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How to Get Referrals: The Mental Health Professional's Guide to Strategic Marketing / Edition 1

How to Get Referrals: The Mental Health Professional's Guide to Strategic Marketing / Edition 1

by Linda L. Lawless, G. Jean Wright


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Now more than ever, it's critical for mental health professionalsto find new ways to succeed in today's competitive marketplace.Written by health niche marketing specialists Linda Lawless andJean Wright, this book provides step-by-step guidelines to getreferrals by building and leveraging relationships with otherprofessionals, community leaders, and the media.

You'll find out how to develop three primary skills that areessential to weaving a sustainable practice:
* How to interact with and relate to the local community andregion. From setting up community forums to creating discussiongroups, you'll discover new ways to gain clients in yourarea.
* How to work with managed care organizations and professionalassociations. Find out how to help your practice grow by takingadvantage of the services provided by other professionals andorganizations.
* How to network with the World Wide Web community. Learn whichsites to visit and how to best reach potential clients.

Each chapter is organized to assist mental health professionals indeveloping a strategic marketing plan for getting referralsfrom:
* Physicians
* Attorneys
* Religious Leaders
* Educators and the Educational Community
* Managed Care Organizations
* Mental Health and Complementary Healthcare Professions
* The Community

How to Get Referrals is an excellent guide for getting thereferrals necessary for a successful practice. With its concrete,practical advice on building networks and securing clientrecommendations, this book is a must for any healthcareprofessional!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780471297918
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 12/28/1999
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.48(w) x 9.23(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

LINDA L. LAWLESS, MA, LMFT, LMHC, CGP, is a licensedpsychotherapist with over 20 years experience in the field. She isthe author of Therapy, Inc. and provides practice consultation forpsychotherapists.

G. JEAN WRIGHT, Dmin, LMFT, LMHC, has been in private practicesince 1988 and has developed niche markets in family and divorcemediation and career counseling with ordained clergy.

Read an Excerpt

Note: The Figures and/or Tables mentioned in this sample chapter do no appear on the web.


Building Blocks for Success

Professional success sometimes comes unexpectedly. More often, it is the result of hard work and perseverance. When your professional goals are congruent with your personal growth path, you will be motivated to work to develop your business. Take the time to evaluate yourself, your life purpose, your professional mission, and your strengths and weaknesses. Use this information to create your personal definition of success and professional goals. William Bridges, in his book Creating You & Co. (1997), speaks about the mindset needed to stay viable in a rapidly changing marketplace. Confidence in your abilities is the primary foundation for a successful practice.

Practice development and marketing are necessary activities if you want to achieve success in the mental health marketplace. With more than 395,000 behavioral health professionals in the United States, mental health professionals need to discover new ways to reach the marketplace and provide a return on their investment of time and money (Steenburger, 1997).

The chapters that follow focus on seven professional groups with which you may network to increase your referral base. Beginning with a brief history of a specific market, your awareness of the context of that market increases. Knowledge of your client's historical context can be an essential element in assisting with present issues. Having knowledge of the historical context of the specific marketplace aids you in connecting with and understanding responses to your outreach efforts. Resources are provided for exploring the history of the marketplace you choose.

Getting Started

The work you do requires an awareness of yourself and how you affect your clients. It only makes sense to take who you are into account as you create a professional development plan. Your value system is an important link between you and your professional work. Business values that are congruent with your personal values enhance one another. Some professionals choose to work with a long-term therapy model, while others embrace short-term strategic approaches. Working in a short-term system would create a values conflict for a long-term model therapist.

The value cards in Organizational Vision, Values, and Mission (Scott, Jaffe, & Tobe, 1993) are particularly useful. Their system helps you identify your highest to lowest values. Make a list of all your values and then rank them according to priorities. Personal values may include a healthy balance between work, family and friends, loyalty, peace, and so on. Some professional values you may hold in high regard are integrity, client confidentiality, easy availability to patients, and fair compensation for your services. After you have made and ranked your list, compare a value's importance to how saturated your life is with it. When you rate a value highly and are personally dissatisfied with how little you have integrated it into your life, there is a discrepancy that can motivate you as well as guide you in making changes. This book uses an inside-out, organic, approach to practice development. You, your values, and your professional skills become the foundation of your journey to success.

In The Wizard of Oz, as Dorothy and Toto began their journey down the yellow brick road picking up fellow travelers, each character had diverse reasons for setting out on the journey. Each definition of success was vastly different from the others. Before you charge down a path toward "success," you must ask what success means to you. Creating a successful professional practice includes having a clear definition of success, a mission, and a good business and marketing plan. What is a "successful" mental health professional practice? There are many definitions of success. How would you describe the perfect vacation? Each of us might have a different answer, but each could be called successful vacations. We must take responsibility for defining our own success criteria. The average "successful therapist " makes $40,000 to $60,000 a year; the better-than-average therapist may make $140,000 (Practice Strategies, December 1997). This data uses income as the primary criteria for the successful therapist. What this doesn't tell us about the therapist is:

  • What is that person's quality of life?
  • Are the clients interesting?
  • Is the work contributing to his or her growth?

