“Creating a successful business begins with having an abundance mindset . This is something that we consistently need to be intentional about, as it helps us make better decisions- from choosing to work with our ideal clients to deciding how and when to best invest our time and money. We truly are our own best assets.” – Karen Conlon, LCSW
It All Started With Burnout
Hi, I’m Karen Conlon, a New York Licensed Clinical Social Worker turned solo practitioner to group practice owner within a year of starting out in private practice. If you are willing to listen, I would love to tell you my story and how I’ve made that happen.
In January 2019, I decided to try my luck out with doing private practice just one day per week. At the time, I was in a very unique clinical role at one of best hospitals in the City, with great benefits, genius minds all around me, and wonderful colleagues. But I was TIRED… tired of the commute, tired of not having more time with my family, and tired of no longer taking pleasure in the things that I loved because I was too… tired!
So, I decided to make some changes to my schedule and start out with just one day per week in private practice, and that one day per week filled up very quickly! I realized that I needed to add another day in order to keep up. Then another, and then another. By April, I knew that this is what I wanted to do, and decided to quit my job, but just as soon as I gave my notice… the scarcity mindset came creeping in:
“Wait! Why would you leave a pretty secure position and great benefits at one of the most reputable hospitals in NYC to take a chance on something where it will all be on you?”
“What if you can’t find clients? “
“What if you’re not good enough to do this on your own?”
“ What if you fail?”
If I think about it now, I was already feeling the effects of burnout for approximately six months prior. Consistently getting home late due to an awful daily commute had taken its toll. My emotional and physical health were showing signs of burnout. Frequent headaches, low immune system, low-level depression, and loads of guilt about not being present mentally or emotionally for my family. I knew that I needed to do something different. Without this really being “the plan”, I decided to allow myself to dream about going into private practice and in spite of those fears, I decided that I needed to take the plunge or regret not ever knowing.
Here’s the deal- For someone like me, “dreaming” about having a private practice meant that I would need to actually start looking into what it meant to be an entrepreneur. I started reaching out to private practice owners and ask for any help that they might offer me in figuring out what they did to start and grow their business. It was interesting and gave me something new and exciting to focus on.
Unfortunately, it turned out that everybody was too busy to meet “for coffee and networking”. Even though therapists were usually willing to help, they were also very busy trying to manage their practices and their lives, with not much extra room for helping a newbie. So, I kept going on my own, gathering nuggets of information here and there, putting things together like pieces of a puzzle. I learned about websites and content writing, and something called “SEO”. So much cool stuff out there to learn! But soooo much!!
Still, something in me had changed. Yes, I was scared, anxious, and sometimes hesitant. But what I was NOT was doubtful that this was actually going to happen! The abundance mindset had taken control of the wheel and there was no stopping that train. When I think about that time now, my only regret is that I didn’t do things in a more methodical and focused way, which would have saved me a lot of time and money.
…And just as when I decided to leave the corporate world to become a psychotherapist, I rolled up my sleeves and began my journey on becoming a therapist-entrepreneur from the ground up!
I often find that having had a previous career in consultative sales, as well as having had amazing mentors in both the business and clinical worlds have helped me to become a better-grounded clinician and practice owner. My fellow therapists are often shy about marketing their amazing talents, as traditionally, taking up space in this way has been frowned upon, and yet, aren’t we the ones who are constantly trying to help our clients learn to take up space in their own lives? People need great clinicians more than ever before, so why should we not make it easier for them to find us, while affording ourselves a decent living?
I can tell you that I’ve made mistakes business-wise, clinically and financially, and they have all provided me with great lessons. I’ve also learned from those mistakes that it is important to stay humble in knowing that there is always something new to learn. For example, I’ve learned that at some point, doing this work without some sort of supervision will undoubtedly get in the way of your clinical work, not because you are not talented or seasoned, but rather, because you are human. So for me, ongoing clinical consultation and supervision is non-negotiable.
What’s your non-negotiable going to be? Let’s find out together!
PRIVATE PRACTICE BUILDING AND GROWING
Building a successful practice takes consideration of a number of practical elements. Working with clients in private practice can be a challenging transition if you come from a hospital or agency-type setting, so getting guidance on both clinical and practical matters can save you a lot of time, money and grief. Deciding what to charge, whether to be an insurance-based practice or private pay, or simply wrapping your head around how to even begin can feel overwhelming. Whether you are just thinking about starting in private practice or already in it and feel that you would benefit from having personalized attention to your questions or concerns, I’m here to guide you using my personal experience as a current solo and past group practice owner.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CLIENT-THERAPIST DYAD IN PRIVATE PRACTICE
Working with clients in private practice can be a challenging transition if you come from an hospital or agency-type setting. Getting some guidance on both clinical and practical matters can save you and your clients a lot of time and money. Whether you are just thinking about starting in private practice or already in it and feel that you would benefit from having personalized attention to your questions or concerns, I can help.
CLINICAL AND ETHICAL NAVIGATION OF THE ONLINE THERAPY WORLD
Our world today requires flexible and non-conventional ways of helping our clients. The introduction of telehealth brings in a whole new host of factors into the therapy space comfort with silence, teaching relaxation techniques or even seeing a side of your client’s life that you may never have seen before, all through the lens of a camera. Even protecting your license in the face of telehealth laws and requirements can be confusing. Getting comfortable with connecting with your clients through this platform may require some guidance from an experienced telehealth provider. I’ve been practicing telehealth before it was common place, and I’m happy to help you navigate it in the most effective ways.
If you are anything like me, you have either spent A LOT of money on finding resources, consulting and coaching, or are going down a road that will have you do just that. I would like to help you save both time and money by offering an affordable way of getting the consultation and resources that will need.
- 60-Minute Consultations: $225 per hour. Time spent over the allotted hour is charged on 15-minute increments, at the hourly rate.
- Package of four (4) 60-Minute consultations: $650 (Discounted package is payable in full. Consultations to be completed within a 6-week time period from time of purchase.)
If you are interested in picking my brain through clinical consultation or simply setting up a time to speak, please fill out the form below. I would love to chat with you and see how I can help you get to that next level.