Brittany [00:00:02] I’m going to tell them during the consultation calls or whatever, like, my fee is 150. And leave it at that.
Linzy [00:00:13] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today on the podcast, we have a coaching episode with Brittany. Brittany is a student of Money Skills. She’s about halfway through the course lessons and she is the owner and therapist behind Reflect to Grow Counseling. She loves to help her clients organize their thoughts, develop strategies to accomplish their goals, and she’s currently taking a postgrad class for fertility counseling with the intention of specializing in that field. And we do get into that in this episode. She has lots of experience working with people struggling with anxiety, LGBTQIA+ exploration, and perfectionism. And today in our conversation, Brittany and I got into a topic that I think so many therapists can relate to, which is feeling guilt at her fee. So Brittany and I talk about how she feels guilt charging her full fee, which is she’s aiming to charge a fee of 150 and all the obstacles that come up to that. And Brittany has identified that she needs to have at least half of her caseload on out of pocket at 150. She’s able to keep the other half at insurance and sliding scale, which is important to her. But is finding it’s very difficult to actually command that fee and and set that fee with people. And so we get today into some of the money stories underneath, that are some pieces about, you know, valuing our work. And if you’re a therapist who struggles to charge a fee or has struggled, there’s lots in this episode today, we kind of take a few different paths over the course of the episode. As the conversation unfolds, we end up in a nice, practical place. Here is my coaching episode with Brittany. So, Brittany, welcome to the podcast.
Brittany [00:02:29] Thank you. It’s great to be here.
Linzy [00:02:31] Yeah, it’s great to have you here. So you Brittany, you’ve worked kind of through like half way of Money Skills at this point, is that- just to give folks a sense of where you’re at?
Brittany [00:02:40] Yes, I’m still working my way through.
Linzy [00:02:43] Yes. Okay. So you’ve got some like you’ve done some kind of mindset work already, a little bit with the course, but you’re still building out systems and stuff like that.
Brittany [00:02:52] Yes, exactly.
Linzy [00:02:54] Okay. So for our time together today, Brittany, what did you want to get support on?
Brittany [00:03:01] I would like to talk some more about the idea of charging full private pay fees and the guilt that I feel around that. And I know that’s a big topic in private practice industry these days. I see it a lot.
Linzy [00:03:20] Oh, yes.
Brittany [00:03:20] But it doesn’t do anything- I still feel immense guilt. So I kind of wanted to kind of explore that with you a little bit and see it ways to overcome it.
Linzy [00:03:29] Okay. Okay. So to give me and the folks listening a sense like what is your full fee that you’re trying to charge.
Brittany [00:03:36] 150 for 45 minutes sessions.
Linzy [00:03:39] 150 for 45 minutes. Okay. And where are you at in terms of what most folks are paying?
Brittany [00:03:45] So I take insurance. So it’s a majority of my caseload is insurance pays. And then I do have a few who are sliding scale for different reasons. And I have very few. Like the vast majority minority of my caseload is full fee.
Linzy [00:04:07] Yeah. And with this, like, I’m curious about your vision and where you want to go. What do you want? Your kind of composition of your caseload to eventually look like when it comes to this stuff?
Brittany [00:04:18] Oh, I would love to have over half my caseload be private pay full fee. And then the other less than half be insurance based plus sliding scale.
Linzy [00:04:34] Okay. Okay. So you’re aiming for half private pay at that 150, and then the other half will still be insurance sliding scale.
Brittany [00:04:42] Yeah, because I was doing the math and I would be in a much better place if that was the situation.
Linzy [00:04:47] Right. Okay. Okay, great. And I love to hear the phrase, “I was doing the math”. That’s good. So, I mean, do you have a grounding, right? Like you understand what these numbers will actually mean for you? And this is the target you’re setting for yourself, which is great. Right. Okay. So tell me then about the guilt at the thought of charging your full fee. What is that like?
Brittany [00:05:06] Okay, so I come from a more, let’s say, modest financial background. Growing up, I was very fortunate in the sense that therapy was always encouraged in my household and was just seen as a reality. So that is very, very fortunate. But at the same time, it was always insurance, like the idea of paying a mental health professional. Their full price is for the rich and for people with disposable income. And all of that kind of stuff was like it was never even a notion for things. I’ve heard about therapy kind of growing up and even in like early adulthood. So that’s kind of where I come from with all of it, where it’s like insurance covers mental health for a reason. And all of that kind of stuff.
