Lynn Grodzki on Building a Successful Private Practice

Lynn Grodzki on Building a Successful Private Practice

by Rachel Zoffness
Psychotherapist and business coach Lynn Grodski describes the challenges that many clinicians face in private practice, and the necessary steps to building a flourishing business.


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Vocation vs. Occupation

Rachel Zoffness: Lynn Grodzki, you are a business consultant, therapist, and author, and you recently put out a second edition of your book, Building Your Ideal Private Practice. I’m really looking forward to learning from you today.
Lynn Grodzki: Thank you.
RZ: It’s an interesting challenge that therapists face when we finish grad school because we have so much training, and yet we know so little about the business side of things. Starting a private practice can be really overwhelming. When I passed my licensing exams, I was shocked by how hard it was to find even basic guidelines for how to start a private practice. I ended up meeting with mentors and friends in the field to try to find my way. What are your suggestions for therapists to shift into more of a business mindset when first beginning their practice?
LG: Well, first of all, I just want to validate your situation. When I was getting my graduate degree as a social worker, I also was surprised that they didn't include any information about practice development, and I found that that was pretty true of a lot of graduate programs.
A lot of therapists have never been trained in developing business plans, and so they end up just making do with whatever comes their way instead of planning and working toward pre-meditated goals.
I had been in small business prior to being a psychotherapist, so there was a lot about business that was familiar to me. I started out teaching classes and courses to therapists because I wanted to see them succeed, and as I worked with them over time, I saw that there were a few fundamental issues therapists faced right out of graduate school.

One is that they don’t seem to have an understanding of the difference between a vocation and an occupation. With an occupation, you really want to do things in a business-like way, but a lot of therapists see that as an affront to their idea of a vocation. It’s almost as if they’ll run their private practice as a hobby instead of a business.

An additional challenge is that a lot of therapists have never been trained in developing business plans, and so they end up just making do with whatever comes their way instead of planning and working toward pre-meditated goals.
RZ: What’s the best way to write a business plan, if you’ve never done it before, and you’ve never been to business school? Does every new therapist in private practice needs to hire a consultant?
LG: There’s lots of information out there, including my books and other books, so that you don’t have to hire anybody—you can read and get informed. But to have a business plan means that you have an idea of the kind of path that you want your practice to take. A really quick way to assess things is to think about your business strengths and limitations. In other words, what do you think you’re good at and what do you feel like might be limiting for you? You came out of a graduate program—what did you feel were business strengths that you might’ve just naturally had, and what were limitations you were aware of?
RZ: When I came out of grad school, I didn't even know what a business strength was. I wouldn’t even know how to put that into words for you.
LG: I often have a list of attributes that I feel are entrepreneurial skill sets. I’m going to talk you through a few of these, and I bet some of these really fit for you. Okay?
RZ: That would be so helpful.
LG: Entrepreneurial people who are successful, when they look at a situation, they often see opportunity. Therapists are very good at this, too—somebody comes into your office and tells you about their situation, and a lot of times, from your perspective, you see what’s possible. Would you say that that was a skill that you might have?
RZ: Absolutely.
LG: Here’s another one. Entrepreneurs have an equal measure of optimism and pragmatism, so they can see what might happen, and they can also be very concrete about the steps that they need to take. How would you do on that one?
RZ: I think I’m temperamentally pretty optimistic, but I don’t know that optimism would’ve been the best word to describe me when I was first starting my practice. I felt kind of bumbling, like I didn't really know what I was doing.
LG: So that would be one where you might think, “that’s one that I need a little bit of help with or I need more information about.” Here’s another one. Entrepreneurs are extremely persistent, and that means that if something doesn’t work, they don’t mind trying it, oh, another 100 times or so.
RZ: I think this is really a wonderful line of thinking because when I think about my strengths, having gone through two master’s degrees and a PhD program, that certainly took a lot of persistence. And here I am in private practice, and I do have my own business, and yet I’ve never even used the word “entrepreneur” to describe myself. I love that you’re using that word.
LG: It’s just a word that means that you own and operate a business. Here’s another one that’s very clear with people who succeed in business. They’re profit driven, and they enjoy making money. How would you say you feel about that one?

