Therapy Practice Solutions

Valentine’s Day 2024: 3 Self-Love Activities to Use in the Therapy Space


Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant

Valentine's Day makes us think of love, plain and simple. It's all about romance, hugs, and showing how much we care. People get excited planning cute dates, making heartfelt cards, or even surprising each other with gifts. Valentine’s is a time to appreciate the special someone who lights up our lives and makes our hearts skip a beat. It's a day to remind us to cherish that connection and spread some love and romance around.


While romantic love is great for some folx, what about self-love?


In America, the concept of self-love is gaining momentum. Studies show that a growing number of people are prioritizing self-care and self-compassion. According to recent surveys, over 80% of female Americans believe it's important to practice self-love, with many citing improved mental health and overall well-being as the main benefits. Despite societal pressures and expectations, individuals are increasingly recognizing the importance of loving and accepting themselves just as they are. 


Are your clients looking to develop self-love in the therapy room? The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions are here to help! Read on for three self-love activities to use in the therapy space.


Of course! Here are the same self-love activities with step-by-step instructions:


Activity #1: Gratitude Journaling

Journaling has clear benefits for mental health, self-awareness, gratitude, and self-love. To help clients develop a gratitude journaling exercise, consider doing the following:


  1. Set aside time each day: Encourage clients to designate a specific time, preferably in the morning or before bed, to write in their gratitude journal.

  2. Provide a journal: Supply clients with a dedicated journal for gratitude journaling, ensuring they have a designated space for their entries.

  3. Encourage specificity: Prompt clients to be specific in their entries, focusing on detailed aspects of their lives they're grateful for rather than generalities.

  4. Discuss positive emotions: Explore the positive emotions that arise from focusing on gratitude, helping clients recognize and savor these feelings.

  5. Identify patterns: Guide clients to identify patterns of positivity and abundance in their lives, reinforcing the practice of gratitude.


Activity #2: Self-Compassion Meditation

Meditation is a wonderful way to cultivate both awareness of and appreciation for the self. To help clients do a self-compassionate meditation, you can: 


  1. Guided exercises: Lead clients through guided meditation exercises focused on cultivating self-compassion, providing verbal prompts and instructions.

  2. Provide resources: Supply clients with scripts or recordings of guided self-compassion meditations for use outside of therapy sessions.

  3. Non-judgmental attitude: Encourage clients to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards their thoughts and feelings during meditation, allowing them to observe without criticism.

  4. Discuss importance: Discuss the importance of self-compassion in navigating challenges and setbacks, emphasizing its role in fostering resilience and emotional well-being.

  5. Integration: Explore ways to integrate self-compassion practices beyond formal meditation sessions, encouraging clients to apply self-compassion in their daily lives.


Activity #3: Body Appreciation Exercise

Body positivity has shown to increase self-esteem and to decrease the risk of developing an eating disorder. To encourage clients to show love for their bodies, try the following: 


  1. Body scan meditation: Guide clients through a body scan meditation, instructing them to focus on physical sensations throughout their body.

  2. Appreciation focus: Encourage clients to focus on areas of their body they appreciate or feel neutral about, redirecting attention from perceived flaws.

  3. Challenge negative beliefs: Explore any negative body image beliefs and challenge them with evidence to the contrary, fostering a more balanced perspective.

  4. Self-care exploration: Discuss ways clients can practice self-care and nurture their bodies, such as through healthy habits, relaxation techniques, or enjoyable activities.

  5. Promote acceptance: Encourage activities that promote body acceptance and celebration, helping clients cultivate a more positive relationship with their bodies.


We hope this post shared some activities to bring self-love into the therapy space! At Therapy Practice Solutions, we know how important it is for you to use your time and energy in ensuring high quality care for your clients. If you’d like to offload tasks to make time for providing great care to your clients, reach out to us today. The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions would love to help you help others. We look forward to hearing from you!


MLK Jr. Day: Resources for BIPOC Mental Health Providers

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed annually on the third Monday of January, commemorates the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. Dr. King advocated for racial equality, justice, and nonviolent activism. His work played a pivotal role in advancing civil rights and fostering social change in the United States. MLK Jr. Day serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial justice, promoting unity, and inspiring individuals to contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

Despite the progress made in the fight for civil rights, there persist significant disparities for BIPOC individuals in the mental health world. Barriers to access, cultural stigma, and systemic inequalities contribute to limited availability of culturally competent mental health care. BIPOC communities often face challenges in receiving appropriate and responsive treatment, exacerbating mental health disparities. 