These are aspects you should consider when coming up with your own definition of success. Ofer Zur, a psychotherapist and practice consultant in Northern California, identified nine characteristics of a successful therapist in a popular newsletter (Practice Advisor, February 1998):

1. Competency.
2. Exploits managed care.
3. Markets to and penetrates managed-care-free markets.
4. Creates self-sustaining referrals.
5. Skilled manager.
6. Develops a special managed-care-free practice.
7. Diversified.
8. Thrives in a practice free of managed care.
9. Avoids burnout.

Zur's perspective of the successful therapist is clearly managed-care-free. However, others' perspectives of success may include group practice issues or managed-care contracts. The definition of a successful mental health professional practice is so wide you must create your own model. No one but you can define your personal model for success.

Once you have defined success, you need to clarify the professional mission that grows out of your life purpose. The mission of your professional practice sets the background for all your goals and plans. It is the big picture that encompasses all your concrete goals and schedules. Examples of a professional mission are:

  • To mainstream mental wellness in American culture.
  • To remove the stigma from mental illness.
  • To create a successful mental health practice in my community that is as healthy for me as it is for my clients.

Because you grow and change as you gain more experience in life, it is important for you to revisit your business mission frequently.

It is vital that you be able to describe your professional practice mission and relate it to who you are. This congruency of how your work grows out of your individual passion is the key to connecting with the clients and customers who can use your services and products. When you have clarified your values, identified your goals, and created your professional mission, the next step is to design and implement a plan that will help you reach these goals. Now you are ready to begin your journey as a professional/businessperson.

The Mental Health Practitioner as Businessperson

For the mental health practitioner who is in either a solo practice, or in some form of group or partnership, a bottom-line reality is that you also are a businessperson. You are in the business of marketing products and services that facilitate emotional and mental well-being in the community/ies, where your office/s are located.

How to develop an identity as a businessperson is usually not included in the curriculum of professional training programs. Its absence often produces culture shock when the new therapist enters the real world following graduate training. The business side of a private practice creates a learning curve that is often hit or miss. The lack of business skills seriously compromises the potential for a successful professional practice. Our book shows you how to create and implement a strategic marketing/ business plan that will grow and nurture your private practice.

If you are already in private practice, you are a self-employed business owner. You are the creator of your practice and are responsible for its viability. The self-employed include a growing number of women. The New York Times, Sunday, August 23, 1998, edition, quoting Bureau of Labor Statistics, announced that "of all employed women in 1977, 4.9 percent were self-employed; in 1997, 6.6 percent were self-employed." The Small Business Association reports that women-owned businesses grew 45 percent from 1987 to 1992. If you are a female mental health practitioner in a solo or group private practice, you are most likely part of these statistics. You are a self-employed businessperson and you pay taxes based on that status. To survive and thrive in the current marketplace, you must integrate this reality-- this identity as a businessperson-- with your desire to serve and help others.

An overview of the mental health field conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists is a helpful foundation for understanding yourself as a businessperson. In a December 1997 issue of Practice Strategies, the organization shared results of their survey of 1,215 private practice therapists. The survey was composed of 55 percent females and 45 percent males and included part-time and full-time private practitioners. A random sample of 457 was carefully composed from the following 5 groups: psychologists (167); professional counselors (104); social workers (75); marriage and family therapists (59); and psychiatrists (52). The practice locations ranged from urban to rural; 68 percent were between the ages of 45 and 65 and had been in practice for an average of 10 to 17 years. Types of private practice were as follows:

  • 63 percent of the 1,215 were in a solo practice.
  • 18 percent shared space with other solo practitioners.
  • 12 percent were part of a professional corporation.
  • 1 percent were involved in groups without walls.
  • 2 percent were in an independent practice association.
  • 4 percent were in a partnership.

For those therapists in full-time practice, the median incomes were:

  • Social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors, $30,000-$39,000.
  • Psychologists, $60,000-$69,999.
  • Psychiatrists, $120,000-$129,999.

Overhead costs were approximately 25 percent of gross practice incomes. In reporting sources of income, the survey respondents stated that the percentage of their caseload received from managed care ranged from a high of 35 percent to a low of 5 percent. Those in solo practices reported the smallest percentages of caseload derived from managed care organizations. More than half (65 percent-94 percent) of the private practitioner's caseload and income, therefore, must come from other sources. The private practitioner needs to have a diversified practice that facilitates the earning of that additional percentage. Without managed care referrals, 100 percent of the income must be generated from other networks.

