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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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Now displaying: 2019
Dec 26, 2019

Do you “have it all together” when it comes to your business finances? My hat’s off to you if you do, but for most of us, the painful truth is that any business journey comes with its own set of challenges and lessons, some of which must be learned the hard way. Like many of you, I like to pretend that I have it all together, but today’s show is all about transparency and baring it all---the good, the bad, and the ugly. Every few weeks I like to a solo session to share with you what I’m learning along with my business journey because I believe my experiences--the good AND the bad--can help others. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and I’m willing to share those lessons with you with humility. Let’s talk about the money pitfalls that come with business success.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session220

 

Dec 19, 2019

Today’s guest is Debra Roberts, LCSW, who is in private practice specializing in relationship therapy. Our topic today is one that many clinicians have probably pondered at one time or another. We’re discussing how to take our clinical expertise and turn it into some kind of digital product that extends far beyond the therapy room. Over 20+ years in private practice, Debra realized that she was having success with her clients and finally mustered the courage to write a book that has since branched into a course, training, webinars and more. Debra shares her journey, what she’s learned about her strengths, and some practical aspects to consider about creating a webinar. Join us!

www.sellingthecouch.com/session219

 

Dec 12, 2019

When you’ve talked with as many people as I have, you tend to learn a lot of lessons and gain great insights into what it takes to build a successful private practice. Today’s show is a solo episode inspired by a presentation I did recently. We are focusing on three lessons I’ve learned, along with key takeaways and the biggest mistake for each lesson.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session218

 

Dec 5, 2019

Welcome to this solo episode! I’m talking today about all the things I thought I knew about podcasting that turned out NOT to be true. I want to help you avoid these mistakes if you’re considering embarking on your own podcasting journey. My podcasting journey spans almost 2-1/2 years now, which is still hard for me to believe. So, here we go; let’s jump right into Five Podcasting Myths and How to Avoid Them.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session217

 

Nov 26, 2019

Welcome!

Can you build a private pay counseling private practice in this day and age?

That is the question that therapist and business coach Keri Nola and I explore in Session 4 of the Selling the Couch podcast.   

www.sellingthecouch.com/session216

 

 

Nov 21, 2019

Today’s guest is Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a psychologist in private practice in Decatur, GA. She is the creator of the website, blog, and podcast, Therapy for Black Girls. Her practice mainly focuses on African-American women who have gone through breakups. Dr. Joy and I are discussing how she has built this therapy and brand, and how she developed it while staying authentic and true to herself and her calling.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session215

 

Nov 14, 2019

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 www.sellingthecouch.com/session214

 

Nov 7, 2019

Today’s podcast is a solo episode about My Struggle with Chasing the Shiny Objects in Business. I’ve experienced this struggle as I’ve built STC and gone through the challenges of entrepreneurship. My desire is to encourage all of you by being transparent about this issue.

You can read the full show notes at www.sellingthecouch.com/session213

Oct 31, 2019

Welcome to the final episode of 2019! I try to be intentional about the mindful breaks I take to keep myself refreshed and focus on producing quality content for STC. The plan is for the show to return in January with helpful and informative content for you. Today’s episode is a very personal topic of dealing with depression and anxiety, which has been a lifelong struggle for me. I knew that becoming more public with my practice and the podcast would force me to balance the daily pressures of life with my mental health. The past year has been particularly tricky with the premature birth of our daughter, which has brought scheduled feeding times and much sleep deprivation. Let’s talk about this topic and the ways I’ve found to combat depression and anxiety in my life. I hope my tips are helpful to you!

 You can read the full show notes at: Session212

Oct 24, 2019

Today’s topic is a new one for the podcast. We’ve never tackled the subject of religious abuse before, even though it pops up in news stories frequently. Building a private practice around working with this population may not be anything you’ve ever imagined, but you’ll hear from someone who is doing it successfully.

Connie Baker is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Washington. She’s found her niche in religious abuse recovery. Like many clinicians, Connie came to this field of work because of her personal experience of sexual abuse at the hand of religious clergy. Connie determined that the abuse wouldn’t stop her or prevent her from healing, and now she works with others who have endured the same abuse. In today’s conversation, we’ll learn how Connie came to this niche and how she markets it. We’ll learn about the amazing things she’s doing to expand into webinars, online courses, and writing books. Connie shares how she has branched out and built her successful practice. This episode is chock full of information about the benefits of focus niching.

You can read the full show notes at: Session211

Oct 17, 2019

Today’s topic is one that brings fear into the hearts of many: giving a presentation. Although many clinicians aspire to speak in front of peers on the topics with which we have the most passion, there is still the immense fear of those public speaking moments. How do we balance out that fear to impart the knowledge we want to give? We’re covering all aspects of this topic on today’s show.

