Today we chat with Kerrie Mohr about how she left the non-profit world to open a solo practice and then expanded to a large group. She gives us a look into how to find self-fulfillment and financial security in the same entity. If you'd like to brainstorm a game plan together for your business you can schedule a quick free strategy call with us here: http://bit.ly/practicegameplan
About the 6-Figure Practice Program:
The Six Figure Practice with Sasha Raskin, is an online program and community for helpers such as counselors and coaches, who are building their private practice. If you’re looking for a clear, step-by-step road map for creating and marketing your private practice, you're at the right place!
Free resources to grow and market your counseling private practice or coaching business:
Free 22 minutes crash course - "How to Create a Thriving Counseling / Coaching Private Practice": https://www.the6figurepractice.com/free-22-minute-crash-course
Free resources about marketing for therapists and marketing for coaches: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/blog
Free 30-minutes strategy session with Sasha Raskin: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/schedule-a-free-30-min-strategy-session/
Our accelerator program for creating a 6-figure business:
The 6 Figure Practice Program: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/the-6-figure-practice-program-accelerator/
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My name is Sasha Raskin. I’m a Number 1 Best Selling Co-Author in 12 Countries, a Doctoral student in Counseling Education and Supervision, a coach, a psychotherapist and an adjunct faculty at a graduate counseling program at Naropa University.
One of the things I’m enjoying the most is helping other therapists and coaches build their successful private practice so that they could actually help the clients they were taught to help, and thrive themselves. I’m almost always fully booked, so my ability to work with individuals is limited. That is why I’ve created this program to deliver powerful results and create a community where you will feel supported by each other!
This program's primary goal is to help you build a thriving private practice, in a fun and authentic way. Counselors and coaches invest an incredible amount of time, money, and effort into building their helping skills. However, when their training ends, they usually find themselves lacking the business skills that are needed to start and run a successful private practice, feel isolated, discouraged and not knowing where to start.
I believe that to be truly helpful to others, therapists and coaches have to learn to thrive themselves and definitely know how to get clients whom they can help.
This is where this program comes in. If you're willing to learn and work hard, a 6-figure private practice is within your reach in a year - 2 years. This program will give you a clear outline, and detailed instructions on how to get there.
pocast interview with kerrie
Sasha Raskin: Hi, Kerrie.
Kerrie Mohr: Hi, Sasha.
Sasha Raskin: For anyone who's joining us, this is The 6 Figure Practice podcast in YouTube. What we'll be talking about today is the road map to a private practice where you get to serve your clients and also thrive yourself. No shame about that one. And Kerrie, a good way to start would be you sharing who you are, who you help and what do you focus on in your private practice.
Kerrie Mohr: Sure. So I'm Kerrie Mohr and I'm the founder of A Good Place Therapy and Consulting. We're located in lower Manhattan. And I started out my practice about five and a half years ago and we grew to a group practice four years ago. And we've been happily operating as a group and growing as a group to continue to try to meet the needs of the people who come to us for therapy. And we started off doing primarily CBT and I was really trained as a CBT therapist and really enjoyed doing CBT and ERP early on. However, we kind of grew to really take on more clinicians with diverse backgrounds and other specialties, and so now we really like to be able to accommodate people with whatever they come with, a modality that they might be seeking out and be interested in or whatever might be a good fit for what they present. So we have a range of CBT and ERP therapists, as well as therapists who really enjoy working like more psychodynamic.
We don't have any analysts on the team even though that really is kind of a big thing still in New York, but we do have people who really like the Ackerman relational model which I also myself trained in last year and people who are more eclectic in their approach and who take on a variety of different types of trainings to complement their style.
Sasha Raskin: That's wonderful. So a lot of needs can be met in your group practice. It sounds like there's a big diversity.
Kerrie Mohr: Yeah, I think that when I started off the group practice I really was thinking more about CBT and thought that would be easy, probably easier from a marketing perspective, and because referrals that are coming in are specifically from other CBT clinicians or for clinicians who are looking specifically for CBT, and it wasn't ... so I started out that way and then trained therapists, so I really made sure I felt comfortable in who was going to be taking on those cases but it was easy over time to grow and to take clinicians who had other specialties and we found just creative ways to really highlight that.
Sasha Raskin: If you rewind back to right before you started your solo private practice, what were some of the pros and cons you were thinking about?
Kerrie Mohr: Well, I think ... so I left a career in non-profit management and I just kind of just progressively moving forward and taking on kind of leadership positions without really thinking too much about the direction I was going in, because isn't it always better just to aim higher and higher?
Sasha Raskin: It's the next step, right?
Kerrie Mohr: It's the next step. But I really quickly found out that that wasn't the case and I was not happier the higher I went, and in fact, I was like really not feeling I was working and living in alignment with my values or my passions or what I really wanted to be doing. And what I found was that I was more interested in doing one-on-one clinical work when my job most of my career has been supervising clinicians and overseeing clinical teams as a part of program level leadership. And I found just doing the one-on-one work myself was much more fulfilling at the end of the day.
So it was almost like a reverse journey from like what a lot of people have where they might start out working one-on-one and then start climbing into leadership, I kind of went the other way around. And I haven't really looked back because I just am so much happier and fulfilled in doing the clinical work.
I think I didn't give myself permission earlier in my career to do it and maybe because it was hard to afford a lifestyle in the cities that I've lived in, between New York and San Francisco, to really do the one-on-one work. But private practice is a way where you can really dedicate the time to kind of build, your practice and grow and make the right moves and you can really have a ... you can afford your lifestyle, you can really expect to do well. So I'm happy that I've been able to make that work for myself professionally and personally.
Sasha Raskin: So the focus was really what makes me feel most alive and just follow that passion, right? Versus the escalator of what's the next best position for me.
Kerrie Mohr: Right. And it really wasn't working out that way at all for me. And I think it's partly because it was no longer in alignment with my values and what I wanted. So I just kind of intuitively followed that to allow myself to consider going into private practice and leaving that career, and I think I struggled with some feelings of I think guilt and I think did I make the wrong decision and some doubt really early on. But in the end I was focused enough and I was excited enough about that new path that I stayed on it and I'm really glad I stuck with it.
Sasha Raskin: That's wonderful. How were your first few months in private practice after making that decision?
Kerrie Mohr: Well, my first few months I thought it was a little ... it was scary. I'm not going to lie.
Sasha Raskin: It totally is.
Kerrie Mohr: I think it's easier for other people than it was for me. But it felt scary because I wasn't sure if that was going to be the path and I was going to be able to be successful and to be able to do that full time without having to go back and take another job or supplement my income in some way. But so it was also just a lot of work, I mean, I just remember working really long days. In the beginning it wasn't the clinical hours because the work was to build the practice to be able to attract the clients and to to get the referrals so I could feel like I was a real therapist and not just selling myself as a therapist. So that was a struggle.
I remember having to learn everything at once and how difficult that was, like learning all the systems that had to be put into place, to feel like I had to be a graphic designer and a really good blog writer and expert at the social media and attending every networking happy hour and asking for introductions and figuring out what groups I needed to belong to. And it was just a lot, it was like immersing myself, like just really kind of deep diving into the private practice world and I needed to build my community and I needed to learn all the nuts and bolts of running a business and develop the skills to be able to sustain and grow the business.
So I think I didn't realize before I actually got in it how much work that was going to be and how hard that was. So I think in the beginning it was just a lot of work and just embracing all the uncertainty as a part of that.
Sasha Raskin: I think this is so important for other people to hear. If someone is listening, and maybe they're just started or thinking about starting a private practice, and yes, the ratio of business work to clinical work would definitely be like maybe 90% business and 10% of clinical work, right? And I don't know if you had experienced that, at least for me and the counselors and coaches that I coach in building their practice it gradually shifts. You start doing less business work, less marketing work and you do more clinical work, right? So you reap off the benefits that those seeds that you plant at the beginning. But there's kind of like no way around that.
Kerrie Mohr: That's a really good point. And I think to set the expectations accordingly that you're just laying the foundation and you're spending time just doing what you need to do so that you can have the space to take on the clients when the clients start coming. So part of what helped me feel confident was that I did have some income, doing some moonlighting work that I did on the side of my non-profit management work with a Telehealth company called able2.com. And so I did have a caseload of clients and some income coming in where I could do that while also growing my practice. And I think that was also really helpful. I think if I just quit the job and just said, "I'm going to go start my private practice," that would require a lot more just budgeting and patience than what I was able to do when I had like just a little income on the side as I built the practice.
Sasha Raskin: It reminds me of this book, Big Magic, well, it's written for writers but the idea there is you don't have to ... when you say follow my passion you don't have to quit everything, it's okay to have your feet on the ground while head in the clouds, right? It's okay to have your cash project while you build your passion project until the revenue there grows and you can quit the cash project because you already built that one.
Kerrie Mohr: Absolutely.
Sasha Raskin: Can you share about how did your week look like while you needed to work at your existing job and you were doing all those things to build your private practice? How did you manage to do all of it?
Kerrie Mohr: Well, I worked with a coach in the beginning, with Amy Blaustein who was extremely helpful, because I met with her for once a week and then she was my accountability buddy. So I highly recommend having some accountability kind of built into your process as you begin. And so with that, we would do things like write this date like I had this reminder in my calendar, for example, it was like this day would be great if these three things were accomplished. And then I would put that in my calendar scheduled for every day so that I would know what those things were. And then have kind of a demonstrated thing to feel good about like I tick those things off the list and I feel like I got things done even though this feels so overwhelming and it's so big what I have to do.
So I think just making sure to have clarity like what is it that you want to accomplish each day, what is it that you want to accomplish each week, and having clear timeline and goals.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, so you didn't reinvent the wheel, right? You didn't do just trial and error or try and see. And you actually used what is really working in therapy and coaching which is change happens in the relationship, right? Well, when I have someone else to be accountable to, when I have someone to brainstorm with, when I have some guidance from other people, when I can have structured conversations about what I'm doing I can even change my own behaviors in doing that. It does require some efforts on there. Well, I'm talking to a CBT person, right? You kind of need to restructure some of those beliefs about what you can and can't do, what you should and shouldn't be doing, etcetera.
Kerrie Mohr: Right.
Sasha Raskin: What were you about to say?
Kerrie Mohr: I just lost my train of thought. Well, actually it was that you said you're not just like trial and error the whole time and you have a plan, which I really did. And partly it was some trial and error because I consider myself pretty intuitive, so I like the process of kind of following just the path to see what works, like what is sticking, and then can I be safe and go with that. So one of the things was that because I wasn't quite ready to give up the parts of my work that I loved in non-profit leadership I built part of the practice to be this consulting arm and to do organizational consulting. And in the beginning there were several projects, and I had these irons in the fire notes, putting together proposals and had lots of conversations with different people and then very few of them actually followed through where it just stuck or became something, and then the ones that did it was so short-term and like kind of fewer and far between that it just didn't feel sustainable for the business, it would feel like I would be chasing the consulting business.
And then when the client started coming, the therapy clients, it felt like this is easy, this is good, and I really love this, this is why I also started the practice and what I'm really happy to do right now. And so I really had to ... it's almost like give up this part of myself in a way that I thought was going to really become such a big part of the practice or I didn't know, I was kind of hoping it would be, to really follow my heart and just do the therapy.
Now that over time I think I was able to then embrace those other things that I loved about non-profit work when I started to grow the practice into a group practice. So now running the group practice and seeing my clients is kind of like the best of both of those worlds. It wasn't going to be like the consulting and the individual clients I was seeing but it was going to be running the group practice and being able to really ... to have a community of therapists where we offer mutual support to each other and I get to play a role in supervising clinicians and seeing them grow and helping them pursue their interests and what they love in the practice and in the community outside of their work with their clients, and also kind of grow their clinical skills and their specialties. And I really get a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction out of that too.
Sasha Raskin: I love that. So you're saying my private practice doesn't need to be fixed, right? I can experiment, I can work with different projects, I can let go of what is not needed and grow into something different as well. I think that's where a lot of counselors get stuck. I see it like really, really vividly when they build their websites and choose those services, and there's like this fear of almost a grief, right? "Okay, I need to choose something, a population to work with or two or three," right? "But I cannot do it all." And you're saying, "Well, it's okay to pivot," right? It's okay to add and it's okay to remove.
