TTE 3: How Dr. Heather LaChance Used Diverse Marketing to Skyrocket Her Practice
Dr. Heather LaChance gives therapists a full MBA in just 40 minutes. She learned that therapists under marketing themselves, and decided that when she started her private practice, she would not fall into that trap.
She provides so much great value here! You don’t want to miss this one.
In This Episode, You’ll Learn:
- A scientific way to determine a fair and accurate hourly rate
- How to manipulate PsychologyToday to keep your profile at the top
- Using MeetUp as a marketing tool
- Why you should be using Pay Per Click to grow your practice
Best Marketing Move for Business
- Having a robust, diversified online presence, including a website and a Psychology Today profile
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Psychology Today
- Recommended Book: Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
- Heather’s website: Dr. Heather LaChance
Weekly Website Tip
From Brighter Vision’s Rachel Tschanz:
One of my favorite design tricks is adding a subtle texture or background pattern to your website. Instead of gradient or a solid color I prefer textures which can add depth and intrigue. This is very straightforward to do. Just go to www.subtlepatterns.com and find a texture or pattern you like.
There are hundreds of patterns out there so spend some time looking for one that matches your overall theme and feel. Something to avoid would be a pattern that feels like an adult coloring book, as those have too much business in them. Just look for a nice simple subtle pattern. If the color isn’t what you want, don’t tread. Just open it up in Photoshop and add a rectangular color over it. Then lower the pastille until the texture pokes through.
If that sounds confusing don’t worry. We have a sample Photoshop doc you can download right here.
Thanks for Listening!
Thank you so much for joining us this week. Do you have some feedback you’d like to share? Please leave a note in the comment section below!
And if you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of this post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Therapist Experience on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely important to get this podcast in front of other therapists who could benefit from it. The ratings matter in how iTunes ranks the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.
Thanks to Heather LaChance for joining me this week. Until next time!
TranscriptClick here to read the Transcript
Perry: In this episode of the therapist experience, I’m speaking with Dr. Heather LaChance from Compassion In Practice. This is The Therapist Experience episode number three. Welcome to The Therapist Experience. The podcast where we interview successful therapists about what it’s really like growing a private practice. I’m Perry Rosenbloom, the founder of Brighter Vision, and I’m excited to introduce our guest today Dr. Heather LaChance from Compassion in Practice. Heather, are you prepared to share your therapist experience?
Perry: Alright, fantastic. We’re glad to have you here Heather. Heather is the founder of Compassion in Practice. She is a clinical psychologist serving the Denver metro area, and has received her master’s in marriage and family therapy from the University of Connecticut in 1998. She completed her APA approved internship at Harvard University in the VA system working with veterans dealing with trauma and substance abuse. She then completed two year post-doctoral fellowship at Brown University Medical School in a center for alcohol and addiction studies. She was awarded a million dollar R01 grant by NIH to investigate the use of behavioral couples therapy per nicotine addiction. This research was completed at National Jewish Health when Dr. LaChance was an assistant professor of medicine. From 2007 to 2011. Findings from this work was later published in 2015 and in 2011 she decided to start her own private practice and end her academic career. During her clinical work she discovered the modality energy psychology which uses mind-body techniques to help facilitate deeper, longer lasting change. In 2014 she was elected to the Colorado state representative for the association for comprehensive energy psychology. The national organization supporting practitioners using energy psychology methods. Heather, wow, that is such an amazing background there and I gave a little overview of you there but I’m sure there’s so much more to fill in the gaps from that intro. So why don’t you tell us a little more about you personally and about your practice?
Heather: Sure. So, yeah. I have a degree in marriage and family therapy but also a PHD in clinical psychology. So I really have sort of two different orientations. One is what they call a systemic orientation where I see things in terms of systems and processees. And other, the clinical psychology, looking at more fine-tuned clinical nature of any kind of an issue. So I bridge sort of those two areas in my work.
Perry: Heather, that is quite a background there. And, you know. What we’d like to try and explore is the why with therapists. Just like you work to explore the why with your clients, we want to hear your story and to hear why you got into private practice and really what led you down this path to such a rich academic career and then shifting into private practice about four or five years ago. So, Heather why did you choose a career in therapy and choose this academic path? And then how did you get that focus on energy psychology and how do you focus on how people overcome their issues and grow as an individual or as a couple?
Heather: Sure, sure. So when I actually fell in love with psychology and it literally felt like that. I fell in love with psychology way back when I was an undergraduate and actually really 1998 and I started my career way back then. But unfortunately I’d already gotten that undergraduate degree in theater. Which I loved the element of people and the human interest story there, but once I’m going to be able to pursue a degree or a career in psychology with a field degree. So I had to go back and kind of redo my undergraduate degree in psychology just to be able to be applying to graduate school. So when I applied to graduate school the first time, because there was two times. When I first applied, I was pretty inexperienced, didn’t really know exactly what I wanted because I hadn’t really fully done it. I volunteered but I hadn’t really done it, but all of the information about marriage or family therapy really was exciting to me. It seemed so much more interesting and just sort of deeper. So I first just got involved in marriage and family therapy that way. And then I started to get involved in research actually through my marriage and family therapy degree. I was given a research assistantship award– So I started doing research with a faculty member there. After I was done I decided to continue with research. I just thought it was fascinating, I thought it was interesting. So I actually went to Brown University and I started to– And this is really important. I started to study motivational interviewing or what we call, stages of change. And in Brown University and University of Rhode Island were really partners in developing the stages of change or motivational interviewing model, which is now hugely nationally known and used for most substance abuse programs and that kind of thing.
Perry: So, then were you one of the first to really be exploring that back then?
Heather: Yes. I was. In fact, most of the original studies, I was the therapist on them. Haha.
Perry: Oh my goodness, that’s amazing.
Heather: Yeah, it’s really cool and it was extremely important in shaping the way that I look at therapy. But anyway, so I got very involved in research by falling into sort of stages of change or motivational interviewing models and did a lot of work with Peter Monti and all of these people. So at that point I started to really pursue my academic career. So then I ended up going to university of Colorado which is where I got my doctorate and pursued a lot of research there. At any rate, I won’t get into too much of that, but basically really began to develop a lot of skills in research but always felt such a sense of missing the clinical work whenever I would be too involved in the research. So after I had my son, I started to think more and more about perhaps letting go of the academic side of things. For one thing it’s extremely time intensive. Haha. And for another thing I just felt like it kept me separate somehow from being involved with the day to day interactions with people or that sort of really making a difference in somebody’s life. So I started to really get intrigued by the idea of going into private practice. It was an extremely difficult decision. I worked so hard to develop an academic career and I done well doing it but it felt sort off– The only way I can think of it is it felt somewhat monochromatic. It just didn’t feel like it had the depth when you really have those aha moments with somebody in a clinical setting where you’re really helping somebody to understand themselves more deeply, and profoundly change their lives and come back to you the next week and say, “Oh my gosh. For the first time in my life I stood up to my boss or to my husband. I took care of myself and I didn’t put everybody else’s needs first or whatever.” So, anyway, I would say it was a combination of wanting to be more involved and to have a more meaningful profound impact on the lives of people.
Perry: That’s quite a profound shift going from a decade in Academia to opening your own private practice which you opened, what? About four or five years ago, is that right?
Heather: Yeah, I did.
Perry: What was that transition like when you decided to move from working in academics until opening your own private practice. Was there sort of a period of time where you were still in Academia and trying to open up your private practice or did you just–?
Perry: Okay. How did that transition work? Can you share that with our audience?
Heather: Yeah. So what I did was I actually went to the chief of medicine to let him know that I was going to open a private practice which was somewhat discouraged I would say. When you’re working in a hospital setting. I had let him know so that everything was on the up and up. But I was really scared, I’ll be honest with you. Working in academic settings, you’re basically working in a hospital or some kind of a facility where your income is predictable. It may not be much…
Perry: But at least you have that predictability. When you switch to become an entrepreneur the predictability goes, you throw it out the window.
Heather: Exactly. And then there’s really not anybody else to fall back on to get a lot of help from. In Academia I had mentors and I had people you could always turn to with more experience and who would know the ropes and all of that. And now on my own it was all on me. Super scary.
Perry: Do you remember how many clients you had when you decided to leave Academia completely?