Linzy [00:06:00] Yeah. Okay. Okay. So, I mean, first of all, it’s nice to hear you grew up in a pro therapy environment. That’s cool. But the idea is like, yeah, therapy is is should be covered by insurance. And let’s dig a little bit more into those stories about paying full fee for insurance. You said it’s for the rich. Tell me more about it.
Brittany [00:06:18] Which I don’t believe currently, but I was kind of like.
Linzy [00:06:20] Okay, but this is the story.
Brittany [00:06:21] Yeah, yeah. That was kind of the message I would get because, you know, you would watch TV and it would be like the rich, the rich person paying for the fancy schmancy psychiatrist and the office kind of thing. And people I knew who would go to therapists, it would always be at a nonprofit clinic or something like that. I really didn’t become familiar with private pay therapists till I got into private practice myself.
Linzy [00:06:49] Right. Okay. Okay. Yes. So you you said there that this isn’t quite what you believe now. Like you don’t believe now that therapy is for like that private pay is for the rich?
Brittany [00:06:59] Absolutely.
Linzy [00:07:00] What do you believe now about private pay therapy?
Brittany [00:07:03] I believe that it’s an investment.
Linzy [00:07:05] Right? Okay. Yeah. So I’m hearing you have some positive beliefs about what private therapy can do. An investment means that there’s, like, value there. Right. There’s something that comes out of it. So tell me then, when you are going to thinking about moving to this space of charging full fee to half of your caseload or what comes up.
Brittany [00:07:26] Because then. So it’s one of those things where looking at a big picture, just looking at the numbers, it sounds beautiful and it’s all perfect. And yes, it’s an investment and all that stuff. But then you look at the individual stories, and that’s where I get stuck. Because people are struggling out there. It’s a hard world out there. And even when I’ve had discussions with some sliding scale folks, it’s it’s been difficult conversations. It’s like some of my sliding scale folks are people whose insurance I did take initially. And then the insurance got changed for whatever reason and then they didn’t. Like, there are so many different stories out there. So I get stuck with the individual. I even find- even for when someone does have to go private pay, I’ll find myself volunteering a sliding scale. I mean, like, but where you don’t have to be the full 150 like whole job because I feel terrible myself. But yeah, I mean, let’s go from a $10 co-pay to now a 150.
Linzy [00:08:28] Right. So you’re not even giving them the chance to express how they feel or to react or to even agree. You’re jumping in there and saying, but obviously you can’t afford that. That’s the message, right? Like.
Brittany [00:08:40] But obviously, that’s insane. So. Yeah.
Linzy [00:08:43] Right, right, right, right. Okay. Okay. And I am curious, like, where are the folks that are working for who are paying full fee? And I know it’s a very small number. What is that like for you and for them to be paying full fee? What do you notice?
Brittany [00:08:57] Yeah, so actually initially for them too, I started doing a new system where my sliding scale fee is temporary and it and it last three months and then every three months we reassess.
Linzy [00:09:08] Yes, yes, yes.
Brittany [00:09:10] So I’ve noticed that typically everyone starts out with sliding scale because it’s just my system. It’s in my own- it’s amazing. I’ve noticed, even when starting off with sliding scale, like the clients who do pay full fee were okay with paying full fee, right? Like, yeah, that’s your fee. Yeah. And I even had one person say, like, it’s worth it to me. Yes. And I was like, Oh, like, that took me a back.
Linzy [00:09:42] Right. Right. And can you take that in, like hearing one of your clients, like, not a hypothetical person, but like someone you really work with saying to you, it’s worth it?
Brittany [00:09:54] It’s my initial response that even is like, That’s not true. That can’t be. It just me talking, which I think is a problem.
Linzy [00:10:01] Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Right. So what is your perception then, of the value of your work?
Brittany [00:10:06] I have a very difficult time believing that sessions with me are worth over $100, even though they’re- like most of my clients are long term clients. I haven’t had openings in my caseload for months at this point, and even then I still have people emailing me, asking for openings. So like I have proof that people come back for one reason or another. But I still have a very difficult time believing that like I’m doing something good here and that I’m doing something valuable here. And that’s a me thing, and I recognize that. But all the same, it still affects my business.
