Artwork for podcast Selling the Couch
293: How To Increase Fees With Existing Clients
21st October 2021 • Selling the Couch • Melvin Varghese, PhD
00:00:00 00:31:30

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Today’s topic is one that many clinicians have navigated, are navigating, or will navigate in the future. It’s the idea of increasing fees with existing clients. I’ve seen this topic come up repeatedly in online groups for therapists, and I know it brings anxiety and confusion. Let’s dig into it together!

Our Featured Guests

Kelly Higdon and Miranda Palmer

Kelly Higdon and Miranda Palmer are therapists, private practice owners, and the founders of ZynnyMe, where they teach and train therapists to build valuable and gratifying businesses. Their year-long training program, Business School Bootcamp, is a super-powerful system that teaches therapists everything they wish they had learned in grad school about running a successful private practice. In this episode, Kelly and Miranda will discuss the idea that we are betraying our client if we increase fees, along with ways to work through that mindset. We will cover the nitty-gritty of how to communicate fee increases to clients with all the logistical nuances. Our conversation wraps up with simple scripts you can use during sessions to stay on track, be clear, and affirm your clients without causing feelings of abandonment. 

Starting a Counseling Practice Podcast

You’ll Learn:

● Why the idea of increasing fees is intimidating even though many therapists are leaving a lot of money on the table

● Why increasing fees ties into mixed messages in our minds about our self worth and value

● How the cumulative effect of a sliding scale adds up to significant amounts over time and reflects bias that we usually guard against

● How automation in today’s world allows us to avoid those difficult conversations

● Why the recommendation is to create a letter but have the conversation with the client in session; give them the letter after the conversation (or email virtual clients)

● Why the letter is a transitional object and shouldn’t make excuses for the fee increase

● Ideas for scripting the notification letter and stating the fee increase

● The need for us to be honest with our clients to be able to continue providing great care

● The misconception that schedules and fees should always stay the same; these are unrealistic expectations!

● How to present workable options to clients without feeling like you’re abandoning them

● Why clinicians have to do what it takes to care for themselves before they can care for their clients

● Highlights in the conversation with clients about increasing fees:

○ Own your emotions about it.

○ Let the client know the relationship with them is valuable to you.

○ Check in with the client’s feelings and options moving forward.

● Why the window of notice should be long enough to prepare for termination or referral

One of the questions I get asked all the time as a podcaster is “what podcasts do you listen or subscribe to?” This might surprise you, but there's really only one show that I absolutely have to listen to . . . every week. Actually, every day. Like, I'll literally drop what I'm doing (unless I'm with the family of course) and listen to each episode when it drops.

The show is Tesla Daily, which is why I couldn't be more thrilled to have its host Rob Maurer on the show today!

If you want a behind-the-curtain peek at how someone with over 100,000 YouTube subscribers produces a hard-hitting podcast every day, you're in the right place. Rob built this show from the ground up and incredibly, launched his first episode from concept to publish in just 48 – 72 hours. Even more impressive is how Rob's built a trust-worthy brand in such a crowded space.

What does it take to keep up production with a daily show like this? Why does Rob do what he does and how did he get started? How do you combine an audio-first podcast with the power of YouTube? And what does Rob do when Elon Musk posts a controversial tweet? All that and more today — press play, y'all!

Our Featured Guest

Rob Maurer

Rob Maurer has been a Tesla retail investor since 2013 and started the Tesla Daily podcast in 2017 to help people understand the company and contextualize the flurry of news surrounding Tesla. In 2019, Rob expanded the podcast to YouTube, amassing 100,000 subscribers in less than a year.



You'll Learn:

  • How a gap in mainstream reporting and the pursuit of neuroplasticity led to Tesla Daily
  • Why producing his podcast on top of a full-time job led Rob to a critical decision point
  • How Rob 10X'd his audience by taking Tesla Daily to YouTube
  • Rob's workflow, end-to-end, for producing a podcast episode for podcast platforms and YouTube
  • What Rob focuses on when researching material for his podcast
  • How Rob handles stress and pressure from the growth of his show
  • Why naming his podcast Tesla Daily became a source of motivation for Rob
  • Where Rob's revenue comes from and why he chose not to sell adspots when his show started
  • How Rob pivots his show based on breaking news (or Elon Musk's Twitter feed)
  • Rob's top advice for new content creators

Today’s Sponsor: Zynnyme

Zynnyme was founded in 2010 by therapists and private practice owners, Kelly Higdon and Miranda Palmer. Kelly and Miranda have become good friends of mine who have helped me immensely on my business journey + they've helped over 50k of our colleagues.

I credit their Business School Boot Camp for helping build the business and life that I imagined. Their values align with mine in helping clients build valuable and gratifying businesses while living healthy, happy, and sustainable lives.

Check out their website for a wealth of resources and services + sign up for a free 4 day, live private practice marketing masterclass they're putting together to help us establish a private practice with the best outcomes and income at


Disclosures: Please note that all opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Sponsors are acknowledged. Some links in the description are affiliate links where if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I use these funds to continue to create helpful content to serve our field. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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Since 2015, I've hosted a weekly podcast for aspiring and current mental health private practitioners who think differently.

On the podcast, I interview successful therapists in private practice and other business owners to help us grow our impact + income in and beyond the therapy room.

The podcast has been downloaded over 1.2 million times and is heard in over 140 countries.

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Hi. I'm Melvin. I'm a psychologist (PhD), entrepreneur, and online creator living in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2014, I began to think about how to use the therapy skills we learn in grad school, and in our clinical work into different realms (e.g., podcasting, consulting, online course creation, etc).

This allows us to serve others on larger scales while diversifying our income beyond 1 to 1 work.

I make podcasts and videos about business, tech, productivity, and lessons I'm learning from becoming the CEO of a lean, mean 5 person 100% remote team (we're not really just rhymed =P).