Episode Ten | Season Two

Discovering Private Practice Success with Lynn Grodzki

On this Episode of PsychBiz, we’re talking to psychotherapist, business coach and author, Lynn Grodzki about discovering private practice success and integrating coaching techniques into your therapy methodologies.

In this interview, Lynn Grodzki shares her insights on:

  • Finding the best methods for being successful in your therapy business
  • Knowing your market and the importance of having a plan 
  • How to really take control of your private practice
  • And more!

And for this episode’s giveaway, we are giving away your choice of Lynn Grodzki’s books! Whether you’re looking to niche down or gain that coaching edge in your therapy practice, Lynn’s books have the advice and answers you’re looking for.

Choose from: 

  • Building Your Ideal Private Practice : A Guide for Therapists and Other Healing Professionals
  • Twelve Months to Your Ideal Private Practice a Workbook
  • Business and Practice of Coaching : Finding Your Niche Making Money and Attracting Ideal Clients
  • The New Private Practice : Therapist-Coaches Share Stories, Strategies, and Advice
  • Crisis-Proof Your Practice : How to Survive and Thrive in an Uncertain Economy
  • Therapy with a Coaching Edge : Partnership, Action, and Possibility in Every Session


Here’s how to enter to grab the copy of your choice for free:

  1. Write a review of PsychBiz wherever you get your podcasts
  2. Take a screenshot of your review
  3. Email it to howard@howardbaumgarten.com with your chosen book title as the subject line.

Episode 10 Transcript:

Sarah: Are you struggling with your private practice?

Howard: Do you need ideas about how to expand and grow your mental health practice?

Sarah: Would you like to listen to seasoned experts share their successful strategies and story of success?

Howard: You’ve come to the right place. Welcome to PsychBiz season two. Greetings fellow listeners. This is Howard Baumgarten coming at you with our next installment of PsychBiz. Yes, here we are in season two and this is episode four. Sarah and I had the wonderful privilege over the summer of sitting down with none other than Lynn Grodzki, licensed clinical social worker and master certified Coach. An expert in the field of psychotherapy and coaching, and particularly business and consulting with other career practitioners. She is one of the early pioneers of written material and coaching other business oriented people in our field, and really kind of set the whole business coaching for business professionals in private practice field in motion. So I really think that you’re going to enjoy this interview. She is one of the leading business coaches in the United States for small business owners.

Howard: She really specializes in working with you, the therapist, coach or other type of healer. Any helping professional would benefit from not only this episode, but really contacting her and working with her, especially if you’re stuck, and you’re trying to make some important changes in your practice or even just getting ready to start your practice. I want to tell you a little bit about her books first, and then we’ll roll the interview. Lynn has written six or so books on really private practice development in different areas. Her initial groundbreaking book was written in 2000, called Building Your Ideal Private Practice. And it really, in a way, won some critical acclaim and was a best seller for the W. W. Norton & Company. And so, it really set in motion, her own energy and I think the energy of so many others in the field to become their own business professionals, helping other businesses and also inspiring so many people in terms of taking risks, something that we practitioners don’t like to do so often.

Howard: And so, in a lot of ways, her books really are written for what she calls the reluctant entrepreneur. She’s speaking by the way right to me when she says that because and I’m sure you, because I don’t know about you, but it really is hard to make changes, even with an entrepreneurial mindset, because you’re always worried about the other person and how it’s going to impact and if you’re like me and you belabor over so many different choices that you have in terms of direction, Lynn is so good at helping you clear that up. So without further ado, let’s listen to this amazing interview that Sarah and I did with Lynn Grodzki, enjoy.

Howard: We are so excited to have the infamous, or she wouldn’t degree but I think she’s infamous, Lynn Grodzki with us who has written many books on private practice development, and coaching and business development within the mental health field as well as she is a coach and clinical practitioner herself, and runs a consulting business and does many other things in her career and her life. So we’re very excited to have her here. Lynne, welcome, thank you for being here.

Lynn: Thank you. Good to be here with both of you.

Howard: Well, we want to start by asking you just a little bit, you and I met through my course when I started it in 2000, and there weren’t a lot of resources for businesses in private practice, and especially in the mental health field. And so you’re sort of a pioneer and we’re curious about how it is that you got into writing about the business of psychotherapy.