Linzy [00:10:42] Well, of course it’s a you thing. That’s why we’re here, right? We’re working on like, these deep stories that because this is really shaping how your practice looks at in turn, it’s shaping how your financial life looks. You know, you’re telling me if you can get to the point where half your caseload is at full fee and we’re not even talking about like your whole caseload and we’re not talking about a premium fee or all of these kind of other things, you know, we’re talking about half your caseload being full fee would dramatically change your financial picture. Right. But what’s in the way here is, by the sounds of it, you really owning the value of what you do.
Brittany [00:11:16] Absolutely. And I’m also at a point to where I hope and plan to hire a therapist to work under me. But I really need to work through my own stuff first before I could be a leader for others.
Linzy [00:11:29] Yes. Yeah. If you want to be able to model somebody owning the value of their work and it’s very wise, I’m glad to hear you say that you want to do this work before you start mentoring, you know, somebody else in such a close way. So with this, then I’m curious. And you know, we’re going to be really vague here because we don’t want to give to anything that could be identifying, obviously. Yes. But I’m curious, like, can you think about a moment where you really felt the impact of the work that you were doing with someone like one of those like, magical sessions? Can you think of any of those, like magical sessions where you’re just like, sometimes I know from for me, when I was practicing therapy, there was sometimes be an eye outside of myself being like, Whoa, this is like, profound. Yeah, the part that’s watching the work. Do you have any kind of memories like that that you can connect with?
Brittany [00:12:16] It’s very hard to think of, like on the spot. Yeah, but I get those moments a lot where I’ll just be like, Where the hell did that come from? Right? A moment.
Linzy [00:12:27] So, yes, when you say, Where the hell did that come from, do you mean something that you’ve done or said?
Brittany [00:12:32] That has been something that I said that I would never say to myself with my own problem. Right. Of course. It’s like magically came out of my mouth.
Linzy [00:12:38] You’re like, Oh, she’s good, right? And so those moments then, like, if we can connect to one of them for you, like what is the emotion that goes with those moments that I’m hearing happen?
Brittany [00:12:51] Often it feels like elation, like I’m so proud of myself in that moment of like, Oh my God, I did choose the right career path and I am doing what I’m supposed to do, but it doesn’t last long. The feeling. But like it’s there temporarily.
Linzy [00:13:05] Yeah. Yeah. So that elation – and if we can just stay with that elation for a minute, you know, like what’s happening in your body when you are elated.
Brittany [00:13:13] It’s like the opposite of the dread you feel and stomach. It’s like instead of, like, the heavy feeling in the stomach, it’s like a little lightness in the stomach. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s kind of just like an absolutely just like, lightness that just feels feels wonderful.
Linzy [00:13:27] Yeah.
Brittany [00:13:28] I never realized that before. Thank you for asking it. Yeah.
Linzy [00:13:32] So, you know, with that lightness, you know, that elation that like, well, I’m like, I’m in the right place. I’m doing the right work. From that place. Brittany, how much would you say a session with you is worth?
Brittany [00:13:47] Guess at least 100.
Linzy [00:13:49] So you dropped right away. Your energy was totally changed. What just happened?
Brittany [00:13:54] I don’t know. I think a lot of it, I think, has to do with the whole notion of, like, helping people and, like, the whole notion of like, I heard recently from – I don’t know where – the concept of like pink collar, instead of blue collar, where pink collar like women aren’t. Yeah, I yeah, there are so many new terms coming out that start with.
Linzy [00:14:15] Yeah.
Brittany [00:14:16] But that’s when I heard was like teaching and helping professions and counseling was like, well, we should be helping if we have that demeanor and especially for females and whatnot. And I’m always stuck with like, well, of course I should be helping people if I have that skill. But then it’s like, but why shouldn’t I be able to make a good living off of it and like own a house one day, kind of live off of it. Right.
Linzy [00:14:42] Yeah. And it’s a good question. Why shouldn’t you be able to make a good living and buy a house one day off of this? I would dare to say this gift that you have on top of all the training that you do, right. Because I will say, like, the work that we do, Brittany, it’s like there’s lots of training that goes into it. We spend lots of money to get here, you know, there’s all the little things then we’ve also made. But I will say, I do think that the best therapists have a natural gift that others couldn’t learn, right? It’s like if you have that that attunement and that natural empathy and just that like immense intuition, I think most people come into the work because they have that and it’s not something that somebody else could learn in school right now.
Brittany [00:15:24] I mean, it’s true.