Money Issues

RZ: I think you’ve hit on something because I really struggle with the money aspect of my business, in part because I went into this field because I love helping kids. I’m a child psychologist, and I really struggle to set a fee that reflects my value, and part of that is because I worry that families won’t be able to afford my services if I charge more. I don’t want to be the kind of therapist who is thinking about money over people, but that is not a good business strategy. How do you help therapists establish that balance between being a therapist who’s really focused on people and relationships and being a business-minded person who’s focused on establishing a rate that’s fair but will still allow me to earn a decent income?
LG: One of the things that I do when I’m working with therapists is talk about the importance of understanding the negative belief systems they’ve developed about money. It’s very common and it’s not just therapists that have negative belief systems about money. It’s many people. It usually doesn't matter that much if you have these kinds of emotional issues about money, except when you own and operate a business because then it tends to get projected into the business.

I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you grew up in a family where there was a lot of financial deprivation, and you grew up hearing things like, “money doesn't grow on trees.” Or you grew up in a family where frugality was really prized, and that’s the way you live, and that’s the way you are, and it’s really not an issue for you until you start a business. In business, the mantra often is, “you have to spend money to make money,” and it’s really true. You cannot run a business on total frugality and be able to expand or take advantage of opportunities, and it even affects your relationships with colleagues if you're too frugal. They will find you cheap but not understand that it’s not a reflection of your skill set or the way you might be working with clients.

It’s just something about the way you grew up financially that says that you don’t have thank you cards that you send when you get a referral, or that you don’t believe in going to conferences, or something like that. One of the first steps I like therapists to do is to at least get some awareness about any of these negative money issues that might be playing into who they are and how they operate so that they can clear those up and start to look at this as a business.

The definition of a business is an entity that makes a profit, which takes us to another really key issue, which is that therapists need to reconcile profit versus service.
RZ: What do you mean by that?
Profit means financial gain, taking advantage of and moneymaking, and service means being of assistance, helping others, and benefiting the public. When you are in private practice, you’re doing both.
Profit means financial gain, taking advantage of and moneymaking, and service means being of assistance, helping others, and benefiting the public. When you are in private practice, you’re doing both. Because it’s a business, you need to make a profit, and because it’s your service that you’re offering, you have to hold true to the integrity, and the ethics, and the values of service, and you have to have a way to reconcile this inside yourself and in your practice.

Having a Niche

RZ: When I was first starting out, people kept telling me to have a niche. I am a cognitive behavioral therapist who works with kids and teens, and I thought that that was pretty specific, but I was also afraid of missing out on opportunities or potential clients. Now my practice focuses primarily on kids and teens who have chronic pain, and I’m starting to see why it’s so important to be able to be identified as a person who sees a specific population. In your eyes, what do you think are the pros and cons of establishing a niche?
LG: Well, from a marketing perspective, it’s really helpful to have a niche because there’s so much information that’s flooding everybody that if somebody can associate your practice with something specific, it makes your practice more memorable. So for marketing purposes, it’s a good strategy. In my book I talk about the therapy services that sell versus those that don’t, and one of the services that continually sells well are services for children because most parents will prioritize whatever kind of help their children need. In terms of the kind of practice that you develop, apart from marketing, chances are you can have a practice that’s more generalized over time if that’s what you prefer clinically. But from a marketing perspective, it’s still very useful to have a niche.
RZ: Do you think you can be pigeonholed by your referral sources if you end up marketing yourself as a therapist who just does one thing? What ends up happening if a couple years down the line you want to start seeing clients who have different presenting problems?
One of the services that continually sells well are services for children because most parents will prioritize whatever kind of help their children need.
Another marketing mantra is to be a big fish in a small pond. So rather than trying to reach out to everybody, it’s good to develop expertise and a reputation within a target audience, but that doesn't mean that you can’t have more than one target market. You could be a specialist in some kind of service for children, like doing CBT for some specific area for children. And let’s say, over time, you also wanted to become a couples therapist. You could certainly target another market, and your work with children would help their parents, so it would be a smart marketing move to make.

There’s nothing wrong with having more than one specialty area or more than one diversification in your business, but you want to do it in a planned way so that you are marketing and making the best use of your marketing dollars rather than just doing things based on anxiety.
RZ: Does that mean that every time you want to expand your practice and see a different population you need to rebrand and remarket yourself?
LG: You might. It depends how you approach your marketing. It’s not a cookie-cutter approach, where one size fits for all for all private practices and all therapists. It’s really customized.

There are hundreds of strategies of marketing that all work for different therapists, so the question is, how can you customize a marketing plan so that it works for you, so that you are always in your comfort zone when you’re marketing, so that the way you speak to other people, the way you advertise, the way you use your website, the kinds of activities you do are really comfortable and feel a lot like who you are?
RZ: What are just some basic marketing tips you would give to someone who’s just starting a practice?
LG: The first thing that you want to do is to develop your business identity. You want to have a website. You probably want to have a “Psychology Today” listing or some directory listing. You want to have a business card. You may want to have white papers. You might want to have a brochure. You want some materials that you’ve developed, and the great thing about taking the time to do that with some care is that it also gives you talking points.

