Making psychotherapy referrals when you don’t yet have a practice originally appeared in Washington DC psychologist, psychoanalyst, Dr. Lynn Friedman’s blog for her Johns Hopkins graduate students

 

How do you make referrals when you don’t yet have a practice? That is, how do you generate referrals? There are several methods for doing this and the ones that you select will depend on your personal style and your temperament. This week we will cover a myriad of possibilities.

First and foremost, when people ask you what you are doing or what you want to do, tell them that you are a clinician in private practice (or who will be starting a private practice). Be prepared to answer the question, what kinds of people do you see or do you want to see in a few, clear short sentences. And, this is key, in English NOT jargon. For example, don’t say, “I like to work with patients with thus and such a diagnosis”. Say, “I work with patients who have trouble in relationships”, or “who have conflict with authority” or “who are chronically worried” or “who are single and who can not seem to find the right significant other” or “who have trouble concentrating in school”.

The key here is to describe situations that are familiar to anyone living on the planet. Every parent knows a child who is having difficulty concentrating in school, even if their child is doing fine. And, every person knows someone who can’t seem to get themselves hitched (if this is what they desire) with a loving partner. There’s much more to be said on the topic of generating referral and I’ll be back tomorrow with more to say on this important topic.

Interested in psychotherapy supervision or psychotherapy with Dr. Lynn Friedman a psychologist on the border of Washington DC, feel free to call: 301.656.9650.

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