Your Story

To facilitate your strategic networking with other professional groups, you need to understand factors that affect your self-understanding as a professional. These factors enhance your ability to market your products and services to a diverse community. Tools to aid this process are:

  • Your family-of-origin genogram.

  • Your therapeutic family-of-origin school.

Your Family-of-Origin Genogram

When you network and connect with other professionals, you first should seek to find those with whom you share common ground and/or areas of like-mindedness. In each of the following chapters, you can use your genogram as a tool to help you choose whether you are interested in developing relationships within that particular group.

It is helpful to first look to your story and your family of origin. A helpful guide in considering the self of the therapist is to work with your family genogram, developed by one of the founding family systems therapists, Murray Bowen, M.D.

If you are unfamiliar with genograms, McGoldrick and Gerson's Genograms in Family Assessment (1985) is a useful resource. If you have a computer, software is available for constructing genograms (see Resources). A genogram includes the following three levels (pp. 9-21):

1. Mapping the family structure. The genogram, structurally similar to drawing a family tree, is often formulated to show three generations. The three generations to include are your own nuclear family, your parents (family-of-origin), and your grandparents (the third generation). Squares depict males; circles depict females. The identified person (you in this case) is indicated by either a square within a square (if male) or a circle within a circle (if female).

2. Recording family information. Family information includes dates of births and deaths, immigrations, marriages, divorces, adoptions, twins, stillbirths, geographic locations, illnesses, addictions, and so on. Putting an "x" through the circle or square depicts deaths. Include date and cause of deaths, if known. Addictions and chronic illnesses are also noted.

3. Delineating family relationships. Show who lived with whom; where conflict was in the family; divorces, cutoffs of family members, and so on. The genogram is useful for depicting relationships in remarried families.

We suggest that you focus on a fourth category we feel is essential to greater self-understanding and to relating with other professional groups. This fourth category makes explicit the vocational activities of your family. In this category, include your family members' educational level, work/career categories, and religious traditions.

Also focus on family attitudes about professionals. Family belief systems about such issues are picked up both consciously and unconsciously. These beliefs regarding professionals will be part of your belief system and will affect your responses, your interest or disinterest, your timidity or boldness when marketing your products/services to other professionals. This information is essential to help you understand more about your family-of-origin in the context of its relationship to professional communities.

In addition to a history of work, educational levels, and religious traditions of your family, ask and include in your genogram the following questions:

1. Educational levels:

  • Who first graduated from high school? Dates.
  • From college? Dates.
  • Which college/university?
  • Who first graduated from a graduate and/ or specialized training school?
  • How is my education similar and/ or differentiated from my family-of-origin?
  • Other questions may arise that are particular to your family.

2. Vocational/work categories:

  • What type of work have/do family members done/do?
  • Who were the first professionals in the family? Which profession/s?
  • How has/does such history impinge on my beliefs/style? My role models are? Why?
  • How is my vocational choice similar and/or different from my family-of-origin?
  • Other.

3. Attitudes:

  • Was the family attitude one of respect and admiration for professionals or was it one of jealousy, anger, apathy, anti-intellectualism?
  • What types of stories were shared, what attitudes were expressed, about professional persons?
  • Was gender a factor in family attitudes?
  • Were my family members engaged in civic activities?
  • Did/do they vote?

Figure 1.1 shows an example of a simple genogram based on educational, vocational, and religious tradition. Out of the matrix of your family-of-origin experience, what are your beliefs about yourself as a professional and your attitudes about other professionals? Gaining insight and understanding about your personal dynamics, experiences as they relate to your family-of-origin, and your professional life, will help you as you begin networking and communicating with professionals inside and outside the mental health field.

Your story about yourself forms out of this material. Practice telling it as a professional and share it when appropriate as you meet and introduce yourself to other professionals. This information becomes part of the script you develop as a marketing tool. Just as knowing something of the context and characteristics of other professional groups facilitates strategic networking, so having more awareness about your context and family history is an important and helpful element in building bridges of trust to the professional communities you network with.

When you network and connect with other professionals, you should first seek those with whom you share common ground and/or areas of like-mindedness; your family-of-origin story will help you make these identifications. You have clarified an inner standpoint from which to begin the outer work of reaching out and contacting representatives of other professional communities.

Your Therapeutic School "Family-of-Origin"

People have become knowledgeable about schools of psychological thought (due to TV talk shows, movies, and a more educated public) and often ask the mental health practitioner what type of psychology she or he practices. If you apply for acceptance to Managed-Care Organization (MCO) panels, you may have to answer questions about your areas of specialized training and expertise.

Just as developing an understanding of your family-of-origin dynamics regarding your professional life and relationships to other professionals and professional groups adds a critical level of expertise to your marketing ability, so understanding your therapeutic school family-of-origin roots will also empower your professional life.

Reflecting on your primary theoretical base for doing therapy, and being able to verbalize it succinctly and clearly enhances your communication about yourself and your practice. Figure 1.2 will assist you in locating yourself in a therapeutic school, and help you develop the information as part of your telephone or written script regarding yourself as a therapist. Practice the script of your therapeutic school family-of-origin several times prior to sharing it with others (see specific chapters for scripts). Tape it, using either audio or video, and listen to your message. Share it with colleagues and ask for their feedback. Develop alternate scripts depending on the group to whom you are marketing.

Visioning and Affirming Your Status as a Businessperson

Create a mosaic of positive images and concepts in your mind to expand the vision and understanding of yourself as a businessperson; a successful civic-minded professional businessperson. The following discussion of terms is designed to help you build and envision a successful business in today's market:

Business. A popular definition is employment; occupation; profession; calling; vocation; means of livelihood; that which occupies the time, attention, and labor of men (women), for the purpose of profit or improvement. As a mental health practitioner in private practice, you are in business for both profit and improvement. As you improve the lives of women, men, and children as well as the institutions and communities you touch, you will improve your business outcomes by making a profit.

Altrupreneur. This word is a combination of altruism and entrepreneur. It emphasizes the two realities of private practice mental health professionals: They have chosen the vocation because they love working with and for others and their vocation is a business. Coined by Bernie Nagle and Perry Pascarella (1998), the word means "one who acts with conspicuous regard for the welfare of others" as a first priority and describes leaders who are able to maintain a balance between service and financial responsibility. Private practitioners must have this balance to nurture and promote their altruism and idealism, seasoned with business realities.

Systemic Practice. A basic premise of the ecological and biological world is that environments are connected and sustained within networks of systems and interdependent connectivities. Begin to envision your mental health practice as an entity among other entities of the business community where you work or hope to work and find success. The health and well-being of the community is related to the health and well-being of the businesspeople within it. At the same time, the system is not limited to the local community, particularly in the healthcare field. Due to managed care and the Internet, there is also a national and global system to which the mental health practitioner is related and is a part (whether or not proactively related).

Innovation. Innovative practitioners listen to and receive feedback from the marketplace, attend to the feedback, and design programs, products, and services that are relevant to the market. They attempt various approaches, design systems of accountability regarding the approaches, and let go of what isn't working to test new approaches. They allow death and renewal or extension of products and programs by becoming educated and certified in a particular area of expertise such as eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, or substance abuse. It may also mean reinventing one's niche market. To grow a business, mental health practitioners imaginatively and continually develop new services and products based on the community's needs and their own professional growth.

An innovative, creative way to develop your marketing plans and service/product design is to use mindmapping techniques. First developed by a teacher, Tony Buzan, to aid student note taking, he soon realized that his construct aided thinking abilities. A book that usefully describes the technique is Joyce Wycoff's (1991) Mindmapping: Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem Solving (see Recommended Reading). A software program called "Inspiration" is also available for developing mindmaps (see Resources).

Mindmapping is an important tool that can assist you in creatively developing your strategic plans. Most of the following chapters will make use of the mindmap to begin the strategic networking process to a particular professional group (for an example, see Figures 2.5 and 2.6).

Mindmapping is a creative way to begin brainstorming the constituencies you choose to network with. A mindmap draws on both the right and left sides of the brain and is nonlinear in its development. It is energizing and is an aid to marketing since it allows for movement between the larger picture and the smaller pieces of the plan. The mindmapping tool reduces the feelings of being overwhelmed by the tasks involved in marketing. We have yet to find a problem or issue that cannot be clarified with a mindmap. You can easily construct your own. Make use of color, shapes, forms, and lines to increase your creativity in developing your strategic networking plans.

The mindmap also is a great aid to creativity and organization. A basic outline to follow in developing your own mindmap follows. Put the name of the professional group in the center of the page and ask the following questions. (This is a brainstorming activity. Don't allow yourself to get hung up on editing your thoughts. Give yourself 5 to 10 minutes to do this.)

1. Who. Who are the groups, subgroups, contacts related to the pro-fessional group that I want to target?
2. What. What do I want to do in relation to them? What do I need to do based on their needs? What resources do I have available? What resources do I need? What is my budget for this project?
3. When. What is my schedule? How long will it take? (The Goal-Setting Worksheet, Figure 2.4, will help answer this question.)
4. Where? Where are resources located? Where is the location in which I want it to happen?
5. Why? Why do I want to network with this group? Why do I believe I have something to offer them? Why do I believe some of them will respond? Why is it important to me?
6. How? How will I measure this strategic networking project? How will I implement it? How will I communicate it? How will I know if it is successful?

By following the mindmapping process, it is possible to have a bare bones plan in 5 to 10 minutes. Play with it! It's fun!

Strategic Networking. Strategic networking recognizes that the wise use of financial resources means focusing your efforts on groups that make a nice fit with your values, mission, purpose, and success goals or can lead you to those individuals. Ivan R. Misner, founder, Business Network International, states: "Networking is a contact sport.... Contact with people is the best way to get referrals. You must develop relationships."

Enthusiasm. Mental health practitioners allow their vision for health and well-being to inspire the business side of the practice and can communicate well their reasons for being a business entity in the community. Such enthusiasm is contagious. Review your business mission statement. Practice presenting it prior to strategic networking opportunities. Include it in your brochures, letters, and programs. Allow your enthusiasm to support your business enterprises.

Diversification. Just as having a diversified portfolio in the investment world creates a greater degree of safety and protection for one's financial resources, having a diversified practice and diversified income sources increases the economic base of your practice and income. You need to make the decision about your involvement in the managed-care market as it relates to your income base. Spread referral strategies out among:

  • Managed care.
  • Self-referrals and self-pay.
  • Consultation.
  • Teaching.
  • Writing.
  • Workshop development.

Sustainability. Develop a sustainable marketing plan for your mental health business that covers 2 to 3 years. The market is changing so rapidly that is more useful to think in small increments of time than to develop 5-to 10-year plans. We suggest a simple design, which focuses your plan on the present as well as the future and maintains a dynamic process between the present and future. The adapted S-shaped sigmoid curve (Blanchard & Waghorn, 1997) depicted in Figure 1.3 is helpful in developing a sustainable market plan. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the sources/ streams of my income at this ?
  • What percentage of my practice and income comes from which market?
  • Is my business base adequate to meet my income needs?
  • What groups are lacking in my referral system?
  • What do I need to do to increase my income?
  • What do I need to do to expand my income base?

Figure 1.3 is a developmental process model that supports your strategic marketing plan and encourages the skillful use of resources as you plan the next stage of your business future. "A" is the symbolic observation point at the beginning of the process and indicates where a different plan is to be put into effect. This is where you step back and evaluate "what is happening now." For example, perhaps you have met the goal for Year 1 or have not received as many referrals in the past few months as in prior months. This may be the point where you choose to send out a mailing to your referral sources. It could be about a new product or service, a training program you have taken, or so on. It is important to maintain visibility with your networking groups and to continue nurturing relationships you have made even as you move to the next stage of development.

At Point A, you also initiate a new developmental stage within the process. You may decide to begin a networking plan with another group of professionals. Then you begin anew with your strategic plan, developing materials for outreach to the new group.

"B" marks where a transition downward has begun. "C" indicates that the end is near. Point C is too late. Your goal is to keep your momentum moving forward by being attentive to the feedback from your plan. This process model is organic and dynamic.

Participatory Partnership. Today's marketplace rewards collegiality, cooperatition (combination of cooperation and competition), teamwork, diversity, sharing of information, strategic alliances, and time-limited, task-oriented partnerships. Participatory partnerships develop these qualities as well as the systemic reality of all business enterprises. Form teams with your colleagues or across professional disciplines, and offer programs and services to the wider community as well as the professional communities. Organize a marketing support group with other mental health practitioners and/or a mixed professional group. Connect, network, and build relationships as you grow your practice and increase your visibility in the community.

Developmental Practice. Building a practice is a developmental process. Your confidence and competency as a therapist play a role in your presentation of self, the products and services you offer, your referral systems, and the growth of your income base. Continually allow for a learning curve, start where you are, develop integrity with yourself in relation to your professional development phase, and plan for practice development and growth focused on the interplay between the present and your projected future.

Empiricism. Seek feedback continuously about your practice from the inner and outer systems. Inner systems relate to developing office methods for tracking income and expenses, sources of referrals, community trends, professional trends, and so on. The system is alive, dynamic, and interactive. This is the information age; knowledge offers the potential for deriving practice income. Outer systems include being in touch via professional newsletters and publications, local newspapers, issues of current clients, and so on. Whereas 5 to 6 years ago there were numerous behavioral managed-care organizations, more recently there have been several mergers and now 12 companies enroll 66 percent or 118 million of the 149 million enrolled in specialty behavioral managed-care organizations. If you are not on any of the panels listed and wish to have national managed-care companies as a component of your referral system, these would be the companies to target. The top 12, as of January 1997 are (Open Minds, May 1997):

* Options and Value Behavioral Health, Inc., merged the summer of 1998 to become ValueOptions and are now the second largest healthcare company in the United States.

