In this episode, Gordon talks again with Whitney Owens, LPC and they discuss the difference between hiring independent contractors versus employees. Overall, hiring an independent contractor is less paperwork, but you will also have less control over their supervision. Then, Whitney explains how she uses promotion groups to bring clients to her practice and how she plans to help private practice owners incorporate faith into their businesses. Plus, the two talk about their upcoming trip to Killin’It Camp!
Meet Whitney Owens
I enjoy working with both adults and adolescents on an individual basis. I have experience working with those suffering from depression, anxiety, self-harming behaviors, identity formation, relational issues, and other mood disorders. I use a variety of therapeutic models such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy. I have been seeing clients since 2009 in a variety of settings. While earning my Master in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University, I saw young adults at a residential treatment facility. In 2010 I moved to Colorado where I spent four years working at an inpatient and day treatment facility. Also while in Colorado, I joined a group practice and saw teenagers and adults.
In 2014 I moved back to Savannah and started Water’s Edge Counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia and a member of the American Counseling Association and the Licensed Professional Counseling Association of Georgia. In addition to counseling, I also offer a number of other services including training and speaking engagements. I have been invited to local organizations such as churches and schools to educate on leadership, adolescent issues, parenting, family concerns, and mental health. As well, I have spoken at retreats focused on helping women heal and find themselves. I have also spoken at youth meetings to adolescents. Please let me know about your next event and how I can help.
Contractors vs. Employees
Working with an independent contractor, you cannot tell the therapist what they can and cannot say. Whitney wanted to provide more supervision to her counselors. The same day her last contractor put in her two weeks was the first day she had an interview for a W-2 employee. Having a contractor is less paperwork, but you will not have as much control.
There is way more teamwork with her employees vs. when she had contractors. Plus, morale is a lot better because everyone feels part of the business; they have team meetings, discuss the work they do together and participate in more events. At Christmas, they went out together, and Whitney can pay for continuing education. Run your numbers to understand which one will be more profitable depending on your structure.
One of the ways Whitney has been able to market her practice is through community promotion groups. Whitney has several connections within a group called Southern Mamas; you pay every six months, and you get to put up something once a week. They add it to their electronic newsletter, and you get to showcase your banner. Whitney says to try new things and see what sticks. Also, make sure to know your numbers when trying out new promotions. For instance, Whitney knows she needs to book three sessions to make up the cost for Southern Mamas.
Faith in Private Practice
Whitney had a big idea to help consult other practice owners on how they want to make faith a part of what they do. She also helps with the therapist’s verbiage on their website to attract the right type of clients. Some people want to make faith part of everything they do in their practice, including their name and branding. Whereas others do not want it incorporated with their advertising or branding, but their practice is faith-informed. Gordon tells his clients that he is a clergy person, but he does not have a religious agenda with his counseling.
If you are thinking about a faith-based practice, slow down, and think about what kind of practice you want to have and what type of clients you are looking to attract. The most exciting part should be creating your branding and clients, slow down, and consider what you are building.
Meeting Mike Michalowicz
Mike is always so gracious to share and interact with the people he has influenced.
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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook