Do you tell your clients the hard truth?

In private practice, we therapists are often faced with a choice: Do we do what’s best for our business or do we do what’s best for our clients?  I’d like to think that doing what’s for our clients is ultimately what’s best for our business, but it doesn’t always seem that way at first.  Do we act in a way that’s going to make us popular with clients, or do we act with integrity?  Although my livelihood depends on my

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The one thing that matters most in therapy

For those of you that don’t know, Psychologist Scott Miller has dedicated his career to researching what works and what doesn’t work in therapy.  His presentations are always fascinating and if you ever have the chance to see him speak, I highly recommend you do so.  Miller was recently featured in an article on titled ” Why most therapists are just average and how we can improve”.  According to his research, he has found that the one thing that

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Tips & tricks for difficult clients

Of course, we therapists would prefer it if every client that came to our office was there of their own free will, motivated, and ready and willing to do the work necessary to change their life.  But anybody whose been in the profession for at least a little while knows that that  isn’t always the case.  Our work is far from easy and the clients that come to us for help can often be difficult.  It can be especially frustrating

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Listen to your customers

Back when I was a waitress I worked at a restaurant/cafe.  The restaurant did pretty well so the owner was hesitant to change anything, but something that customers would repeatedly ask for were breakfast sandwiches.  The restaurant didn’t make breakfast sandwiches so we had to turn them away.  Sure, McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts sold breakfast sandwiches but apparently people wanted something more gourmet in a nicer atmosphere.  If the owner had been willing to listen to his customers and start

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Practicing what you preach

I recently wrote a blog post called “Giving Yourself an Honest Review”. It was about honestly looking at the situation when things don’t work out with a client, and asking yourself what you could have done better. Now, something I strongly believe in is “practicing what you preach”, so when I was faced with this situation, I decided that I better evaluate myself. I received an email from a prospective client.  I responded to her email within an hour and

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It’s that time of year again

The therapist busy season has officially begun!  I know I’ve seen a change in the number of hits to my therapist website, the number of inquiries I’m receiving, and of course the shrinking of availability on my schedule.  I’m sure you’re noticing a difference as well.  For those of you that struggled to maintain a caseload over the summer, the seasonal change is a sigh of relief.  Clients are “back to business” and looking for therapists that can get them

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Giving yourself an honest review

Of course, we can’t help every client.  Some clients don’t want our help and as soon as they realize that going to a therapist means having to do something about their problem, they quit.  Other clients leave therapy not because they have an issue with therapy, but because they have an issue with us personally.  They were unhappy with the services we gave them, their expectations were not met, they didn’t feel that we understood them, etc.  Although it’s upsetting

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Your client’s going to take all the credit, and that’s okay

You’ve been working with this client for months.  When she first came to you, her life was in a complete disarray.  She was in a dysfunctional relationship, underemployed, and coping by abusing alcohol.  Now the client is dating someone new and health, taking college courses for the first time in her life, and regularly attending AA.  You feel good about the work you’ve done with this client and when you ask her what she thinks about the progress she’s made

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Paint a picture for your client

Can you paint a picture for your client?  I don’t mean an actual painting (unless you are an art therapist, in which case that would be cool), but a mental picture.  A lot of times when clients come into therapy, they want things to be “better”, but they don’t know what better means exactly.  Sometimes they may not even think that “better” is a possibility for them and don’t see how their life could be any different than it is

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Before you diagnose your client with bipolar disorder…

It would seem that for a while now bipolar disorder has been the new “it” diagnosis.  I hate to say it, but I think there are a lot of professionals out there that diagnose bipolar disorder simply because nothing else seems to fit or because their treatments aren’t working.  Similarly, I also find that a lot of clients that come into my office saying that their doctor, teacher, previous therapist, etc. diagnosed them with bipolar disorder simply don’t have it. 

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My name is Marina Williams and I am a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Jamaica Plain, MA. This website is my professional website devoted to my activities as a therapist. If you are interested in finding out more about my private practice, please visit my other website


Do you want to make an appointment for counseling or supervision? Interested in having me speak at your event? Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to contact me at 774-240-5550 or