Marie Vakakis, LCSW, is a clinician in Australia. She’s here to share some of the things she has learned in her presentations specifically to teens and youth about a range of topics, including mental health first aid and non-suicidal self-injury. Our focus today is on mindset as we balance our desire to give presentations with the fears that we have about that undertaking.

You can read the full show notes at: Session210

Oct 10, 2019

Today’s show covers a topic that we’ve dealt with before, but I wanted to take a deeper dive into Immigration Hardship Evaluations. Let’s learn more together with today’s guest!

Juan Santos is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Greensboro, NC. He’s here to talk about what he has learned about these evaluations and how to conduct, market, and charge for them. Our conversation gets to the real heart of the issue, based on Juan’s experiences in his clinical work. If you’ve been curious about these evaluations and wondered if you are qualified to do them, then this show will answer your questions and give you the relevant information.

 You can read the full show notes at: Session209

Oct 3, 2019

Have you heard much about “sales funnels”? If you have, the phrase might have conjured up visions of slick and slimy marketing schemes that haven’t left you with a positive feeling. Today’s show is all about building a funnel in an ethical way, along with things to think about regarding using funnels to grow your business--without the slick and slimy schemes.

Joel Louis is the founder of Integrator and Co., where he focuses on funnel-building with his clients, helping them to grow their businesses in profound ways. He’s here to break funnels down so we can understand how to use them to attract our ideal customers. We will cover several funnel-related topics, including the essential pieces to building a sales funnel and why an email list is so important in growing your business.

You can read the full show notes at: Session208

Sep 26, 2019

Today’s show is a solo episode inspired by a recent roundtable that I led with some local therapists here in the Philadelphia area. A question came up that I’m asked often: “How do I know when I’m ready to launch a podcast?” There is no set time that’s right for everyone, but there are several factors to consider. That’s where today’s discussion takes us.

You can read the full show notes at: Session207

Sep 19, 2019

Today’s show is full of very practical tips that I hope will be helpful to you. We are talking about the nuances of building a sustainable practice with someone who has a wealth of knowledge.

Laura Northrup is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Oakland, CA. She’s here to discuss a wide range of topics, including the biggest factors to consider before setting up a practice in a saturated area. We’ll discuss the most common mistakes new clinicians make when jumping into private practice, how to market and strategically build relationships with referral sources, and the struggles in niching. Laura also shares some top tips she’s learned along the way in her private practice journey.

You can read the full show notes at: Session206

Sep 12, 2019

Today’s topic is one that I’m excited to share with you. We are discussing using a combination of blogging and Pinterest to explode our website traffic. There is so much for us to learn!

Daniel Fava is a previous guest on the show, and he’s become a good friend on whom I rely for input about website strategy and marketing. Many of us, as therapists, wonder how we can use Pinterest more effectively and utilize all that this platform has to offer. Daniel shares with us specific strategies like identifying your target audience, along with tips about the best ways to structure your Pinterest account. We’re discussing the best use of automation tools and keywords to maximize our use of Pinterest. Join me for a show that’s packed full of useful tips!

You can read the full show notes at: Session205

Sep 5, 2019

Welcome to a new season of STC! During the time off, I focused on rest, self-care, and family. I also spent time working on the STC Directory, trying to bring improvements that will benefit all of us. Today’s conversation is a relevant topic for every business owner. We’re discussing how to optimize your business in light of your tax situation.

Opher Ganel is a previous guest on the show, as he was here last time to talk about setting fees. His wife is a therapist in private practice, so he has helped set up her practice and has vast experience in setting up small businesses. Opher has a wealth of knowledge, even though he is not an accountant. The information in today’s show is presented for educational purposes only. We are discussing why it is important to optimize our tax setup and whether you should be classified as a sole proprietor, an LLC, or an S-corp. I hope the show brings you helpful guidance and clarity.

You can read the full show notes at: Session204

 

Jul 25, 2019

As we wrap up this season, it’s a good time to evaluate where we are in our businesses. I thought it would be good to talk about how I structure my days and weeks to maximize productivity, focus on self-care, and stay intentional about working ON my business and not IN it. As a self-proclaimed productivity nerd, I’ve learned these things through trial and error and trying new things and tweaking them until they work best for me. I hope there are some good ideas here that will work for you!

You can read the full show notes at: Session203

Jul 18, 2019

How is your sleep? Sleep is a vitally important part of our lives that is often overlooked. We don’t usually think about the ways we cheat ourselves out of good sleep and how the quality of our sleep impacts every part of our day. Today’s show focuses on sleep as it relates to private practitioners and small business owners. Let’s explore how we can improve the quality of our sleep!

