This week we’re featuring Rachel Thomas, LMFT. Rachel participated in the SimplePractice for Groups Early Adopter program and gave us a ton of insight on various aspects of the new features (thanks Rachel!!).
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your interests, and your practice.
Therapy With Heart which is a center that specializes in working with couples from an Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) perspective. I absolutely love working with couples and individuals to help them have open, honest conversations to heal and grow.
I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist and I’ve been practicing for almost 20 years. I own
We support all aspects of relationships including same sex couples, premarital, dating/relationships, marital, infidelity, and sex therapy. As an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and Certified EFT Therapist, I realized how I wanted to marry my love of training and supervision with my practice and started bringing therapists to work with me at Therapy With Heart. I have interns, associates (therapists working towards independent licensure), and independently licensed therapists.
Personally, I absolutely love trail running and yoga! My husband of 16 years teaches High School Culinary Arts and my adorable children are 11 and 8.
What does it take to start and run a group practice?
Running a group practice is really about supporting the therapist in being their best therapist and also running the business side of things concurrently. I have learned through time about all the roles I carry as a business owner and clinician and creating time to address each role.
One thing I pride myself on is that I know what I don’t know so I’m willing to hire people to support me and my business! That includes a business coach, a bookkeeper and CPA, and an online marketing team. I also think it’s so important for me to have support with other business owners so I have a business consult group that meets monthly.
Do you have any advice for therapists that are looking to grow their practices?
It’s important to be clear about who you are looking to bring into your practice. Interview with specific questions, meet with them more than once, and check references! It’s a big decision to have therapists working for you and with you in your center and it’s not for everyone. I highly recommend taking some time to really determine if this is the best fit for you. I love running my center because I get to be a clinician, supervisor, AND a business owner!
How do you go about dedicating time to things other than your practice? I see that you’re very active with AzEFT and you teach, in addition to a slew of other things! Very impressive.
It’s all about the schedule! I actually calendar in time for me (usually running/yoga), time for family, time for hubby, and time with friends. I’m working towards creating more space but right now if it’s not on my calendar, it might not happen!
I also very much believe in being present with what I’m doing. If I’m with my kids, I’m 100% with my kids; if I’m with a couple, I’m 100% with the couple.
Tell us about your experience as an Early Adopter of SimplePractice for Groups.
I started using SP individually and found it super user friendly so I was thrilled to become an Early Adopter for my therapists to use it as well. All 9 of us LOVE SP! I can’t say enough about how helpful it is to have the calendar of all of our schedules, the efficiency of writing our notes (especially when we have multiple clinicians working with a family), the confirmation email/texts, the reports I get… everything! I appreciate the support available and my therapists can typically get their questions answered with that system prior to asking me.
Do you have any tips & tricks or advice for people who are just starting to use the new features?
- Have your clinicians put a few intake times in their calendar for the online scheduling feature.
- Block out some time to put your clients information in the system- it’s worth it!
- If clients have multiple clinicians, make sure they have access (we have a lot of couples where one might see another therapist for individual).
- Do a training with your therapists if needed! We found it helpful to spend some time using SimplePractice in a staff meeting.
To close, what’s your vision for your practice?
I’m so grateful that Therapy With Heart is becoming known as a therapy center for premier couples therapy from an EFT perspective. I strongly believe that every couple needs a third person (skilled clinician) to help navigate conversations and connections at different times throughout a relationship.
I’m confident that this message is beginning to spread and couples are seeking support without feeling pathologized. My vision, hope, and dream is for Therapy With Heart to continue to build and grow!
You can find Rachel at: