Bob Walsh and Norm Dasenbrook

Norm Dasenbrook and Bob Walsh are counselors in private practice, consultants, and authors (www.counseling-privatepractice.com)

  • Counseling: What’s it Worth?

    Jan 25, 2011
    Putting a monetary value on what we do in the counseling profession can be difficult. After all, we are caring professionals who want to help first and worry about money second. But, if you want to survive and even thrive in private practice, you will need to put a price on your work and collect it!
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  • Counselor, You Have to Have a Sense of Humor

    Dec 29, 2010
    During my practicum years, I remember my supervisor telling me the way to begin a session was to ask, “What brings you here today?” I thought this was a cool way to get a family started. She said to note who was the first to speak. When the five-year-old little daughter broke the silence with, “Daddy’s car”, I laughed until my eyes (and nose) watered. Well, that certainly broke the silence and the family’s tension and mine as well.
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  • Private Practice: What Else Does It Take To Be Successful?

    Dec 09, 2010
    Since our first blog in August, discussing what it takes to be successful in private practice, we have written other blogs about the counseling profession and private practice. However, upon further review we left out a discussion of a key component about success in private practice. There is an old business joke, “If you had five frogs on a log and three of them decided to jump, how many frogs would you have left on the log?” The common answer is two. However, that answer could be incorrect because there could still be five. You see there is a big difference between deciding to jump and jumping. In addition, sometimes we need a nudge.
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  • Serendipity

    Nov 15, 2010
    The June 2010 edition of Psychology Today featured a series of articles on Serendipity. Although not the premiere professional journal for counselors, PT is always interesting, and each month they send it free to my waiting room at the office, good for waiting clients as well as reading material when there are a few minutes of down time for me. This particular issue made the point that optimism and keeping one’s “eyes on the prize” is a valuable way to approach life.
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  • Cross-Pollination: Helping Clients As Well As Marketing Your Private Practice

    Nov 04, 2010
    Every client a counselor sees offers a potential opportunity to expand a private practice.  The obvious way is for a satisfied client to recommend you to others.  Another way to expand your practice is through what we call “cross-pollination.”  Just as it is beneficial for plants to share pollen, it is beneficial for therapists and other professionals to share information.  Of course, this is done with all release of information requirements met. When a client reviews the “client’s rights” document given at the first appointment, he or she signs a release.  With this release is a “coordination of treatment” document that asks the client to allow you to contact his or her primary care physician.  Check your state’s practice guidelines…in many states, therapists are required to ask the client’s permission to contact the primary care physician (PCP).  In addition, many managed health care panels mandate that you contact the PCP.  Whenever you make a coordination-of-treatment contact, it is a marketing opportunity. Clients’ doctors are often in need of referral sources for their patients; it might as well be you!  These contacts are a professional and ethical responsibility, and they provide conduits to help you market your practice.
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