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Selling the Couch with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.

Selling the Couch is the podcast for aspiring and current mental health private practitioners. Psychologist Melvin Varghese interviews successful therapists about the business side of private practice (e.g., how they get referrals, their best advice for other practitioners, their daily habits, etc.) as well as the world's top business, marketing, and social media experts to help you become a better business owner. What you get are bite sized, practical and no nonsense tips and advice to guide your private practice and entrepreneurial journey.
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Selling the Couch with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.
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Sep 24, 2020

Today’s show focuses on the importance of doing our own work in therapy to be effective as business owners and good people in the world. In light of all the difficulties in navigating 2020, this topic has been extremely relevant, and I’ve seen firsthand the value of therapy in my own life. Join us to learn more.

Elizabeth (“Biz”) Cush is a good friend who knows the value of doing her own work. She’s a psychotherapist in Annapolis, Maryland, who joins us to talk about how and why she got into therapy and how that has benefitted her as a business owner. She’s also transparent in sharing lessons learned along her journey.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session255

 

 

 

Sep 17, 2020

With all that’s going on in the world around us, dealing with grief in various forms and degrees has become extremely relevant. Additionally, we all know people who are hurting through the loss of a loved one, so wisdom from an expert is timely and helpful. Besides, it’s always fun to have a good friend on the podcast! Join us!

Dr. Sonya Lott is a local psychologist in my hometown of Philadelphia. We met years ago at a meetup group for therapists, and we’ve stayed in touch and become good friends. Sonya has become a valuable part of the STC community as a moderator, and her clinical specialty is complicated grief. She obtained advanced training in complicated grief from the Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She’s one of a small but growing group of complicated grief therapists here in the US. Sonya is also the CEO and founder of CEMPSYCH, a continuing education company in multicultural psychology. Many of us want to do more work around grief in this season of COVID-19 and racial injustice because we’ve had powerful realizations around grief. We are talking with Sonya about what complicated grief is, what made her choose this niche, and how she manages and balances a small but diversified caseload with a business mindset. We’ll wrap up with a discussion of why a multicultural orientation is important in grief work.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session254

 

Sep 10, 2020

Today’s show is an interesting conversation about how unexpected things can happen, even in the world of private practice. You just never know what the future may hold!

Laura Vaillancourt previously appeared on STC to discuss her group private practice that focused on the elderly and their caregivers. Since that time, she was approached by a corporate company about selling her practice. It’s something she never imagined, but the offer came at the perfect time for Laura. She’s here today to tell us what happened in this unusual process and what she learned through it all.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session253

 

Sep 3, 2020

As we enter a new STC season, we are all aware of the challenges for clinicians during the coronavirus pandemic. Many practitioners have pivoted and transitioned into the world of telehealth, which still presents obstacles. Join us to learn more in today’s show.

Dr. Adina Silvestri works as an addictions therapist and has a podcast called Atheists in Recovery. The global pandemic presents unique challenges for someone in addiction recovery. Adina saw a golden opportunity to serve her audience while continuing to grow her business. In today’s show, we are discussing her growth journey during this time, along with topics related to the pandemic, such as conquering fears and serving others. Adina shares how she generates content for her podcast and provides resources and support while expanding her professional network and referral network.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session252

 

Aug 27, 2020

How do you succeed in marketing your practice when you tend toward introversion? So many clinicians are not extroverts and don’t feel comfortable with the traditional networking that is required in marketing. There are challenges to face, and fortunately, there are non-traditional forms of marketing that can be done. This show will give you some valuable information and practical insights about marketing for non-extroverts.

Patricia Young, LCSW, is based in California, but also offers teletherapy sessions for her clients. Her practice focuses on helping HSP’s (highly sensitive people) experience more ease and peace and thrive with less overwhelm and fatigue. In today’s show, Patricia discusses marketing and the fears around it, along with how we can honor who we really are and still present our business in authentic ways. She shares with us three non-traditional marketing methods that have worked well for her that might be just what you’re looking for!

You can read the full show notes at : Session171

Aug 20, 2020

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a millionaire? Most of us have probably spent some time dreaming about how we would use that kind of wealth, but you might be surprised to learn that millionaires don’t live and spend the way we think they do.

The show will take a short break for the month of April. This is because I like to practice what I preach about self-care; to stay at my optimal health, I’ll take this break and then return with more shows in May. Today’s show centers around topics presented in a book I read recently, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. Let’s dive into the best takeaways from this book!

www.sellingthecouch.com/session155

Aug 13, 2020

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.

You can read the full show notes at: Session172

Aug 6, 2020

Where do your ideal clients hang out? Who are the people and organizations that are serving them? These are questions you should answer as you consider narrowing your focus and attracting your ideal clients. Today’s show dives into the practical steps you can take to accomplish these important goals.

Keri Nola is a dear friend who has been on the show before. Keri has branched out of her psychotherapy background to mentor, awaken, and support healers of all kinds through her newly established practice in San Diego. She has a lot of answers to the questions we might ask about attracting ideal clients. She explains why it’s best to focus on the ideal client, how to find those ideal clients, and why those ideal clients need the services you offer.

This will be the final episode of 2018, as I take some time to focus on my new responsibility as a father and enjoy the holidays with my family. I hope you’ll plan to join us for more great conversations in 2019!

You can read the full show notes at: Session177

Jul 30, 2020

In this last episode before the usual August break for STC, I wanted to highlight my colleagues and valued listeners. So much knowledge and wisdom have been shared in these first few years of the podcast, and today’s show includes clips from other clinicians sharing what they have learned and how they have implemented those lessons into their practice. I’ll wrap up the compilation with my top personal takeaways.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session251

 

Jul 23, 2020

The pandemic and months of quarantine have many of us relying more than ever on video. We use video for meetings, live sessions, live-streaming, and other content, so it’s important to have the best quality possible. Join us to learn more.

Michael Rothermel is my videographer who filmed the welcome video for STC back in 2017. We were part of the same faith community while Michael lived in the Philly area, and I can’t believe I haven’t had him on the show until now. He’ll share his top tips to improve the quality of live videos.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session250

 

Jul 16, 2020

Today’s show is a special episode as we celebrate STC hitting the ONE MILLION downloads’ milestone. When I started the podcast, I thought one million downloads was a reasonable 20-year-goal, but here we are, just five years along in the journey. To mark this occasion, I’m going solo today with advice to the younger me, or what I wish I had known five years ago.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session249

 

Jul 9, 2020

As rewarding as it is to start your own podcast and share your knowledge and expertise with the world, there is one thing that makes it even better--and that’s monetizing your podcast. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to make money from your podcast? You might think it’s the impossible dream, but today’s show brings practical information and simple tips for monetization that can expand your reach, extend the life of your podcast, and free up more of your time for quality content creation.

Christy Haussler is the founder of Team Podcast, a full-service podcast editing and production company. She’s been my podcast editor since 2015, when I realized I needed help with podcast editing. Christy and her team work behind the scenes to produce, edit, and upload podcasts, and they are the main reason the STC podcast goes out each week. Christy began her podcast editing service around the same time as STC, and her team currently edits about 60 different podcasts and about 300 episodes each month. Christy has a unique and interesting perspective on what people are doing to create income through podcasting, and she’s here to share those insights with us.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session248

 

Jul 2, 2020

July is an exciting month because STC will hit one million downloads! It’s something I could never have imagined during these first few years. As STC has grown, we’ve added new team members and made significant changes. One of the biggest changes to date is happening now, and we’re taking a closer look in today’s show.

Nicole Denison has been my virtual assistant for the past three years. You may remember that she joined us in Episode 232 to talk about the benefits of having a VA. Nicole is back to discuss the changes taking place as we move all of our STC content into an all-in-one platform. Maybe a move like this is something you’ve considered because it’s tough to manage different content on several pieces of software at once. We began this journey about two months ago, so Nicole and I will share why we are making this transition, why we are excited about this new step for STC, and how this move fits into our dreams for the future. Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at STC!

www.sellingthecouch.com/session247

Jun 25, 2020

During times like these, it’s essential to think outside the box, but every decision has business and financial implications. One way to survive the pandemic shutdown is to pull back from one-on-one work and create income streams that aren’t dependent on being there in person. If you’re curious to know more, then join us for this episode.

Jackie Flynn teaches therapists how to integrate EMDR Therapy and Play Therapy techniques, and she is launching a membership site this year. In this episode, Jackie and I will discuss what I’ve learned through my experiences, and we’ll brainstorm the process of launching a membership site. Jackie talks about her struggles regarding creating content and how to best release it, and we’ll discuss how to handle testimonials legally and ethically. This conversation takes a deep dive, and we have lots of helpful information to share.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session246

 

Jun 18, 2020

Since STC usually focuses on aspects of the journey into private practice, today’s show is different. We are talking to someone who decided to take her skill set in another direction and move away from private practice. A traditional talk-therapy practice isn’t for everyone, and there are other therapeutic healing modalities that can be fulfilling and meaningful. Join us to learn more!

Hayley Hansen is a body-centered healer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She was a Licensed Professional Counselor who became fascinated with bodywork healing methods through yoga; Hayley decided to give up her LPC license to pursue her calling. She shares her journey with us and what she’s learned along the way, including the early indicators that a traditional talk therapy practice just wasn’t the right fit for her. We will also discuss how she worked through internal and external struggles and decided to focus on bodywork healing methods.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session245

 

 

Jun 11, 2020

Today’s show is different from the regular topics of business and entrepreneurship, and it may be one of the most important issues of all. Join us to learn some golden nuggets to help you in your relationships.

Roger Nygard is best known for his highly acclaimed and successful documentary called Trekkies. Today’s conversation is focused on Roger’s latest documentary, The Truth About Marriage. He wanted to figure out what makes happy relationships, so he started out by reading a lot of books on the topic. Roger didn’t stop there because he went on to interview many of the world’s leading relationship experts about the insights they have learned. No matter our circumstances, we are all in relationships of various kinds, whether a romantic relationship, friendships, business relationships, etc. Roger is here to share what he’s learned about connection, expectations, conflict, and more.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session244

 

 

Jun 4, 2020

We are tackling another topic relevant to the pandemic crisis. This particular time is a good chance to think about private practice in different ways than ever before. If you’ve ever considered blogging as a way to build your practice and expand your reach to your ideal clients, then this is the show for you.

Lauren Hahn is a licensed mental health counselor in Orlando, Florida. She has built a successful private practice through blogging. In this episode, Lauran shares the process that she’s gone through for the past several years in starting her blog and evolving that blog to cater to her ideal clients. She explains where she finds inspiration and content for her posts that are now released regularly each week. We wrap up the conversation by discussing the most important lessons she’s learned along the way.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session243

 

May 28, 2020

The concept of using telemedicine for mental health clinicians has become very relevant due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, meeting clients this way is something that is not just temporary; clinicians need to make this transition and set themselves up for successful telemedicine for the future.

Roy Huggins has been at the forefront of telemedicine and how to do it ethically. In today’s show, he’ll share practical measures to take, like setting up your computer and tablet. He’ll also share tips around the expectations of telemedicine mental health and how to reframe those expectations for our new normal.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session242

May 21, 2020

As clinicians, we occupy a unique role as we hold space for the grief of our clients while still navigating our own grief and disappointment in a time like this pandemic crisis. These times make us think differently about how we serve our clients, which makes today’s show about text-based therapy very relevant. Can it be used in an ethical and effective way?

