Offering Customer Service to Therapy Clients: New Ways to Grow Your Mental Health Business

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Mental health issues affect 26% of American adults each year. Some individuals struggle with mental health issues related to a specific event, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a car accident, or depression following a divorce. Others have severe mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia.

The demand for mental health services has increased, particularly with the aging population. This is because age-related health issues, such as Alzheimer’s, can cause behavioral changes and reduce emotion regulation in those that it affects. The strain on what were once healthy relationships with an aging family member who’s losing their memory and independence, can also prompt family members to seek counseling. Mental health reforms are also prompting more people to seek out mental health care. Mental health professionals can satisfy the growing demand through effective customer service strategies to meet their clients’ individual therapy needs.

Offer a range of therapy programs.

One way to help your mental health business grow is to offer a wide variety of programs. Many people view psychotherapy as an individual talking to a psychiatrist, but there are many other ways to deliver good help. You can expand your reach by offering individual, family, and group counseling. You may also opt to start a support group and work with several individuals struggling with similar issues. Many people feel more comfortable beginning their psychotherapy in a support group as they are not the therapist’s sole focus and share information once they feel more comfortable. Individuals in support groups can also develop a support network with another person or people in their group.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is also another type of psychotherapy program. In DBT therapy, the focus is on developing skills to manage mental health issues. You teach your patients behaviors on how to cope with low distress tolerance and improve their emotion regulation. DBT therapy promotes nonjudgmental thinking, healthy interactions with others, and positive thinking. Mental health professionals who offer local DBT services can be located with a simple Google search, e.g. “DBT therapy in NYC.”

As well as DBT, patients can also benefit from cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT. CBT emphasizes the connections between your behavior, thoughts, and feelings. CBT is used to help treat depression, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), while DBT is commonly used for treating suicidal ideation and personality disorders.

Offering a variety of treatment programs and methods will ensure you can serve the needs of more clients.

Specialize in a specific field of mental health.

Determine areas of mental health you are interested in and become a specialist in them. You could take extra courses and complete certifications to verify your specialized training in those fields of mental health. This can attract clients as individuals would prefer to seek therapy from professionals with extensive knowledge about their condition.

Research local therapists to determine what areas of specialization they’re emphasizing. If possible, pick a different condition or treatment approach to distinguish your business from your competitors.

Make your therapists accessible.

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You can make your team of therapists accessible by using an inbound call center to schedule appointments and direct communications. Inbound call centers can provide customer service around the clock. Customized software is used to identify the best person to address a client’s needs. Inbound call centers don’t just rely on telephony, as e-mails, direct messages, phone calls, and faxes can be forwarded to the appropriate therapists, so that clients in crisis can receive direct support without delay. Inbound call centers specialize in remote work, and you can use them to set up your business to provide access to a therapist, 24 hours a day.

Use technology for sessions.

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The COVID-19 pandemic prompted medical professionals to use remote screening and treatment for patients to reduce the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. Many therapists currently hold sessions over the phone or through streaming apps, instead of meeting in person.

Remote sessions enable individuals who live in all areas to access professional therapists. Since therapists are no longer limited by geography, they can expand their service area. Individuals who have to travel for work can also maintain their therapy. Embracing technology allows therapists to provide continuous services to many clients, which can then attract new ones.

You and your patients can also have greater control over your schedule with technology. You won’t have to worry about patients caught in traffic throwing your schedule off, and causing delays for other clients. With telephone and video sessions, you can be more punctual, which is an integral part of good customer service. It’s also a way of telling patients that you know their time is valuable and respect their needs.

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