We know from the data that we have that
50% of referrals these days are coming online to therapists.
50% of referrals these days are coming online to therapists. So you want to have your online presence be indicative and reflective of you at your best and what you feel like you have to offer. But you also then need to start to build community around your practice. You can’t just do it online—you need to network, to show up in places where you can have some collegial referral building and sharing with others. You need to learn how to talk about your work in a way that generates some referrals back to you.

The Tall Poppies

RZ: Marketing does seem to be a particular challenge for therapists. I find that it’s very hard for me to say nice things about myself, even though I know I’m supposed to highlight my strengths to attract clients. I’m even wary about telling about my extensive training, despite the fact that it’s relevant to potential clients, and they often want to hear about my training because it gives them faith about my skills and abilities. What would you say is a good way for therapists to talk about their strengths and their positive qualities without sounding arrogant?
LG: It’s interesting, I was giving presentations in Australia one year on practice building and talking about how to talk about your practice, and somebody raised their hand and said, “Well, we can’t do that over here, Lynn, because of the tall poppies.” I had never heard about the tall poppies in Australia.
RZ: Nor have I.
LG: The idea was that the tallest poppies in a field get cut down first, so you don’t want to stick your neck out or raise yourself above the others. You want to be modest. You want to be humble so that you don’t get cut down like a tall poppy. So in Australia, as well as with therapists, we have that same culture.

But it’s important to be able to share your enthusiasm and your passion for the work that you do. What’s most attractive when you’re talking with other people is the fact that you love your work, or find it interesting, or feel very good about what’s happening clinically. You want to have a way to talk about that normally and comfortably so that it sounds like you, in layperson’s language. If I was coaching you—and you’re a CBT therapist, right?
RZ: Yes.
LG: OK, let’s say you wanted to talk to people, maybe friends who have children, and it’s not that they or that their kids would be your clients but that they might become your referral sources once they understood what you did. So if somebody said to you, “Hey, Rachel, what’s new?” You might say one of the things that was new was that you were really enjoying your work these days or that you were seeing fascinating cases. That would be a great way to let somebody know the kind of work you do. And you’d want to be able to explain what CBT is in a phrase or two so that you don’t bog down the conversation.
RZ: So language is important. Word choice is important.
You want to have some talking points about who you are, what you do, and why you love what you do so that you could turn a normal conversation into a conversation about your work.
Language is important. One of the things I often say to people who are doing CBT is to use a phrase like, “These days, it’s the gold standard in talk therapy.” That’s something that a layperson or even somebody who might be an alternative healer, a massage therapist, a nutritionist, an occupational therapist might understand and remember. You want to have some talking points about who you are, what you do, and why you love what you do so that you could turn a normal conversation into a conversation about your work. That’s what business people do—they talk about their work. We want to be able to do that, too, when it’s appropriate as therapists.
RZ: I feel very lucky because I do love what I do, and I’m very passionate about it and energized by it, and I love the kids that I work with, but I’m wary of sounding like a walking advertisement. So what are some key components to having a good elevator pitch?
LG: I have a whole chapter on that in my book, and rather than an elevator pitch, I call it your “basic message.” It’s what’s true and basic about what you have to offer. You want to keep it short, you want to keep it filled with some enthusiasm or passion or interest so that you look good when you’re talking about it, and you just want to learn to love to say it, whatever it is. It can be what you specialize in and why you feel like it’s important. It could be some kind of a metaphor about the way that you work and how it works.

It’s not so much the words. It’s how you look and feel saying this that somebody’s going to remember. They’ll remember, “ahh, Dr. Zoffness was really passionate about her work. I bet she’s good at what she does.” You just want to find the right words that put a smile on your face or put a twinkle in your eye when you’re saying them.
RZ: That sounds very intuitive and very smart.
LG: And easier, right?