Heather: Yeah, none. When I left completely I had a goal in my mind. So I had a few things that I did. When I first decided to do it, I wrote out a business plan. It wasn’t savvy, it wasn’t sophisticated. But I basically figured out, okay, what are my monthly bills? What is going to be the bills for this practice, in other words? What is going to be an estimate of the rent? What is going to be an estimate of my insurance? what is an estimate of my marketing? I read a great article that told me therapists above all other types of professions under market and that when you look at large corporations and when you look at car companies and all these places that did really well, they spend a huge amount of the percentage of their total profit on marketing. I just fallen into that article and I thought, “Okay, I got something I’m going to do a little bit differently as I’m going to try and have a good marketing plan.”
Perry: And that’s so key and so many of our clients don’t even touch on that. Do you remember where you read that article?
Heather: I’m sure I could find it. I felt like it was sort of a divine help there. I was just doing some Google searches on how to start a private practice, and common mistakes, how to build it quickly because I didn’t want to stay in academics for very long. I didn’t want to live that dual life of one day I’m driving here, then I’m driving there. I just did not want to do that for long. So in my business plan I came up with, okay, these are going to be my overall costs and this is going to be the general percentage of how much I’m going to spend on, say my website and all of those things. And I made some mistakes in the beginning in marketing. And then I figured out how many clients you needed to have every week to be good? And then that was my goal. When I had 13 clients I knew I was going to be good. And as soon as I had 13 I resigned.
Perry: Gosh. There are so much great information there Heather. I’m not even quite sure where to begin. You said that you made marketing mistake. Do you mean that you made a mistake in how much marketing was going to cost you or you made a mistake in your marketing strategy?
Heather: I made a couple mistakes in my marketing strategy. So I thought by running a free group that perhaps I would get clients that way. So I started to do that and I found that it took a ton of time because what I was doing was sort of the old school way of marketing which is I was putting up flyers around and I was offering this free group. I didn’t really know how to market this group, but basically it really didn’t develop much for me at all. Now if I was to do it now I might do it a little bit differently. So for example I wasn’t using Meetup. I was just marketing it old school style. Just word of mouth and that kind of thing. And that in this day and age doesn’t work.
Perry: Especially when you have so many things like Meetup. And just for our audience, in case you’re not aware, Meetup is a great way to find common interest groups. So when I was starting Brighter Vision, I would use Meetup to find referral partnership groups and referral networking groups. You can find any sort of common interest groups. So it’s a great tool to form a group. Is that how you would you use it today, you said?
Heather: Yeah. I didn’t know about that back then. I didn’t know about Meetup back then because I just hadn’t really been exposed to that. And it was actually one of my clients who told me that he was involved in a skiing group and he was involved in a social singles group. And I went on a Meetup and I was like wow, there’s all these therapists groups and meditation groups and there’s all this– If you want to just go to a book group or whatever, there’s everything on meetup.com. But anyway, way back when I started I didn’t know about Meetup so that would have been a much better way to market this group versus just putting up flyers and doing it the old school way that I was.
Perry: If you were doing that today Heather, would you charge for people to attend the group?
Heather: If I was just starting out and only in the very beginning of starting my practice I probably wouldn’t. Or I would probably charge a really nominal fee. I did that in the beginning where I basically was more willing to—It’s supply and demand so if you don’t have a lot of people, you’re just trying to build up your practice, then in my opinion probably it’s in your best interest to be a little more flexible when it comes to your fee. Now where I am I’ve got clients and a waiting list and I’m inundated every single day with client requests, so I can be a little bit more choosy about who I take and I can also be a little bit more choosy about my fee. But back then I was obviously just starting out, so I would say probably best to have your group grow and then you can maybe charge more.
Perry: Certainly. That’s great advice there Heather. And especially about supply and demand. If you have more clients you can actually see– And the supply is just you, unless you add an extra therapist to your practice. It’s just you and your supply is just your time. So speaking about hourly rates, we often see therapists struggle in the early days with pricing themselves well. Can you share with your audience what your current hourly rate is and sort of give us an overview of your journey to that rate?