Lynn: Well, like some other people, psychotherapy was a second career for me or maybe even a third career. And what I had been doing before I got my masters was, I was in the family business, which was a scrap metal business, big multi million dollar business. And I was my father’s General Manager of one division. And it wasn’t the right business for me, but I liked small business, and I liked entrepreneurship a lot. And when I left that to become a therapist, I kind of missed business. And I was talking in a peer supervision about a client that I was working with, and I was helping this client get a promotion. And somebody in the peer supervision said nicely, but said, “That’s not really therapy, what you’re doing.” And I said, “Well, what is it?” And she said, “I don’t know, maybe something like business coaching.”

Lynn: And I’d never heard that word before about coaching. But I found a course it was a virtual school that offered business coaching degrees. And I went through that school and learned a lot about coaching. And when I got out of that, I realized that the people that I thought needed help the most in terms of business development, were other therapists. That there was a lot about managed care that was coming forward, that just my colleagues seemed so clueless about things that for me, felt really second nature. So I started teaching locally, teaching classes out of my home office, and I wrote a manual. And then I thought, it would be good to write a book. So I read some, I don’t know, some things about how you write a book, and one of the things I read said, “Send a query letter to an editor.” Like look at who has been the editor that’s been thanked on your favorite books, and send a query letter to that editor.

Lynn: So one of my favorite books was published by Norton. And I sent a query letter to the editor, just out of the blue and said, “I have this manuscript about building a private practice, would you be interested?” and I didn’t have a manuscript, I just had this manual. But I was like acting as if, right? And I didn’t even expect that there’d would be any kind of feedback from this. I just thought, this will help me, if I put it out in the universe, it’ll help me to write it. So I did get a response, and she said, “Yes, send it in. I’d like to read it.” And at that point, I just got writer’s block. I couldn’t write a thing. So I hired a coach. And she like listen to me and said, “So you’ve been trying to write, you’re really blocked, yes, yes, yes.” And she said, “Well, then I just listened to the reasons for writing and you say, you think it would be good for your career, and it’d be good to have a book, but I don’t think it’s a big enough vision, for you to be writing, you’d probably have to think about this and find a bigger reason.”

Lynn: And I did think about it a lot, and it was hard. And I finally really connected with what I wanted to deliver to therapists and how much I really cared about the profession. And then I was really able to write. So that first book came out in 2000. And it was really the only book of its kind in the literature for therapists. People had written articles, but there had not been a book written like this. And what I tried to do, because at that point, I was teaching, I just tried to make sure it was my voice that I was using as a teacher. And that voice really resonated with therapists as a very informal kind of voice coaching them on and motivating them. So it became like a best seller for Norton. And then I wrote a series of other books, about the business of therapy, and then about the business of coaching, since I was now also working as a coach, and on the faculty of this coaching school.

Lynn: And then, in 2018, I wrote a book about something that I’ve been watching happen, I’ve been observing in my own practice, which was my therapy practice. And I’ve been trained very eclectically in psychodynamic, psychotherapy, and CBT, and a lot of other methods. But I saw that my practice was really being affected by coaching. And I was really bringing in and adapting a lot of coaching skills that was giving me a lot of leverage, as a therapist beyond what most therapists were doing. So I was hearing from CBT therapists that their clients didn’t want to do homework. And I realized that in coaching, we had a way to overcome that and to move clients into action. And I thought about how I’ve been adapting that unconsciously or without a formal way of thinking about it, or about questioning. And that as a therapist we have questions like, well, how do you feel about that? Or where did you learn to do that? Things like that.

Lynn: But coaches have these sets of really powerful, pointed questions that they use that get these aha moments from clients. And I thought, I never learned that as a therapist, but I’d learned as a coach, and how could I teach therapists to do that kind of questioning. So I came up with like, nine skills, and a lot of other structure to use in a therapy session, and bring some of the partnership and the action and the possibility into therapy. So that was the book Therapy with a Coaching Edge that came out in 2018.

Howard: Wonderful. As you’re telling our listeners about the integration of coaching within the context of clinical treatment, I personally resonated with that, because that sort of happened in my therapy practice as well, you start to add techniques that you didn’t learn in graduate school and that are powerful, that really do have this, as your book title suggests a coaching edge, right? Within the therapeutic dynamics. Do you think that this advent of, as you put it, a coaching edge, within the context of therapy, is changing the dynamics of mental health treatment in private practices? And so how?

Lynn: Well, I do find that it’s a style that a lot of therapists gravitate towards. In my experience, often younger therapists really like this. It is a shorter term style, it’s very constructive, it’s very positive, it’s very future orienting. And interestingly, what I find is a lot of therapists are trained out of this in their master’s level programs or in their PhDs. And so when they come and talk to me about this, they almost want permission, like, is this okay, to bring this into a therapeutic methodology? And I saw those are interesting questions, I think, but I do find for a lot of therapists, it’s a natural style. And one of the things I think was helpful in writing about this and writing the book about it, is it can be very validating for therapists. And for some therapists, they just needed to know how to approach their clientele with this, or how to integrate it into their methodologies.

Lynn: Just as an aside, so many of us take training, and often after we take this training, it’s really been fascinating, a long workshop or whatever. Then we come back into our own practices, like in the isolation of our own practices, and we think, well, now what? How do I integrate that into the way I’ve been working naturally? And I really wanted to, at the end of this book, to do that integration for readers. So I just didn’t leave them wondering, well, I already do a psychodynamic approach, where would I bring this in? Or I work in a humanistic approach, how would this fit into body oriented psychotherapy? So I’ve really been thinking about this, like a lot of different layers and levels.

Howard: I love that. And all of that dovetails into the business model, like I’m thinking, how does this relate to business? Could you speak a little bit about that? Like, how is this good business?

Lynn: Well, I feel like it’s good business, to be able to know what your market wants, and to have flexibility, and to be at the kind of top of your game in terms of what you’re trying to achieve. So for me, writing a book that’s very pragmatic, with skill sets, and that’s what this book was. And that’s what my business books for therapists have been. They’re skill sets, and they’re ways that you can flip around in a book and find the techniques that were best for you. And I think when we switch to business, small businesses, like therapy businesses really need to be customized. There isn’t a cookie cutter formula, it is not no matter what anybody tells you, or any course proffers, it is not one size fits all. There’s so many different ways that therapists are successful in a business, so many different methods in mind.

Lynn: So you just need to find what works for you and kind of stick with that and keep growing that and expanding on that. So I feel like whether you’re bringing in coaching or you’re doing something else, you really want to have a way to define and brand, what you’re doing and explain it to a broader audience so that you can stay viable over time.

Sarah: I love everything that you’ve said, and as a small business owner, myself, I really appreciate and think it’s really valuable to be able to take these kind of entrepreneurship perspectives and ways of looking at things and really use them for therapy practices. And I think that a lot of practitioners are missing that kind of part and are sometimes not even encouraged to think about things in that kind of very pragmatic and business oriented way. So I think it’s great that you’re fostering that skill set among practitioners. And I just, you were mentioning these different skill sets and I’m wondering how you have seen, because I know you have a lot of therapists who talk to you and who get advice from you. So, what have you seen more recently, as people are kind of adapting to the changing times? Like, what kinds of changes have you seen that people are making in response to that?

Lynn: What’s been really fascinating to me, I was thinking the other day that I went to this ethics talk in 2019, by somebody that I consider to be like, really expert in ethics for psychotherapists. And he put out a question to the group, and he said, “What do you think about therapy that’s delivered virtually or teletherapy? Is that good therapy?” And 90% of the people in the room said, “No, this is not good therapy.” And he said, “What about when people are at a distance and they can’t reach…” People said, “Well, maybe.” So now here we are in 2021, right? And the entire therapeutic world shifted to virtual and we all think it’s valid. So it makes me think, what else is there that where we get very locked in to the ways that we used to do things.

Lynn: And now I feel like we’re in a post pandemic world, or I hope we’re moving into a post pandemic world, that’s required us to do things very differently. Not just on a virtual stage, but I think that as I talk with therapists, they’re thinking about other things that they kind of, weren’t sure they could ever really change, or affect, or do in a different way. And now they’re thinking, “Well, wait a moment, do I really want to work this way? Or is there something else that I want to do?” So I’m seeing, for example, therapists that felt like they always wanted to have a solo practice, now starting to rethink that and thinking about how can I collaborate more effectively? And there’s a lot of models of collaboration, other than just having a group practice where you have a bit where it’s hierarchical, and you just have an owner, with people that are 1099 underneath or employees.

