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Selling the Couch - Melvin Varghese, PhD 25th March 2021
272: 20 Colleagues Reflect: How The Pandemic Has Changed Me As A Business Owner

272: 20 Colleagues Reflect: How The Pandemic Has Changed Me As A Business Owner

Today’s show is a special episode about the changes on both personal and professional levels since the beginning of the pandemic. The field of mental health therapy has been flipped upside-down in many ways, and there have been numerous and unexpected positive outcomes. We can all benefit from collective learning and the sharing of our stories, so let’s listen as twenty of my colleagues answer the following question: How has the pandemic changed you as a business owner?

You’ll hear from:

●     Alice Rizzi, PsyD in NY, from Dr. Alice Rizzi

○     Alice has learned to value creativity as she’s found her entrepreneurial side and opened a private practice in NYC that focuses on mindfulness. Visit her website for a free mindfulness worksheet.

●     Monet Goldman, LMFT in CA, from Video Game Counseling

○     Monet realized that video games could be used therapeutically and deliver therapy interventions effectively. Monet helps gamers and parents live healthier lifestyles and connect socially.

●     Tatyana Kholodkov, psychologist in WY and NC, from Therapy Mindfully and The Project Yes

○     Tatyana has realized that you have to learn to say NO.

●     Jill Johnson-Young, LCSW in CA, from Jill Johnson Young and Central Counseling Services

○     Jill has learned that her business can be managed remotely and allow her more quality time at home with her family. She has learned that telehealth allows her to reach a bigger audience with her message about grief.

●     Debra Gottschalk, LPC and Art Therapist in CT, from Create Mental Wellness 

○     Debra says the pandemic has taught her that there is no time to waste. She launched her private practice to help others heal on their grief journey.

●     Nicole McNelis, LPC in PA, from Nicole McNelis

○     Because of the pandemic, Nicole realized the need to diversify her income streams and provide services to a broader audience.

●     Sovann Pen, LPC in OR, from Sovann Pen

○     Sovann realized that investing in equipment upgrades to make sessions more comfortable is a form of self-care that is helpful for therapists and clients. The pandemic has helped him produce meaningful online content and grow through continuing education.

●     Mary Bicknell, LCSW in OR, from Mary Bicknell

○     Mary recognized that she needed to stop waiting and not live with regret. She’s learned to take action in creating what she wants and helping others develop revenue streams.

●     Lisa Mustard, LMFT in SC, from Lisa Mustard

○     Lisa truly wanted to build a business that can be done virtually from anywhere. She loves not being tied to specific hours at a specific location and serving her community better by making continuing education convenient, affordable, and fun.

●     Irene Summers Temple, Licensed Psychologist in Germany, from Irene Summer Temple PhD 

○     Irene isn’t sure that she ever wants to return to her clinical practice after spending more time with her spouse and children. She doesn’t want to be responsible for others’ mental health but would like to focus more on learning and writing.

●     Amanda Booth Bice, LMFT in TX, from Heartotm

○     Amanda says the pandemic has pushed her to do things she always wanted to do but was uncomfortable trying. She has taken her practice into nature and now does online sessions outside with trees, birds, and sunshine.

●     Laura Reagan, LCSW in MD, from Therapy Chat Podcast and Bahealing 

○     Laura has learned not to take close relationships for granted, and that human connection is important to all of us. She realizes that it’s up to her to keep herself safe and make good decisions no matter what government leaders may say.

●     Tracy Kenela, LMHC in WA, from Lokahi Counseling and Calming The Chaos

○     Tracy has realized that we are strong, creative, and adaptable as people. We can be good to each other as we inspire others and are inspired ourselves.

●     Angela Sim-Laramee, LCSW in PA, from Prosper Counseling

○     The pandemic has taught Angela that she can choose freedom and autonomy over doing things like they’ve always been done. She started a full-time private practice during the pandemic, and it’s thriving today.

●     Lisa Wolcott, LCSW in FL, from Wolcott Counseling 

○     Lisa says that she can think quickly, adapt, and change as a result of the pandemic. It’s given her a bigger platform to expand and reach more people with her thriving practice.

●     Thad Frye, LCSW in CO, from Thad Frye Counseling

○     Thad has realized that being a brainspotting grief therapist has set him up to help clients during this unique time. He’s learned that self-care helps him to be more present for family, clients, and himself.

●     Bethany Burgess, LCSW in ID, from You Counseling

○     Bethany and her husband are therapists who practice together. Having their two young sons at home more has been overwhelming, so she’s learned to get clear on personal and professional visions by hiring a VA to outsource tasks, condensing appointment availability, and blocking weeks off on her yearly calendar.

●     Rachel Moore, LMFT in CA, from Rachel Moore Counseling 

○     Rachel realized quickly that she can do her business without an office and that EMDR works great online and produces very good results.

●     Bri McCarroll, LCSW in MA, from Therapy With BRI 

○     Bri realized that she can move to the West Coast and still maintain her MA practice. Because of the time difference, she can still see East Coast clients in prime time.

●     Beth Luwandi Lofstrom, LPC in OH, from Beth Luwandi 

○     Beth realized how efficient online therapy really is because clients can show up while in a secure and comfortable setting. She says she has become less obsessive about her perfectionist tendencies.

●     Melvin’s answer to the question: “The pandemic has given me a greater sense of clarity and purpose about my calling. With the loss of several loved ones due to COVID-19, I’ve learned how precious and short life is. I want my days to have maximum meaning, intention, purpose, and happiness.”

Today’s Podcast Sponsor:

Tidemark VA Services provides billing, credentialing, client scheduling, and social media management services to therapists in private practice. The owner, Brittany, is a group practice owner who knows the ins and outs of our field.

Learn more about the services that Tidemark provides at


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!


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

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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 mean..it just rhymed =P).