I think a few months ago I removed individual therapy from my website, and that's been a big relief. I still see the individual therapy clients that I have right now and that's great, but I want to focus more on couple's therapy right now at this part of my counseling private practice. And it's great. And it's as easy as hiding that page for my website done. And I can always bring it back.
Kerrie Mohr: Yes, very good. Done, yes, good. I love that approach and that idea too. And also that I'm talking with you and learning about your passions and interests because we're always looking for therapists in other cities. We have a lot of particular needs for Los Angeles and San Francisco which we're going to be opening an office in soon. In Austin, Texas really randomly is like a big city that a lot of people are moving to or people's brothers, family members, like friends and they're looking for therapists, but it's good to know of you and your practice in Colorado and also like that you do couple's and family work which the family part is also so rare and so needed.
Sasha Raskin: I just love that, what I told you before we started the recording, that family therapy session I had. It's wonderful. And it's a lot of fun. There's a lot of action, right? A lot to track. And I love that part. Can you say more about the decision to switch from solo practice to group practice? When did you make that decision? Why? And a lot of people they kind of grow to this ceiling of, "Okay, I can gross that so far with one-on-one and trading my services for money and my time. And I either keep on going that way or maybe I change or add something to keep on growing." So how was that decision making process for you?
Kerrie Mohr: Well, I think for me I think what encouraged me to do it was feeling a little lonely in private practice and being a pretty social and outgoing person and really loving the team elements of the non-profit work in my past and I love like being a part of a team and working with a team and motivating a team, and so I think it felt like a natural fit to move into that direction. I hadn't considered it until ... it's going to sound really hippy-dippy, but I had a dream, this is not me at all by the way but this really happened, so I had this dream that I had a group practice and I woke up and I thought that was ... that felt really good to envision that for my practice. And then I opened up my inbox and it was a therapist who was looking for a job in a private practice.
Sasha Raskin: No way, same day. Oh, that's great.
Kerrie Mohr: Yeah, I'm not kidding. And I was like hesitating to say that because it sounds so corny and it sounds so like woo-woo, but it's true, it really happened. So then I thought it was kismet. And then I had several conversations with this young woman and she's wonderful, but I never ended up hiring her. And then the following week, Heather on my team who was a coworker of mine from a former organization had reached out to me and said, "Would you consider hiring me?" and so then I said, "Of course, it's such an easy way to start. I would love to work with you and bring you on board."
But a couple months prior I'd just been doing some coaching with Heather because she was considering starting her own private practice but she decided against that and just decided, "I think I'd rather just see clients in a private practice and not worry about starting my own at this point in my career and in my life." And she has two young kids at home too and a full-time job. So then that was ... it just seemed really easy, like I almost didn't plan it or think about it, I just move forward with putting the pieces in place to hire Heather and to get started with getting her referrals. And she was working and still is working with us, with individuals and with couples. So it started off that way.
And then I wanted to I wanted to do family and children work as well in the practice, so I approached another former colleague of mine from another organization, Michael Mantell, and asked him, "Well, would you ever consider working in private practice?" And he also was interested and so he was the next hire. And it felt really safe and really good to be building the team with people who I already really knew their clinical skills and I knew who they were as people and how we work together and an easier way to get started. So that's kind of ... just the two of them were the very, very first.
Sasha Raskin: So it was very organic for you. I think that that's being missed when counselors think about, well, maybe I can have a group practice, right? And they look at other people's group practices and it looks also clean, organized and structured, right? But you think, "Well, it happened one step at a time. It started with a dream." I love that story by the way.
Kerrie Mohr: It literally started with a dream. But then I think it was a natural fit, and then when I started doing it I was like, "Yeah, this is what I should be doing because it feels really good to me and it feels like some things came ..." I don't think it just came easier but I ... because I learned a lot from my career in managing teams and managing people and growing clinical programs, and so some of those things I learned the hard way in that too but I really took those lessons and I learned what I needed to learn from some of them, and then built the confidence to be able to have my own group, my own business.