Bill Hudenko is a professor at Dartmouth College in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. He also teaches at Dartmouth’s School of Medicine and is the CEO of Trusst Health, a company that developed an app called Trusst. The app came about as the result of research Bill conducted at Dartmouth about the efficacy of text-based therapy and whether it can work well for certain populations. Our conversation brings fascinating knowledge and insight as we cover a range of topics. Bill explains his research, how the Trusst app works, and what the benefits are to using this medium.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session241

 

 

May 14, 2020

Even though today’s topic is very specific, it’s one that applies to many clinicians. We are discussing the unique situation of restarting a private practice after a military deployment. We include many helpful tips if you find yourself in that situation, or if your niche involves working with the military population.

Chad Welch has a private practice outside St. Louis. He has an amazing story of deployment to the Middle East until July of last year and then restarting his private practice just one month later. We take a deep dive into his mindset about the valuable lessons he’s learned during his military service, as well as the special nuances to working with members of the military. Chad shares how he serves the military community with his practice regarding marketing, referrals, additional training, and the huge need that exists in this population.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session240

 

May 7, 2020

Today’s show is about search engine optimization (SEO), an essential aspect of your private practice website. The truth is that you can have the most beautifully designed website on the planet, but it won’t help your practice if it doesn’t attract people. If you’re confused about trying to navigate the world of SEO, then this is the show you don’t want to miss!

Dr. Maelisa Hall is a licensed psychologist and digital marketing expert. She’s here to break down the intimidating world of SEO with language that’s easy to understand. She covers her three foundational tips and the things we need to do to beef up our website content to make sure our website has what it takes to attract those ideal clients.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session239

 

Apr 30, 2020

It’s a challenge to open up and be vulnerable about what you’ve learned along your journey. Often, it’s that authenticity that is most effective in helping others learn from what YOU have learned. Today’s guest is an example of openness and vulnerability.

Katie Leikam, LCSW, has a private practice in Decatur, GA. She is sharing with transparency about how she went from zero clients after the first four months to a thriving $100,000 practice. There is wisdom to be found in Katie’s experience, in the difficulties of building a business and the struggle to get the results you want. Katie opens up today about why and how she opened her private practice--even to zero clients, what she learned, and how she maintained a positive mindset. She also talks about the unique marketing strategies she has used to build relationships along the path to building her practice.

You can read the full show notes at: Session184

Apr 23, 2020
Welcome to a solo episode about a very important topic: Focusing on Your ONE Thing. This episode is an outgrowth of one of my personal goals for 2017, which is to read one business-related book per month. I’ve already read a book that has impacted me greatly and changed the way I approach my business. The book is The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The book hones in on the principle that successful businesses with innovative products and services focus on one project at a time, instead of going in many different directions at once.
Learn how these principles can positively impact your business. Join me!
 
You can read the full show notes at www.sellingthecouch.com/session108
Apr 16, 2020

This episode features . . . .you! Nineteen of our listeners took the time to record their tips for getting referrals, which just happens to be the most-asked question for clinicians. This episode is bittersweet for me because it’s the last one of this season. I’m taking some time off to focus on being a husband and daddy and to take some much-needed time for self-care. But before I say goodbye, for now, let’s listen to these great ideas for getting those coveted referrals!

You can read the full show notes at: Session190

Apr 9, 2020

Today’s topic is one that puzzles many clinicians and leaves us feeling uncomfortable. We’ve approached setting fees on past episodes, but today we are diving deeper into setting fees that ensure our profitability. How do we make sure our business is growing, thriving, and allowing for future expansion? Join us as we learn more with today’s guest.

Reina Lombardi is an art therapist based in Florida. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge about debt, building a business, and setting fees. Reina understands the many challenges in owning a private practice, and she knows that we need to be profitable. I hope our conversation gives you a practical perspective on using objective data, and not emotions, to figure out where your numbers should be.

 

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