Dr. Yishan Xu is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Los Altos, CA. She’s an expert on sleep and runs therapy groups on insomnia. Her podcast, Deep into Sleep, is launching soon, so she’s a great person to help us cover this topic. We’re discussing why sleep is so important and what an ideal night of sleep should look like. Yishan explains why people struggle with insomnia, how quality sleep impacts us as private practitioners, and the biggest mistakes small business owners make regarding sleep. She wraps up our conversation by giving us her best tips for great sleep from her work, training, and experience.

You can read the full show notes at: Session202

Jul 11, 2019

As clinicians, we often think about creative outlets for our messages of hope and healing. One of those that you might not have considered is creating a conference. It may sound like an overwhelming task, but it’s one that can be effective and fulfilling. Let’s discuss it in today’s show!

Mercedes Samudio, LCSW, does a lot of good work around all things related to parenting. She’s written Shame-Proof Parenting and has created The Diversity in Parenting Conference, which explores the diverse ways that clinicians work with parents and families. The conference is coming up soon on September 13-14 in Anaheim, CA. In today’s show, Mercedes takes us behind the scenes to learn what it takes to put together a conference of this magnitude. Mercedes is excited to share with all of us what she’s learned from this first-time experience. She’ll share about the planning process and why she chose a conference as the medium to share her message instead of a webinar. Mercedes also fills us in on how she selected speakers and set fees for the event, along with the biggest lessons she’s learned along the way.

You can read the full show notes at: Session201

Jul 3, 2019

I can’t believe it’s here----Episode 200! I’m thrilled to have made it this far in my journey and to have so many of you along with me. Podcasting has made me more confident as a person and a speaker, and I’m thankful for the ways I’ve grown on this path. Today’s topic is one I’m very passionate about, and you’ve heard it mentioned many times on the show. We’re discussing what a clinician needs to have in place before scaling to multiple income streams.

Nicole Liloia, LCSW, practices in New Jersey. She’s someone whose advice I trust regarding creating multiple income streams, which is becoming more and more common for those in private practice. We don’t often think about the groundwork that needs to be laid before we take that step, but systems and processes must be in place for things to flow smoothly. Each income stream brings its own level of stress, which must be managed. In today’s conversation, we’re discussing the biggest advantages to creating additional income streams, things to be aware of, and the most important things to have in place before branching out.

You can read the full show notes at: Session200

Jun 27, 2019

I never thought I’d have to do an episode like this one, but unfortunate events have brought me face-to-face with reality. One of my team members, Karen, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer earlier this year. Although she was undergoing chemo and radiation, she passed away a few weeks ago. Karen was an important part of the STC team who helped me a lot, especially in handling Facebook ads. The challenge for me has been balancing the grieving process while trying to carry on and pick up the pieces of Karen’s work. In this solo episode, we’re looking at things I’ve had to consider in new ways that might spur you to think about planning ahead in very practical ways.

You can read the full show notes at: Session199

Jun 20, 2019

Today’s topic is one that I’m very passionate about, and I’m finding more and more clinicians who are making lifestyle changes and getting on board with self-care. Specifically, today’s show covers how we make self-care a regular and necessary part of our lifestyle.

Lanie Smith is an integrative art therapist who is the perfect person with whom to have this discussion. It’s so easy for clinicians to think of self-care as an afterthought, especially during stressful times, but how do we go about integrating self-care into our lifestyle and not have it as just another item on the to-do list? Join us for more with Lanie!

You can read the full show notes at: Session198

Jun 13, 2019

Today’s show covers a topic that is very important to clinicians, but it’s one that we don’t often talk about. We’re focusing on how we survive the day-to-day grind of private practice both as clinicians and business owners. I think the best way to face these struggles is to talk about them with colleagues and realize that we aren’t alone in whatever we face.

Chris Griffin, LPC, went from solo to a group practice with five clinicians in the Greater Hartford, CT area. Chris joins me for an honest conversation about the day-to-day grind of private practice and the emotional ebbs and flows of the business. We discuss staying in the middle and how Chris stays hyper-focused, not getting too high with the highs or too low with the lows. We also discuss the vital importance of self-care for clinicians and what Chris does to keep up his self-care commitment.

You can read the full show notes at: Session197

Jun 6, 2019

Today’s show is a little different than normal. We’re highlighting the first online marketplace exclusively for mental health professionals to buy and sell their original products. We’re talking to one of the founders of Practikat about her journey--and how this platform might be just what you’re looking for!

Katie Englert has a group practice in Paducah, Kentucky, and fills her time with counseling, consulting, and public speaking. Today’s show focuses on her newest endeavor, Practikat, which came about because Katie was looking for a hub of resources for clinicians. She shares how she came up with the name and the branding advice she received from experts and attorneys. Katie explains how to go about setting up something like Practikat, how revenue is generated, how to test it out, and the logistics of the development process. Katie wraps up our time by sharing the advice she would give to herself in the past and the future.

You can read the full show notes at: Session196

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