Linzy [00:15:24] Yeah. You know, so, so thinking about all of that together, like, why shouldn’t you be able to make a good living off of the work you do?
Brittany [00:15:33] I guess there is no reason ultimately.
Linzy [00:15:36] Well, is there a reason inside? There’s some sort of objection here internally. And I know logically it might not make sense, but I’m wondering, like, what is maybe the illogical objection inside that makes it hard to even say that you should be getting paid $100 for this, like life changing work.
Brittany [00:15:53] Because then I keep thinking, I don’t know, like the economy is so rough out there, the world is freaking hard out there. And so then I keep thinking of like, Wow, what about people who can’t afford it? But then again, like I do offer a sliding scale for people who can’t afford it. I’m not taking that away completely. I’m just talking about for people who can’t afford it. And there are people who could afford it.
Linzy [00:16:17] Yeah. And you know, something that I think about too, Brittany and I’ve noticed in some clinicians there’s like less flexibility around this than I certainly used to have when I was practicing, is you can set your price and your clients can determine what they can afford, which could also look like a weekly client goes down to biweekly. Or like I remember I had this client who did not make very much money and they worked, you know, like as a kind of educational assistant role. And that’s an underpaid role. Pink collar. If we want to have a pink collar, that’s another one. And they had been doing therapy for a long time, but knew that they needed like EMDR processing. And I believe my fee at that time would have been 150. Same fee you’re talking about. And so they would come once a month for therapy. That’s what was in their budget. But when they came that once a month, they worked so frickin hard and they came ready being like, okay, this is what I know. It’s the month, this is what I want to work on. I want to keep doing this work that we did or I want to pick up on this new thing that came up, or I need to talk about this experience that’s happening. And they worked so hard and used that time with such intention and empowerment that in some ways it was like in that one session we would get done what someone else might get done in a whole month because they really owned the work? I wasn’t holding the responsibility for the work. They were responsible for the work and like they knew my skill set and what there was to do. But it was like this real like shared ownership of I was bringing my best to the table, but they were also bringing their best to the table, right, in this shared project that we had of like healing from trauma. And I’m curious like, how does that kind of idea sit with you that your clients can also like step up and take responsibility and solve problems when you set your boundary around what you’re able to? We’re able to charge, and I’m saying in your case, what you’re able to because I know that you’re talking about just getting to like a reasonable standard of living, right? Like we’re not talking at this point – and that could be a whole other conversation – we’re not talking about like luxury and travel and expansiveness or any of those kinds of things. Like we’re talking about being able to buy a house one day.
Brittany [00:18:21] Yeah.
Linzy [00:18:22] Okay. So if that’s a boundary for you, I’m curious, what do you think about the idea that your clients could rise to meet that boundary?
Brittany [00:18:29] Yeah. That does make sense. I think it’s going to be one of those things where it’s going to be really difficult in the moment. I think it will be easier to try with new clients in the future that I get, to kind of just start like off the board like this. This is the-.
Linzy [00:18:46] Like starting off on the right foot. Yeah. Mm hmm.
Brittany [00:18:49] Yes.
Linzy [00:18:50] Mm hmm.
Brittany [00:18:51] With current clients, I really just don’t feel so comfortable with most of them doing that. And also, I’m not so sure that that’s a bad thing. Like, right now, I’m at the lowest. The amount of sliding scale clients I have right now is the lowest it’s been since I started my private practice. And I foresee that going further down, depending on whether insurance situations change and whatnot. So my thought process as of now is kind of having my sliding scale list closed. Right. Like, no more, no more spots.
Linzy [00:19:25] No more sliding scale. Yeah.
Brittany [00:19:26] Which is true, because I literally don’t have any more spots left in my client list. And then just insurance clients I get. I have a lot of struggle with insurance clients who then change to an insurance they don’t take. But that’s a different thing to kind of be even in that situation. Like this is my new fee and I could help you find a therapist who does take your new insurance if that’s an issue. Which which will- is so hard to do.
Linzy [00:19:51] But yeah. And what is hard about that.
Brittany [00:19:54] Is that my clients, I don’t know, I feel like I work with people long term and I feel like I know them as well as one could know another person for the most part. And I enjoy- I genuinely enjoy working with my people. So that’s always hard when it’s like, well, let’s talk about maybe switching to a different therapist, but I think I’m going to try that in the future for those kinds of for those kinds of situations.