Your Ideal Client

RZ: I also noticed in your book that you talked a lot about finding your ideal client, which really resonated with me because, as I mentioned, I do a lot of chronic pain work with kids and teens, and at first it was really hard for me to find out how to find the kids that need me. I know they're out there, and I know I have the training to help them, but I wasn’t sure how to reach them. So I ended up walking into pediatricians’ offices with my CV and, more recently, I reached out to really smart doctors at UCSF and Stanford. Starting to build those relationships has helped me get in contact with those kids. What would you say is the best way of finding your ideal population, if you're just starting out?
LG: I like what you did a lot. You started to build a profile of who the children are that need your services and found a way to describe this child that really needs to see you so that a busy doctor in a hospital could remember this. One way to say that is, “Here’s the kind of child I’m best for,” and you describe it almost in bullet points. You know, a child who’s suffering from this kind of pain, a child who has this kind of capacity to use therapy, a child who is comfortable using their imagination or can write in a notebook. Whatever the things are that would help a doctor or another professional start to spot those kids that were right for you—that’s how you develop your ideal client.

You're doing the work for the referral source. You’ve already thought about this. You’re pulling together the words. You’re giving them the talking point so that they can take that message and say to a parent, “I have a psychologist that’s right for you because this psychologist is really good at working with kids just like your child.”
RZ: So finding the language that describes the kind of client you want to see and also finding the people who would know those kinds of clients.
LG: Yes. And this is what belongs on your website, and maybe in a brochure so that that after somebody meets you and talks to you, if they go back to your website, they see it repeated there, which gives people a sense of security and confidence.
RZ: It’s fairly easy for me, because of my personality, to reach out to people that I’ve never met before or to walk into a pediatrician’s office and introduce myself, but I know that that is not standard. What do you think is the best way to go about meeting other professionals, doctors, teachers, pediatricians, etc. for people who may have more difficulty networking with strangers?
LG: Well, these days, we know it’s hard to get past the front desk in doctors’ offices.
RZ: Yes, that’s true.
LG: So I have a couple different strategies that I like to recommend to therapists, and all of them are based on the idea of not doing a cold call. Even if you have a very small circle of acquaintances and friends, all of them know people that might be right for you to meet.

Even if you have a very small circle of acquaintances and friends, all of them know people that might be right for you to meet.
The challenge is writing the introductory letter or making the introductory phone call. You want to script it out if you're not comfortable just talking extemporaneously, so that you can say, “Hi, my name is Lynn Grodzki, and I’m a masters level clinical social worker in your area, and Joyce suggested that I talk to you because she knew that I had a certain skill set that she felt would be helpful for your patients. Can I set up a time to meet with you? Or I can also write to you if you prefer. What would be the best way for us to contact and connect with each other?”
RZ: So, the first step is communicating with your friends and colleagues, who you already have an established relationship with, and saying, “This is what I want to do. These are the people I’m looking for. I’m looking to grow my business.” And hopefully they connect you with other professionals who might be able to help you. And then, the next step is to email those professionals?
LG: Well, it depends. You have to find out. Sometimes you have to call a front desk or make an initial phone call to find out how would they like to get information from you, because everyone is different.

Another thing that I’ve had some therapists do who want more contact with doctors is, on their intake forms, have them get consent from patients and clients to connect with their health professional team so that they can start to set up an integrated healthcare process just by reaching out to those people who are treating their patients.

For example, let’s say there’s an internist, and you’re seeing their patient for depression. You get permission from the patient to contact the internist and then send a letter that goes into the file saying, “I wanted to introduce myself. I’m working with your patient. I’ve been given permission to contact you. I wanted you to know about the work that we’re doing together so that, if at any time in the future you have any concerns about this patient, you can connect with me and contact me, and we can speak.”

Imagine that this doctor is seeing the patient and all of the sudden feels uncomfortable at the level of anxiety or depression that this patient is showing. He’s already got a letter from the therapist in the file, with permission signed to contact them. That’s what happens in an integrated healthcare facility, except in this case you’ve initiated it on your own. At the same time, it’s giving you a great way to start to connect with other healthcare professionals who might remember you when they have a referral to make.

When Your Client Count is Down

RZ: Our business is unusual in that we can’t rely on having the same income from month to month because it depends on how many clients we have. In your book, you talk about living with that uncertainty. Can you talk a little bit about that?
LG: This is true in any small business. There is no guarantee, usually, about what your income is going to be month to month unless you have some kind of yearly contract that you're working under.
I strongly encourage therapists to be tracking their finances, to be tracking their client count, so that they can know what the ups and downs are in their business, and they can start to think about what they want to do to protect their income.
So for a private practice, you need to anticipate these ups and downs and have a way to both budget for them financially and also to deal with it emotionally so that when the business is down, you have a strategy for what to do. Then you kick into your marketing strategy when you start to notice that your client count is down. I strongly encourage therapists to be tracking their finances, to be tracking their client count, so that they can know what the ups and downs are in their business, and they can start to think about what they want to do to protect their income.