Sasha Raskin: How much complexity did it add to your life? The bureaucracy, the legal side of hiring someone, kind of managing I assume more logistics and the managerial part of that.
Kerrie Mohr: Right. I think it did require me to reduce my own caseload and that is actually been the case throughout the last four years. It's just knowing when I do need to do that, knowing when I can scale up and be okay, when I need to really be okay with not closing off my schedule, not taking on new clients so that I can really focus on the business aspect of things. And it's also about knowing and being okay with what you're good at and what you enjoy doing and just to be able to outsource the things that you don't love or that other people are much better at. And I think just being honest with yourself about what those things are. For me that's my billion and my reception.
I have a contract company that I work with and they're amazing and they really ... their company ethos is like the same as our ethos and so they really represent us well the front door and on the billing side when clients have billing questions or things come up. And they're really amazing and very confident in their work and they fit well with us and with our culture, and so that works great. So I think it's about being honest with yourself, outsourcing when you need to, being able to making sure that you have the capacity to build the business and to focus on the business when you need to focus on it.
And other than that ...
Sasha Raskin: So there was a little barking which is the nature of technology and human connection via electronic devices.
Kerrie Mohr: Okay, yeah, I just moved into the bedroom.
Sasha Raskin: I actually like that part especially in my coaching and counseling sessions, it's nice, it's kind of like doing a house visit I guess like from the convenience of my home, right?
Kerrie Mohr: Totally. It's like now more than ever, right? This past year doing Telehealth and all the Zoom visits in our homes.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, exactly right. So what would be your tip for someone who fill their private practice, they're thinking about going into group practice, what could make this process as smooth and simple and easy for them as possible? Maybe from your experience which mistakes not to make and what to focus on?
Kerrie Mohr: I think starting with making sure to have your support, hiring a coach is a good start. Or, I think there's like organizations like yours, companies like yours that do the consulting. That's a really good first step so you have the accountability buddy and you just have the resources in that. And I think don't be shy to scale slowly, just to take your time to build the business and to be patient with it. So that means that you plan to not leave your job until like six months or a year and you're going to start to put those things in place, I think that's fine. Or to be part-time somewhere while you scale up, I think that's also another really good approach so you could just take the pressure off yourself.
And I also think, and what I've been recommending people just to consider, is to get on just one insurance panel. If they're planning to be cash or private pay or just out of network and they're scaling really slowly, that if they go on just one insurance panel and they maintain a good schedule and kind of good boundaries to leave room open to also take private pay that they can fill their caseload, they can feel fulfilled with the work that they're doing with clients and then they can kind of build up their client list and get referrals through other clients and start take the time to get known in the in the community to build up that that referral base. And so I myself did that, I got an insurance panel after about seven months ... or no, actually it was July, I think it was January.
So after starting in July and I had about seven private pay clients which what if that was, I don't know, 15 by the end of the year, it still was not going to be enough, so when I got on one insurance panel I just felt so excited to be doing the private practice work and seeing clients. And I just had to be disciplined to make sure that there was like enough room open and I wasn't just filling all the slots with the insurance panel which in New York doesn't pay which is really ironic because New York is probably the most expensive place to live in the whole country and it just doesn't. So I mean, I've been advising just do that. And if you could just kind of have a few slots or just not let it dominate your schedule then it's a good ... a really good way to grow.
I mean, you also have to be willing to just know that you're going to be making less money than if you had all availability for the private paid clients depending the course on what your fee is that you set, but my second year, I want to say my first full year in private practice, I made about 10% less than I was making in my vice president role at the organization that I left and I had to look at that and say, "Wow, but this next year is when it's really going to scale." And it did, so you just have to be patient, you have to be willing to make some sacrifices and that part of that might be making a little less money than you were making at the job that you left when you get started.
Sasha Raskin: And counselors are not strangers to that, right? The sum cost of studying in the masters program for three years and not being able to create a full-time income during that time is ... yeah, why not invest that time, continue and build your practice and take that in a way pay cut at the forefront and reap the benefits later? Looking back, would you do anything differently, either in your solo practice or in your group practice or in the transition between those two stages?