Referrals: Referrals are the lifeblood of your practice and your bank account. They require continual development. The following principles reflect the necessity of actively maintaining and tending to referral systems
(Polonsky, 1992, p. 8):

  • Referral sources are in constant flux; people leave, interpersonal conflicts develop, there may be downsizing, and so on.
  • Maintain name recognition. Referral sources need to be kept informed and to have consistent reminders of your services and products.
  • Develop a continuous marketing plan that includes mailing about new services/products, newsletters pertinent to their area of interest, thank-you notes and/or telephone acknowledgments for referrals.
  • A developed referral network will allow you to maintain professional and financial viability.
  • If an economic downturn occurs, having a consistent marketing plan will give you a better chance of surviving and thriving.
  • Marketing to referral systems is empowering and increases your sense of professional confidence and competency. Your mental health will be enhanced.
  • The marketplace is a competitive one and having the appropriate credentials is not enough for survival. The appropriate credentials along with a business sensibility will greatly enhance your ability to remain in business as a mental health professional.

Behavioral healthcare is local and personal. At the same time, each individual is an organic part of ever-larger systems. At the global level, the larger system includes everyone and every institution. This is the holistic perspective from which we consider the mental health businessperson. We believe that we are interdependent and connectively related; movement is multidimensional throughout system levels and, to some degree, affects all within the system. This premise underlies our encouragement of mental health practitioners to perceive themselves as civic-oriented business professionals sharing the community with others. They need to strategically network with organizations and professionals at the local, national, and global level. Out of this perspective grows a flourishing, exciting practice.

An American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists survey found that 31 percent of those surveyed don't own or use computers in their practice. The computer is rapidly becoming necessary for the mental health practitioner. The computer via the Internet allows communication with colleagues around the world, and provides resources for the latest research about mental health. Many clients are informed consumers, who make use of Internet healthcare resources.

As a healthcare participant in the information age, think of communication in local, national, and global terms. Your clients will bring questions and/or material to you they have downloaded from a web site or online support group. People can now gather information in ways that level the playing field between the professional/expert and the client. If you haven't already done so, explore developing a web site for your products and services.

Communication has become multidimensional to a degree never imagined by professionals of past generations. Throughout the book, on-line sites are mentioned that are pertinent to your networking and referral opportunities. Technological adequacy for the mental health practitioner now includes a computer with Internet access as well as the ubiquitous answering machines, telephone/paging systems, the traditional written marketing materials, newsletters, and so on.


While you are highly educated and skilled, you may feel like an amateur when it comes to affirming and integrating the business side of being a mental health private practitioner. The word "amateur" means, "to love" and reflects doing what one loves without possessing a learned background in the particular area. While you may never learn "to love" the marketing side of business, you may begin to like it once you start practicing the techniques in the following chapters and develop greater confidence in your business skills.



Genogram Software
The Computerized Genogram Company
780 Baconsfield Drive
Building 3, Suite 34
Macon, GA 31211
Telephone: (800) 634-8508 or (912) 743-2548

Inspiration Software Ceres Software, Inc.
P.O. Box 1629
Portland, Oregon 97207
(503) 245-9011


The Art of Business Web Site Promotion-- Free downloads, a free newsletter, and an area for learning about site promotion and search engines can be found at this site.

How to Announce Your Web Site-- This text-only compilation and discussion of ways to promote web sites includes links to books on the subject.

How to Publicize a Web Site over the Internet-- At this site, you'll find links to marketing sites plus a host of ideas for publicizing web sites at newsgroups, listservs, and search engines. html

The Internet Marketing Center-- Marketing, promotion, and advertising tips, strategies, and secrets can be found at this site.

Kinko's-- Free communication ideas from Kinko's. Marketing Manager's Plain English Glossary-- Here you'll find an explanation of web marketing phrases.

Marketing Topics-- This collection of papers discusses the Internet and its impact on marketing.

Mental Health Newsletter-- Excellent resource and lists current hot mental health web sites. To sign up to receive free newsletter, send an e-mail to:

Northern Web Search Engine Tutorial-- Designers can learn to build web pages that get noticed by the search engines.

Office Depot-- To download many resources for the small office. First click on "Office Solutions";then click on "Home Office Toolkit." Also, click on and check out their "Small Business Handbook."

Promotion World-- This site features an intriguing compendium of marketing tips, emphasizing free or cheap strategies. It also has "expert interviews" with marketing pros covering specific topics.

The Postmaster-- This is one of many sites that will, for a fee, submit your site's data to search engines, directories, and other sites that offer What's New and What's Cool areas.

Ultimate Exposure-- This site has a free web search engine/directory promotion page with links to other popular web locations where you can submit your site.

