PoP 234 | Starting a Practice With Ciji Gamble

Share this content
Starting a Practice

In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Ciji Gamble about starting a practice.

Podcast Sponsor

Confused by all the advice on starting a private practice? I’d love to help. I put together a checklist of the top 28 things to do to launch a private practice.

In This Podcast


Ciji Gamble speaks about her experience of starting a private practice. What she did beforehand to prepare and the process she went through once she started. She shares some valuable tips on how to negotiate rent, budgeting, and more. We’ve also included some resourceful links below to help you get started on the right foot!

Tips For Starting a Private Practice

Listening to podcasts about private practice is very useful. Furthermore, the marketing and connections required before starting a private practice are as important.

Ciji’s Timeline For Starting a Private Practice:

  • Discovered a niche
  • Read e-book about private practice
  • Started a website
  • Received training on specific niche
  • Worked out a budget
  • Found ideal office space to rent on part-time basis
  • Paneled independently (insurance)

For Counselors Who Have Given Birth

There is something called ‘baby blues’. It can affect 50 – 80% of moms. You have symptoms that mimic postpartum depression / anxiety, but there are three things to look for to see if it is:

  1. Severity
  2. Duration
  3. Start

Men are not excluded from this! Postpartum depression isn’t just biological, but social / psychological as well.

Treatment For Postpartum Depression

There are four components:

  1. Self-care, i.e.: sleep, eating, exercise
  2. Peer-support
  3. Counseling
  4. Psychotropic medication

Useful Links:

Meet Ciji Gamble

Ciji C. Gamble, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Kalamazoo/Portage Michigan area, and the owner of Maternal Counseling Services, a counseling private practice that specializes in the mental wellness of pregnant and postpartum moms. As a counselor Ciji helps women, at all stages of life, find peace in their present and hope for their future.





Meet Joe Sanok

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!

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!


Podcast Transcription

Pop 234 | Starting A Practice With Ciji Gamble

[0:00] Music.

[0:07] This is the price of a practice podcast with joe sanok session number two hundred thirty four.

[0:13] Music.

[0:24] Jose lock your post welcome to practice and the practice podcast your all about starting growing and stealing private practices.
This episode is all about how c g gamble.
Launch a private practice found a specialty and is rocking it out in the way that excuse me she was rocking out.
And there’s a bunch of things are gonna help you when you’re at that phase of starting a practice the first one is in my twenties step checklist.
Over at practiceofthepractice.com/start.
The twenty step checklist will walk you through exactly what you need to be doing right the beginning and then you’re gonna get some e-mails follow kind of beyond that just of your next steps and all the exact things you need to be doing your starting.
Also if you haven’t checked out the practice essentials wedding r series that hon of web enters their coming up in the next few months all about.
How do you start pro practices into people that are making less than a hundred thousand dollars a year after the practice so probably most of the people listening right now.
And so head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/practiceessentials to sign up for the next webinar they’re totally free it’s all about how you grow specific areas of your practice would love to have you join us in one of those when hours get your answers question your answers questioned.
Yes your answers will be questioned when you give an answer your question them your questions answered cf today we have cd on the show,
she’s the one that i met through my friend chris stroman who was on the cover of our recent magazine you haven’t dollar that magazine yeah it’s over practiceofthepractice.com/magazine tons of resources we got for you if you ever confused.

[2:05] You can email me i can email sam with just [email protected] or [email protected],
he always reach out of you get stuck we want to be here for you always got a growing team we’ve got family who she is our director details,
alison who is there specialists are group practices and when they’re adding insurance so you know any of us is just our first name,
alison has one l in it i reach out to us we want to help you grow your practice and to start your practice so though any further do i give you cd campbell.

[2:46] Day of the practice of the practice podcast we have cd gamble,
she is a licensed professional counselor in kalamazoo portage michigan area and is the owner of maternal counseling services,
counseling private practice specializes in the mental wellness pregnant and postpartum moms as a counselor cd helps women at all stages of life.
Find peace in the present and hope for their future cd welcome to the practice of the practice podcast.
Thank you for having me yeah i gotta see you’re awesome office windows down visiting my friend chris stroman whose just on the cover of a magazine.
And you have such a clear specialty is just the warm officer so fun to hang out in person.
Thank you say we’re happy have yeah what start with when did you decide to launch a private practice.

[3:35] Oh why i decided to go it solo private practice my official start day in the office with november first of last year.
Twenty sixteen i’m in new right out of the gate that one it’s the in private practice in new.
In my graduate program that wants to have the flexibility private practice with no one in the family.
But i started off in roof and then eventually transition to so well so when you are in grad school i know that there’s a lot of grad school listeners there are coming in glasgow right now.
What do you wish you would have been told about private practice in grad school.

