With the growth of the telemedicine industry in recent years, have you considered using this technology in your private practice? If your curiosity is piqued, then you might wonder about the differences in marketing online counseling vs. a traditional private practice. Join us to learn more about this intriguing concept.
Shelly Smith, LMFT, shares a private practice with her business partner, Jennifer. They have ventured into online counseling with their practice, United Counseling Wellness, based in Minneapolis and Milwaukee. Shelly will share what she has learned in this endeavor and how the therapy field is changing. She will also answer a few listener questions about online counseling, liabilities, and client screening.
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What We’ll Learn
- How Shelly considered online counseling within the last year, when a move prompted her and her business partner to consider either shutting down or expanding online
- Not being restricted by geographical location and having more flexibility
- Look before you leap into online counseling; Shelly says to do research and plan ahead
- Resources and colleagues that were helpful in the transition
- Top 3 questions Shelly asked:
- How do I do this ethically and legally?
- How do I adapt to using online clinical skills?
- What is the best technology to shape an online practice?
- Why it was easier than Shelly thought it would be
- Looking for HIPAA-compliant technology (Skype and Facebook are not!)
- Shelly says to look for encryption and a BAA (business associate agreement) to protect you as a clinician
- Liability insurance and what it covers regarding online counseling: the key is to constantly check in and stay up to date and relevant
- The screening process that Shelly uses, with a free 10-minute consultation
- The nuances of residency according to state licensure
- Client responsibilities and how those change with online counseling
- Why Shelly’s website gives much information so the client is informed even before the consultation
- How Shelly seeks to simplify the therapy process, which is overwhelming and intimidating already
- Who the ideal client for online counseling is:
- Other therapists
- Those with busy careers and busy schedules
- Those in rural areas with few counseling options
- Those in big cities who don’t want to fight a commute
- Those who seek couples and family counseling
- Developing a “killer” online presence: using online directories to become visible, relevant, and present
- The goal is to help people in whatever ways possible
- Networking, referrals, and co-working spaces
- The best and most confidential program for online counseling: doxy.me
- Providing services for clients abroad
- How to market to an entire state
- United Counseling and Wellness: individual, couples, and family counseling in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, and online counseling in IN, WI, MN, and IL
The Online Counselling Podcast by Clay Cockrell
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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.