PoP 142 | Growing a Private Practice with Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP, NCC

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Amanda Patterson how to GROW a private practice

How to grow a private practice is the theme of today’s podcast. Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP, NCC talks about starting a counseling private practice, how to grow a private practice, and marketing tips for private practice.

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PoP Culture MeetAmanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP, NCC

How to grow a private practiceAmanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP, NCC is an expert in treating adults and adolescents with depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Amanda opened her second private practice: “Caring Therapists of Broward”. Amanda helps her clients begin on the journey of symptom relief, self-discovery and healing. Her approach is to help you clean up your past, get focused in the present and move your goals forward for the future.

Amanda utilizes a variety of techniques, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, stress management, increasing self-worth, inner child work, incorporation of meditation, mind/body connection, 12 step work, assertiveness training, mood management, anxiety reduction, empowerment and work/life balance.

Amanda is an LMHC Qualified Supervisor for licensure. During supervision with Amanda, you will address case consultation, ethics and laws and personal growth as a therapist.

Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. She is an avid reader, both related to personal development and for fun. Amanda actively participates in 5k’s and can be found working out at the local LA Fitness. Amanda serves as the chapter advisor of the Beta Tau chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon and the Cultivation team lead for the Broward Alumnae Association. Amanda is a therapist through Personal Development Community Organization, where they offer a variety of courses throughout the year teaching skills that empower students to live their lives with integrity and new purpose.

Mentioned in the Podcast

Caring Therapists of Broward

Keep and Share Scheduling Software

Selling the Couch

Meet Joe Sanok

consultant headshot JoeJoe Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is one of the world’s leading private practice consultants. He is the owner of the Traverse City counseling practice, Mental Wellness Counseling. Joe helps counselors to start private practices and grow them.



Podcast Transcription

Pop 142 | Growing A Private Practice With Amanda Patterson, Lmhc, Cap, Ncc

[0:00] Music.

[0:08] This is the practice of the practice podcast with joe sanok session number one forty two.

[0:14] Music.

[0:27] Well i’m so glad you’re here today was the summer solstice when this goes live.
Which actually this day has some pretty huge meaning for me and i wanted to tell you about the,
but first wanna talk about simple practice simple practice is today’s sponsor and they are amazing they have,
electronic medical records a group scheduling they have automated building is just such an amazing platform for you and your group,
actors or even for solo practitioner,
you can head over to practice inside simple practice that come for slash go hospital screwed up and i’m glad sponsors don’t hate me at,
i just listed in there to show you that you know what it’s more important to put out great content and just keep doing it then to continue to have,
this is like really expect perfection mindset of things a lot simple practice for being a sponsor i am so glad that you’re a part of this community,
so the summer solstice was my grandfather’s favorite day of the year he would do yard work and told deep into you in the evening cuz that was the longest day.
He was one of those classic hardworking depression,
just grandfather’s and when i was in the summer going into things eleventh grade no i was going to tenth grade.
I was a backpacking in new mexico with the boy scouts and.
We got to climb this mountain called badly and climbed up and when my dad and in the group.

[2:01] Came down were able to have our first shower in like a week i came out of the shower and some i dead talking to a chaplain and.
My mom and brother and sister have been going to have my brother had his heart checked he had some heart issues as a little kid.
And you know is going on and what happened was my grandfather had been out working in the yard,
his he hadn’t checked his insulin levels and has diabetes and,
he ended up passing out and dying from that on his favorite day of the year june twenty first and so for years after that i would try to do something interesting on june twenty first.

[2:42] Also the first year i decided is gonna woke up old mission peninsula which is like this twenty mile walk and.
A dehydrated and was done as an eleventh grader and when my parents were with eighteen or so is gone for whole summer day.
In the next year end of debating on the senate floor in the michigan house or mission san it.
Off for a little boys state and then each year i can try do something unique and then you as grieve happens you kinda need that lasts,
and those can intercept today’s podcast goes live on the twenty first of june and it’s just been a day that and those constant memories.
Twenty just go with you cuz incidents grief and loss and hurt and pain,
need some sort of ritual or memory associated with that you do something interesting and find your own way,
what’s de my guest i’m really excited about my interview with amanda patterson amanda perry patterson is an expert in treating adults and adolescents are doing it depression anxiety something substance abuse,
she opened her second private practice carrying therapists brown broward.