Linzy [00:20:19] Yeah. You know, with that Brittany, I wonder to kind of turn over that coin and look at the other side. What can be good about somebody starting to work with a new therapist?
Brittany [00:20:30] Oh, there are a lot of positives about it, but a lot of times too, it’s that the client is is hesitant to do that for whatever reason.
Linzy [00:20:38] Yeah, they’re meeting somebody new. Stranger danger. Starting over.
Brittany [00:20:41] Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, it’s not something I’ve really done in the past, but I’m open to trying. Going forward.
Linzy [00:20:48] You know, it makes me wonder, then, in terms of beliefs, too, do you believe that other people can be as helpful to your clients as you can?
Brittany [00:20:55] Oh, totally. Completely. Even better.
Linzy [00:20:58] Okay. So that’s also something to, I think, connect with, you know, when these kinds of scenarios come up of like, you don’t take their insurance anymore, you’re not going be putting them on your sliding scale. And so it’s going to be a discussion of this is my fee or I’m happy to help you find someone else, is remembering there might be someone else who has a totally different angle than you get into something that is just not territory that you’re interested in or would have naturally taken them. The good things that can come from folks seeing multiple therapists over time.
Brittany [00:21:26] Right. Yeah, that’s a good point. I could bring that up with with clients. A lot of times clients are just, like, hesitant to change.
Linzy [00:21:34] Yeah.
Brittany [00:21:35] Yeah.
Linzy [00:21:36] Yeah. And, you know, I’ve closed my practice a couple of times. I closed my practice when I went on my maternity leave. And then I, like, closed my practice more full stop when I came back and was seeing a handful of clients. And I remember one of my clients saying to me, like, you know, that her family member said, like, well, maybe you’ll find someone even better. And she was like, I don’t know if I can. And I said, You might. Like, you’re going to find someone different. Right? And like, there’s always going to be therapists out there who work differently than we work and like, yeah, open like a new chapter in that person’s healing. But again, it’s just not work we would have done with them. And so that is something that I certainly talk to my clients about with closing things down is, you know, there’s going to be things that you and I have missed working on for years because I have a blind spot. Right. Or like you haven’t felt comfortable telling me or whatever. Right. Or it’s not a type of work that I do, that someone else is going to be able to get into with you. So the opportunities that come when somebody switches to a new therapist are also I find helpful for having those conversations. Obviously, not to dismiss the grief and all of those things that also. But of course.
Brittany [00:22:35] Yeah, but that makes sense though. Like I think-
Linzy [00:22:38] With endings come new beginnings. So coming back then to your work, like I’m hearing a decision to not add more folks to your sliding scale, your sliding scale is full. But also we started this conversation by talking about how you want to get to the point of getting to half your caseload being full fee. So let’s talk about that, what that road can look like for you. How do you actually want to start to make the changes to get to that place in your practice?
Brittany [00:23:04] That’s where I get stuck because I have all these grand ideas. But actually like getting there is a whole thing in itself ultimately right now. I mean, my caseload is closed. I anticipate probably reopening it in like a couple of months or so based on just like for summaries and closures and all that. I’m working on improving my marketing to get clients who aren’t looking specifically for insurance based therapy. I’m I’m actually on a postgrad course now trying to work toward a specialty. So I need to kind of up my marketing around that specialty. So I’m working on a specialization in infertility and loss, perinatal mental health, maternal mental health, maternal mental health. That whole realm.
Linzy [00:23:53] Yes.
Brittany [00:23:54] Yes, yes. Specializing in infertility and loss. So I’m in a postgrad course for that now. And for that I feel like that is worth more like a more premium fee. So that is something that’s a specific specialization that I would like to be studying.
Linzy [00:24:09] Yes, absolutely.
Brittany [00:24:11] I need to work on really improving my marketing to reflect that specialization because I am like at it. I’ve done like a maybe a handful of people in the population.
Linzy [00:24:21] Yeah, they can’t find you yet.
Brittany [00:24:23] Oh, they’re not. Yes. Okay. Yeah.
Linzy [00:24:25] So attracting those folks in and owning this is a specialization. And I will say as someone who has sought those services before, they’re very hard to find and it’s hard to find someone good. And so folks who are looking for you and who find you and you both do the work that they do and it feels like a personal fit are going to highly value what you do, right? It’s such it’s such a specialized niche. So I would say that you’re kind of on the horizon is like you’re going to have this specialty, you’re going to be marketing towards those folks. What about, I guess, what is the timeline on that, Brittany?
