Whether you are an experienced therapist working in a large institution or a new graduate building your first practice, this workshop is meant for you. COVID-19 recently taught us that maintaining a successful practice amidst a crisis is just as challenging as building one from the beginning. This workshop will introduce you to the concept of Client Engagement and how it directly influences your clients’ satisfaction and their commitment to therapy. Client engagement expands your clinical assessment of the client’s experience beyond your therapeutic alliance, and includes variables often referred to as ’business subjects’ (i.e. cancellation patterns, cancellation policies, frequency of therapy). This expanded lens invites you to explore the role your values and beliefs play in how you do or don’t exercise therapeutic leadership during these important conversations and the impact that has on your practice. We will review the clinical significance behind this approach and use it to develop client engagement skills that will allow you to build a clinical practice that is congruent with who you wish to be as a therapist. These skills will convert awkward ‘business conversations’ into meaningful interactions that strengthen your therapeutic alliance and reinforce your client’s commitment to the therapy process.
- List the factors that contribute to client engagement and how they impact your client’s commitment to therapy as well as your experience as a therapist.
- Explain how to apply client engagement concepts to client satisfaction assessments in order to identify high and low levels of engagement.
- Apply client engagement principles to therapeutic leadership interactions in a way that promotes connection and trust.
Laura Cross is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of a group private practice, Individual and Relationship Therapy Center in Denver. Prior to becoming a therapist, Laura spent 22 years in Washington, DC, specializing in sales and marketing in the medical device industry. During her time in this competitive space, she gained valuable experience working with various types of customers, many with competing and challenging needs. In addition to excelling in sales, Laura held positions in both sales training and product development. Through this combined experience, Laura learned the critical importance of connecting with the customer’s experience in all business interactions. After tiring of Corporate America, and realizing she had a desire to serve people in a different way, she completed a Master’s degree from Virginia Tech’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. In 2012, Laura relocated to Denver, Colorado and opened her private practice in 2013 as a solo practitioner. She quickly realized her desire to work closely within a community of therapists paired well with her history in sales and marketing, so she formed a group private practice. By 2014, the practice had expanded to three clinicians and today IRTC is a thriving group private-pay practice with 7 full-time therapists and plans to expand to eight by summer of this year. Laura is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist and Supervisor, and is also trained in EMDR and AEDP.
(NBCC, APA, and AASECT CEs are available in collaboration with Advanced Mental Health Training Institute.)