[3:56] I’m working from home today and then playing with the girls all day and get this done so sorry about handle for ruining the name of your practice but she also claims begin on the journey of symptom relief self discovery and healing.
Her approach is to help clients to clean up their past get focused in the present and move forward on the goals for the future.
Amanda is just full of energy and ideas and i’m so excited for practice the practice community to meet her.
So that any further do i give you amanda patterson welcome to the practice of the practice podcasts.
Hi joe thanks for having me yeah thanks for being and am really glad that you’re here today.
Thanks max has so today we’re gonna chat all about you leaving your full-time job launching practice growing a group.
It is like also the things that we have canned about our agenda for things to talk about when we start with who is amanda.

[4:52] So i’m in and i’m a patterson a licensed mental health counselor here in pembroke pines florida which is close to fort lauderdale and a half,
what’s yours from everywhere and i want to school down here and i started working with juvenile delinquents i spend,
almost eight years working at a residential program.
Way cool kids were who were committed therefore criminal acts and substance abuse up i was working pretty intense environments and i absolutely loved it and i bake him a clinical director.
And i started to feel more like an administrator in less like a therapist.
I’m a i know when i was a foster care supervisor was mostly reading reports to make sure they were in compliance with our contracts yeah,
i did a lot of contracting did a lot of reviewing paperwork during supervision was,
i really enjoyed and was good at but i felt disconnected from being a therapist and i was actually looking for a job and i just happened to be on craig’s list.

[5:58] And somebody literally within five minutes of my job was looking to rent space to with their,
ask her private practice so i had not considered going into private practice i thought i was going to.
Take over you know that the company in mental health become some kind like a vice president of mental health or whatever that hack was and i just on a whim when interview,
and it was great i loved the office the woman,
that i rented from ended up renting from for almost two years i it was great it was exactly,
perfect for being therapists i can pay by the hour i could be on all of the marketing i could get referrals i decided to.
Join some of the insurance panels and i would get overflow so for me that was ideal because i didn’t know the first thing about starting a practice because like many people that i hear we want hot at a grad school so.
At that point where you was your plan they can keep your full-time job and then just do that on the side.
Yes my plan was to keep my full-time job it was a very good job in terms of pay and benefits and you and i did have flexibility that was one thing i was very grateful for is it,
you know they didn’t and say you must work nine to five had a lot of a tiny,
and at the time my boss is very supportive of me starting a private practice so what point did you start to feel your.
Out growing model just like a part-time practicing youth like maybe i should get my own office where there are other steps in there before that.

[7:33] I think there are other steps in there before that for me in terms i started to see the growth like i had doubled every month,
right i started with one client is on twice in the first month and then i have four and then i had a beef and then i realized i caps.

[7:49] Marketing if i buy psychology today profile as long as that was fresh and exciting and had a nice picture and i had started a blog and head of the sport page and i reached out to all my contacts as long as i kept doing those things i,
new that was going to bills and when i got to a point where i was seeing about twelve people week i said,
okay this is going to continue to grow and i cannot continue to do both so i had an accent strategy.

[8:19] To leave within six months with something like that well i you know of,
that cat stopped and i guess i had i ended up leaving,
early in nothing about three months earlier than that because it just picked up and it was really good timing with,
work i have to finish an audit so anybody who has been a supervisor knows all about audits and so it was just a really great time to step away.