Lynn: There are other models of that. And I see therapists, thinking about other models of collaboration, other ways to leverage expenses of a practice as we go back into an office, therapists are like, “Wow, it’s so expensive.” To rent office space that you don’t really use, what other kinds of models could I use for that? I see therapists thinking about their branding, post pandemic, and what do they want to be known for now? And a lot of therapists are kind of rethinking how they’ve done therapy, or what they’ve been addressing, maybe topic wise, or population. And is that what they want to be doing in the future? I’ve seen a lot of discussions about work life balance. We’ve been working hard the last year, most therapists haven’t taken any time off. The demand, it’s often been very great on a lot of therapists for services. And it’s been hard work because our clientele has been suffering.

Lynn: So a lot of therapists are like, “Wow, wait a moment. I can’t keep going like this. So how do I manage? What is the best way for me to look at my calendar? And who do I need to be in order to say no to certain things?” And to a lot of therapists who’re thinking about transitioning from insurance, to fee for service. And then of course, I hear therapists saying, “I want to diversify and have a therapy practice, and then a coaching practice. And how do I do that effectively? And how do I market that? What are the expectations?” So I’m hearing all these conversations this last year that it’s very interesting to me, and I think it’s timely, and I really encourage therapists to look at this, and I’m sure to the work that you all do with therapists, this is a topic that is, if it’s not coming up already, it’s going to come up a lot in the future. Because we’ve had a big pause, to think about our practices.

Howard: Lynn you are speaking to every listener right now, in such a direct way. I love that because they, I mean, I’m sitting here listening to you and saying, “This is exactly my narrative.” I went back on a couple of insurance companies to service the people that needed to be serviced that couldn’t be service previously. And worked harder in the last 15 months than I have in the last 10 years, probably. And now, in this post pandemic kind of phase we’re moving into, I’m rethinking another shift. And so this quick shift into adapting meant getting PPE materials and the best possible computer and technology so that we can deliver services adequately, at worst and really awesomely at best.

Howard: And now all of a sudden, it’s how can I be able to have the balance? Exactly what you were saying. I took my first personal vacation, which was really only about three days, Sarah knows this, because we talked about it. It was three days, a week and a half ago, 15 months of literally almost every day, other than one day of on the weekend, of doing either virtual or protected in person distance therapy. And so what I’m feeling that I’m sure a lot of listeners are feeling are very much what you just said. And so, part of me wonders, I know, Sarah has a follow up as well, it just feels like there’s so much going on. How does one really sort of like sit down and parse through the decision making process? What would you tell them to do?

Lynn: When I first started training as a coach, a head of the coaching school, this guy named Thomas Leonard, who’s considered the grandfather of coaching, he had this mantra that he applied to business, and also to personal lives. And it’s called integrity needs wants, integrity needs wants. And I’ve been using this mantra for many years. And what it means is that, the first thing, like I’ll apply it to business right now. Think about integrity, like you’re driving over a bridge. And the first thing that you would need to know, is, is the bridge safe? Are all the bolts in place? And is the steel safe? And is this a bridge that where I won’t fall over the side?

Lynn: And then, so that’s your integrity. Needs would be, do I have the gas in the car that I need? And are my windshield wipers clean, so I can see out? And then once might be, is there a song on the radio that I like to listen to? So this is a really good way to think about business and integrity issues with business are ethical issues. And it’s been really interesting, the ethical issues that have come up during the pandemic. And as people are trying to figure out, well, if insurance says that, I have to go back in the office, and I don’t want to go back in the office, could I just switch all my clients to become coaching clients.

Lynn: That’s an integrity issue, because that’s a dual relationship. Because working with a client as a therapist, is a very different relationship than working with them as a coach. So that would be something you’d really need to look at, because you could lose your license for that. And you could really mess things up in your practice. So we have to look at integrity first, then we can look at needs. What does my practice need right now? And you mentioned one thing, Howard, maybe it needs better systems. And maybe I’ve never used an automated practice management system. Or maybe I’ve never used a scheduling system.

Lynn: And so what does it need that I’m not offering it? And then we could look at and what do I want with the practice? Well, I want to take Mondays off. Or I want more clients that are actually going to come in and understand my fee schedule and my policies and adhere to them. Okay, so integrity needs wants is one way that you can think about prioritizing all the questions that might be coming up right now. Does that help to think to impose that on the questioning time?

Howard: Yeah. That’s perfect. I think that’s super helpful. Thank you.