Organizations/Groups That Assist Small Businesses

The Atlantic Group Business Intermediaries
475 Hillside Avenue
Needham, MA 02494
Jim Kendall, Managing Director
(781) 444-0400
Offers small business consulting, businessbrokerage, and helps people start up businesses.

Flying Leap Productions
P.O. Box 23100
New Orleans, LA 70183
(504) 737-0089
(800) 449-3909 (call this number to receive a small magazine with materials about starting and growing a business.)
Produces the PBS program "Small Business 2000." Their web site offers much free information and resources pertinent to small business owners.

National Association for the Self-Employed
c/ o 2121 Precinct Line Road
Hurst, Texas 76054
Member Services: (800) 232-6273

Small Business Administration (look up in the government pages of your local telephone directory).
10 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02222-1093
(617) 565-5590

Networking Groups
contact to see if there are networking groups in your area and/or how to begin one.

Business Network International
199 South Monte Vista, Suite 6
San Dimas, CA 91773-3080
(800) 825-8286
(909) 305-1818

Le Tip International 4901 Morena Boulevard, Suite 703
San Diego, CA 92117
(800) 25 LE TIP

ProfNet Inc.
702 East 25th Street
Erie, PA 16503
(800) 214-1999


Business Spirit Journal
The Message Company
4 Camino Azul
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 474-7604
Fax: (505) 471-2584

Computer Currents
Computer Currents Publishing
1250 Ninth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(800) 365-7773
Fax: (510) 527-4106

The Inner Edge
101 Columbia
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
(800) 899-1712

InService: Continuing Education Opportunities for Counseling and Therapy Professionals
Publishing Services LLC
16659 East Hialeah Avenue
Aurora, CO 80015
(888) 690-5214
Fax: (303) 690-0093

Kettering Review
Charles F. Kettering Foundation
200 Commons Road
Dayton, OH 45459-2799
(513) 434-7300

Leadership in Action
Center for Creative Leadership
One Leadership Place
P.O. Box 26300
Greensboro, NC 27438-6300
(336) 286-4404
Fax: (336) 286-4434

New England BOOMING
P.O. Box 1200
Boston, MA 02130-0010
(617) 522-1515

Open Minds: The Behavioral Health Industry Analyst
10 York Street
Suite 200
Gettysburg, PA 17325-2301
(717) 334-1329
Fax: (717) 334-0538

Practice Innovations: Your Healthcare Network & Management Services Newsletter
c/o The Practice Sentry, LLC
83 Cambridge Street
Suite 2-D
Burlington, MA 01803
(781) 221-3180
Fax: (781) 221-3183

Practice Strategies, A Business Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Providers.
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
1133 Fifteenth Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005-2710
(202) 452-0109
Fax: (202) 223-2329

Self-Employed America
National Association for the Self-Employed
c/o 2121 Precinct Line Road
Hurst, TX 76054
Member services: 800-232-6273

What's Working in Psychotherapy Practice Building
Practice Builder Association
18351 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92612-1011
(714) 253-7900

Recommended Reading

Belenky, M. F., Clinch, B. M., Goldberger, N. R., & Tarule, M. M. (1986). Women's ways of knowing-- The development of self, voice, and mind (Vol. 1). New York: Basic Books.

Bender, T. (1994, Winter). "The cultures of intellectual life." Kettering Review 46- 52. Dayton, OH: Charles F. Kettering Foundation.

Berry, J. (Ed.). (1998, June/ July). Fusion leadership: Unlocking the subtle forces that change people and organizations. Business Spirit Journal: The Journal of Spirit at Work in Business, 7, 7.

Blanchard, K., & Waghorn, T. (1997). Mission possible: Becoming a world-class organization while there's still time. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Bolles, R. (1996, March 1). Richard Bolles's secrets of finding a new job ... a great new job. Bottom Line Personal, 9-10.

Boortstin, D. J. (1994, Winter). Democracy's secret virtue. Kettering Review, 16-20.

Boyte, H. C. (1994, Winter). Reinventing citizenship. Kettering Review, 78-87.

Bygrave, W. D. (1997). The portable MBA in entrepreneurship (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.

Campbell, D. P. (1998). Down-to-earth life and leadership. Leadership in Action, 18( 1) 14- 15.

Cury, J. O. (1998, July). How to market your web site. Boston Computer Currents, 18-38.

Drucker, P. F. (1979). Adventures of a bystander. New York: Harper & Row.

Ferguson, T. (1997, November- December). Health care in cyberspace: Patients lead a revolution. The Futurist, 29-33.

Heim, P. (1993). Hardball for women: Winning at the game of business. New York: Penguin Books.

Hirsh, S. K., & Kummerow, J. M. (1987). Introduction to type in organizational settings. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Hopkins, M. (1998, August/ September). In a "Healthy City," no one is superfluous. The Inner Edge, 1.