Not only do disparities exist in accessing care for BIPOC mental health, but barriers to becoming providers exist for BIPOC individuals. In the mental health field, 73% of providers are white and 74% of providers are female, displaying the major lack of representation in the field. The lack of BIPOC providers in the field can be explained for a variety of reasons, such as educational requirements to enter the field (Master’s degrees are expensive!), lack of representation leading to lack of engagement, and stigma around discussing mental health in many communities. 


Wondering what resources are out there to support BIPOC therapists? The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions are here to help! Keep reading books, podcasts, and organizations to help support the amazing work of BIPOC mental health clinicians.


Books for BIPOC Mental Health Providers:


1. “The Color of Mind: Why the Origins of the Achievement Gap Matter for Justice" by Derrick Darby and John L. Rury: This book explores the impact of systemic issues on mental health and education, especially for BIPOC individuals.


2. “My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies" by Resmaa Menakem: Resmaa Menakem explores the ways racialized trauma manifests in the body and offers a path toward healing.


3. "The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing" by Anneliese A. Singh: This handbook provides practical activities for individuals and communities to engage in racial healing.


4. "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing" by Joy DeGruy: Joy DeGruy examines the impact of historical trauma on the mental health of Black individuals and communities.


5. "Counseling People of African Ancestry" by Thomas A. Parham and Adisa Ajamu: A comprehensive guide for mental health professionals working with individuals of African ancestry.


6. "Decolonizing Mental Health: Intersectionality, Indigeneity, and Healing" by Julie K. Kohlhart and Fiona C. Black: This book explores the intersection of mental health, indigeneity, and decolonization.


7. "Culturally Responsive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Assessment, Practice, and Supervision" by Gayle Y. Iwamasa and Pamela A. Hays: A practical guide for mental health providers on culturally responsive cognitive-behavioral therapy.


8. "The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness" by Rhonda V. Magee: Rhonda Magee explores the intersection of mindfulness, racial justice, and personal transformation.



Podcasts for BIPOC Mental Health Providers:

1. Therapy for Black Girls Podcast (https://therapyforblackgirls.com/podcast/): Dr. Joy Harden Bradford discusses mental health topics relevant to Black women and the Black community.


2. The Breakdown with Dr. Earl (https://www.drkarlondrame.com/podcast): Dr. Karlon Drame explores mental health topics and provides insights into navigating the challenges faced by the Black community.


3. Latinx Therapy Podcast (https://latinxtherapy.com/podcast/): Adriana Alejandre hosts discussions on mental health and wellness within the Latinx community.


4. Between Sessions Podcast (https://www.melissadivaris.com/between-sessions-podcast): Melissa Divaris Thompson and Eliza Boquin discuss mental health topics, including those relevant to BIPOC communities.


5. South Asian Mental Health Initiative & Network (SAMHIN) Podcast (https://samhin.org/podcast/): SAMHIN focuses on mental health topics specific to the South Asian community.


6. Decolonize Therapy Podcast (https://www.decolonizetherapy.com/podcast): Psychotherapist Myra Duran explores decolonization and mental health.


7. Radical Therapist Podcast](https://radicaltherapist.com/podcast): Dr. Chris Hoff hosts conversations on radical and critical approaches to therapy, including those relevant to social justice and BIPOC mental health.


8. The QTPoC Mental Health Podcast](https://www.qtpocmentalhealth.com/podcast): Matthew and Dante discuss mental health topics within the Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) community.


9. Black Mental Health Matters Podcast (https://www.therapyforblackmen.org/podcast/): A podcast addressing mental health issues within the Black community.


10. Asian Mental Health Collective Podcast (https://www.asianmhc.org/podcast): This podcast explores mental health topics with a focus on the Asian community.



Organizations for BIPOC Mental Health Providers:


1. Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi): is dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of the Black community and supporting Black psychologists.


2. National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA): focuses on advancing psychological research, training, and services relevant to the Latinx population.


3. Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA): advocates for the mental health and well-being of Asian American communities and professionals.


4. National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN): provides a directory of therapists of color with a focus on queer and trans individuals.


5. Therapy for Black Men: a directory connecting Black men with culturally competent therapists.


6. National Latinx/o Psychological Student Association (NLPSA): supports Latinx students pursuing psychology degrees and promotes mental health advocacy.


7. Black Mental Health Alliance (BMHA): works to develop, promote, and sponsor trusted mental health services within the Black community.