Brittany [00:24:54] So my course will be ending in May. And I mean, it’s more of an ongoing thing where something I’m just continually educating myself. Yes, but I feel like I’ll have the confidence to say, like, I studied this in a postgraduate course.
Linzy [00:25:07] You’ll be ready. Ta-da. Yes. Okay.
Brittany [00:25:10] After May, I’ll be like, magically, like.
Linzy [00:25:12] Roll out the carpet.
Brittany [00:25:13] Yes, Yes.
Linzy [00:25:14] Okay. And that’s not very long from now. So that actually sounds like I was thinking you were talking something like kind of far off. But no, that’s actually in the next. It’s in a month in a bit. So with that in mind, then. What I’d like you to think about is what is your goal to get to that half of your caseload being full fee and then reverse engineering? Here’s what the steps I’m going to take, because what I- what I’m feeling in you as we’re talking is I am feeling this like, yeah, that’s good. Kind of like I’m not I’m not feeling action yet. Right. I’m still kind of feeling a contemplation energy from you. Is that accurate?
Brittany [00:25:50] Accurate. Yes, totally. Well, you’re on that. You’re you’re on point.
Linzy [00:25:53] Yeah. Okay. So I’m curious then, like, what do you think you need to get you connected- keep you connected to the value of the work that you’re doing, that kind of like elation and also owning this new niche. How do you actually take these things so they help you make the changes you want to make to get your practice to where you need it to be financially?
Brittany [00:26:15] I think kind of thing that comes to mind is that I’m going to need to change my referral source completely because all of my referral sources are insurance based or all of them are like, the first question is like, whatever. They’re very intertwined with insurance. So that’s kind of like if you see the kind of like contemplation on my face, which like I could kind of feel it’s between us like, well, how on earth do I find how on earth do I find new clients then? But that’s something that comes with more experience, more marketing that that realm of things.
Linzy [00:26:50] Yes. And that networking piece, I mean, I, I really like humans, so I get really excited about networking because I’m like, oh, to meet new people. But it makes me think about, you know, who in your community is interfacing with those folks that you want to be serving that you can grab a tea with, take out for lunch, you know, like connect with this, start to build those referral sources, right. Like other folks who are supporting one of them, fertility naturopaths, like fertility clinics themselves. I know like I went through IVF with my son and since then, and so I know my clinic actually had a therapist that they was associated with the clinic who didn’t work for them but who they made referrals to. And she-
Brittany [00:27:34] Oh wow.
Linzy [00:27:34] -Was not good.
Brittany [00:27:35] Oh.
Linzy [00:27:36] So it’s like it makes you think about all the folks who would have, like, seen her like I did for one session. I was like, Well, that was an experience. I never went back. If you could be associated with a fertility clinic, as just- if you’re like, Hey, if you have folks who are like, you know, walking this road and having a hard time, send them to me. They they have literally hundreds of clients going through that process like every week, you know? So it’s like my brain goes to like all these places, you know, that I’ve been and that women that I know who have, you know, walked this road have been that with women. Women would be so excited to get your name and know about your services.
Brittany [00:28:14] Yeah. And I even spoke with an acupuncturist recently who does infertility acupuncture, and she doesn’t take insurance and she’s like, Oh, I have tons of clients. You’re right. So I think just more networking.
Linzy [00:28:23] Those are the people to talk to. Yes, right. And so, yeah, it is, you know, in a sense, Brittany, like what you’re talking about is rebranding your practice. Right? And when I say that, I don’t mean that you have to do like a fancy, beautiful, multi-thousand dollar website overhaul or anything like that. But like, you are changing your what you’re doing, right, and you’re going to have to change in that, how you talk about what you’re doing, who you’re connecting with, and like, to me it sounds like that work needs to be done because I also- but here’s the thing. Mm hmm. How do we make sure that when those women come to you, that you you offer them your full fee?
Brittany [00:28:58] Yeah.
Linzy [00:28:59] That you don’t talk yourself down, right? How can you commit to making sure that your full fee is actually what those women hear about? And you don’t take away the opportunity for them to pay you that?
Brittany [00:29:11] That’s something I don’t have an answer for. I’m going to try my best to stay strong on that and keep a picture of the overall goal.
Linzy [00:29:21] Yes. Part of this, Brittany, I think, is like, this is a fake it till you make it piece. Right. We need to give them the chance to show you that they value what you do. And so there’s just a behavioral piece here where I wonder what would happen is when a new woman calls you and she says, Hey, my acupuncturist told me about you. I’d really like to see you. You just say, Yeah, I would love to work with you. My fee is 150 an hour. Stop talking. Can you imagine yourself being able to do that?
Brittany [00:29:47] Yeah. Yeah, I can.
Linzy [00:29:50] Because when we stop talking, we give them a chance to actually respond, and most of the time they’re going to take a half a breath and say, okay, that sounds good. When are you available? We let them be in charge of the conversation, like, we like, we give them empowerment in that way, right? Rather than us deciding what they can afford to pay.
Brittany [00:30:08] Right.
Linzy [00:30:09] Right. Well, what do you notice in your body thinking about just doing that when when people start to call you because you’re going to make some great connections. Yeah. And just stating your fee and just ending the sentence there.
Brittany [00:30:19] It’s totally against my nature because I just tend to try to fill up the silence, which is a clinical thing that I’m trying to work on anyway. But at the same time, like it makes sense that that’s a really solid idea, a really solid plan of action to just kind of shut myself up.
Linzy [00:30:40] To stop talking.
Brittany [00:30:41] Yeah.
Linzy [00:30:42] Yeah, yeah. And then with that too, you know, you can also keep your eye on your sliding scale list and you will know if you have a spot available or not. Like what I’m hearing with a lot of this is what I get from you is like, you’re very caring, you’re really empathetic, you really like, feel your client’s hardships. Right? But sometimes with that, we can underestimate our client’s abilities to solve problems. Like there’s there’s almost like a little bit of like a codependence piece that can happen there where we like. We want to prevent any kind of discomfort from them or any kind of friction. But like you are working with adults and if you’re moving into, you know, as you continue moving this, like work with infertility, like you’re working with adults who’ve, like solved a lot of problems, navigating a lot of systems, and like, yeah, you know, I think there’s a lot that comes from just believing that our clients are competent.
Brittany [00:31:31] Yeah, you’re right.
Linzy [00:31:33] So with this, then, you know, we’ve kind of we’ve walked a couple paths in this conversation. So what is your action plan? What’s happening next after our conversation?
Brittany [00:31:43] I think next steps are. To work on my networking more decide which local institutions, professionals, whatnot. I would like to get in contact with. And that also includes, like, working on marketing, boring marketing stuff like making business cards that are physical and go with a QR code that goes to my website and kind of- I don’t know, I’m sorry, you’re like, hitting right on my issue. Like I’m good at seeing the big picture where I want to be. I struggle so much between like getting there.
Linzy [00:32:26] So yes. Yeah. And these are great steps. So you’re going to create a new referral network. And what I would suggest Brittany is, if this is an area where you’re just like gah, like, you know, you’re kind of like holding your head a little bit right now. It’s break it down, then, into those walkable steps. Right? So, like, what is the first step? Maybe the first step is generate a list of like ten people that, you know, work with folks that you want to be supporting more and reach out to five of them to start. And then you reach out to five the following week, making an ask of, Can I connect with you? I’d be happy to connect over coffee or tea or lunch. I’d be happy to come to your space. You know, like think about, you know, with the folks that you’re connecting with, what’s going to be an easy, natural way for them to want to connect, letting them know the value of I serve, you know, families who are going through these things. I’m perinatal mental health, I’m doing continued specialization, and I’m opening more and more space to serve these folks at my practice. And I would love to support the folks that you support with the emotional side of of the path that they’re walking. Right? You’re letting them know the value, right? If their clients are getting emotional support and aren’t crying in their office and are able to, like, think clearly and make good decisions and show up for their appointments and all that stuff, everybody’s better off for it, right? So it’s part of it is thinking about that. So I’m hearing that. And then you were mentioning a second step of like making business cards, so it’s easy for folks to access you. I would say that that’s something that’s like helpful but not essential in today’s day and age. I think it’s more helpful that you make good relationship with someone who’s going to be like, I know the perfect person for you. It’s Brittany, I’m going to give you her name. Here’s her website. And those people are just going to happen over their phone or like save a note in their phone and go online when they get home. And so I think in terms of like the most important tasks, it’s making those referral relationships right now.
