to complete in order to get my license as part of practicing, because I was, it was clinical and admin and stuff. [LATOYA] Oh, that’s right. Did you know in grad school, did you know you wanted to have group practice? [DR. FUTRELL] No, I didn’t. I didn’t even decide that I wanted to do private practice. My final decision about really want to do private practice didn’t come until I got out of graduate school. It actually came from an idea between myself and one of my cohorts. We were actually do it together but as the process got started, we decided to take different paths and I just continued on. [LATOYA] Why do you think, I mean, hopefully without telling too much, hopefully, why do you think it was better to, for you to do your own in that individual? Was it like a conflict of like the niche or location or? [DR. FUTRELL] Well, not necessarily a conflict. She at the time, she was struggling to pass the exam for the LCSW. We obviously, we could have continued to work through that because it only requires one of us for the practice to have an independent license but she also had other goals that were primary for her. She was writing a book, she wanted to start a nonprofit and she was living in Mississippi. She wanted to start a nonprofit in Mississippi that did more social work type things that were not clinical. So I was like, well, I’ll just continue on this way and you’ll continue on that way, and should we decide to come back and do this, then we will. We didn’t. I continued to do my thing and she continued to do hers. [LATOYA] Your thing has been quite successful. Tell us the makeup of your practice, whether it be the year you started it, and whether it be, I think you have contractors and just how you decided to even do that, contractor versus W2 or insurance cash pay. [DR. FUTRELL] I started the practice in 2015 and I actually reached out to a young lady that was working, I was working for a company and she was working for the same company in another location. She was in Nashville and she had a private practice, and we used to stay all the time. We got our stuff on the side because we kept our full-time jobs. So I reached out to her to get some insight on building a website and what I should do and I just was going to do it myself, because, like I said, the other young lady she was doing something else. As I got started, I was talking to another cohort about what I was doing, and she was I like to, I seek clients with you and we’ll see how that goes and so it started with just two of us. Then someone saw my website, who went to school with me, and she was like, “Well, you know I was doing social work too, and do you have some work?” I was like, “I can get you some work.” It just started to build on that and then it was like, okay, wait a minute. We had this, it was so funny, the first office was like straight up in the hood. I mean, it was one of the office buildings where they got different sweets and you could smell weed and a holler and dudes was cussing us out at night and we didn’t want to holler. It was like, oh, Lord, woo, we got to get out of this space and we need bigger space anyway. So that created, I need to build, I need to be bigger than what I planned on, and I want to give women, at the time I was thinking black women in social work, some of the same opportunities that I would’ve loved to have been given as I was starting out. [LATOYA] Okay, I like that. So you just, you started and people that knew you gravitated to you and you outgrew the space for safety reasons and for space. [DR. FUTRELL] Yeah. [LATOYA] But then it turned into this thing of, okay, you realize, and I love it, that’s why I say I think well, I’ll get that in a second, but I love the idea that not only are you building for the clients, but you’re building to be a blessing to those connected to you. It’s like you had this vision that you were going to help, like it’s going to be twofold, which also goes back to the helping part of the profession, but okay, we’ll get to that soon. So you’re bringing on different contractors, how many contractors do you have now? [DR. FUTRELL] Right now I have seven. [LATOYA] Okay, awesome. Everybody’s contract? [DR. FUTRELL] Yep. No employees. I don’t want the responsibility of making sure anybody got health insurance and all of that. It’s contract work. I was familiar with contract work because I did it myself in undergrad. [LATOYA] Yeah, I know what you mean. When I started too, it was just like that. Like, I’m going to do what I know. I don’t know if it was right or what, but I’m going to do what I know because I needed to get started. But tell us how you best manage contractors. Because sometimes I’ve heard different people say, I do have some W2s, but I heard different people say as well it’s best to, contracting is easy. You just give percentage. It’s like, come work for me. You do the work and I’ll pay you. Some people say, W2 is better, but how do you best manage contractors for you? Like, what works best for you? [DR. FUTRELL] So I was very fortunate that at the time I started my practice, my grandmother was retiring. She worked for EEOC for over 18 years. She also ran a nightclub on Bill Street for several years. So she’s very versed in what needs to happen in order for people to have safe workplaces, all these rules and things you have to follow. She was very business minded running the business so I was like, well, you’re retiring, let’s give you something to do and you can get paid as well. So she’s come along and she’s helped manage a lot of the financial pieces and she was able to teach me what it looks like to record these, the invoices and make sure that your overhead is covering this and things that you can write off for tax purposes and those types of things. As far as like managing the contractors, I do still require them to do things that may be outside of what they’re directly paid for. We meet once a month just like we would somewhere else because I need to make sure that you are keeping up with your clinical skills, even if you aren’t licensed and you’re not attending CEUs, we meet, we staff, clients, we cover different clinical aspects. We talk about admin things because I’m also teaching them how to run their business, the business of themselves. How do you take care of yourself and manage a client caseload and all of those things. [THERAPY NOTES] As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using Therapy Notes. They make billing, scheduling, note-taking, telehealth and e-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available seven days a week. You don’t have to take my word for it. Do your own research and see for yourself. Therapy Notes is the number one highest rated EHR system available today with a 4.9 out of 5 stars on and on Google. All you have to do is click the link below or type promo code [JOE] on their website over at and receive a special two-month trial absolutely free. Again, that’s and use promo code [JOE] on the website. If you’re coming from another EHR, Therapy Notes will also import your demographic data quick and easy at no cost so you can get started right away. Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time and try Therapy Notes. [LATOYA SMITH] Yeah, that’s good. First of all, that’s amazing. it seems like entrepreneurs ship runs in your family, like your grandmother has it and that’s just a blessing. Just have people there that are able to help you along the way. I mean, I hear you right, your contractor, I can’t tell you what to do, but there’s still some ways that I’d like to run the practice, whether it be meetings or what have you. It’s good and it’s working for you. That’s why I always tell people like, you got to do what works for you, whether it be W2 or contractor, whatever works best for you financially or in the system. But let’s talk some more too, because I know even in our chatting before we got started recording, you even talked about, listen, I have these people with me, but I’m not trying to keep them forever. They’re not going to be lifers at your practice. So I mean, what does that conversation look like from the time that you meet them and they want to come work with you to, when you realize, okay, this person is getting a little antsy, they look like they want to go do something else. How do you best support them from the time they come in the your door until when it’s time to see them move on? [DR. FUTRELL] Well, I can be honest that it has had to look different over the years. When I first started, like I said, my practice was on the side. So I had a full-time job and some of the ladies that were here at my practice really were running this for me. They were like full-time. It’s funny because I can remember saying to one of them, “I don’t want you to ever leave, go nowhere.” She’s actually going to be leaving at the end of this month, but she’s been with me for several years but as I walked away from full-time work last year and came on to my practice full-time then and right before then like a year or so before then the conversations began to look very different with contractors as they came aboard, like, “Hey, this is the vision that I have for my practice. This is how I do things. I’m always open to hearing people’s ideas. I don’t like to hear complaints unless you’ve got two or three solutions to address that. But this is what I’m doing. You have to be able to fit into the culture of the rest of the young ladies here because we do communicate a lot and that’s important to me. When you’re deciding that you’re going to step out and do something else, or you need to leave, just communicate that with me and let’s see what that looks like. Maybe we can be referral sisters or something.” Because it’s like you mentioned before we logged in, it’s plenty of work out here. There are plenty of people who need help and there aren’t enough black female therapists to do it. [LATOYA] Absolutely. So it’s important to always stay connected somehow. Like you said, referral source, whether it be presentations whatever it may be. I love your stance on the importance of paying it forward, building other people up to get going. You tell me your thoughts. I know for me it was a lot of, when I first started, I didn’t have that. I had to go off what I knew and what I knew, hindsight, what I knew wasn’t always right. Like now it was ethical. Now I don’t want the board to say nothing. It was ethical, but it wasn’t always the best move. I’m realizing man, if I can help somebody else for what I didn’t have, I’m going to do that. What are some ways, not just with that one person leave, because she sounds like she’s awesome and, yeah, she sounds awesome, how else do you work to pay it forward to other therapists that are just getting started or whoever it is in the community? [DR. FUTRELL] Well, one of the other services outside of direct practice that I do myself is I do license your supervision. Now I got a family to feed too now, so I’m not doing this for free, but it’s been my understanding that I do charge less than what a lot of supervisors in the area charge. I also, for the ladies who work for me who contract with me, if they meet a certain level of productivity, I do not charge them for supervision. So they do receive free supervision. Any trainings and things that I attend, I make sure to take notes of those things. CEUs can be expensive and although you may need the CEU, we need the information more than we need the CEU. So I make sure that in our meetings I share that type of information. People who know me know that if you, don’t call me, I ain’t going to answer the phone, but if you text me or email me, whatever you need to know, I’m not one of those people who’s like, well, I’m not sharing any information. I’m the person like, hey, this is, I probably give too much. This is all the steps you could possibly take and here are some other things that you could possibly do. I’ve been doing a lot more with the with social media, just sharing information and connecting and consulting with people. [LATOYA] Yeah. No, I love that. I think you hit on some big parts because we picked a great profession and everybody listening, you’re a therapist, you picked a great profession because there is work. You really hit on it. A lot of things, it’s hard to get information, not that, and like you said, you got a family to feed, so everything don’t need to be free. Like some stuff, listen, there’s a structure and there’s an understanding, but also if I can be of value to you and help you, I’m not going to watch you fall. I’m going to help you to get there. I’m going to give you the pieces and if I got to keep feeding you now that’s different. Now we’re going to make you a contractor or something. [DR. FUTRELL] Now we have a conversation, [LATOYA] We’re going to do something different, but the importance of paying it forward, do you do you do consulting? Like, is that a piece too, like an official piece? [DR. FUTRELL] Not an official piece, but like I said, people will call or like I’ve done speaking engagements that I guess you can call that consultant. I didn’t get paid for. I need to go back and get some money. But you do speaking engagements and people come up to you and they’ve got questions and they’re like, “Hey, can I contact you later?” I’m like, “Absolutely. You can email me. I’ll give whatever information I can.” If it becomes something where it’s like, okay, this is a consistent, you need to meet with me, or we’re talking about 30 plus minutes, then we got to look at what a fee looks like because that takes away from my, the time that I have to see my clients. But usually it comes from like, when I’ve done some type of speaking engagement or some of my videos on TikTok or Instagram, people will contact and say, “Hey, I saw your video and I was thinking about doing this and what are your thoughts on it?” I’m perfectly okay with sharing information because that’s what someone did for me. [LATOYA] So is it like when you bring somebody on board, is it like you can, now going forward you can see them gone, like, not gone, like you want them out the door, but you’re helping them, “Hey, one day you’re not going to be here.” [DR. FUTRELL] Yeah. I’ve seen it, I’ve seen people who, they’re coming in and they’re starting like working somewhere because I’ve supervised at companies and down the years, like now I might see them like, oh this, they doing they videos or whatever. I’m like, oh my gosh, so and so, or someone will send someone to me and they say Dr. Futrell, she helped me do this or this. Contact her and she might be able to tell you how to do something. [LATOYA] What type of advice do you have for another group practice owner who holds the same values as you, who wants to help build people up? What advice do you have for that person who also needs to eat, take care of their bills, but also has a heart to say, I want to help others too? I don’t want to hold them back or keep them forever at my practice. [DR. FUTRELL] I think finding out what works for you. There are, I have other friends who have a private practice and some of them don’t feel like with the group practicing it, it is a huge responsibility because they are, these people are working under your license. So you want to get your organizational skills in place and you do that by first deciding what it is that you want to do and how you want to do that. How you want your name and your company to be represented. How much of a help you feel like you can give to someone without hindering them or making them dependent upon you. [LATOYA] Dr. Futrell tell people, because them reels are funny, tell people how they can find you on social media or your website, your email. How can people listening best connect with you? [DR. FUTRELL] So on Instagram my, what they call it, they call it a handle. I didn’t know. On Instagram is Dr. Naricia Futrell, that’s d r n a r i c i a f u t r e l l. It’s the same thing on TikTok. My Facebook page is Gihon, that’s G I H O N Counseling, which is also the website, I run a YouTube channel and I can be found there under your slightly favorite hood therapist. [LATOYA] I like that. Wait, what’s the meaning behind your practice name? [DR. FUTRELL] Gihon has two meanings. It has a biblical reference and the water, the body of water Gihon is believed to be the body of water where the rivers that flow through the garden of Eden originated from. The literal sense of the word Gihon means to burst forth. So we want our clients to come in and burst forth with their new beginnings, their new thinking, their new feelings, and have a healthy life. [LATOYA] Love that. I love that name. [DR. FUTRELL] Thank you. [LATOYA] Well, Dr. Futrell, I really appreciate you being my guest today. I appreciate you responding to my request to be to be a part of the podcast. You guys really go look her up with all the social media handles that she just gave. Go find her because you going to laugh at these reels and videos. Doc, thank you so much. I hope people connect with you and I love the pay it forward process. Any last words you want to leave with any group practice on, no matter what stage they’re at and where they’re going? [DR. FUTRELL] Don’t give up. If it’s really what you want to do, don’t give up. It’s going to be some difficult times. It’s going to be some months, especially if you dealing with insurance where you like, where is my money? But get yourself into a groove and figure it out and it’ll be okay, it’ll. And stay connected with other therapists. Private practice can be isolating, but you need to really stay connected with other therapists to get everything that you need and to supply what someone else may need. [LATOYA] Awesome. Well, Doc, thank you so much for being my guest today. [DR. FUTRELL] Thank you. [LATOYA] Thanks once again to Therapy Notes for sponsoring this episode. Use the promo code [JOE] to get three free months to try out Therapy Notes for free, no strings attached and remember, telehealth is included with every subscription for free. If you love this podcast, please be sure to rate and review. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards 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 any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.