This month we will begin our new feature in which we highlight one of our members. We will learn a little more about them personally and what they can offer through their practice.
Since Robyn Wendell has been with us the longest, we decided she would be a great place to begin. I sent Robyn several questions and asked her to answer a few of them. First a little more about Robyn:
Originally from Chicago, Robyn attended Stanford University and University of Texas where she completed her LCSW. She has been in Austin since 2000 and enjoys curling up with a good book, solving logic and jigsaw puzzles, yoga, exploring the outdoors, and traveling and spending time with her husband and daughter.
How did you choose to go into therapy?
My path to therapy was not so much a single decision on a particular day as it was a realization that many of the things I enjoyed and chose to do in my spare time were related to working with and counseling others.
Looking back, I starting counseling others as a teenager. Once in college at Stanford, that need to help others grew stronger and I chose to volunteer at our student Sexual Health Peer Resource Center. Later, I became a Resident Assistant in the dorms as a way to help other students and give back to the school. Even in my first job out of college, my team asked me to be one of the employees to help everyone else cope with the uncertainty around us as layoffs and corporate downsizing started happening. It was after leaving that job and starting to work with social workers at the statewide abuse and neglect hotline, that I finally acknowledged that I wanted to spend my life helping others through counseling.
I went to graduate school at UT to obtain a Master of Science in Social Work and worked in many settings over the following ten or so years. Last year, I chose to shift my focus and go into private practice. I saw private practice as a way to have greater control and flexibility over how I provided care for my clients. It is a wonderful privilege and awesome responsibility to now be the person making the choices and policy decisions on how to structure my practice, but I truly believe it allows me to be the best therapist I can be to my clients.
What is something that may surprise us to know? / If you were in a different profession, what would you choose and why?
I started out in college as an Electrical Engineering and Psychology double major. If I were to choose a different profession, it would likely be in the technology sector. Before starting my private practice, I contemplated enrolling in a coding bootcamp to learn software programming and web design. Also, I am a fan of sports cars. As a child, I wanted to be a race car driver by day and an emergency veterinarian by night.
If you could go anywhere, where and why?
I would love to visit Australia, New Zealand, and some of the Polynesian Islands. The photographs have always looked amazing.
What is your ultimate comfort food?
Mango with sticky rice!
Robyn specializes in:
Adjustment to changes in health and/or ability
Co-working space: How the therapy world can learn a little something from corporate America.
Ok, its 2017…well super close.
The workforce is shifting tremendously. Companies are finally getting with the program and letting employees enjoy more flexibility in their days, times of work, and even location. As therapists in private practice (or those considering it)- we enjoyed the perks of more flexible schedules and workdays for quite some time. For many this is what initially drew you to private practice in the first place.
So how can therapists learn a little something from all these corporate companies opening their minds to alternative work days?? CO-WORKING SPACE!
Perhaps you’ve already heard of the new trend- that is not really a trend in the traditional sense because it is here to stay! Basically the premise with most co-working spots is that you can choose a work environment that is convenient for you, and you don’t have to lock yourself into yearlong leases- and it is not a noisy coffee shop! How does this flexible working space lend itself perfectly to therapists? Basically, as you are launching your practice it is really hard to lock yourself into long leases, so why not share a space that is fully stocked, comfy, cozy and ready for you on a daily basis.
How this works in practice for therapists:
So, if your New Years resolution is to get a private practice underway, utilizing Launch Wellness’ co-working space model is definitely a great option to help you feel supported and not overwhelmed with all the initial office costs and upkeep!
It’s summer: the phone is ringing less, lots of clients are out of town, and you’re trying to grow a practice. Summer time can be a bit scary. Our theme this month is the “summer time scaries” because of how unsettled we might feel during these months. The unpredictable nature of our schedules over the summer makes it hard to predict what our income will look like. Despite the potential dip in money summer months might actually be a good time to get some business items tended to- which might even mean spending money!
The goal with spending money strategically over the summer months is to set yourself up to get more clients come fall. Getting organized and taking advantage of the lull in your schedule can actually set you up to make more money.
We are going to be talking about the “summer scaries” and what to do about them all month at Launch. Below are just a few ideas of what to spend money on over the summer...
Website: Take a look at your site, does it need attention? Updates? Does your logo need any work? Fiverr is a super cheap way of getting a new logo designed.
Head shots: Could your website benefit from a more professional touch? A professional head shot can run anywhere from around $100-250 (just one location, one image with a professional photographer).
Marketing materials: summer is a great time to be connecting with colleagues. What about revamping your business cards? Vista print is constantly having tons of sales!
Online directory services: If you have not invested in a profile with Psychology Today or another online service, this could improve your visibility.
Practice management tools: Use the downtime to organize your practice! A practice management tool like: Therapy Notes or Simple Practice can help you get everything all squared away, for not that much money (~40-50 bucks a month).