3 Keys to a Successful PracticeFeb 05, 2024
In the last twelve years, I’ve grown my practice from a solo nutrition private practice to a multi-disciplinary group practice with 20 clinicians bringing in over two million a year in revenue from client programming. To say I’ve learned a lot in this time is an understatement!
There are three essential elements to a successful clinical practice. These are (1) exceptional clinical work, (2) strong professional relationships and (3) identify your niche. Focus on these three things and your practice will thrive.
Exceptional Clinical Work
This may seem like a no-brainer. You may be thinking “duh, of course!”. However, I challenge you to think about what exceptional clinical care is. You likely have significant training and knowledge. Part of your role as a clinician is to share that knowledge and apply the skills you’ve obtained through your training.
There’s more to it than knowledge and skill and these questions may help you consider how you could improve your clinical work.
- How do you onboard a new client? (i.e. what information do you offer prior to meeting them for the first time?)
- What does your first session look like?
- How do you evaluate your clients’ goals and plan for your work together?
- How do you create a sense of safety for your clients?
- How do you wrap a session up?
- How do you evaluate for “fit” (i.e. are you the best fit for this client and vice versa)?
- Are you open to letting a client go if you aren’t the best fit?
- What kind of training are you doing?
- Are you getting regular supervision? Are there areas you could use more?
- What does your collateral work look like?
- Does the work feel collaborative?
- How do you get feedback from your clients?
- What does your communication outside of sessions look like?
- How are your boundaries?
Taking some time to think about these questions will help you consider all of the components that go into your clinical work that extend beyond your clinical knowledge and skill. However, they are important to creating a strong working relationship with your client. Taking these steps sets the framework for a lasting, supportive and growth-oriented partnership with your client.
Strong Professional Relationships
Building strong professional relationships is key to growing your practice. If you are a solo practitioner, you really only need a handful of solid referral sources to fill your practice. Focus on building a few strong relationships with other clinicians you enjoy collaborating with. If you have a group practice, encourage your clinicians to do the same. This not only helps increase referrals to your practice, but it makes the clinical work more rewarding. It also facilitates greater collateral work.
When you share several cases with a clinician who you have a close relationship with, it makes collaborating on cases easier and more enjoyable. Find clinicians who align with your philosophy and style through networking opportunities. When you enjoy working with a clinician on a case, reach out to set up a time to connect for coffee or a zoom call. Or simply send an email sharing how much you’ve enjoyed working with them and hope to collaborate again in the future. Add some information about what types of clients you like working with. Taking these extra steps to build professional relationships goes a long way.
Finding Your Niche
It may seem counter-intuitive but the narrower your niche, the more successful you will be. What are your favorite types of clients? Think about this in as much detail as you can. What is their clinical presentation? What significant social identity features do they have? Lived experience? For instance, maybe you like working with trans youth struggling with eating disorders. Or, you feel a particular affinity for working with elite athletes who are recovering from overuse injuries. Maybe you even narrow it further to elite gymnasts.
Now, think about why you are a good fit for this type of client. Where are there gaps in your training that may need to be filled?
As you consider your niche it’s natural to feel like you’re limiting yourself or being exclusionary. Keep in mind, narrowing your niche doesn’t mean you won’t see other types of clients. It means that you will be the person people go to for the type of client you want to work with. You will be the person they think of when their friend’s daughter sprains her ankle right before a big competition and is starting to restrict her food intake. It will also guide you in your ongoing learning and training which are key elements to providing exceptional clinical work as well.
You can provide good clinical work to all types of clients or exceptional work to a specific type of client.
I developed the iMove Training and Certification to provide an opportunity for clinicians to build clinical skill by targeting an area of expertise that is so desperately needed in our field. This is a gap in many eating disorder clinicians’ knowledge base. Plus, it offers the added bonus of helping narrow in on a niche (i.e. individuals with eating disorder who present with compulsive exercise or athletes who present with compulsive exercise). Throughout the training, I share my clinical knowledge from over twenty years working with eating disorders as well as my business acumen.
Once you complete the training, you are ready to lead iMove groups in your own practice or with individual clients. You have everything you need including:
- Full course urriculum and lesson plans
- Use of the iMove logo
- Branding kit with sample social media posts and flyer
- Sample participant screening forms
- Group welcome sequence
- Sample waiver and consent forms
- Bonus Module – ‘How to Get People to Your Group'
If you’re looking to build your business by honing in on a specific area of expertise, I invite you to join the next iMove Training and Certification that starts March 22nd. You can learn more and apply here.
Compulsive exercise is a common component of eating disorders.
It's often the first presenting behavior and the last to go. It can be a precursor to relapse following eating disorder treatment and often goes unexplored in higher levels of eating disorder care.
If you want to start helping clients heal from compulsive exercise and have not yet downloaded my free guide with a 3 step process that makes it easier to do this. Get your copy here.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can become certified in the iMove Method® training, book a call with me and we can review any questions you have about adding this training and service to your practice. You can book a time with me via my online calendar.