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Selling the Couch

Selling the Couch is the podcast for mental health private practitioners who want to grow their income and impact in/ beyond the therapy room. 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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Now displaying: 2020
Dec 31, 2020

Every once in a while, you’ll hear the success story of someone who breaks the mold and goes against the norms. Today’s show highlights the story of a therapist who bucks the trend of everything we normally learn on the podcast and is the direct opposite of what the experts say about building a private practice.

Katie Zimmerman, LMFT, practices in Arroyo Grande, CA. She endured some crazy circumstances that led to her leaving one job and having to quickly figure out how to create and open her private practice---in about two weeks! She found office space that was appropriately perfect, established a name for her practice, and got it going with some foundational clients. It may sound impossible, but it speaks to the importance of intentionality and relationships. Katie shares reflections on the reasons for her success, the narratives we struggle with about what we can accomplish, and the importance of certain training modalities. Join us!

You can read the full show notes at: Session163

Dec 24, 2020

Balance sheet, profit/loss statements, cash flow, business expense----do these terms send you into a sudden state of anxiety and panic? If so, then this is the perfect show for you! The entire topic of keeping accurate records for your business can be ultra-intimidating for any clinician. Let’s try to make sense of it all together!

Greg Higdon is the founder of Grow the Books. He’s here to discuss the biggest bookkeeping blunders that clinicians make and offer solutions that make sense. If looking at your numbers makes you sweat, or if you’ve taken the ostrich approach of hiding your head in the sand, then I hope this episode will make things more manageable and less stressful for you. Join us!

You can read the full show notes at: Session180

Dec 17, 2020

Today’s show is one that I’ve looked forward to for a long time. We are covering a topic that comes up frequently in the STC community, which is the process of hiring a virtual assistant. I’ve been through this process more than once, and it was a rocky road before finding Nicole three years ago. Hiring a VA teaches you about your strengths, weaknesses, and communication skills. I’ve learned what tasks I can delegate and what help I need for long-term sustainability in my business.

Today you’ll meet Nicole Denison, who is my awesome VA. I found her through my colleague, Laura Reagan, who raved about Nicole and her abilities. I’m so thankful to have found Nicole three years ago, and I can honestly say that STC wouldn’t exist as it does today without Nicole’s hard work and dedication.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session232

Dec 10, 2020

Today’s episode is a solo session in which I discuss Smart Ways to Repurpose Blog Content. I tried doing a Facebook Live recently on this topic, but there were technical difficulties. I knew it would be a great topic for the STC podcast, so we’re talking about taking existing content and presenting it in different ways. Join me!

 

You can read the full show notes at www.sellingthecouch.com/session135

Dec 3, 2020

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

Nov 26, 2020

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

Nov 19, 2020

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

Nov 12, 2020

Many clinicians think about creating online courses, and some may even feel pressured to take this step. Online courses are sometimes portrayed as the “golden egg” for clinicians and the pinnacle of achievement. While this is certainly a product with much potential, the key is in balancing online courses with the other aspects of your practice while making sure you are motivated by the right reasons. Learn more in today’s show!

Miranda Palmer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from ZinniMe.com. She’s a good friend who is very knowledgeable about the transition from clinical work to online courses. Miranda has helped develop three online courses, so we are having an honest conversation about the good, the bad, and the ugly of online courses. It’s easy to get sucked into feeling obligated to create online courses, but there are unique challenges to be faced. We’ll also get Miranda’s perspective on the hazards and roadblocks inherent in this transition.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session222

 

Nov 5, 2020

Today’s show covers an interesting topic that has come up in the STC community. We discuss multiple income streams frequently, but what is the best way to put those in place? Do I need to build my therapy practice before I launch a second income stream? Let’s answer these questions and more with today’s guest.

Annie Schuessler lives in the San Francisco Bay area. She’s been in private practice for 20 years, and she’s mentored other therapists for 10 years. She has insights learned along the way in her journey, and she’s here to share those secrets with us. We’ll discuss why it’s important to have additional income streams as a clinician, and Annie shares the three minimum steps to take before launching into other income streams. Join us for more from Annie!

www.sellingthecouch.com/session227

Oct 29, 2020

Today’s show wraps up this season of new episodes for 2020. STC will feature replays of our most popular episodes through November and December. I’ll be taking some extra time for self-care and family activities during the holiday months, along with putting together exciting new shows for 2021. This show keeps with that theme of following your heart and finding compassion for yourself. Join us!

Tori Press is a writer, artist, and therapy enthusiast. She has an Instagram following of over 250,000 people! Tori is here to discuss her journey from a long career in graphic design to where she is today, along with what it took to give up that career and move forward. Tori explains why her art focuses on cartoons, and we’ll wrap up by discussing how business owners can employ more self-love and self-compassion.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session260

 

 

Oct 22, 2020

This is the follow-up to last week’s podcast about creating a professional livestream. We’ve already covered the gear you’ll need, so today’s show focuses on creating the content for your livestream. Join me for Part 2!

If you listened to Episode 258, you might be saying, “OK, Melvin, I have the gear, so what else do I need to do to prep for my livestream?” I’m glad you asked! After only doing livestreams for a few months, I’ve already learned a lot (including some very cool timesaving hacks and helpful tools), and I’m eager to share those experiences with you.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session259

 

Oct 15, 2020

Today’s show is the first of a two-part series about livestreaming. I jumped somewhat hesitantly into this world a few months ago, and surprisingly, I’ve enjoyed this new outlet. Join me as I share what I’ve learned about livestreaming.

I was nervous about starting The STC Online Income Stream because I am usually self-conscious on video. I’ve become more comfortable and more familiar with being in front of the camera over these months of livestreaming. My livestream focuses on podcasting and online courses, but I have plans to expand into other content areas. The current format is set for 15-minute talks about growing our impact and income beyond the therapy room, sharing tips and strategies that have proven to be successful. Today’s episode is all about the technical gear needed to set up a livestream, and next week’s Part 2 will focus on livestream content creation.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session258

 

 

Oct 8, 2020

How can the concept of coworking spaces apply to the world of therapy? Can a coworking space sufficiently meet the needs of clinicians? We’re exploring this topic in today’s show. Join us to learn more.

Connor McClenahan is a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles. He had a realization that some of the most successful clinicians were leaving group practices, so he wanted to do things a bit differently. He decided to create a coworking space for therapists where they share the costs by paying a flat fee. Connor shares how he devised this system, how it’s working, and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session257

 

Oct 1, 2020

Today’s show covers a topic we’ve talked about before, but there are many aspects for a clinician to consider around money. The topic carries many nuances and emotional ties, so we need to have continuing conversations about how we feel and think about money.

Michael Spencer is a holistic declutter coach. She has an interesting background in the accounting/auditing space prior to transitioning to a career in the mental health field. Surprisingly, Michael found that she wasn’t very grounded in her thoughts around money, and she’s open and willing to share her experiences with us. Struggling to charge for her worth impacted her creativity and overall work. In today’s show, we’ll break down what Michael was taught about money as she grew up, how these realizations impacted her career, and what she has learned about the deeper work around money. Michael also shares how she’s moving forward in what she’s learned.

www.sellingthecouch.com/session256

 

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

 

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