Jones, M. (1968). Beyond the therapeutic community, social learning and social psychiatry. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Kamoroff, B. B. (1997). Small-time operator: How to start your own small business, keep your books, pay your taxes and stay out of trouble! (22nd ed.). South Bend, IN: And Books.

Keirsey, D., & Bates, M. (1984). Please understand me: Character and temperament types. Del Mar, CA: Gnosology Books.

Klein, H. L. (Ed.). (1997, August). Assessing the value of practice Websites: What works and what doesn't. Managed Care Strategies, 5( 8), 6.

Landsbaum, M. (1998, July/ August). Power networking: Boost your word-of-mouth advertising through referral organizations. Self-Employed America, 6-7.

Lawless, L. L. (1997). Therapy, Inc. New York: Wiley.

Lipman-Blumen, J. (1996). The connective edge: Leading in an interdependent world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McGoldrick, M., & Gerson, R. (1985). Genograms in family assessment. New York: Norton.

Morrison, R. M., & Stamps, R. F. (1988). DSM-IV Internet companion: A complete guide to over 1500 web sites offering information on mental illness, keyed to DSM-IV. New York: Norton.

Myers, I. B., & McCaulley, M. H. (1985). Manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Appendix D). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press.

Oss, M. E. (Ed.). (1997, May). Questions healthcare marketers need to answer: Listening to the voice of the market. Open Minds: The Behavioral Health Industry Analyst, 11( 5), 10.

Pascarella, P. (1998, June/ July). Building corporate castles in the air. The Inner Edge, 5-8.

Pascarella, P., & Nagle, B. A. (1998). Leveraging people and profit: The hard work of soft management. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Palus, C. J., & Horth, D. M. (1998). Leading creatively. Leadership in Action, 18( 2), 1-7.

Perry, P. M. (1998, January/ February). Can newsletters make a sale? Yes, with these six techniques that motivate customers to read and buy. Self Employed America, 8-9.

Pilisuk, M., & Parks, S. H. (1986). The healing web: Social networks and human survival. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Polonsky, I. (Ed.). (1992). Managed care organizations, EAPs and PPOs Massachusetts 1992. Oakland, CA: Professional Health Plan.

Polonsky, I. (1997, May). 19 percent increase in managed behavioral health enrollment. Open Minds: The Behavioral Health Industry Analyst, 12.

Radant, C. (1998, August). The new look for small business owners. New England BOOMING, 23.

Ronan, G. B. (1998, Spring). Profiles in productivity: Are you managing your practice or is it managing you? How successful therapists get down to business. InService: Continuing Education Opportunities for Counseling and Therapy Professionals, 4-5, 11.

Schaef, A. W., & Fassel, D. (1988). The addictive organization. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Schön, D. A. (1994, Winter). The crisis of confidence in professional knowledge. Kettering Review, 21-28.

Scott, C. D., Jaffe, D., & Tobe, G. (1993). Organizational vision, values and mission. Menlo Park, CA: Crisp.

Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Double Currency.

Sexton, D. L., & Smilor, R. W. (Eds.). (1997). Entrepreneurship 2000. Chicago: Upstart.

Sinetar, M. (1996). To build the life you want, create the work you love: The spiritual dimension of entrepreneuring. New York: Saint Martin's Press.

Steenbarger, B. N. (1997). What the workforce numbers mean to you. Syracuse, NY: SUNY Health Science Center.

Treadgold, R. (1997, September/ October). Zen and the art of self-promotion. The California Therapist, 65-66.

Tuttle, G. M. (Ed.). (1997, December). Practice strategies: A business guide for behavioral healthcare providers. Practice Strategies, 3( 12), 1-12.

Wallace, D. (1997, Fall). Tapping the potential of partnerships. Update, 8-9.

Wycoff, J. (1991). Mindmapping: Your personal guide to exploring creativity and problem-solving. New York: Berkley Books.

Wylie, M. S. (1998, January/ February). Breaking free. Family Therapy Networker, 25-33.

Zobel, J. (1998). Minding her own business: The self-employed woman's guide to taxes and recordkeeping. Oakland, CA: Easthill Press.

Zuckerman, E. (1991). The paper office: Forms guidelines and resources (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Table of Contents

Building Blocks for Success.

Strategic Niche Marketing.

Strategies for Getting Referrals from Physicians.

Strategies for Getting Referrals from Attorneys.

Strategies for Getting Referrals from Religious Leaders.

Strategic Marketing with Educators and the EducationalCommunity.

Strategic Marketing to Managed Care Organizations.

Strategies for Marketing to Mental Health and ComplementaryHealthcare Professionals.

The Community Connection.


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