It’s not unusual, for example, for someone I’m coaching to say, “I’m down this month in my client count. Let’s talk about the things that I could do to reach out to people.” When this person is very full, they don’t have the time to do that kind of outreach, so we’ll have a plan ready for when they’ve got time on their schedule.

If you’re not tracking carefully, it’s really hard to do this, and it just lends itself to getting into a situation where you're really low with clients and then feeling really desperate.
RZ: What’s a good way to deal with the fact that there are going to be times where your business has a lull, and there are going to be times when your income isn’t what you want it to be or your client load isn’t what you want it to be?
LG: I think understanding the nature of private practice, that it just goes up and down, and having some self-care ways to calm your anxiety. Private practice really isn’t for everybody. There’s a 50% failure rate in small business, even now.
RZ: That’s significant.
LG: You have to have a thick skin and a strong inner core to ride out all the ups and downs, and that’s why some people decide “I don’t like this,” or “it’s too much work,” or “it requires business and marketing skills that I’m not comfortable with and I’d rather work for someone else.” That’s a fine decision to make, but if you are going to do this, you have to accept the whole package. There is a chance for a lot of autonomy and creativity and independence and profitability, but there is also uncertainty, some randomness, chaos, and you have to be able to structure yourself.

It’s Hard to Be Your Own Boss

RZ: I really like that you mentioned self-care, and I noticed that it’s really hard to be your own boss. I constantly find myself working when I should be resting or playing. How do you establish boundaries for yourself when you're in charge?
LG: Well, I live by my calendar. I really lean on the calendar. And if you were to look at my calendar, you would see self-care is in my calendar and my family time is in my calendar.
RZ: You literally schedule it in.
The business just has so many needs, and you could spend all your waking hours investing in it, thinking about it, doing things, trying things, writing things—but we want to have a life.
It’s scheduled. Everything’s scheduled. When I wake up in the morning, I look at the calendar, and that’s my day that I’ve scheduled. I’ve been in private practice now for almost 30 years, so I know the value of closing the door on the practice from time to time, of saying, “that’s enough now,” because it’s important to be able to recognize that a small business—it’s like a toddler, perpetually. The business just has so many needs, and you could spend all your waking hours investing in it, thinking about it, doing things, trying things, writing things—but we want to have a life. So at some point in time you have to be able to say, “that’s enough for today” or “that’s enough for this week.”
RZ: You tell your clients to give their best ideas away for free. I tend to want to save this information for people I’m formally treating, but I feel like that’s a little bit of a trap. What’s the benefit of sharing your best clinical info?
LG: Well, you have to think about how you're trying to attract people to your practice. A lot of us have ideas or have thoughts about what we’re seeing clinically or what we know, and we want to write about these things, and then we start to worry that somebody will grab our idea and run with it. But after all this time that I’ve been doing this, including all the books I’ve written, I feel that it’s actually very safe to put your good ideas out there, even like I’m doing today, right? I trust that I’ll have more ideas I can talk about in the future. More things will occur will to me, more strategies, more tips.

This is one way to attract people to you, through what you think. We’re in a culture of blogging and vlogging, so you have to have something helpful that you can share with people so that they want to come and work with you. I just think it’s a good strategy to let things like that be out there and trust that more will occur for you.
RZ: It sounds like it’s an issue of confidence.
LG: Yes, I think it’s an issue of confidence. Self-confidence.

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

RZ: Since social media plays such a huge role in so many businesses these days, do you think there are any drawbacks for therapists to have a big social media presence?
LG: Yes. I think there’s been a lot that’s being written lately that I’ve been seeing in journals and through associations about problems with too much self-disclosure on social media. I think it can make for a problematic transference with patients and clients. I think people need to really protect their social media sites. They need to take all the privacy measures that they can.

You need to recognize that you’re a professional, and that might mean that you can’t have a Facebook life like someone else could who’s not in this business. When we talked earlier on about the difference between a hobby and a business, I think that your business identity extends to social media, and you need to take care of how you are out there in the world, especially recognizing that things that go out on Twitter or other kinds of social media, once they’re out, you can’t bring them back.
RZ: Are there basic do’s and don’ts for social media for therapists?
LG: One of the people I like who writes a lot about online marketing is Joe Bavonese. He’s got a website called Uncommon Practices, and he feels strongly that when you’re on Facebook, you need to use a certain degree of privacy settings so that your clients are not going to find a picture of you drinking wildly at a party.