Heather: Yup. Great question. So I had a hard time just like everybody else trying to figure out what am I worth and what should I charge and that kind of thing. So one thing I did was I actually started to get on psychology today and look at what’s the rate, the typical rate of everybody in my zip code. So people who run hotels, this is what they do. You look to see kind of what is the average fee for everybody in your general area. And then I started to look at, okay, I have three degrees. Two master’s and a PHD. Okay, given that I have a little bit more training what do people in that sort of range charge? So I realized that probably the fee I needed to be at, maybe not at the beginning, but the fee I needed to be at is 150. But in the beginning I didn’t feel like I was comfortable saying, “I’m going to put it out there at 150.” So I think there’s also psychologically you have to be able to feel comfortable standing in whatever price it is that you’re offering. So while that is the fee that people pay now, when I first started out I was far more flexible. So I took people from the range of 110 to about 125. Some people were– I was aiming for most people at about 125 but I definitely was taking some people even at a 100 dollars. Not a lot because I felt like that was lower than what I offered, but nonetheless when you’re just trying to get a built up you want to get going. So rather than sitting in my office doing nothing for an hour, at least if I’m sitting in my office charging a 100 is better than just sitting there doing nothing.
Perry: Most certainly.
Heather: So that’s sort of the mentality that I had in the beginning, which is to be a little bit more flexible. Then as I started to understand that I needed– This was the most important thing, I needed to have an online presence. I heard that, I read that, or someone told me that. You need to have an online presence. That’s when I started to do everything in my power to be on every single network that I can find, every single directory, make sure my information was correct on all the free things that I could find. Just everywhere I could I try to find a way to get my information out there. That’s when I started– The more I did that, the more I started to really see big improvements in how many people were reaching out to me.
Perry: So Heather, I completely agree. Having your profile on all these different directories, it’s such a great referral source. What are some directories you’re on? So you mentioned Psychology Today before. What other directories have you found that worked really well for you in growing your practice?
Heather: Honestly two were the best. Psychology Today. That may not be the case now, but Psychology Today I found to be really good although there’s a ton of people on there so you’re not getting a lot of people but it is good to be on there, I think. The other thing I found about the Psychology Today, here’s a little tip, is that every time you change your profile information– So if you change something in your– Say your narrative, it seems to then bump you back up to being on the first and second page. Versus, if you ignore it– They must have some kind of a thing where if you’re ignoring your profile then obviously you don’t need people, or maybe they want their newer people who just joined to be on their first or second page. So anyway, even if you change a little bit of something it kind of bumps you up a little bit on Psychology Today.
Perry: That’s a fascinating observation and it makes perfect sense. Google and Bing and all the search engines, they use algorithms to determine where you’re ranked. And it’s certainly realistic that Psychology Today uses an algorithm that would say, “Hey, if I updated my profile that means I’m looking for more clients or I’ve changed something. Or maybe I’m unhappy with how Psychology Today is performing for me.”
Perry: So that’s such a great observation there that I never heard before. Therapist experience audience, definitely make sure you’re updating that Psychology Today profile. Even just once a month, just getting things updated. That’s so great Heather. Thank you so much for sharing that.
Heather: Yup, and then Network Therapy was the other one and I don’t know why those two. Maybe I should look and see on Google if you just put in therapist, it must be that those two come up right away as directories. So network therapy and then there were a few other that I also did. I did a couple of mind-body or holistic types of network directories, but honestly I don’t know if I’ve even gotten very many people that way. But I thought to myself, hey. Everybody is on Psychology Today maybe these mind-body or some other different types of– Ones that don’t have as many people will somehow work out because there’ll be less competition. But I don’t know that that’s really done very much. The biggest thing that I saw, huge increase is Google Adwords. Although that can be pricing, you have to be kind of careful with what you’re doing there. I went through a good company that helped me identify with Google Adwords approximately how much it was going to be every month. Anyway, making sure that you have a strong presence on Google is pretty important.
Perry: Certainly. And just for our audience there’s two ways to rank on Google. There’s your search engine optimization or your SEO, and that is unpaid essentially but you’re competing against everybody else. There’s no guarantee of success. Whereas Adwords you’re paying Google for every click. So you can guarantee that you’re ranking on page one for whatever you want. For Denver marriage and family therapist, for Denver couples counseling. But you have to pay for those clicks so it’s so important to know your numbers. To have a business plan in mind and know what it costs you to acquire a client and what that client’s revenue value is for you long term. And Heather you went to school for theater and eventually for psychology, but not to get your MBA. But you’re basically giving our audience a huge lesson in business here.
Heather: Sad thing is that in school– I mean, I went to some of the top schools at Brown and CU Boulder and not one of them– Maybe that’s changed now but not one of them did anything to teach me how to do a business plan. Didn’t teach me how to market, didn’t teach me–
Perry: I don’t think that’s changed Heather. We hear from our clients and our audience all the time that they wish they knew more about business when they started. So what’s the one thing you wish you would have learned in school about starting your own business.
Heather: Well, the two things that I learned from doing it myself was, one– And this is going to be really obvious but, one, make sure your website really reflects who you are because now when I have people going on my website they’re like, “Wow, I really liked your website. I liked everything you had to say.” I saw my particular sorter on there so if somebody’s looking for something somewhat specific like eating or whatever it is, they saw it on there and I think that that’s really important. And if there’s something you are not interested in working with, don’t put that on there because that’s not going to be what you want. So make sure that your website really reflects like the sense of who you are, who you feel like you are. I can say that’s most important thing because then clients that you’re going to enjoy working with are going to see your website and they’re going to go, “Ooh, this person feels like a fit for me.” When you work with them you’re going to enjoy working with them.
Perry: That’s so important there Heather. Your website, your presence, it needs to reflect who you are whether it’s both through the imagery and the feeling of the website. And also the copy. So if you don’t feel comfortable writing your own copy hire somebody, spend a few hundred dollars to get someone to write your bio, to write things for you. Professional copywriters will spend time getting to know you and would be able to word those things potentially better than you can if you’re not feeling comfortable with it. So definitely make sure that you are marketing yourself as who you are on your website. So, Heather, you’ve been so adept at using technology to help you grow your practice and even start your practice, but so often we see therapists struggle with overcoming the hurdle of technology. What are some tools that you’ve used to leverage the power of technology in your private practice so that technology is no longer a hurdle, but instead an asset for you?
Heather: Well, I have to say that if I had found your company early in the process, that would have been a lot better. Because when I first started out I just used– If I can just be honest I just used Vistaprint because I didn’t really know what else to do. And while it was really simple to use it really didn’t make for a very impressive website. And not only that. Because they use templates– I was able to find a few other people and their website looked sort of like mine so it didn’t really help me to stand out. So that was sort of like, “Ah!” And then I went to therapy sites because I felt like, “Okay, this looks like a little bit more warm. It has a little bit more personality to it.” But again I ended up finding actually two other therapists who had the same exact template as me. So I thought, “Oh my gosh.” Like, if the client finds this and sees, it’s just not going to feel very personable at all. And it also didn’t totally match with me in terms of my personality, but as an– Actually I was willing to do this interview even before I switched to you guys.
Perry: Sure. And just some full disclosure for our audience here. Heather is currently a Brighter Vision client. We are currently redesigning her site, but we have reached out to Heather before she was a Brighter Vision client asking her if she would be open to being in this podcast with us. That’s how she’s sort of discovered us and became a Brighter Vision client.
Heather: I’m not getting paid and I’m not getting any kind of kickback here. I’m just being honest. But totally, it’s true. Working now with somebody where I’m able to make– So here’s the other thing. Then I try to get on to WordPress and I try to see if I can figure that out because somebody said, “Oh, it’s pretty easy to use.” And I’m pretty bright and I feel like I was able to figure out some of the other things online. But honestly, I felt like I could not figure out WordPress that well and it didn’t seem as simple as I thought. So I sort of abandoned that. But now many people that I worked with who are clients, who are I’m going to say top people in media, without disclosing too much. They’re very top nationally known people in media– Have all said, “WordPress is the site you want to have because Google loves WordPress site.” So I heard that from some of my clients and I’m like, “But I have no clue. How to get that to happen.” So I felt I was really lucky that you guys reached out to me so that I could finally get that. And anyways, I digress. But if I had found this early in my process, boy that would have been awesome. Because I wouldn’t have to go down rabbit holes that I had to go down. But it mostly worked because honestly, Google Adwords just drives a lot of people to you site. The only thing is though it can drive people to your site that you may not want, that may not work for you. I’ve had people who thought I was a psychiatrist. So, for a while I had to really turn away a number of people who were coming to me for medication. So it’s not ideal. The best and the most ideal is to have somebody who can optimize your site for you. To do the SEO. I’ve never had that, maybe until now but therapy sites, they say they do that but honestly I’ve really haven’t seen it. So they say that but I haven’t really seen anything.
