Session 149: How to Build a Successful Private Pay Practice with Dr. Erika Martinez

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How do you build a successful private pay practice in an area heavily dominated by insurance pay practices? It’s a question that many clinicians either struggle with, or think about, and this is our topic for today’s show. This topic has been frequently discussed in the STC community, so I know it will be impactful for you, regardless of which kind of practice you currently find yourself.

Dr. Erika Martinez is a psychologist in the Miami area, and she set out to build a private pay practice in 2015. She’s learned many lessons about what to do and what not to do, and she’s here to share with us. Her initial journey into this kind of practice was based on her circumstances, and she certainly could have given up with the mental anguish she had to endure, but she kept working hard to make her dreams become reality. She’s sharing how she found her niche and overcame the struggles she faced. She also talks about how to navigate the conversation with a client who wants to use your services but also wants to use insurance. Erika caps off our conversation by sharing her three biggest lessons learned along her path, so I hope you’ll join us and find your own nuggets of wisdom from Erika’s story.

What We’ll Learn

  • The problem getting on panels when you are newly-licensed, and having no choice but to do cash pay
  • The grit and perseverance in her personal life that transferred over to her professional life
  • “Make your MESS your message.”
  • Why Erika decided to focus on one particular niche and “ride one horse”
  • Testing vs. Therapy
  • Erika’s focus on millennials, with the sub-niche of trauma and emotional neglect
  • Her practice started in 2015, is an ever-evolving process
  • Her biggest mistake? “Trying to get it perfect. There is no such thing.”
  • Getting re-acquainted with creativity and adaptability
  • Certain niches that are more conducive to private pay practices
  • Be clear about the services you offer and what makes you different as a therapist
  • Present your authentic self within your marketing
  • The mental hurdle of learning how to tolerate risk and “getting comfortable with vulnerability”
  • How her husband’s support helped her learn to take more risks
  • The limiting beliefs of others and the shaming by her colleagues for “doing business this way”
  • Surround yourself with supporters and “let the anchors go”
  • How to talk to a client who wants to work with you but use their insurance
  • When you can’t help a client—refer them
  • Coming from an abundance mindset
  • Erika’s pearls of wisdom:
    • You can’t be all things to all people
    • Know your worth and what makes you different as a clinician
    • Know your numbers and what they mean

Resources Mentioned

Find out more about Erika and her practice: Envision Wellness

Thank You for Listening

I know that our lives are busy, and I’m grateful that you took the time to listen to this week’s podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it with our colleagues and friends using the social media buttons on this page. Please consider leaving an honest rating and review for the podcast on iTunes as this helps the podcast reach more of our colleagues who want to build successful practices. Finally, feel free to join over 5,000 of our colleagues who are signed up for the Selling the Couch newsletter. You’ll learn valuable tips to build and grow your practice and get the podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox. You’ll also get FREE access to The Tax Write-Off Check List for Mental Health Private Practitioners.

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