Or if you have friends who are taking pictures of you in your off time, that you also try to let them know that you have a professional life, and you're being protective about that. I think you need to be really careful about anything like email, or Twitter, or anything that you’re writing, to make sure that you take a moment before you push “send” and think about your professional identity so that, again, you don’t do anything that would mar it.
RZ: It’s some balance between getting your name out there and showing up in social media but having enough boundaries so that only the stuff that you want is being put out into the world.
We want to be careful about what we put out in the world—a lot more careful than somebody in a different kind of profession would need to be.
I think so. And remembering that we’re in this very strange kind of profession, where people tend to do a lot of projection with us, and that’s supposed to be therapeutic as long as we can control it. So we want to be careful about what we put out in the world—a lot more careful than somebody in a different kind of profession would need to be.
RZ: I agree. What are some common mistakes that you think therapists make when they’re first starting out?
LG: One mistake therapists make is that they try to be all things to all people, and they say yes too much, and they don’t respect their own policies. They’re really quick to slide their fee, or they’re really quick to agree to see somebody that they shouldn’t be seeing, that they don’t really have the skill set to see, but they’re just hungry. Or they’re really quick to work with someone on a weekend hour, even though, over time, that’s going to lead to resentment. At the beginning, you need to set up business policies that you’re going to be able to live with over time and recognize that it usually takes three to five years to fill a private practice with the right kind of clients.
RZ: Wow.
LG: This is not something that you can jump into and expect in a year that you’re going to have a practice up and running in the way that you really want. I want people to give themselves time. I’d really like you to be able to have a cushion, a financial cushion, so that you’re not desperate and you're not doing things just for the money. Remember we talked about reconciling service and profit, and while it’s important to make a profit, you also have to hold to your integrity and your ethics, and that means that, like other businesses, you want to have a financial cushion that you can lean into so that you can build this the right way.
RZ: Thank you for that information. I feel like this is going to be really helpful, not just for me but for a lot of people who read How can people find you, if they want to schedule an appointment with you?
LG: The best way to find me is at my website, which is, which has a lot of information on it—articles that are free to read, chapters from some of my books, audio. There’s a list of resources that I’ve been compiling for years on email design, website designers, and billing software that therapists tell me they like. I just keep a long running list. And if you decide that you want some individual coaching, there’s a process by which you can connect with me and we can set up an introductory session and see if I can help you as a business coach.
RZ: Great, Lynn. Thank you so much.
LG: You’re so welcome. Thank you, too.

Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved.
Lynn Grodzki Lynn Grodzki, LCSW, MCC is one of the leading business coaches in the US for small business owners. She specializes in working with change-agents: therapists, coaches, healers, and other helping professionals.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in Design, Lynn worked as an executive in the family business. She left to get a Masters in Social Work in 1988 from the University of Maryland and became a psychotherapist in private practice.

She is the author of five books about practice-building for therapists, coaches, and consultants, including, Building Your Ideal Private Practice: A Guide for Therapists and Other Healing Professionals (2015) Crisis-Proof Your Practice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Uncertain Economy (2009), and The New Private Practice: Therapist-Coaches Share Stories, Strategies and Advice (2002).

Lynn still maintains a psychotherapy private practice, specializing in working with the “worried well”— adults who are successful in some areas of life and need help in others. She combines psychotherapy with a coaching approach, to offer an honest, direct method of therapy. See her counseling services at
Rachel Zoffness Rachel Zoffness, PhD,  is a child and adolescent psychologist in the San Francisco Bay area. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Brown University in Psychology & Neuroscience. She discovered the need for quality mental health services for children while teaching in a 5th grade classroom, when she realized that some children were not getting the support they needed to thrive academically or socially. Inspired by her work with children and teenagers in educational & research settings—such as St. Luke's Roosevelt Child & Family Institute and the NYU Child Study Center - she obtained an M.A. in Psychology at Columbia University. She went on to earn an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She received additional post-doc training at the East Bay Mindful Center in Oakland.

Zoffness has worked with children, teenagers and adults in hospital, community mental health & private practice settings for over 10 years. She taught undergraduate Psychology courses at San Diego State University, and supervised therapists-in-training at the Wright Institute’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Clinic in Berkeley. She previously taught science to children & teenagers at the Wildlife Conservation Society in NYC, and has written articles for the American Museum of Natural History magazine. She feels very lucky to serve as a source of support for children, teenagers & families in the Bay Area. information about Dr. Zoffness can be found on her website: