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|The Business of Therapy - Page 3|
The team had already started a marketing campaign and was in the process of creating its own website, brochure, business card, and logo; also, it was offering a series of free seminars and lectures to the community. Despite the ambitiousness of these projects, the cost to individual members was only a fraction of what it might have been if each had tried to accomplish such an undertaking on his or her own.
The Benefits of Collaboration
Dynamic energy is released by this kind of collaboration. For example, one of our members suggested we set up a group listserv for daily communication. Provided at no cost by Yahoo, it allowed members a faster, easier way to make referrals, share information about workshops, seminars, and group meetings, and inform each other about their areas of expertise. A clinical social worker with a background in meditation started a group and opened it to network members and the community. It became an ongoing bimonthly Sunday meeting, which not only taught a wide variety of meditation styles, but provided another networking opportunity.
Collaborations seem to activate their own growth, not only among members of a single profession, but across professional lines. I sent out an e-mail to all the members asking if they knew anyone who was starting out in public relations and might be interested in serving as our PR specialist at a rate that therapists could afford: $25 an hour. After several interviews, we contracted with a highly skilled PR professional who joined our network and, within three weeks, had arranged for an interview and photo to appear in the business section of Long Island's largest newspaper. This attention drew eight new members into the fold.
Clearly, these networks need not limit themselves to one or two types of therapist. A rich, collaborative network can include psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners in psychiatry, clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors, and even creative arts therapists. The more people are involved, the more the network can offer the community, and the greater the opportunity to draw in more clients.