[4:18] One of which i would have to park at think they have but i wish that would been told about.
I would say the marketing before he and in the connections before he and.
Cuz i think i was so focused on just getting the content and interventions and the techniques which is important you need to have that as a foundation,
but will not talk business side will not talk about in my case i had to insure it so are take pictures either.
I will not talk about any of the billing calls.
Any of the comes it was just really i had to learn by trial and error don’t in the fire.
Think of when i can’t even when you’re ten ninety nine in the group you have a little bit of guidance but they are the understanding that you are eight and nine or contractor thought i would have that business side and will be.
The opportunity to two identify mentors were in private practice probably before actually graduated yeah totally that’s often that people.
Don’t learn some basics and a lot of people even part time going to private practice as a side gig are you open twenty to full time and.
Any more colleges are starting to offer some kind of private practice business be six but it’s just not as much a part of the program it’s probably should be.

[5:50] I agree so when you decided you were gonna start your practice take us through it so it was last november so less than a year ago or more like the six months before it for people that are planning our practice launch.
What what should they know what were things he liked I totally screwed that up I shouldn’t have done it that way take us through that phase of things.
How is six month before i started thinking about niches because that when i was with the group at all age you all.
Issues but i really knew that it was gonna be important for minutes i started to think about the.
I have my heart is for my i am i her will just for mom so there is a different level of passion that i want to have to manage.
I’m so first I got started with that and then coincidentally the way I stumbled upon the practice of the practice podcast was.
You sent a book truly in a few years ago and i had that book but never read it.
And so i start the e-book about private practice.
And that is kind of wants me to understanding some of the business side then i started a website.
So i got it together so i can be in the i wanted to make sure that i really was special in the area so i found.

[7:23] Training specifically for my image so that i can know the resource it and feel confident with that foundation thought i got the.
Learning tree that i needed in addition to start it so learned the business side of thing then i have to look at budget because i am starting.
Extremely part time because i have a family and i work part time role at a community college so i wanted to look at the budget that it wasn’t that.
It was an accident are hold it in a new important that i’m self sufficient and when it came to the private practice.
So then what’s that to look at the budget i want to find a location and location with key.
And that’s a share in the magazine that was recently.
Watch that i wanted to do things my way i wanted it to be flexible and i wanted it to be able to have an impact on my family.
So with that when i look for office the i want to look for ways that maybe i can.
Half past income and that’s how they define a very reasonable office the head to office and i just happen to have.
Friends one of your very close friend with launching into private practice as well.
That going into work tonight time to help with some point i start to think about lol why don’t stop the my additional office.

[9:01] And so that additional income made it even more beneficial to go into private practice as a solo mission because i can try some things on.
So in addition to that will ever get to mark this them i use there be no how i love they’re not taking to.
I was able to get panel independently so i had to get my own tax id so if anybody is fully life and.
Are fully licensed in their practice the and they are gone from the group independent.

[9:34] Start to learn what you need to do to become individual the handle under the insurance so that’s to your tax id a really good podcast insurance answers podcast helps with that.
And there’s even a.
But for an insurance a traditionally that helps you through the process as well just at a very good collect the body of individuals who you can file.
Question off to help with that process last year when you were talking finding a place.
Or things you look for the set location is really important.
How do you determine your budget was for cost a lot of people sublet from somebody else when they’re first thing doing the sober you jumped into to office suite which i think is awesome,
but how do you determine your budget the location i know you’re right between portage and kalamazoo which i think is a really strategic location maybe can talk about that.
World the fact is going to finding your office and then i have a bunch other questions about the others that did not.

[10:34] Oh yeah so i initially did go into thinking i’m going to submit the one of the office and started to connect with some of the do but i’m need that would consider me in two hours.
But they have a situation where they were ten nineteen they had to ninety nine contractors and they feel like it would be a conflict of interest.
So i knew how many clients i had typically and i am very fortunate to work in a practice that they were clear that they did not.
What else to i have a non compete clause so they feel very comfortable with the transition with my client.
It’s i knew i had a certain amount of clients and hours that i will.
I have like a phone line and doesn’t have the internet is our will that all of my expenses,
i don’t like you do each month you so what came in what expenses you had i was able to see that as an in room.
And starting but when i need it as a solo just using that information and with a.
My budget for that is in the start of this speak with villagers in the area to see what offices were out there.
How so then when you are looking at adding people that are gonna sublet instead of doing ten ninety nines.