[8:45] Yeah i think it’s funny how when you do a part time thing and then it starts to really take off,
there’s a point where you just seem to know like man every damn showing up this full-time job like i’m losing money that i could be growing i could be spending more time to grow my practice and.
Yeah i’ve had that feeling when i had my full-time job that you just can’t no it’s time to jump ship to something else.
Yeah that’s exactly how i was feeling too like i could do things from home you know i could post blog post i can,
you know be on facebook and engage my audience there will what i wasn’t able to do was go to networking events host my own events and really be visible in the community he had,
so like how much time was from when you responded to that Craigslist add to like when you left your full-time job.
One year pretty much to the date,
what was i know it was memorial day weekend when i responded to the Craigslist ad and with a bigger was one week off from when i left my full time job blowout so it’s someone that has just,
either started their own part-time practice or they have joined a group practice like what should they do in a year.
To get to scale it you said psychology was really helpful what else for you.
You know one thing i am i didn’t do and i would strongly recommend men’s and this is a big thanks to you is getting a website from.
Either brighter vision our company like greater vision i spent a lot of time on the first website and listen it wasn’t bad it wasn’t terrible but it didn’t you what i needed it to do i didn’t ranking google it was.

[10:26] You know i did a lot of delay work is that you know when i was a slower i spent.

[10:32] Why time working on my website vs six having somebody do it for me,
reasonable cost yeah yeah i still remember i want to embed a video and i kept pushing it in,
into the tax sign of the male side and the other and i just was like wise is not working and i watched all these you tube videos and no that none of them were working fine and discover that you tube video that showed me by piece that,
three hours and for in bed that damn video.
Which mean it’s good cuz now i know how to do it but.
Play like you right like there are times when you just explain your wheels and why am i putting my time into this that’s exact remember at the day was this monday and i was sitting,
you know truck and i’m not you i’m a big picture person i’ve realized that about myself through this process and not a details.

[11:22] Set so trying to you know move one-line slightly to the left is not my strong point and so then when i would preview and it wouldn’t be right and i was,
really grateful for greater vision to come in and you essentially what i was not able to do and then out to be,
you know it depends on the day to either be on the first page of google or the first person on the second page of google with both of my sites really.
Wow okay so you would have upgraded your website sooner you’re blocking psychology today what were other kind of essential things in that very first year.
You know recently i sat down to write thank you cards out to my referral sources and i realize that i got referrals from two places my friends.

[12:09] And from other therapists so my friends obviously i wouldn’t see them for therapy but they had a,
you know a coworker at work who is looking for a therapist or they had somebody that he knew that was looking for therapists and a lot of referrals that way,
and still being for me being visible on facebook was important for that i think that’s where most people like i don’t think there’s anybody on my feet,
page or that i’m friends with and doesn’t on the therapists and doesn’t know essentially what i do the hinges so how do you get over the.

[12:44] I guess.

[12:45] I have a lot of people that they don’t want to feel like they’re marketing to their friends and they feel bad about like announcing that publicly like how did you get over the emotions of like.
I’m gonna just let people know that i’m a therapist and that i’m accepting new clients which.

[13:01] Well for me i think that i see it as giving a service because i’m not a good fit nor do i have people in my office for instance were good fit for everybody,
but i got a lot of people messaging me on facebook that are my friends list i live in california by mom needs,
therapy can you give me a referral might not know somebody but not everybody’s familiar with psychology today are some of the sites that provide with,
search for therapists i had another friend of mine at you know say can you see me i said well no but i can point you in the right direction so i,
if for me wasn’t about advertising my services it was more about letting people know that i’m a therapist and if,
they need to know how to find a therapist that i am available to do that and.
I think that’s really important just be authentic and not be like pitching your service is all the time it’s all that you really just had to authentically help people.
Exactly and i’ll post handwriting some blog post this week anybody have suggestions so that my friends that do read the blog post.
Then they will feel,
engaging connected and i take their suggestions and i found out my most popular blog post the ones i couples even though that’s not primarily what i do it’s about twenty five percent of what i do but all my friends and family love all my,
my post about couples in relationships and date ideas so that since i seen as i see where the shares are at where the lights are and i’m writing more content because i realized people like that,
yeah so like the first year what are some failures are things to that man i screw that up and that would have been nice to know now.

[14:39] Do any kind for me any kind of print advertising is.
Spent a lot of money to advertise with what you know with within my city but it was sort of like a magazine and if nothing came to fruition with max and i think.
The website was another big one engine.

[15:01] Focusing i think more on just getting in referrals vs figuring out where my niche was mm.
Yeah so often here like know your specialty know units me and i’m guilty of saying that they talk a little bit more about why you would have d emphasize that.

[15:18] No i would and if so you would’ve and what is it okay if you emphasize units more and focus less and just getting referrals yes i got you now when the call came and i was so eager to get out of my job,
which was gotta put,
ask me but i take referrals that i couldn’t do because i had a training happy expertise but it wasn’t my ideal client and what i found is those people really aren’t the ones who have stayed with me more are the ones necessarily who’ll.

[15:49] We we followed the best chair share okay so you leave your full-time job a year after you start this practice what happens then.
So after doing that year and my second year as i was supervising people and a lot of my supervisor he’s had seen what i,
i get and they started ass like what can i rent here can i start a private practice you know what what’s the next step and then i realized wow,
i have this whole group of people were interested and being in private practice and nowhere to necessarily go.

[16:26] So my wheels started turning and i wanted to open my own office i was renting from somebody and it worked out well and.
You know what a calendar system and all that but i realize that i can do this on my own.
So i started doing research and look at some office space and i ended up renting office will be very close to where was that and shifting over and bringing on three therapists,
set up initially to start caring therapists of broward.

[16:57] So so when you brought and those three was it percentage based today just pay rent how does hundred that structure work it was always friends okay.
It wasn’t in so they how big of an office was it the rented,
so i am not rinsing executive suites that works you next week there a hundred and ten square feet so ten by eleven okay.
And so then you just how do you manage the schedules for everybody so we have an on-line calendar called keep and share.
And so everybody goes in and just walks off the office and blocks of the time that they want okay.
So then are you helping them get clients are they like their own website has outside of work so that it’s a little bit of apple,
i was very clear with people you can never guarantee referrals unless you have com i think we have contracts of people in,
doing specific kind work but i couldn’t guarantee referrals but i do some marketing so i have a website for caring there’s broward social media and any kind of referrals that come in that.
For me that,
i will pass along to the other fair pass and then they do their own work they were provide information for website and facebook and all the things that i did to build up the practice okay,
gotcha and then so they start joining that helps with some of the rent and your see more people like where do you grow then after that.

[18:28] So i ended up taking on more renters because and getting a third office i started actually with two offices and now there’s three offices,
and it had renters and one thing that i realize that i,
had done was not had rent minimums for people so i said okay as you go in hopes that people would build a knot was one mistake that i made along the way of realizing that probably needs to be some limits of rent so that people.
Feeling disillusioned process as opposed to just coming in once a week for an hour so that’s one shift that i’ve made.

[19:03] So what is so no black offered a certain amount of time or how much like what is that look like in regards to like i have clinician number one and they,
take this amount of time finish number two to access my time like for people that are sorting through that like what is like sites donna first serve first come first serve basis,
as far as.
Um what the timing that they need but we work together as a team like we have three offices every sort has.
That day like that they use so i think people are pretty mindful of that as long as they get their sessions in early enough that you know one therapists is in.

[19:44] You are a coleman dover numbers one to sixty to she’s in one sixteenth one o’clock to seven o’clock every tuesday she has a slew of claims that she sees and she goes in there and you can pri populate ow,
every week so you can are you can schedule out of a social put it in there for the whole month so then everybody knows,
this one clinician is in this office for this time and she pays for that’s that block and if you need other blocks of time she just goes in and is able to add oh okay.
So then this getting a good flow and then can where do you start to grow from there so that’s where i’m at now.
I’m not okay i have a team of therapists we can manage these offices and so we’re grows goes back to now me.
And shifting over how i do my practice so now i’m doing it,
i have insurance have private pay some gonna shift over to felipe private pay.

