Professional Practice Building

The Well-Managed Counseling Practice

Counselors go into private practice for many reasons. Freedom over one’s own schedule. Income potential. Clinical independence. Other compelling reasons. Whatever the motivation for the counselor’s entrepreneurial inclination, a successful counseling practice requires a therapist to also be a manager. This session focuses on helping the counselor/manager determine how they will define and attain success in their practice. We’ll address critical skills and decisions that are necessary to manage a practice and flourish psychologically and financially in independent work. Choosing the income streams you desire, identifying and attracting your ideal client, managing your time, and balancing the clinical and managerial mind are just a few of the key considerations that every counselor in private practice must address.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Outline the elements of a business plan for a therapy practice.
  • Consider their motivation for private practice and their definition of success in practice.
  • Explain the importance of identifying and marketing to their ideal client.
  • Identify several important policies and procedures that can make or break a practice.
LaVerne Hanes Collins, PhD, NCC, MAC, ACS, BCC, DCC, LPC

LaVerne Hanes Collins, PhD, NCC, MAC, ACS, BCC, DCC, LPC

LaVerne Collins began her role as program director for the NBCC Foundation in March 2017. For more than 20 years as an NCC, Dr. Collins has been a trainer, consultant, author, textbook contributor, and speaker throughout the United States, South America, and Africa. She served as the national clinical training coordinator for Chestnut Health System’s GAIN Coordinating Center; executive director of Lydia’s Place Pittsburgh (serving female offenders); grants manager of Richmond Behavioral Health Authority; and clinical supervisor of women’s substance use programs in Pennsylvania and Virginia. She is known for her Atlanta-based private practice, New Seasons Counseling, Coaching and Consulting, and she is recognized as an advocate for underserved and marginalized populations nationally and internationally. Prior to joining the NBCCF staff, Dr. Collins was a master trainer of Mental Health Facilitators for NBCC-I and 2015 NBCCF professional development awardee. Dr. Collins completed a dual bachelor’s degree at Syracuse University in management and communications, her Master of Science in education in community counseling from Duquesne University, and doctoral studies in Christian counseling from South Florida Theological Seminary.

Getting Paid: Joining Insurance and EAP Panels

Many mental health clinicians delay or even give up on their dream of starting a private practice. One of the most common influences that negatively impacts their decision is not knowing how to navigate credentialing to join insurance and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) panels. Often, clinicians become so overwhelmed after downloading an insurance and EAP credentialing application that they do not even attempt to complete the process. The information in this webinar will not only assist with the credentialing process but also show how organization is the key.

One failure of private practice success is not being in a position to receive payment for services through third-party reimbursement, such as insurance companies and EAPs. This webinar will provide valuable information as well as tips on becoming a panel provider. Join this webinar in taking one of the first steps to starting your private practice. Let me help you succeed and bring your dream of private practice to reality!

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of being on an insurance and EAP panel.
  • Discuss needed information to compile as a checklist in preparing for completion of insurance and EAP credentialing and enrollment into the CAQH credentialing database.
  • Outline the credentialing process to become panel providers for insurance companies and EAPs from start to finish.
  • Explore tips to assist with the credentialing process.


Sandra V. Phillips started her private practice, Transformation Behavioral Health, LLC, in 2014 in Augusta, Georgia. Ms. Phillips provides counseling services to a multicultural and diverse population. Ms. Phillips received her BA degree in psychology from the University of West Georgia, where she fell in love with humanistic psychology. She later earned both an MEd and MS in counseling and psychology from Troy University. Ms. Phillips is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II, International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional, and Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor. She is honored to be a Star Behavioral Health Provider, who renders counseling services to active military members, veterans, and their families.

Ms. Phillips enjoys working with both youth and adults. The belief that everything begins with a thought has defined her therapy approach with emphasis being placed on transforming by the renewing of the mind. Ms. Phillips offers faith-based counseling upon request. She provides individual, couples, group, and family counseling on a variety of issues, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance abuse, and PTSD. She is an experienced presenter who enjoys interacting with attendees during trainings. She is an educational provider to the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia. She has presented in schools, community organizations, and corporate offices. She truly believes everyone can share in the learning and teaching process.