[12:05] I think it’s great that and i remember when i saw you almost said the same like i decided to do some lens that a ten ninety-nine that i’m like no you do it your own way i just see here’s how i do it and it’s no big deal.
Because there’s different markets where people decide to take insurance and that insurance and some letter to ninety nines adobe to use but it’s like.
I just say my expenses so how do you decide that you’re gonna do the sublet model instead of a ten ninety-nine model right from the beginning.

[12:31] Well i wanted to martha bree and new that i’m okay with the with both of you find me with a two year old and has been in other parts additional part time job i wanted to be something that.
Didn’t drink so much for that it really put energy into happily.
The one about on to ninety nine i even if they are independent contractor that work and have a nice firm foundation systems you and this is the procedure that we have i wanted them to be.
To feel as if he had putting in an addition i wanted to make sure that i had enough implant.
Client where is their specialty is bringing it flashes yet that i would be able to filter find their way so because of that i wanted it to be easy for me so.
This allows me to kinda try things on where i found my em our system i found.
A phone system that were i created my own policies and procedures so that i can have something to have them stand on especially if there’s someone who is just recently becoming independent contractor.
At you know on the counter but i’m a teacher at heart as well.
I want to be able to mentor and sharing died in addition to you know allowing them to work on their all.
I want to have a singer swim or you know the lead into the fire one of you giving the support that means so i knew by doing that i wanted passive income.

[14:08] Something that wouldn’t take much time so the seventy if it’s something that allowed to do that as well as help a colleague out with well those kind of.
We are giving back to somebody else that starting lol helping them start off strong.
And i think it’s so important really examine like what do i want to get out of this private practice for some people it’s only my full time job and i want to be the primary breadwinner for other people it’s in the past along that for other people it’s.
I wanna kinda did my toes into this and is a passive income so of less risk.
And so he’s so important beginning to really look at what do i want and what houses can affect my life because of your business now makes you not getting out of your two year old or,
your marriage is worse because your business like that is not the way to run a business so he’s awesome thought through,
who would i want business to provide for me and for my family and then but structure in a way that i feel good about them making lose a bunch of time on an after let down all this time ninety nine so that totally makes sense.
How did you figure out how you’re gonna structure your sublet.
Cuz some people say it’s just a blanket amount per day that you need per week or it’s gonna be a percentage of what you bring in and how do you determine that.

[15:22] Well i’m in the in thing to give it the people would probably think i’m a bit crazy but i really do wanna.
Have people from so the way that i have it set up is that the radio actually little bit higher in would you pay per hour.
It was just consistently through the month is that the right just a bit higher.
Or hourly rate the individual online it able to,
choose the time now course either in because i have a contract with the devil to choose the time and they have an hour board the airplane in the hourly rate.
But i also would have as the number.
But the thing that they would pay for the month as well as the cap on the number of sessions.
So the more people that they feed the less there are really one.

[16:22] The bed if your paying the same amount diamond ring and we are starting up a private practice together.
That kind of white wire to the people that you know what you might wanna.
Lock into your own office in one to be easier for individual then i held so i thought it.
The amount that they give me her month and a half of the number of sessions and the more sessions that they have the last beer twenty four sublet our he is.

[16:55] I think that’s a really interesting model because i imagine as people if they start with you and me launch somewhere else.
I would guess if you help launch a whole bunch of people.
They’re really more likely to refer you in the future so i would see when you’re ready to go more full time at the practice you can have all these,
will you help launch they’re gonna be like cd’s the one that helped the beginning of course I’m going to send postpartum people to or.
It helps the community and i really like that the kind of figured out your model for you want to.

[17:27] No tell me about the insurance decision the decision to take insurance as part of your model.

[17:33] Well i decided to stay with insurance because i know that.
There are many people ordering is because i do take insurance but i actually do have how many half of my loaded so they half of my loaded insurance.
Because i’m start to become.
Specialize in people are wanting to pay the rate that even if i don’t take their share so.
Taking insurance allows individuals may not have the option to sell hey that they can receive everything here i know that.

[18:10] I would think about me and depending upon where i was when i have one and i think about what i have been able to pay.
How right everything will be in receive the care they need without my insurance and at that time i could not.
So i guess i’ll be with my heart a bit we’re in that situation i wanted to be where.
Individuals are able to pay me have insurance that they have a place they can go and then if i’m not able to take their insurance i am finding that they are paying the rate.

[18:46] What the s such a good example of how we talk about on the podcast you wanna have some influence and impact on the world in addition to income and that idea leading with your heart.
This podcast is just about how to make more money it’s about how the impact your community as well and so again if you just goes back to take the information that you’ve learned from the podcast and other things and making your own.
I want to talk a bit more about your specialty because i know that you really developed expertise and there’s a lot that people don’t know about with moms are dealing with after they have babies so i’m the counselors.
What kind of some of the basics of what they should know after someone gives birth.

[19:26] Will definitely know that there is something called baby blue.
However it actually would that can affect fifty to eighty percent of my experience baby blue so moving is here on this.
So you have symptoms that mimic.
I am depression and anxiety but there are three things to look at when the signing of a mom may need screen for up for your navel mood or anxiety disorder and that shortly after he made the.
Berti you also wanna look at duration and the start so it if her mom is experiencing.
Symptoms that are related to postpartum depression which might this year for this and is it possible symptoms china think about when it’s a.

[20:21] Is it a crime within that two week window of giving birth think about it be.

[20:27] So that’s a very and i also think about the duration.
So with that if my heat is experiencing some of the symptoms i would encourage that they do that and part so for.

[20:42] Come aware of the denver ever the spring tool to determine if a mom may need to be seen for post partum depression or anxiety.
Nothing man you are not excluded from that old man that experience eternal.
The pressure this is because the alternative press it isn’t just biological yet look at the bio cycle and social.
So you might not be going to the formal sensitivity but you are definitely having some social changes and maybe some social distress.
As well as their psychological factors that bother.
Standing by the profession before that area that may be trigger per say.
When this new adjustment and little one comes into our life as we know that little if they come with so much joy but so much adjustment well just a thought it’s easy i think about our first year with both of our kids and its like.
Both of them were like we get a lot really plant maps and everything but the were crazy at night like they were get up to a three times and i and we tried all these different sleep things but it’s like.
It was just something their blood and i think about a lot of the symptoms like.
You know when it a normal person gets woken up three to five times a night like if you just had an alarm that went off five times in a dvd movie the be cranky have some anxiety and so even just to sleep side of having a new one.

[22:13] It just i don’t help people.
It’s just crazy that we continue to have kids like it but it’s so it’s so fun when things are to grow up boy that first year is brutal.

[22:26] Deprivation is real not going in tho and will go for a little while that the really but cannot complete.

[22:38] Hey that you’re not left out all this so that when you have a mom you’re working with and it’s not like the kid just all the sensor sleeping start therapy like what advice do you have for the.
To try to make some changes to help with their mental health so.
And the treatment is having a four quadrant we gotta look at the cheer.
Good even if you have three legs still don’t have a stable cheer when you get to where starting with on it both the war effort come components and look at our.
So here lily is in the air so the sleep hygiene.
Remind mom about eating because realistically if sleep is your number one you wanted to sleep but they really do have the.
And an even exercise not exercising everyone at this exciting for weight loss but we know that exercise and have a correlation to our mental well.
So so here in or.
The second you support here and social support is very important during this time so that might be getting them next to appear support they have social death is.
That’s the thing if they don’t have emotional support at home so getting connected to appear support blue.
The third is counseling info ct and it are great for technique in helping my.
With that.
I’d like to when are you bets disputing model we’re you have after the activity be visible the that happen if the consequence and then the dispute so that you can have eaten a different emotional.

[24:20] And so an example that is the mom is having a baby that cried just had a baby and they had difficulty with latching.
They have been to believe that their value is based on what they do this activated it my baby cry the believe.
I can’t do this see the consequences you build arable and the you gotta disputed know you know there’s lactation consultants i can get help.
So i teach releasable model to be able to dispute those negative beliefs that is called a bad emotion.
And then the for which is a sensitive topic is psychotropic medication.
The moms were nursing or who are pregnant they didn’t want to speak with the op you in if someone that is knowledgeable.
I’m psychotropic medications during lactation pregnant but those of the four components that i usually look at wintry mom house so.

[25:19] For people that think one should when she counselors refer.
Vs just continues same clyde’s if you’re seeing individual or couple be connected with you.
And then have a baby that could be a big jump and at the switch counselors that when should you refer out of specials like you and when should you have to keep a couple or an individual.

