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Your local psychiatrist needs you!

There's a good chance that it's not easy for you to get psychiatric evaluations and follow-up for your clients. If you are lucky enough to have competent and reliable psychiatrists in town, it's likely your clients will have to wait a long time for that initial appointment.

Believe it or not, psychiatrists often struggle with a similar dilemma. They have literally thousands of patients, many of whom are in need of counseling. Just like you, they are in need of "go-to" clinicians they can count on in the collaborative care of their patients.

That person can, and should, be YOU! You may wonder how you can become one of the "go-to" therapists on your local psychiatrists' lists. Here are a few of the "extras" that just might put you at the top of the PREFERRED REFERRAL LIST of your local psychiatrist.

* Find an efficient way to let the psychiatrist know who you are and what you do.

A conversation is always great, but when that isn't possible, a simple fact sheet can be a good way to introduce yourself. The fact sheet should include:

[] Your areas of expertise

[] Populations served

[] Availability

[] Modalities of service provided

[] Information about fees and/or insurance

* Allow the psychiatrist to rely on you:

[] Offer to triage his or her patients into your practice or refer them into the community.

[] Offer to run basic groups around common, much-needed topics (i.e. depression or anxiety group, symptom-management group). You might offer to hold the group at the psychiatrist's office.

* Be known as a good collaborator:

[] After seeing a client referred to by a psychiatrist, send the psychiatrist a cover letter and copy of your initial assessment.

[] Provide follow-up on a regular basis, and as needed (even if you just fax over your session notes before the client's next psychiatric appointment).

Just a little extra effort might make the difference between your card being the first card handed out, and you being an afterthought.

Even one extra referral a month can generate thousands of dollars a year into your practice. How many psychiatrists in your market can send you at least one referral a month if you treat them right?

Dr. Legge is a licensed mental health counselor, private practice mentor, and she is licensed to teach Michael Port's Book Yourself Solid[R] marketing system for service professionals.

By Deb Legge, PhD, CRC, LMHC /

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Title Annotation:The Business of Private Practice
Author:Legge, Deb
Publication:The Advocate (American Mental Health Counselors Association)
Date:Jun 1, 2015
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