Sarah: Yeah. And I just want to follow up with a question, because I love talking about, I love everything that you’ve said. That now that things have really, there really has been just a huge change, and a lot of the barriers towards telehealth and those kinds of things have really just gotten knocked down, and what a year ago was very unusual and kind of, like a borderline questionable practice in a lot of people’s minds is now absolutely 100% standard and accepted and seen as totally legitimate. But I think as with everything, a lot of time when there’s opportunities, there are also a lot of challenges. And so those therapists who are thinking either about they used to focus on in person, and now they really do find that they enjoy the freedom, or the flexibility that they get from doing telehealth.

Sarah: Or people who used to be telehealth and that used to be their niche, right? Because that used to be really special and unusual. And now, everybody’s doing it and so it’s not going to differentiate them in the field any longer, because now, there’s a ton of people doing that. So what kind of advice do you have when people come to you with these kinds of questions like, how do you guide them?

Lynn: Well with the first question, if you want to take control of your practice, and the way you work, you have to be outside insurance. And being outside insurance doesn’t mean that your clients or patients won’t get any reimbursement. But what it does mean is that, you have to have a marketing plan, so that people come to your practice for you. They don’t come generically, because they’re just looking for any therapist, and this has been a real problem for us as a profession. Is it’s been really hard to help people understand all the differences in therapists. And so when somebody says you need counseling, or you need therapy, our markets aren’t well educated. And they just think, okay, one therapist is like another and I’ll just shop for price, or a shop for convenience.

Lynn: But if you want to be outside of insurance, you need a compelling reason why people would pick you over just any other therapist, that’s a different kind of marketing plan. And it has to do with your visibility, it has to do with your reach in terms of how do you communicate what you’re doing to other people. And there’s a lot of platforms that are really good for this, and people will follow you and podcasting, or your Instagram, or your writing, or your YouTube channel. So there are a lot of good ways to do that, but you want to have a very clear message for people to find you.

Lynn: And then there is a process I like to take people through of transitioning off insurance, so that it’s not too risky, so that it’s a kind of a step by step process. But that’s something that therapists can think about. And especially now, when there’s so much demand in the marketplace, and people are in some areas, and some cities can’t find a therapist, everybody’s full. And we know that when we look at like, I’ll just give you one example of an area that’s just overflowing, is anxiety among college age students. And what’s the generation that followed millennials? That a cohort of people are very high anxiety. And if you offer anxiety and in a way that can be understood in terms of your treatment for younger people, your services are really needed. And it would probably be a smart plan to think about, could I transition from insurance and be able to attract people. And especially if you like working with anxiety, that would be something to think about.

Lynn: So I think that’s one way to feel like you have control. And the other is just knowing how to market and that’s, of course, in the work that the two of you do, that’s an area that a lot of therapists are very uncomfortable with. But I always think about it as a form of education. Right? And we’re pretty good at education, and a form of kind of clarity for an audience. So if you can get clear for yourself about who you are, and what you’re trying to offer, it’s a lot easier to do some marketing. And all you’re really doing is building community, around your business, your small business, and every small business owner, no matter what they offer, at some point has to do this. Build a community of people around their business, either it’s a referral community, or its community of direct consumers. So this is something that you have to do in the long term.

Lynn: And for that reason, you have to pick a way of doing it that you like, and there’s so many ways to do this and they all work for different people. We just want to find, what do you like to do that feels natural? And then you just have to repeat it, the whole breadth of your business, you’ll have to repeat that. And that’s another thing that a lot of us as therapists feel like well, “I did that, I did workshops, or I talked to doctors, but I didn’t yield anything.” But it’s like, they have no understanding in business how much it takes, it always takes so much more than we would wish.

Lynn: So I’ll give you a little business resource that I love, which is this podcast called How I Built This. It’s an NPR podcast. And it’s about entrepreneurs of all different types. And they just tell their story about how they built their business. And I love this because, you start to hear these themes that run across small business, and persistence is one. And the people that succeed, just don’t mind how much they have to do. So we have to take that in as therapists and unfortunately if you build a business, you’re wearing two different hats. So you’re a clinician and you’re business owner, and you got to do some of both, right?

Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. And most of our listeners are listening to the podcast, so they can’t see that the whole time you’ve been talking, I’ve been nodding and grinning like an idiot. Because, everything you say, is so true, and it’s exactly the things that I say to my clients, because working, as I do with therapists, who are trying to establish an online presence and who often are encountering, as they’re doing that a lot of blocks, just personally, of not feeling confident about putting themselves out there and not being sure that they’re really comfortable with talking about themselves on their about page, or whatever the different issues might be that I’m talking them through. The messages that you just gave, or the messages that they absolutely need to hear and it’s so true.