Kerrie Mohr: That's a good question. I think ... I'm really glad to say that I think when I said keep a good boundary if you do get an insurance panel, I think I struggled with that because I just wanted to see everybody who came in the door.
Sasha Raskin: That's a big one.
Kerrie Mohr: And then give them the time slots that they want to have, so I think it was like this is such a rookie mistake but I'm sure I was like working till like 9:00PM most nights of the week, sometimes it would be like ... and I still do this like really long days like one day a week, but I think there were several days where I was working like 8:00 to 8:00 or 8:00 to 9:00 even where I was like scheduling clients when they wanted to be scheduled at my own sacrifice, in my own schedule, in my own life in many ways just because it's like the scarcity mindset - the clients are coming and I have to take them because like how lucky am I to be working for myself and how privileged it is to be able to see these people and be in their lives in this way.
But you can't do that if you want to build your practice so that you can live sustainably and make good money that you can afford to live on and have the lifestyle that you want. So you have to be able to make some room for the private pay and you have to be able to set your fees in a way that you're valuing your worth in what it is that you're doing.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, so you're saying it's really a matter of clear boundaries with myself, right? And then with insurance panels or clients in terms of my fees, in terms of my time, in terms of how and when do I work as well and what's the limit on that. I find it so interesting at the beginning, counselors and coaches all they can think about is more clients and then clients start coming in and then it's the other side of the same coin, it's like, "Oh, shit." Pardon my language. "I have way too many clients right now."
In a way it's a good problem to have, right? But you pay with burnout, compassion fatigue which is definitely a thing, right? When you see 12 clients a day like something starts happening to your compassion with that 8th client, for example, right?
Kerrie Mohr: Right, yeah, absolutely. And I think I had a really hard time with that in the beginning when I started taking the insurance clients, but I still do sometimes have a hard time with that and that's why ... it's probably why I still have like this week, so I have about 20, probably up to 22 clients a week, which is a lot when you're running a practice of the size that I'm running. And then other things will be in the back burner that really should not be, that it should be having my priority and my attention. But I do have to say that I love the clinical work, I love working with my clients and so I always want to make room to have a pretty good size caseload or at least into the near future.
And I don't want to think about not seeing clients but at the same time I have to like always be disciplined to remember the boundary and to not take on new people and to really explore ... for me it's looking at who else on the team could be a good fit for the client who might be asking to see me. So I have to be disciplined and be good with that especially when I'm doing things like trying to build the practice on the west coast.
Sasha Raskin: So if you break down today the time that you work with clients, the time that you talk to your team, how would you break it down for any person who's thinking about starting a group practice? How would a week in the life look like?
Kerrie Mohr: Well, it's several long days a week. I kind of tapered down my week as I was just telling you before we started recording the calls. So that means that my like Mondays through Wednesdays are longer days and then I see clients on Thursday mornings and I reserve the afternoon for scheduling some administrative work, following up with the employment attorneys or making all the phone calls that I need to make, just spending time in policy and procedure. And I want to say like strategic planning but I don't carve up time for that, it kind of gets sprinkled in like wherever it fits and wherever it kind of comes up in conversation. And then by Fridays I do the same thing as Thursday where it's like tapered down, even fewer clients and then leaving the day to try to do like one-to-ones and meeting up with other therapists for networking or other kinds of providers and scheduling other meetings.
So the week is about, and I do a lot of clinical supervision with some members of my team and with the leadership on the team - administrative and clinical supervision, and see my clients. So it's like 20 to 22 clinical hours and it's about I would say five to six supervision hours a week. And then the rest is going to be running the business.
Sasha Raskin: Wonderful. So it sounds like you have a very clear system.
Kerrie Mohr: I try. I mean, I think it's ...
Sasha Raskin: Work in progress always, right?
Kerrie Mohr: It's a constant like setting the intention and always like trying to do the best I can to kind of forecast the week, to know what I can expect for that week, to understand ... I've been using this new term that we used from this consultant we've been working with who's an anti-racist consultant and educator, Dr. Melba Sullivan, introducing the term window of tolerance.
Sasha Raskin: Yes.
Kerrie Mohr: And so I find with myself and being a person who like thrives in chaos, I mean, literally I have this frenetic energy and I'm just like the more the better, just pile it on.
Sasha Raskin: Bring on that crisis mode, right?
Kerrie Mohr: Yeah. So I tend to like operate that way a little bit so I've been asking myself like, "Is this within my window of tolerance? Is there more room? Is there more capacity?" And I'll tell myself, "I think so or no. No, you can be done for the day," or whatever it is, but I try to be real with myself about what that is.
Sasha Raskin: So it's really about honesty with yourself. Do you actually enjoy it, right? Or are you pushing yourself too much? Or sometimes do you need ... do I need to push myself more, right? It does require work.
Kerrie Mohr: Yeah, exactly. I think you and I probably think a lot alike about our businesses because I see that you do multiple things too and it's like when I think things get too static then I'm always like thinking about the next thing I want to do. And luckily, on our team we have a lot of creative minds and people who just love to think about therapy in unique ways. And so we're really ... I'm having fun with building out our children and family arm because I didn't kind of finish that when I started talking about I wanted to do family work, but we kind of like didn't grow that because we just grew a lot more with the individual kind of working professionals that came in the door and there's like just such a big demand for therapy for that primary demographic that we kind of just like didn't continue building and growing children and families, but I want to do that.
But it's an example of like people on the team wanting to do that then us saying, "Go for it. Go out there." And we bring it in and we try to provide for those needs. And when those families and those people kind of come in our door we like to put ourselves out there as far as like paying attention to like what it is that people are asking for us in the community or with some of our partners, like we work with modern health and they organize talks for some of the companies that they work with and we have people on the team who love to go out there and give the wellness or mental health talks or we have therapists on the team who like to do webinars and do podcast interviews like this. And so it's just fun, it's fun to be a part of a group of people who can think creatively about therapy and about kind of giving back and making what it is and what we have to offer accessible to more people than the ones who might be just coming in our doors to pay for the therapy.
Sasha Raskin: Sounds like a big part of your success is surrounding yourself with the right people, with proactive people that think outside of the box and make effort to grow this thing and provide more value to more people.
Kerrie Mohr: Yeah.
Sasha Raskin: One maybe last question, the most common question I hear from counselors and coaches is how do I find more clients. And from having five years of experience I'm sure you clarified for yourself what works in terms of people finding you and actually hiring you as well, it's not just about the being found part. And what is more a waste of time, right? Like, an illusion that I'm doing something. What's working most for you?
Kerrie Mohr: That's a good question, because I do, again, it's like as far as the thing that's on the back burner that should have more of a priority is like really analyzing the referrals, because we keep track of all of it on a big spreadsheet and I can see that information and get that data but then I like rarely go look at it. I don't know why. But we do get a lot of referrals from ... so I should have been prepared to look at this, I could just tell you the percentages.
Sasha Raskin: From the top of your head.
Kerrie Mohr: I think I should do that if it's useful to you, if you want to send it out to your listeners just to get an idea.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, that would be great.
Kerrie Mohr: Yeah, so it's ... I think for us like a lot of Psychology Today as far as like people finding us on the internet. Psychology Today because I think they have really good SEO, so definitely say get a Psychology Today page even though ... well, I don't want to say anything bad. But you could do that because it has good SEO.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, you just can't ... well, I'll say it - you just can't build your private practice just on directory listings
Kerrie Mohr: You can't, yeah. So Psychology Today is a good one. We also have Zen Care, it is a female-owned and led company that I really love and they're not in every market yet, but we're with Zen Care. They will profile only fully licensed clinicians in the markets that they're in but they're really wonderful. It's a beautiful interface. And I often refer people Zen Care if they are in the market of where people are looking for a therapist because it's a little more vetted and it's more ... well, what do you say? It's like more ... it's not as static as Psychology Today as far as like people's open times and availability and your ability to actually get an appointment with that therapist that you reach out to is I think. I don't know what the numbers are but more likely. So that's one where we get some referrals.