8. National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA): advocates for the mental health and well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.


We hope this post shared some resources to support BIPOC mental health providers! At Therapy Practice Solutions, we know how important it is for you to use your time and energy in ensuring high quality care for your clients. If you’d like to offload tasks to make time for providing great care to your clients, reach out to us today. The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions would love to help you help others. We look forward to hearing from you!


Reflection Prompts to Celebrate the End of 2023

 Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant


As 2023 comes to a close, you may be reflecting on major events that occurred this past year. In the arts and pop culture world, Beyoncé’s and Taylor Swift’s tours were monumental. In the film industry, Barbie and Oppenheimer releasing on the same day brought in $4 billion to the summer box office. Technological advancements including Chat GPT hit the scene in 2023 (which we have blogs about the impact of AI on your practice!) and launching of SpaceX.  


While America was experiencing some great wins in 2023, you may have experienced some wonderful successes in your mental health private practice! Maybe you hit the income goal you’ve had since you started private practice. Maybe you gained a new team member who turned out to be a great fit. Maybe you got trained in a modality you’ve been really looking forward to. Maybe your big win was even starting your private practice in the first place.


With 2024 right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to reflect on your 2023 wins at your mental health private practice. The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions are here to help! Keep reading for fifteen reflection prompts to close out 2023.



Personal Growth:


1) In what ways have you grown professionally in 2023? What new skills, knowledge, or techniques have you incorporated into your practice?

2) How did supervision or consultation contribute to your professional development, and what insights did you gain from these experiences?

3) Evaluate the progress you made toward the professional goals you set at the beginning of the year. What adjustments might be necessary for the upcoming year?

4) What were the most significant challenges you encountered in your private practice this year, and how did you navigate them?


Professional Skills:

5) Consider how you utilized technology in your practice. What tools or platforms were most effective, and are there areas for improvement?

6) Reflect on your cultural competence and sensitivity in working with diverse populations. How did you enhance your cultural awareness and responsiveness?

7) What new research or therapeutic techniques have you integrated into your practice, and how have they influenced your approach?

8) Reflect on your involvement in the mental health community. How did you contribute, collaborate, or connect with other professionals in your field?


Self-Care Practices:


9) Reflect on your own self-care practices. How well did you prioritize and maintain your own mental health throughout the year?

10) Assess how well you maintained healthy boundaries with clients and balanced your professional and personal life during the year.

11) Assess your levels of burnout and what preventative measures you took. How can you further safeguard your well-being in the future?


Client Care:


12) How have your clients progressed throughout the year, and what patterns or themes have emerged in their journeys?


13) Identify and celebrate some of the success stories or breakthrough moments your clients experienced during 2023.

14) Review any feedback or evaluations received from clients. What trends or consistent themes emerged from this feedback?

15) Explore how you incorporated client feedback into your practice. What changes did you make based on client input, and how did it impact the therapeutic relationship?

We hope this post helped you reflect on various aspects of your practice in 2023! At Therapy Practice Solutions, we know how important it is for you to use your time and energy in ensuring high quality care for your clients. If you’d like to offload tasks to make time for providing great care to your clients, reach out to us today. The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions would love to help you help others. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Private Practice Clinician’s Checklist for Ending 2023

 Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant


As the year comes to a close, you’re likely focused on togetherness with family and friends, celebrating any holidays you observe, and combatting those frequent cancellations (the holidays hit all of our bank accounts and calendars!). Many clinicians are also taking a few days, a week or two, or even the entire month of December off. While you’re enjoying holidays and getting some much needed rest, it’s hard to also ensure you’ve done all you need to do to end 2023 well and begin 2024 on the right foot.


With 2024 right around the corner, you may be wondering: is there anything I as a private practice mental health therapist need to do to end the year? The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions are here to help! Keep reading for three things to add to your end of year checklist.


Review and Update Policies:

Before the year concludes, mental health clinicians in private practice should review and update their practice policies. This includes informed consent forms, privacy policies, and any other documentation relevant to the therapeutic process. Here are some of our best tips for a comprehensive practice policy review: 


  1. Documentation Update: Thoroughly review and update all policy documents, including informed consent forms, client intake forms, and any other documentation used in your practice. Ensure that the language is clear, concise, and up-to-date with any changes in laws or regulations.


  1. Communication Policies: Evaluate your communication policies, especially in the digital realm. Clearly outline how you handle emails, teletherapy sessions, and other electronic forms of communication to maintain client confidentiality.


  1. Fee Review: Assess your fee structures in comparison to industry standards and regional market trends. Consider whether adjustments are needed to reflect the value of your services and to remain competitive.


  1. Client Safety Measures: Revisit safety protocols to ensure that clients are aware of available resources and support. This includes discussing boundaries, confidentiality limits, and steps to take if a client is in crisis.


Complete all CEUs:

Most mental health clinicians will need a certain number of Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) yearly to renew their license. If you haven’t hit the required CEU amount, here are some places to get those last-minute trainings in:


  1. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI provides educational resources, webinars, and workshops on mental health topics. While some resources are free, others may be available at a low cost, offering mental health therapists an opportunity to earn CEUs while supporting a nonprofit organization.

  2. Professional Associations: Explore memberships in professional associations like the American Counseling Association (ACA), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), or the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). These organizations often provide members with access to discounted or free CEU opportunities.


  1. APA Learning Center: The American Psychological Association (APA) offers a variety of free and low-cost webinars and online courses covering diverse topics in psychology. These can contribute to Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for mental health therapists.


  1. Local Universities and Colleges: Check with local universities or colleges that may offer free or affordable workshops and seminars. Some academic institutions host events that are open to mental health professionals and provide an opportunity to earn CEUs.


Implement Self-Care and Burnout Prevention:

Prioritize your well-being by evaluating and reinforcing your self-care practices. Burnout is a significant concern in the mental health profession, and establishing a robust self-care routine is essential for maintaining resilience and longevity in your career. Here are four strategies to help implement a self-care routine in 2024:


  1. Establish Boundaries: Mental health therapists should prioritize setting clear professional and personal boundaries. This includes delineating work hours, creating a designated workspace, and maintaining a separation between professional and personal life. Establishing and enforcing boundaries helps prevent burnout and promotes a healthier work-life balance.


  1. Peer Support Groups: Participate in peer support groups or supervision circles where mental health professionals can share experiences, challenges, and successes. Connecting with colleagues who understand the unique demands of the profession can provide a sense of camaraderie and reduce feelings of isolation. These groups offer a space for mutual support and the exchange of coping strategies.


  1. Hobbies and Creative Outlets: Cultivate hobbies or engage in creative activities outside of the therapeutic setting. Pursuing interests such as art, music, writing, or other creative outlets provides a valuable means of self-expression and stress relief. Dedicating time to activities that bring joy and fulfillment fosters a more balanced and holistic approach to self-care.


  1. Mindfulness and Stress Reduction: Incorporate mindfulness and stress reduction practices into daily routines. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga can help therapists manage stress and maintain emotional well-being. Regular self-reflection and mindfulness activities contribute to emotional resilience and prevent the accumulation of vicarious trauma.



We hope this post helped you feel more confident about closing 2023 successfully! At Therapy Practice Solutions, we know how important it is for you to use your time and energy in ensuring high quality care for your clients. If you’d like to offload tasks to make time for providing great care to your clients, reach out to us today. The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions would love to help you help others. We look forward to hearing from you!


Seasonal Affective Disorder: the Holidays When You’re SAD

 Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) represents a form of depression with a distinct seasonal pattern, most commonly manifesting during the fall and winter months when exposure to natural sunlight diminishes. According to the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 5% of individuals in the U.S. contend with this condition. Symptoms of SAD encompass a spectrum from diminished energy levels to heightened irritability, underscoring the significant impact on one's mood. Thankfully, various interventions such as light therapy, psychotherapy, and medication are available to alleviate the effects of SAD, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach to address both the biological and psychological facets of this seasonal mood disorder.


So, what are some ways your clients can combat SAD during the holidays? Check out three strategies for reducing the impacts of SAD from the pros at Therapy Practice Solutions.


Strategy #1: Prioritize Exposure to Natural Light:

Maximizing exposure to natural light is pivotal for managing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sunlight plays a crucial role in regulating circadian rhythms and serotonin levels, directly impacting mood and overall well-being. Some ways you can get sunlight exposure in the winter months are to:


  • Carve out time for outdoor activities during daylight hours.

  • Arrange your living and working spaces to maximize natural light exposure.

  • Consider investing in a light therapy box to supplement sunlight during darker days.


Strategy #2: Establish a Consistent Routine:

Maintaining a consistent daily routine serves as a stabilizing force for individuals navigating the challenges of SAD. While maintaining a routine can be hard during the holidays, try out our following tips:


  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule to support circadian rhythms.

  • Incorporate enjoyable and relaxing activities into your daily routine.

  • Plan holiday festivities thoughtfully, allowing for a balance of socializing and self-care.


Strategy #3: Cultivate Supportive Connections:

Building a network of supportive connections is instrumental in combating the isolating effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you don’t already have a support system to lean on, try these out:


  • Share your feelings with friends or family members you trust.

  • Attend holiday gatherings with people who understand and support your well-being.

  • Consider joining a support group or seeking professional guidance to navigate seasonal challenges.


We hope this post helped you learn some strategies to reduce the impact of SAD this holiday season! At Therapy Practice Solutions, we know how important it is for you to use your time and energy in ensuring high quality care for your clients. If you’d like to offload tasks to make time for providing great care to your clients, reach out to us today. The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions would love to help you help others. We look forward to hearing from you!

Documentation: It Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant

If we polled 100 therapists (we haven’t, so no official study being published for you), I’d be willing to bet less than 10 therapists would cite documentation as their favorite part of counseling. I would also be willing to bet at least 10 would cite documentation as scary or otherwise anxiety-producing - and I bet it would be more than 10!

Mental health therapists often find documentation intimidating due to the intricate balance required to maintain client confidentiality, meet insurance requirements, and capture the nuanced details of therapy sessions, with the added challenge of navigating complex and sometimes confusing insurance documentation expectations. The fear of legal or ethical consequences further compounds the pressure, and the time-intensive nature of thorough documentation can be perceived as a competing demand against the direct care needed for clients. In other words, documentation is too confusing and time/energy-consuming to feel good!

Luckily, the pros at Therapy Practice Solutions are here to help! Check out some of our best documentation tips below for writing progress notes that are all treats and no tricks.

Clarity and Objectivity

Insurance-compliant progress notes serve as a crucial aspect of the therapeutic documentation process. To meet insurance standards, therapists should prioritize clarity and objectivity in their note-writing. Clear and concise language is essential to convey the client's symptoms, progress, and the efficacy of interventions without ambiguity. The use of measurable terms, observable behaviors, and specific details enhances the quality of progress notes, making them more comprehensible to both insurance providers and any other professionals involved in the client's care.

Tips for Success: Begin progress notes with a concise summary of the session, focusing on observable and measurable aspects of the client's behavior and progress. Use straightforward language that accurately represents the client's experience and the therapeutic interventions applied. Regularly review and update treatment goals to ensure they align with the client's current needs, and emphasize the practical steps taken to achieve these goals. Regular training or peer consultation can be beneficial to stay informed about evolving insurance requirements and best practices for documentation.

Relevance to Treatment Goals:

An essential component of insurance-compliant progress notes is their relevance to the established treatment goals. Therapists should ensure that each note directly ties back to the overarching treatment plan, illustrating the client's advancement toward their therapeutic objectives. This alignment not only satisfies insurance requirements but also provides a comprehensive picture of the client's progress

Tips for Success: In each note, revisit and clearly outline the client's treatment goals. Explicitly state how the interventions applied during the session contribute to these goals. If there are changes in the treatment plan, clearly document the rationale behind these adjustments and how they align with the client's evolving needs. Regularly communicate with the client about their progress and collaboratively update treatment goals as necessary. This collaborative approach not only ensures accurate documentation but also enhances client engagement and investment in the therapeutic process.

Timeliness and Regularity:

Timeliness and regularity are crucial aspects of insurance-compliant progress notes. Insurance providers often require notes to be completed promptly after each session to maintain an up-to-date record of the client's therapeutic journey. Regular documentation not only fulfills insurance requirements but also contributes to comprehensive client care by providing an ongoing and accurate account of the therapeutic process. 

Tips for Success: Develop a system or routine for note-taking that integrates seamlessly into your workflow. Consider allocating specific time slots dedicated to documentation after each session to ensure timely completion. Utilize templates or standardized formats for progress notes to streamline the documentation process without compromising quality. Regularly review and update progress notes to reflect the client's evolving needs and progress. Engage in self-care practices to prevent burnout and maintain the energy and focus required for consistent and timely documentation.

We hope this post helped you learn three tips for clearer and less spooky documentation. At Therapy Practice Solutions, we know how important it is for you to use your time and energy in ensuring high quality care for your clients. If you’d like to offload tasks to make time for providing great care to your clients, reach out to us today. The pros at Therapy Practice Solutions would love to help you help others. We look forward to hearing from you!