Sarah: And I often talk to people about the idea that, you can rebrand the idea of marketing, and don’t think of it as marketing, but think of it as outreach, because you have positive messages that people need to hear. And when you share those messages, whether it’s through your blog, or you do it through your Instagram account, or wherever it is, it’s not that you’re saying, “Hey, I’m awesome, look at me.” Because therapists are so uncomfortable doing that. But that you are sharing the insight that you have into life that helps other people to have a positive perspective and to overcome the challenges that they’re having. And maybe at the same time, realize how amazing you are, and how much you might be able to help them with whatever particular challenge they have. So I think that everything you said is just spot on.

Lynn: And let me just add. That’s a really good message. And for some therapists, it’s still not enough. [crosstalk 00:33:50] therapists, most therapists are introverts, and that makes them really good clinicians. And it’s still not enough, so usually, what I would say to therapists is, what could you do? What small thing could you do that would be comfortable for you? Because I want people marketing inside their comfort zone. This is where I’m really different from a lot of other marketers, I don’t want therapists going outside their comfort zone, because as introverts, they just look awful when they do that. So I’m all about what could you do? And I’ve worked with so many therapists, and I remember one therapist, who said to me, “Well, I could ask people for lunch, I love going to lunch, I love going to restaurants, I could do a lunch plan.”

Lynn: So we decided designed an annual plan, where like, every week, she invited one person to lunch at her own expense. And we never knew if that was going to be a referral source, or somebody that would just be an acquaintance, or somebody that might be a friend. But we did know that at the end of the year, she would have 50 connections that would be a little bit stronger. And she loved to go to lunch. And no surprise that build business. So that’s all we’re looking for is what could you do that feels natural to you that feels like, “Oh, I don’t mind that?” And could you just do it in a way that allows you to talk positively about your work? So if somebody says to you, what’s new, that you can say, “Oh, I’m loving something I’m doing these days in the office.” Or “I’m learning something that’s really interesting to me,” in a natural conversational way.

Lynn: And could you repeat it enough to build that community and eventually attract the right kinds of clients. So I love what you said Sarah, it’s like that is the message. And then sometimes we just have to chunk it down and chunk it down.

Sarah: Yeah. And I also love how I build this, it’s a great podcast. [crosstalk 00:35:55] that’s a wonderful resource for people too.

Lynn: I don’t know why, but it puts me to sleep at night. I listen to it and I fall asleep. Something about the conversation, maybe it’s about because I’m like business. It’s [crosstalk 00:36:06] reassuring to me.

Sarah: Oh, yeah. And the stories are uplifting and they’re… It’s not so much about the practical advice, because it’s people from so many different businesses, but more about the mindset that they have. And that really, I think, is consistent among a lot of people that they really do have, like you said, a persistence and an ability to be like, so that didn’t work and okay, so next thing. And then there’s a very matter of fact, like, here we go again, like, let’s keep going.

Lynn: Yeah. And [crosstalk 00:36:39] partnership that’s… We are solo practitioners, that’s a really hard way to go in business. And like, if you listen to that, How I Built This, one of the things you’ll hear is how many small business people look for partnership, for a partner to do things with and we don’t often do that, to our detriment. So I’m a big believer in can you find peer support for your business? We often find this for our supervision, for a caseload. But, can you find other people that you can use as support where it’s not competitive, right? And it’s just supportive. So somebody says, “Yes, sir, keep going with that and use me for accountability and let’s brainstorm together.”

Howard: When I talk about that, in my book, where I talk about infield and out of field mentors. People that we rely on that do what we do, and then people that are just in our support circles that might be in other aspects of business that can really be more objective from their lens is really helpful in just tracking your practice, making the kind of changes that you want to make, and making sure that you are being held accountable to your value system and your business ethics. And so I appreciate what you’re saying about that. And I really appreciate what you said about falling asleep to the podcast, because, you’re doing what you just told everybody else to do.

Howard: You’re routinely creating a process that you’re not giving up on, right? I’m sure not every episode is going to speak to you. But you’re listening to these episodes, that reminds me of something I hadn’t really thought of that is helping me in business in my world. And that is, I’m a runner, and I go jogging every day. And I do a lot of my CEUs by listening to books on while I’m running. And I realized that it’s improving my clinical acumen and also helping me redefine and solidify the areas that I want to practice in. And that’s a huge business advantage by just repeating that process. That has nothing to do with actually reaching out and talking with people, even though I think that’s also essential.