[25:42] What will you know how is the in case conceptualization with the condition because.
How close you have tools is just really becoming aware of the resources and so there’s a counter the michigan.
Were even nationwide holes in the for international is a wonderful resource that can provide additional information that can help partner.
With counselors where it talks about the screening tools tips back in there warm line.
Hope you have a mom is in crisis their warm i’m either not always there but it would they would have to leave a voice mail in michigan where very very fortunate in michigan there’s a mother baby program.
That you in pine rest in grand rapids michigan it is a.
What’s up and all partial hospitalization where mom can bring your baby if so from eight to five year basically on for with there are no it at the hospital with their baby is a nurse.
There’s a psychiatrist there will there be there’s personal kalam so moms can get the intensive therapy that they need.
That was they the person looking at the and word used in that screen will determine if the positive green and if ever in doubt there is a.
A dog partial hospitalization if you feel that the mom is that where it.

[27:12] Suicide homicide or in the inside so there is help and part of our international is one for nationwide in michigan we do have a doll partial hospitalization the mother baby program in forever.
Awesome and will have links to all those things in the show notes just so if you’re driving or running on the treadmill or nursing a baby listening to this then you don’t have to take those notes.
So i wanna go back to your practice what he’s been hard me what’s been harder than you expected in starting a cracked.

[27:48] I would say personally i think that starting a private practice a lot about your cell.
You definitely have to set boundaries which one teacher fine and you have to know your strength and so.
I know the strength have faith in about one of my strength from restore to an i’m talking about the strip finally started one last.
However it becomes of the evening for me because i’ll get a system going and things will go smoothly if i think something that exactly how i wanted it like going to the bath water to hook.
Making being okay with.
How the system is now and knowing that eventually you will and the scale still being okay with being a start up a private.
And be okay with that lol.
I was thinking maybe that’s sort of the chapter and even though you may see the potential for growth that you’re not able to yet.
What is the current year than you expected flexibility when you have a two year old so i love that able to go and pick him up early.
I love them if the sex life at the time that works for me i love that i’m able to engage in so i feel very confident about treating the clients and a half.
So course with confidence i can provide wonderful care if i think wasn’t easy is.

[29:21] I would say the flexibility get home with it and once you know your stuff is like no it hurts like your holstein now.
No a lot of people was pushed back i’m itching or specializing in say well if i specialize in postpartum yeah i’m making a track,
as many people what would you say to people when they are worried about specialize exactly question i get almost more than any other question.

[29:47] Well i was things on the hand of my practices are prenatal for post partum.
The other happens when it all life stages i think i heard of a python about.

[30:03] You have a kind of a correlation if you go to your primary care physician birth of the people specialist in if you don’t have somebody to bring thirty to go to your special if not a primary care.
But if you had a cold and still be okay with your.
Specialist because you don’t have the habit of the foundation so i would say for anybody who is nervous about making it does not.
Most of the referred by dr from previous clients in so they might be a different life stage but they are for million.
You are so it just helps them know that.
Specialize i have new the but i have to all the so no doesn’t can point you to just one.

[30:54] Gotcha and see if every counselor in the world were listening right now what would you want to know.

[31:01] I want them to know that that’s a really really the last one.
I want them to know that.
I want them to leave and rather to the voice inside that.
Keeps poking at them to large because they can launch know their way.
It doesn’t happen will like in a birth doesn’t have to look like joe doesn’t have to look like stevie nicks but if they have the desire to go into private practice that they can’t make it.
Their life so that’s what.
Awesome and see if people wanna connect with you with the best way for them to connect with you they hold connecting the.
Wake me through my website www dot maternal counseling services that and also will love to provide them with the free resources specially for clinician.
Am i have a free e class all about area nano move this order and that can be found at www dot.
Had a mental wellness back and have different techniques back about hearing in the mood help move this order to up.
So that if they are can for someone who has a postpartum mood disorder that they have the resources in technique that they can use or for something that can provide to their client.

[32:37] Awesome thanks for providing that free course and will have all those links in the show notes over practice of the practice cd thing so much for being on the practice of the practice podcast.
Thank you for having.

[32:49] Music.

[32:57] Okay so much for being on the show c g and what an awesome episode that was for all the episode just heading over to practice and the practice and then click and listen to the podcast,
we have two hundred thirty for podcast right now,
so hours and hours and hours to fill up your time with knowledge on marketing growing practice starting at practice scaling a practice pretty much everything you need.
For the business clinical side of your practice so that’s practiceofthepractice.com and also don’t forget to sign up for that three twenty eight steps.
Eclipse that’s over practiceofthepractice.com/start and thanks for letting us in two years into your brain have a great week.

[33:38] Music.

[33:44] Special thanks within sentences sexy for your intro music and this podcast is designed to provide accurate information to,
subject matter covered is given to understand me the host the publisher already got surrounding legal accounting or clinical information,
if you are a professional you should find one.

[34:01] Music.