Perry: You know, the problem with SEO and we briefly touched about it, is that it is so nebulous and there’s nothing tangible about it. So you can do the SEO but there’s still no guaranteed results so we strongly encourage our clients to pursue pay per click as well. Because you’re going to be guaranteed to get results. You’re going to be guaranteed to say, “Hey, if I put 200 dollars in my Adwords budget this month that means I’m going to get clicks to my website and–”
Heather: And that’s exactly the number that I do. I do 200 dollars a month on it. And I just figured based on that one article that I have read saying that therapists don’t market aggressively enough, I figured okay, well this has got to be part of it. Just as important as my malpractice insurance. So for me that has been huge and that’s really the way to go.
Perry: So Heather, 200 dollars a month and you charge 150 dollars an hour. That means you just need two clients a month out of it just to see you once, to make a profit off of that. And ideally they’re going to be seeing you for more than one session.
Heather: And in the beginning I was really charging like 125 and I had that fee for a long time. So basically I would say that it’s worth it. It’s really worth it. There isn’t anything that’s going to help you more. Trying to do some kind of a workshop or that kind of thing. You may spend a ton of time and hours doing something like that and you may only get one client out of it, versus Google Adwords. You’re doing other stuff and it pays for itself pretty quickly.
Perry: It most certainly does. We use Adwords here as a reliable tool to get new clients as well, and Heather do you still work with a company–?
Perry: Would you mind sharing the name of the company so we can put in the show notes for our clients?
Heather: Yeah. First Impressions.
Perry: First Impressions. Great.
Heather: Yeah, and let me just say too. I got totally– What is the nice word to say? Taken by one company that claimed to put you on the first page and no matter what, they were going to do that. They spent far more money and I never saw it. They never delivered. And they just totally took me of so much money. So make sure that you can go through a company that is like a Google verified or Google approved company. That’s another thing I messed up in my marketing in the beginning is I went through this other company and the basically took probably thousands and I never seen anything from it.
Perry: So they were probably an SEO company and that’s why we say, SEO can be great if it eventually works for you, but never ever trust a company that tells you that they will put you on the front page of Google just through SEO. Yeah, they can put you on the front page of Google through pay per click. That’s totally through, but nobody can guarantee from page rankings on Google. So Heather I think it’s a great breaking point here. We’re going to take a little break here to get one of our weekly website tips from one of the Brighter Vision lead developers and we’ll be back in a minute.
This week’s website tip comes from Rachel Tschanz, a lead developer at Brighter Vision. The worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. To learn more go to www.brightervision.com
Rachel: Hey everyone. Rachel Tschanz here. One of my favorite design tricks is adding a subtle texture or background pattern to your website. Instead of gradient or a solid color I prefer textures which can add depth and intrigue. This is very straightforward to do. Just go to www.subtlepatterns.com and find a texture or pattern you like. There are hundreds of patterns out there so spend some time looking for one that matches your overall theme and feel. Something to avoid would be a pattern that feels like an adult coloring book, as those have too much business in them. Just look for a nice simple subtle pattern. If the color isn’t what you want, don’t tread. Just open it up in Photoshop and add a rectangular color over it. Then lower the pastille until the texture pokes through. If that sounds confusing don’t worry. We have a sample Photoshop doc in the show notes at www.brightevision.com/session3.
Now back to our conversation with Heather and Perry.
Perry: Okay Heather. Now we’re going to move into the final part of our interview. The part we like to refer to as brighter insights where we can really distill down your experience and your advice into little sound bites and quick answers that therapists can use to inspire, motivate, and excite them in growing their practice. Are you ready Heather?
Heather: I’m ready.
Perry: Fantastic. Alright. What or who inspired you to become a mental health professional?
Heather: Yes. I had met a medical professional. She was a counselor. Her name was Donna Benedict. I met her in Rhode Island just by a chance meeting and she and I ended up having a three hour discussion that was fascinating and I fell in love. Literally fell in love with the world of psychology after meeting with her. I changed my undergraduate degree almost immediately.
Perry: That’s when you were at UConn, is that right?
Heather: No, actually that was when I was an undergraduate at University of Texas.
Perry: Oh wow. I didn’t even have that in my bio there, I think.
Heather: Yeah. A number of universities I’ve been to is kind of ridiculous. Anyway, after that I changed– As they say, I got the fire in my belly.
Perry: Fantastic. That fire in your belly has propelled you to such an amazing career here. So, Heather, what do you do to clear your head and get a fresh start in your day?
Heather: Yes. A couple of things. One is, if I can just go outside for a minute and take a few deep breaths. Or even ideally if I have enough time to do a brief meditation,even five minutes, that can dramatically help. And my meditation, I always say it’s not about how. So it’s not focusing on your breath or how to do something. It’s about allow. So I tell my clients this all the time. It’s not about how, it’s about allow. Which is just sitting and allowing everything to be exactly as it is will restore your system.
Perry: Heather, what’s a quote that you hold near and dear? Something that has helped formulated your perspective on life or really any quote that has inspired, motivated or provided guidance for you in life?
Heather: Yeah. So way back when I realized, “Oh my gosh. I just got the wrong undergraduate degree.” I was pretty discouraged. In my mind I just started always telling myself and I still do, even when I launched my private practice, where there’s a will there’s a way. And that has been– Maybe not an amazing quote, that has really been something that has guided me no matter what. Even when I was getting my PHD I would always tell myself, the race doesn’t go to those who are swift but to those who keep running.
Perry: Oh, I love that.
Heather: Yeah, so I just always had– It’s the same idea. Where there’s a will there’s a way. So I always just have it in my mind. If you keep plugging at this you’re going to get it. So just keep plugging. Don’t give up.
Perry: Heather, if you could recommend one book to our audience, what would that book be?
Heather: I love the book by Tara Brach called Radical Acceptance. It’s really wonderful and it talks a lot about how we need to befriend ourselves and accept where we are and that the more we can accept ourselves where we are the more actually we’re able to change.
Perry: Awesome. Alright, Heather. Last question. If you move to a new city tomorrow, knew nobody and all you had was your computer and a 100 dollars to start a new private practice, what would you do on your first day?
Heather: The first day I would definitely begin to launch up my website. That’s the most important thing. That’s like the storefront of your business. You don’t have that, you really don’t have business. So that would be the very first thing, is getting my website up and going and then– Well a 100 dollars is probably not going to pay for it, the second thing I would do would be Google Adwords to start getting people to see my business.
Perry: Any parting advice for our listeners Heather?
Heather: I would say to try to have fun. That the point of therapy that I find is so much fun even when it’s really difficult I just love it. So to remember that that’s the most important thing. Don’t take things too seriously and have fun.
Perry: I love that advice Heather and if you’re having fun, that’s going to translate to more clients wanting to work with you, having more success with your clients. Fun is just infectious and we try to have a ton of fun here at Brighter Vision as well. So Heather, where can our listeners find you to connect and learn more about you?
Heather: Yeah. They can go to my website which is www.heatherlachancephd.com and I’m there with the information. The best way to get me is email. It’s impossible to get me on the phone since I’m so full all the time. So if anybody does need to get me email is the best way.
Perry: Great, and of course you can learn more about Heather and all the great resources she mentioned at brightervision.com/session3. Heather, thank you so much for being so generous with your time, your expertise, and your knowledge. We appreciate all this great advice that you provided. Essentially an MBA for therapists in about an hour. Man, oh man. This has been fantastic. Thank you so much again.
Heather: Absolutely. It has been my pleasure.
Perry: Thank you so much for tuning in today. If you have a question for us you can email it to us at [email protected] and if you’re interested in launching a website, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Brighter Vision is the worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. For just 59 dollars a month you get a website that’s as unique as your practice. Unlimited technical support and complementary SEO so people can actually find you online. To learn more about us you can email us at [email protected] or just head on over to brightervision.com and drop us a line through one of our contact forms. Well that does it for today. Thank you again for listening.