Howard:So all these little things, I also love what you said about comfort zone, right? All these little things within your comfort zone, you’re making small changes along the way, holding oneself accountable, while living what you love to do, right?

Lynn: Yeah, that’s really nice Howard, that’s really… And there’s been these studies done about learning while you move. So I’m just imagining you running and it’s you’re metabolizing what you’re hearing.

Howard: It’s like bilateral stimulation, right? It’s a form of when you’re not doing trauma work with EMDR, but you’re you’re actually exercising your brain, you’re integrating what you’re doing and what you’re listening to and learning. I’ve listened to some powerful books and podcast that have spoken to me in ways that I’ll then come to the office and I will be find myself actually inaction making changes without even consciously realizing that I’m doing that. And so, I’m hoping that our listeners are getting that part of what happens is, as a business owner, you take on this sort of systematic way of leaning into, again, within your comfort zone, leaning into business decision making that starts to feel more and more comfortable.

Howard: So if you are a new practitioner, ready to start a practice, or you’re already in your practice, and you have some insecurities about business, fear not. The more you put together these things, these actionable items that we’re talking about, the more confident you grow, the more it becomes second nature.

Lynn: Yeah, good way to say it and to think about that. So that a lot of us felt like if we were strong clinically, it would just naturally translate into a strong practice without realizing no, once you’re in business, you do have to have practices and support and education for that end too. And of course, there’s some therapists who they were just lucky, or fortunate, and they didn’t need to do anything other than just hang up a shingle, and that’s really great. But I just was never one of those people. So in my experience, when I first started my practice in 1988, I had this kind of idea of, if you build it, they will come.

Lynn: I started to practice, that should be good. And I had a few clients. And one day, my husband is an architect, he came home early, it was around Christmas, and I said, “Oh, did they close the office down for Christmas?” And he says, “Well, you’ve got the first part, right.” And it was a recession time in the Washington DC area, and the office was shutting down, so he was without a job. So I thought, oh, I guess I better get to work, I have to build this practice. But I had come from a business background, so I knew how to write a marketing plan for myself, and how to follow that plan. And because I had that experience, I didn’t need to worry when I wasn’t, I didn’t feel terrified about the fact that we were now going to be a one income family, instead of a two income family. I just got to marketing.

Lynn: And so I really love the idea of your listeners thinking, how can I educate myself in a good way, in a comfortable way, in a fun way about business? What TED talks could I listen to? That or more about entrepreneurship? Or who do I like to follow as a blogger on this? So this we’re lucky right now, because we have so many resources available at our fingertips. So I think it’s great what you said, Howard, about just finding what supports you.

Howard: Well, and one way that they can educate themselves is through your resources, right? Your books, and you do private consulting as well, right?

Lynn: I do. So, here’s one resource I would offer to people. I have books and I have building your ideal private practice. That’s been called, like the Bible of private practice. And it was, we did the second edition in 2015, so that was before teletherapy. So you’re not going to find much about that in there. But other things will be useful. And there’s a workbook that’s really good to do with a group of people. And then there’s some crisis proof your practice, which was written during an earlier recession, but that has a good business model if you’re struggling right now. And then some books about coaching, the business of coaching. But on my website, privatepracticesuccess.com, there’s a survey that I asked anybody who’s coming in new to consult with me to fill out, before we have our first introductory session. It’s under the strong start survey, menu item.

Lynn: And you can take that you don’t have to come into consultation with me, you can just use that survey to help you think about where you are in your practice right now and where you want to get to in 90 days and it just structures your thinking. So that could be a resource, again, for anybody that’s new, building a business, or anybody that wants to make some changes right now and that’s free, right on the website.

Howard: That’s a great resource. And all your books are fabulous resources for our listeners, we’re grateful that you wrote them. And I’m very happy I want to ask you a closing question that we ask all of our interviewees, which, and you alluded to it earlier, you were talking about how this last year has been so difficult on practitioners and their work life balance. And so we’re very curious about I know, our listeners would like to know, how do you create work life balance in your life? What sort of personal things do you like to do to help balance out of your work?

