Private Practice From The Inside Out Receives The Liebster Award!


 The Liebster Award

What a great way to start out the first quarter of 2014!  One of my favorite bloggers Relando Thompkins, MSW, LLMSW has bestowed Private Practice from the Inside Out with The Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award is one that is presented from blogger to blogger in an attempt to recognize and promote blogs that the presenter considers to be of some value to his / her readers. The award  is not industry specific so I consider this to be a special honor to have one of my peers that I imminently respect choose to present this award to me.  Thank you, Relando!

As you may already know, Private Practice from the Inside Out has been in existence online since 2009.  Each month more than 10,000 mental health and allied health professionals drop in to PPIO to learn how to attract clients, how to uncover their unique niches, how to determine who their ideal clients are, how to grow their businesses, when and where to network, how to use social media to get new clients, where to find a  inspiration and motivation, and also take time to chat and support other health care providers on their journeys to grow their private practices.

For those of you that are new to Private Practice from the Inside Out, you should know that PPIO is the largest and most successful practice-building blog for mental health professionals in the entire world.  And, it is you – our online community – here that has made this blog such an information-rich and inspiring blog to hang out on.

The Criteria

The criteria for The Liebster Award inlcude:

  1. Thanking the blogger that presented The Liebster Award to you and link back to the presenter’s blog,
  2. Answering the ten questions that the presenter asked of you,
  3. Nominating ten blogs that you believe your readers should check out,
  4. Let those ten bloggers know that they have been nominated, and
  5. Writing ten questions for your nominees to answer.


Here’s What Relando Wanted to Know . . . .

1. What inspired you to start blogging?  Starting a private practice the first time was one of the most exciting adventures I’ve ever embarked upon.  It was also the hardest and most confusing things I’ve ever done.  It was, at different times, frustrating, scary, and demoralizing. Eventually, I figured out what I was doing wrong and what I needed to be doing instead but that was a lengthy and costly learning curve.

When I started my second practice in 2002, I realized that I knew a whole lot more about getting clients and building a business and wanted to share that information with as many other mental health professionals as possible.  I started blogging in 2009 after Beth Hayden introduced me to blogs and urged me to share what  I know via blogging.  It was the very best decision I’ve made to date for supporting therapists in growing their practices, too.

2. Is there a special story or meaning behind your blog’s title? If so, please share it.  The name Private Practice from the Inside Out is really an acknowledgement that there is a necessary order to building a strong private practice . . . and that it requires first things first.  Giving some thought in the beginning to  who you are, what you value, and what you want in your life lay the foundation for a strong practice.  After you are clear about those “inside” things, there are many ways to outwardly build a successful private practice.  However, when mental health professionals fail to first identify those core “inside” things, the foundation for their business is shakey.  Then it becomes too easy for a therapist to have no unique identity and thus become forgettable.   And, as evidence of the forgettable private practice, what do you remember about the last ten mental health professionals you saw – either online or in person?  How many of their names do you remember?  Where were they located?  Who do they work with? What were their specialties?  See what I mean?

3. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?  In one word, it would be “possibilities.”  Sometimes gifts come in ugly packages.  We all have choices.  What you focus on is what you see.  Cow manure makes beautiful gardens.

4. Who/what inspires you?  Oh, I love this question!  Grace.  Authenticity.  Leadership.  Imperfection.  Courage.  Story.

5. Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why?  Because therapists look for opportunities to support others, my favorite blog posts are those in which my readers are able to step in and share their own stories.  Here’s a few . . . .

6. Other than your own, what are some of your favorite blogs? See my nominees below!

7. Do you have any advice for anyone who would want to start a blog of their own?  Absolutely!  That’s why I offer BlogStart for Therapists for mental health professionals who are beginning to blog! The very first advice I would give to beginning bloggers would be to (1) get clear about the focus for your blog, (2) make a long-term plan for your blog based on that focus, and (3) interact with your readers through commenting.

8. Where do you get your inspiration for blogging?  I am never at loss for what to blog about!  I just need more hours in a day!  I look to my own experiences over the last thirty years in private practice and to my readers’ experiences, too, to identify the stumbling blocks and challenges in private practice.  Also, I look to blogs, books, journals, and conversations with those outside of health care professions to learn how to “see differently.”

9.  What do you hope to achieve with your blog?   I didn’t have a clue how to build a professional counseling practice when I first got started.  Once I learned what needed to be done to attract clients, I knew I wanted to mentor and lead other clinicians through the process of growing a private practice. My goal is to provide practical,useful information and inspiration to mental health professionals who are interested in changing the world . . . one family, one couple, one individuals at a time by building a strong and vibrant online community of like-minded therapists.

10. Share the link to one of your blog posts that you think deserves more attention.  One of the simplest ways to get known online (and thus increase potential referrals) is to comment thoughtfully and often on other bloggers’ blogs.  But, many therapists don’t take the time to set up a gravatar to accompany their comments.  Here’s a guest post by Beth Hayden that shows you how easy it is to create your own gravatar (and it’s totally free!).


Blogs I Am Nominating for The Liebster Award

I want to recognize (1) and  (2)The Counseling Geek for the efforts they are making to improve technological literacy within the field of counseling.

For those mental health professionals working in nonprofits and those of you addressing issues of social justice, I want to introduce you to the work of Beth Kanter at (3) Beth’s Blog and Lucy Bernholz’ work at (4) Philanthropy 2173. These bloggers provide information and strategies that can take your organization from one of good intentions to strategic growth and increased effectiveness.

One of the areas in which I am least culturally competent is that of disabilities.  In an effort to clean up my own biases and misassumptions, I found Dave Hingsburger’s blog (5) Rolling Around in My Head.

(6) Native Appropriations is another blog that helps me wake up to the myths and misrepresentations of Indigenous People.

Most of my clinical work for the last thirty years has focused on trauma.  Andi O’Connor is a public speaking coach in Boulder, Colorado.  She was one of many in this state who has lost her home in recent years to fire.  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, she has responded by creating (7) Burning Down the House sharing her own experiences and insights in an effort to support others in rising from their own catastrophes.

Cheryl L. McLean publishes (8) The International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice and (9) Arts Crossing Boarders.  These two blogs provide a wealth of information and resources for any mental health professional looking to infuse their practices and skills with a nod to the creative arts.

And, finally, Adam Blatner is a psychiatrist and certified trainer in psychodrama who devotes himself to teaching “psychological literacy.”  The tagline on his blog named (10) Adam Blatner is “words and images from the mind of Adam Blatner.”  There you will find provocation, inspiration, and a bit of quirkiness, too – all of which makes for a good read!

I’m sorry I don’t get to introduce you to another twenty blogs that I also love but every one of these noted above are worthy of your time.  As you check them out, I hope you will drop in both here and there and let us know what you think of them.

My 10 Questions for the Nominees Above

  1. How did you get started in your field of work?
  2. What are you proudest of?
  3. What can mental health professionals expect to learn or get from following your blog?What goals do you have for your blog?  How do you measure the success of your blog?
  4. Of which of your blog posts are you proudest?
  5. Which blog post would mental health professionals most benefit from reading?
  6. What is your biggest frustration or challenge in your work?
  7. What do you want mental health professionals around the globe to know and understand?What mistakes did you make when you started blogging?
  8. What is the biggest mistake you see mental health professionals make?
  9. How can mental health professionals support you in your work (on and offline)?
  10. What is a good way for mental health professionals to get known and get clients referred by you to them?  What do you look for when referring potential clients to mental health professionals?

I look forward to reading the nominees’ answers to these questions and hope you guys will take time to drop in to check out every one of these!

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  1. Congratulations, Tamara!!

    • Good morning, Linda! How nice to find your voice here! Any chance I’ll be running in to you at the American Counseling Association’s annual conference in Hawaii this year? It would be so fun to meet in person!

  2. (Applause Applause!!!) Hurray for your Tamara! You have poured so much love and attention into this blog and your readers for so many years…this award is well-deserved.

    May this community continue to grow and flourish under your wise and compassionate leadership.

    With much love and blessing coming your way, Jenny

  3. Congratulations Tamara! I am so glad to hear that!

  4. Congratulations!! Love your blog and I am glad you get the recongnition for the amazing contributions you make to our community. ♥

    • Hey, Brenda! Thanks for saying something so nice! As one of the first to join us, I think that’s just a reflection your commitment (and many others, too) to show up and be present for our colleagues. And, that is the very best thing about this community!

  5. Mazel tov, Tamara! What a well-deserved award. I love the question 9 you added. So, what can I do to support you?

    • Hi, Claudia! Welcome back! I’ve missed you!

      “What can I do to support you?” is one of those deceptively simple little questions that can be a game changer. When you ask it (sincerely), it shifts the conversation from being potentially all about you to me! And, who doesn’t need a little support?!

      So, Claudia, what can I / we do today to support you?

  6. So Well Deserved! I’ll be revisiting this one and contemplating those questions!

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