Q & A

Planning Strategically for Growth: The HR Factors

A rapidly growing business can be an exciting place to work. The days are long and sometimes arduous, yet full of opportunity and new experiences. The day-to-day challenges often overshadow the importance of making plans and decisions about employees. This can lead to many problems: failing to attract and retain the best talent; neglecting staff training and support needs; frequent staff turnover; and minimizing or even ignoring compliance requirements. This webinar will discuss some key factors in laying a solid foundation for HR growth. A toolkit for planning strategically for growth will also be provided.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify an organization’s primary goal(s).
  • Discuss how to link primary goal(s) to HR.
  • Identify the key factors in developing and defining roles and responsibilities.
  • Outline the components of a strategic HR Plan.
  • Discuss how to future-proof an HR Plan.
Hope Cheeks, MS

Hope Cheeks, MS

Hope Cheeks is President of Cheeks Consulting Group, a company that provides human resources development consultancy and training to organizations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Ms. Cheeks’ expertise is the maximization of human and organizational performance through a systems approach to learning and evaluation.

Ms. Cheeks graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in communications and marketing and from Georgia State University with an MS in human resources development.

Ms. Cheeks has over 30 years of experience in human capital development with extensive experience in the corporate and nonprofit arenas. She has served as Associate Director of Training for Synovus Financial Corp, and she also served as Vice President of Education and Development for an Atlanta-based start-up retail chain, Dekor, Inc., where she built the education and development program from the ground up. As the Project Director for Morehouse School of Medicine, Ms. Cheeks was responsible for all facets of training and evaluation for specified programs, and she successfully wrote and received funding for over $1,400,000 in federal grants. She has directed multiple grant programs, including a federal grant program for high-risk youth funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a state-level pediatric AIDS project, and a pregnancy prevention program funded by the March of Dimes.

Q & A

Costs, Cash Flow, and Controls: Financial Danger Zones for the Professional Counselor

Entering into private practice can be a rewarding experience, or a nightmare. What you do not know can hurt you! Avoid costly mistakes and start your practice on a solid foundation. This crash course in accounting will be fun and set you on the right path.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the start-up and ongoing costs of starting a counseling practice.
  • Understand how to manage cash flow and patient receivables.
  • Recognize the expenses that are deductible and efficient ways to keep track of them.
  • Put adequate fraud controls in place when outsourcing or delegating financial tasks.
Bernadette L. Harris, MBA, MS, CFE

Bernadette L. Harris, MBA, MS, CFE

Bernadette Harris is known for taking complex subjects like taxes and accounting and making them easy to understand and fun. She is a tax and forensic accountant, bestselling author, and highly sought after keynote speaker committed to “Keeping Small Business in Business.” As president of By The Book Accounting, she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs across the country start, run, and grow thriving business ventures.

Ms. Harris, a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), earned a BS in accounting from the nation’s oldest HBCU (Historically Black College or University), Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, and later earned her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, and an MS in fraud and forensics from Carlow University.

She has conducted workshops for the U.S. Small Business Administration and created several workshop series of her own. She has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, and other nationally known media outlets, speaking on entrepreneurship and fraud prevention. Follow her @TrustBernadette on all social media platforms.

Q & A

How to Effectively Market Yourself in 15 Minutes a Day

The idea of marketing can sound daunting for many counselors—not only how to do it, but how to do it without coming off as “pushy.” But, if you want sustained success in private practice, it’s necessary to run yourself like a business. This is the Marketing 101 class you should have had in grad school. Attendees will learn simple, yet effective strategies to start using immediately that are: free, beneficial, and ethical.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Ethically engage in social media.
  • Network with referral sources.
  • Gain expert status through the media.
  • Spread knowledge through public speaking/training.
Susan Fee, MEd, NCC

Susan Fee, MEd, NCC

Susan Fee is a board certified counselor (NCC), author, and professional speaker living in Seattle. She has been a successful independent clinician in two private practices, starting her business from the ground up. Before becoming a licensed counselor, she had a career in radio journalism and freelance writing. Her work has appeared in national publications like The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Real Simple magazine. In 2016, she delivered a TEDx Talk titled, Take the Enemy Out of Frenemy.

Ms. Fee is a member of the American Counseling Association, is trained in Red Cross Disaster Mental Health relief, and is a volunteer narrator for Washington Talking Books for the Blind. Learn more by visiting

Q & A

NBCC Foundation has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 805. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NBCC Foundation is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

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