Lynn: Well, it’s a really meaningful question right now, because I was telling you earlier, I just wrote about cancer diagnosis that I got in last September. So along with how busy we all were, and I had just taken over as the president of my local social work society in the Washington area, and I got this unexpected cancer diagnosis. And of course, when that happens, it’s like, I call it getting on the cancer train. It’s like time just speeds up and you have to do a lot of things and fortunately it was a very early cancer, but it was a very rigorous treatment. It was kind of awful treatment. And so I wrote for the networker about what that meant for me over the last year. And I actually closed my practice down for two months, so that I could just focus on the treatment.

Lynn: And then when I came back, I realized I’m not at full strength. So I’m saying no, a lot more to things that don’t, either they don’t generate income, or they don’t give me energy, or they don’t fulfill my value. And I’m just a lot more careful and selective. And I’m still going through some rehab, so I have to make time for my physical therapy, and my walks each day, and all that kind of thing. So I’m just more careful and self protective, right now with my time, and with what I agree to do, and what I don’t agree to do. And that’s kind of what I’m hearing a lot of clinicians talk about burnout. They’re tired, and sad, and sometimes really anxious in themselves. And it’s not like in their own families, that they’re not dealing with either normal family situations or things that are heightened because of the pandemic.

Lynn: So I’m just really hoping for really good self care, sometimes we call it extreme self care, for clinicians, to help you stay strong, because you’re such an asset, as mental health therapists. And we need you to stay at work, to stay in practice over time. We want to have these long practices, and you have to take care of yourself to do that.

Howard: Well, and we’re so glad that you’re doing such good self care, and that you’re healing because we all need you.

Lynn: Thank you, thank you. And I wanted to let people know, I’m going to give you the link to that article, because if you know people going through cancer, my hope in writing this and about what helped me through this process, I’m hoping that you can share it with others and it might might help them. It’s called Loving Ourselves Into Safety. So it was a lot about a way to love yourself through a difficult time.

Sarah: That sounds beautiful.

Howard: Loving Ourselves Into Safety and it’s in the psychotherapy networker. So thank you for sharing that link with us, we’ll put that in the show notes along with your website, privatepracticessuccess.com. Lynn, we are so wonderfully grateful that you took the time to share with us your career, your journey, your insights about business, your personal stories. We’re glad you said yes to this. I know that in this process of picking and choosing the thing, we’re glad that you chose us and our listeners, and we hope they’ll choose you to follow you and your work. I think it’s so very important, Sarah and I both you and I know our listeners will as well when they hear this wonderful interview today. So thank you so much for being here with us.

Lynn: Oh, it’s such a pleasure to be with both of you and it really gave me energy. So it’s great to be with you too.

Howard: And Sarah, you have something to say we’re going to do another giveaway, right?

Sarah: Yes, absolutely. So what we’ve been doing is if you leave a review of the podcast like this on whatever platform, you listen to podcasts, and then just email us with a screenshot of that review. And you can pick any one of Lynn’s books, and we will send you a book as a thank you this is a limited offer. So be the first one and we’re excited to be able to share a few of Lynn’s books with our listeners. So, we’ll put all that information in the show notes as well.

Lynn: Thank you.

Howard: Wow, what a tremendous interview. I hope you enjoyed the show today. Please feel free to reach out to Lynn. As you can find her information in today’s show notes. She would be more than happy to talk with you, consult with you, or work with you on any change or new direction that you are looking to make. Thank you so much again, Lynn, for your kindness and your time and your insight and experience. We’re so happy to have had you participate with us in this wonderful episode. Listeners tune in next episode as we interview another expert in the field of helping professionals. And that is somebody who hails from the UK and her name is Jane Travis and Sarah and I actually had a great interview with her as well. And she is just so energetic and exciting to talk with. I feel like I’ve made a new friend in her interview as well. And so we’ll have that episode coming up in a few weeks.

Howard: Again, thank you so much for listening to our podcast. Don’t forget about Sarah’s amazing offer to have a book sent to you and all you have to do is write an honest review and take a snapshot of it and send it on over to me at howard@howardbaumgarten.com. I’ll be happy to send you a copy of any book written by Lynn Grodzki of your choosing. For Sarah Gershone this is Howard Baumgarten, make it a great successful fun day and thank you for listening to PsychBiz.

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Howard Baumgarten

Licensed professional counselor, author of PRIVATE PRACTICE ESSENTIALS, international speaker and small business consultant. Learn more at Howard’s website.



Sarah Gershone

Web designer and digital marketer specializing in therapist private practice growth. Owner of Strong Roots Web Design.