[20:44] And then i’m going to work on creating programs and packages that i may provide to the public,
so as you look a can of making more packages that what can it tools or podcasts or books like what’s helping you figure that out.

[21:02] Okay so your contact the family helps me out if and melvin from selling the couch is also very amazing.
I have a kc transpose be wealthy therapist was absolutely,
payments because it talked about all the different types of therapists there are and i’m an extroverted it,
it’s happy type of therapist i like blogging i like having social media so that works for me but not everybody.
Is that why some people have creative types the in a beautiful pictures and beautiful programs and i’m like wow i wish i could do that that’s not my forte.
So and i met with jennifer sneed and last week she has a.
How to practice consulting firm and she was really instrumental in helping me recognize ways that i can do some things differently and really be out there,
so i’m going to switch over using canned french stands for are making pictures or.
Six yeah having graphics yes.
Yeah not just a couple of weeks ago i had wilfred cran and his whole podcast was all about using canned in the psychology of design so,
it just came out except the at the time of our recording right now it was last tuesday so.
That’s really his is great when it comes to talk i can buy and how to make really good looking social media graphics.

[22:36] Okay i have to have to listen to it this week yeah yeah because i realize like,
being transparent and being really visible on facebook is about having really good graphics yeah yeah and i’ve actually started with some of my podcast interviews creating,
like a short one minute promo videos that takes in the audio from the podcast just cuz you’re a like the visual and you know especially when there’s a video,
those are things i can really start to capture people’s attention more yeah and another thing i realize is that while i have,
professional pictures in the same thing everything up for me has been a really big journey,
so is a person i had pictures that of a friendship with a really nice camera but they were not professional then i got professional pictures done that nasty where was that a year ago now in a different space,
this year and i realize i want different professional photos so that has been what i’ve realize that i started once place i was,
honestly on the website that of the practice that i had joined then i got my own what’s it gonna transition to a greater vision,
so every step of this process has been starting somewhere taking it to the next step taking it to the next step and then realizing now where i can up level my practice in all the different areas.
Well i think is so true cuz you know so often i hear people like they wanna do everything perfect right at the beginning and.

[24:06] Yeah i look like my very first website and how ugly it was a microsoft office live website had this like leaf with a drop of water falling off of it and it like made me now that seeing and like this is terrible.
But it was a starting point you know it got me going and.
Its way more that you work on things and then just as you go then you create you know right when you start have to be perfect,
so often people want to perpetrate beginning but you know that’s not i think what i hear from the most successful people that are out there.
They’re constantly changing and adjusting and adapting to kinda weather headed.
Yeah i realize that you can literally going even greater vision even though they do a lot of the like work for you,
you can absolutely go in and change graphics change copy change,
pretty much anything that you personally want after the basic design and i’ll do it to but,
but it was really nice to me recently is done with my website and said okay there’s something that i want to switch around here and i was able to just do it right then and there and i went back i invented a video i didn’t like it every day,
if so it’s everything is very fluid i think in private practice.
Yeah and if pin of new or private practice owners of people,
who are interested in going to practice are able to see how fluid all of that is and how things are constantly changing then i think people can be really effective in god’s,
starting and having a successful private practice yeah it takes the pressure off the if you miss spell something then.

[25:39] You know like you go back and change it has not like the end of the world where is in my grad school.
So you don’t turn in paper clips polish you don’t turn in a project of polished and that idea of.
Everything has to be perfect when you turn in the guest room in grad school but when it comes to running a business like what’s the minimum viable design the can get out there,
set things can start show what’s working what’s not working,
yeah because the quicker you can get information out there the quicker that people will see and i found the quick return phone calls the quicker i put up a blog post.
The quicker than i answer e-mails the more successful in getting whatever it is that i want to get from yeah yes if you’re looking to,
get more clients like you respond to your e-mails quicker than the average clinician and to get more clients.