Brittany [00:34:16] That’s a good point. And yeah, that’s absolutely doable.
Linzy [00:34:19] Yeah. And then after that, when people call to book, what are you going to do?
Brittany [00:34:26] Well, I actually have a virtual assistant I started working with, so I’ll let her know as well which life changer. But aside from that, I’m going to tell them during the consultation calls or whatever, like my fee is 150, leave it at that.
Linzy [00:34:42] Great. Good. And how does that feel to say that?
Brittany [00:34:46] Immediately I start having questions come up like what if? What if they do have an insurance that I actually do take? What if they are all these things?
Linzy [00:34:57] Yeah. And you also take insurance. So, you know, it could be a phrase of I take the following insurances or my out-of-pocket fee is 150. End of sentence. Right. And let that sit like I think part of what it sounds like the work that you have to do is letting people show you that they’re actually happy to pay your fee. And if they’re not happy to pay your fee at 150 and they’re not on the insurances that you take, then you know it’s not a right fit. Right. And they’ll find someone else who is the right fit.
Brittany [00:35:23] Right.
Linzy [00:35:24] Right. So with this Brittany, I can feel there’s more digging into to do. But we do have like this action steps for you.
Brittany [00:35:31] Absolutely.
Linzy [00:35:32] What are you taking away from our conversation today?
Brittany [00:35:34] A lot of confidence, actually. I was so nervous going into this as, you know, like the first thing when you were like, how are you? I was like, I’m so nervous. I’m actually feeling really confident now. I’m I’m grateful for this coaching call. Like, maybe my sessions are worth that price and maybe people will pay that money and maybe, maybe we will own a house one day. Like, I don’t know, it gives me, like, kind of hopeful energy. Yeah.
Linzy [00:36:04] Yeah. And if there’s a part of you that’s able to, like, collect evidence, I’m going to ask that part of you to, like, collect those moments when you’re just like, in the flow in session and you’re just like, Whoa, I’m in the right place doing the right work. Like, collect that evidence and like, let the words sink in. When you do have clients, say things like, of course your fee is worth it. I think there’s a lot more evidence there than you’re probably taking into your body, but as much as possible trying to actually absorb that because I think it’s plentiful of evidence that people are very happy to pay you 150.
Brittany [00:36:38] Yeah.
Linzy [00:36:39] Well, thank you so much, Brittany, for coming on the podcast today.
Brittany [00:36:42] Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Linzy [00:36:57] In my conversation with Brittany today, a familiar piece, you know, that I’ve seen in myself and so many therapists is how in a certain sense, we can underestimate our clients. Right. That like jumping too quickly, you know, saying our fee and then jumping to quickly offer the sliding scale. I know it’s something that lots of therapists do. We can really sometimes in seeing their struggles and in knowing what’s hard and sitting in that with them or knowing that we’re about to or knowing a bit of their story when we’re having those first conversations of setting the fee, It’s easy to underestimate that someone who struggles and is going through maybe a hard journey or has had losses or trauma also is someone who can solve their own problems and show up and make good decisions for their life and decide how to spend their money. Those things can coexist. And I think as therapists, because we sit so much with the vulnerability of our clients, it’s easy to forget that they also have jobs that they might be really good at and they can earn money, or they have family who can help, like they can solve problems. And when we jump in and try to solve problems for them, especially around fear, before they even name that as a problem, or you can express that they can’t solve the problem. Not only are we undercutting ourselves because this is somebody that might happily pay you your full fee and now instead you’ve negotiated a lower fee with them. But also we’re not letting them function as adults and and let us know what is possible for them and let them make an empowered decision or have a, you know, grounded conversation with us about their needs to see if we can find some sort of center point. So it’s you know, it’s a challenge I think we have as therapist because of the role that we play. But I always find it helpful to think about the resilience of our clients, think about the stories that they tell us of things that are going well, and remember that we only see such a small slice of their life and we see generally the hardest emotions and we hear the hardest stories and we don’t see all those other parts of them that sometimes are like kicking butt at life or figuring things out, you know, with great competency at the same time as they also have something that they’re they’re working through with us. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, I say it all the time. I know, but I want you to hear it. If you enjoy the podcast, I would super appreciate if you could jump over to Apple Podcasts for I think it would take you literally 90 seconds and leave a review for the podcast. It is the best way for other therapists to find us and be part of these conversations. Thanks for listening today.