And then a lot of it is word of mouth, referrals from friends and family, of existing clients. So that I think the more that you're in practice, and this isn't another way for people just to be mindful of how important patients is, how important it is to have patients, is that over time the people will get to know you and they will send referrals and it will take for you to be seeing clients and for those clients to say, "I have a great therapist for you." All of us in the team, for example, we have certain kind of groups of people that we work with who are co-workers or friends and they might have the same therapist or their friend is referring to another therapist in the practice. And that starts to kind of scale and be nice to open up that way and see how they come in.
Another one is we do Google Ads. We don't have a big spend for Google Ads, but I do. There's a therapist in Southern California who helps me, he just loves to do it so he kind of runs the ads and kind of tells us how we're doing and we create specific landing pages on the website.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, you do.
Kerrie Mohr: Yeah, it's not just the Google Ad with the website because it's more of like the landing pages geared towards a call to action around a specific need. So that is one thing. I do recommend if you are going to do Google Ads don't waste your money - do landing ads for a very specific thing that they might search with a call to action, like help them see what is that they could get from coming to you and then help them kind of click that button, kind of follow through.
And then there's things that I've tried that haven't worked, so I don't know if you want ...
Sasha Raskin: Oh, I think ...
Kerrie Mohr: Maybe you can email me and I'll tell you.
Sasha Raskin: Well, from the top of your head what do you think was a big waste of time for you when you were building your practice?
Kerrie Mohr: (Doc Doc?).
Sasha Raskin: What is that?
Kerrie Mohr: How to say it? Do you know (Doc Doc?)? It's great for medical providers, so it's really big in New York and I booked my doctors that way but I think it's terrible for mental health. So I don't recommend it for clinicians for mental health specifically. Well, actually if you take insurance it might be very useful, but for us being out of network it's not so it was kind of a waste.
Sasha Raskin: Got it. What would be your, maybe to summarize, an important tip from you to future counselors or coaches in private practice or group practice, who knows?
Kerrie Mohr: Something really simple but important, and that's that if you build it they will come. I had somebody say that to me very early on and it stuck with me, and I think I repeated it to myself every day and then I look back and I say, "She was right." And she was an architect who I rented an office for my first office a couple days a week in the Woolworth building in downtown Manhattan. And she said, "Don't worry, you're going to build it and they're going to come. I promise you." And she was an architect and she rented her office suite to therapist because she was in therapy and she loved therapy and she loved like sharing her space with therapists. And so it's probably like good energy that she brought to that.
But I do really believe that if you're doing what you love and you're passionate about what you have to offer, just be patient with the process to grow and they will start coming.
Sasha Raskin: I love that. So to connect the two things, you said the patience and the build it and they'll come - continue building it and they will continue coming, right? It doesn't sound like you finished building it five years later, right?
Kerrie Mohr: No, you don't just finish and ... I mean, some people can do that, you just say, "I'm happy. I'm just going to fill my caseload and I'm just going to be good. And this is like a well-oiled machine and just run." But if you're like me and you thrive in the chaos you're always going to be doing the ... like thinking about the next thing, so that's what I like to do and how I like to work.
Sasha Raskin: That's great. Kerrie, thank you so much for sharing your journey. I learned a lot. I hope the listeners learned something as well and just to see the trajectory of where can it start, what can it lead to. So this has been wonderful. Thank you so much. If people want to find you, how do they find you, your services, your practice?
Kerrie Mohr: They can find us at agoodplacetherapy.com and I was going to tell you our Instagram but I actually don't have my phone on me, I can't even tell you the handle, it's not terrible. One of the things that I don't do myself is ... we have our marketing director who does like most of the social media and she's really, really great, but it's like a time suck for me so I don't like to spend a lot of time on it.
Sasha Raskin: That's a good tip by itself.
Kerrie Mohr: I think if you look up @agoodplacetherapy I'm sure our practice would pop up, so try that but I can't guarantee that's the actual the handle. It is terrible. And then we're on Twitter, same thing. And then my email address is email@example.com. So if you have any questions about what we're talking about here today, anything that you're kind of curious about, just feel free to email me.
Sasha Raskin: That's very generous. Kerrie, thank you so much. Take care.
Kerrie Mohr: Oh, thank you, Sasha. It's good to meet you.