[26:28] Absolutely that was one thing that was really helpful is having a virtual assistant and having somebody manage my social media.

[26:38] So when did you add virtual assistant why is it so i started calling surface approx about a year ago.
Okay and so does your she do you the manager social media and what else so that you,
i actually have two separate people have one person answering phone calls answering e-mails fielding all of the initial cause that come through and she does my billing as well and i have one person.
Doing my social media post social put together all the blog posts you’ll find graphic she’ll create than and she’ll post and promote all of that i’m mostly on facebook and we use twitter and instagram as well and interest,
so is an hourly thing or is that like you pay per month house at work i pay per month.

[27:24] For the next and really like the most effective way to do it because sometimes they don’t,
the be something that are a little more intense but sometimes it’ll be just daily you know daily facebook posts which is pretty simple to do yet,
so will you oversee those are just café here’s kind of the type of stuff i why how much gas you involved in that process,
so i’m really transparent i have my sister do it and so it’s amazing because she knows the buyer,
what’s the company she knows we’re trying to do and so i trust her judgement and the things that she does and if there’s ever something is the same thing if there’s ever something like well no i don’t think that’s,
not react like for instance using personal pictures and blog post that’s come up a couple of time she wanted to use things are little more personal than i like,
to be on my blog post i said i don’t think that works and you know we took it down so,
we had a really good working relationship in terms of what’s being posted.
So it sounds like finding people that are good at areas either you don’t have an interest and or that you don’t have skills and are they just you know what you just on i do find people you can trust that can do those things has helped you grow to.
Absolutely that that’s a big part of it is because if i’m in counseling sessions for twenty five hours a week or,
you don’t even twenty hours a week is it’s a lot because of the did not have to do some of the business side of things as well,
so twenty five hours is never twenty five hours twenty five hours at least thirty five hours so if i can have somebody answer my phone calls and in session in posting on facebook and.

[29:01] And doing some of those other things ever really freeze up my time to do things that are going to take my business to the next level,
yeah so me and every counselor in the world were listening right now what would you want to now i would want them to know to start now.
Weather that’s putting up a facebook business page of reading a book,
listening to your podcast whatever it is that makes them feel like they have started then i would say do it,
and it doesn’t have to be perfect and in a year he wants you change your facebook page name you can absolutely do that if you want to.
Change over everything you’re doing you can do.
Awesome so amanda patterson if people want to connect with you with the best way for them to connect with you.
So you can find me on facebook under amanda patterson mac or you can visit my website karen therapistsofbroward.com.
And keep the brown for us please so it bro w a r d awesome well blinks then the show notes amanda patterson thank you so much for being on the practice of the practice podcast.
Thanks joe i look forward with.

[30:39] I hope you have an awesome rest of your week.
Again head over practiceofthepractice.com/session142 for show notes from all the links we talked about today on the show,
also i’m practice the practice there’s an events section and now.
For all the events that i have coming up both on-line and in person i’m gonna be doing events here in traverse city every couple of spots left for the piano and practice that’s five hundred bucks to hang out.
Why do some groups opening a wine tasting and it’d be in denver doing an event with j become the third helping people get their first hundred thousand dollar a year.
And then also be doing one specific in private practice in denver and i’m not in asheville.
Yeah i’m gonna have a lot of other on-line against us make sure you check out the events section that will be updated with where i’m gonna be and what i’m gonna be doing.
And again thank you so much simple practice for being a sponsor today simple practice is the best electronic medical records system out there for therapists head over to simple practice that come ford slash jo and they’ll hook you up with.
Electronic medical records systems.

[31:43] Please let me into yours and your brain i’m so inspired by all of you heat rocks was.

[31:53] Music.

[31:59] Special thanks man silence is sexy as well as killing me as we like your music instruments used in this podcast is designed right accurate thirty two information act of sultana cover.
Is the most interesting thing that the host or the publisher gets surrendering legal accounting clerical or other professional information from.

[32:19] The.

[32:20] Music.

[32:43] What.