Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast!

I’m your host, Cindy Norton.

Here in Episode 10 I’m going to talk about why I do what I want and why you should too. It’s all about feeling confident to work the way that you want to in your private practice so that you can best help the clients who are looking for your unique approach and specialty.

Let’s get started.


And, here’s your permit to do what you want…

Podcasts are growing in popularity and there are already so many great private practice podcasts out there. If you join the Trailblazer community via my seasonal newsletter you will receive a free A-Z download that includes a list of my favorite private practice podcasts.

I hope that the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast will earn its spot in your regular podcast listens.


See below for the episode show notes links and transcript…

Episode 10 Show Notes Links

*some links included in the show notes may be affiliate links (see disclaimer below)*

FEATURED LINKS for this Episode:

Mountain Practice Journeys Store
-therapy related apparel
-roller skating apparel

Rebel Therapist Episode with Karen Smillie


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Email: Cindy Norton (mountainpracticejourneys@gmail.com)

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Therapist and Counselor Recommendations

EHR: Simple Practice [FREE 30 day trial and $50 credit] (https://www.simplepractice.com/?p=38db1586a4)

Quality Business Cards: MOO [25% off 1st order] (https://refer.moo.com/s/blissfulgratitude)

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Graphic Design: Canva (https://partner.canva.com/c/1200875/619765/10068)

Google Workspace: [10% off first year] (https://referworkspace.app.goo.gl/Bdo3)

Book: Building Your Ideal Private Practice (https://amzn.to/2QyrPjP)

Note Taking: TUL Junior Notebook (https://amzn.to/2F5JjBF)

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Therapy Den (https://www.therapyden.com/benefits)

Mental Health Match [Use code MPJ2021 for 6 months FREE] (https://mentalhealthmatch.com/for-therapists)

Being Seen (https://beingseen.org/tour?ref=cindy@avlcouplestherapy.com)

Open Path (https://openpathcollective.org/?ref=1169)

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Book: Profit First (https://amzn.to/3juQguX)

Spreadsheet: Old School Financial Spreadsheet (https://mountainpracticejourneys.com/old-school-financial-spreadsheet)

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Podcasting and Technology Recommendations

Podcast Hosting: Buzzsprout (https://www.buzzsprout.com/?referrer_id=1247684)

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Microphone Shock Mount: Knox (https://amzn.to/3j6bXS9)

Microphone Boom Arm: TONOR (https://amzn.to/3kVRCj2)

Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II (https://amzn.to/3jQXIRe)

Audio Editing Software: GarageBand (included with Mac)

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Recommended Reading



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Links to other websites, products, and services do not endorse or guarantee the services, products, or information contained at the other sites. The information, products, resources, materials, services, and documents found here are not intended to be a substitute for legal, financial, or other professional advice, nor does their use establish a professional relationship between you and Cindy Norton or Mountain Practice Journeys.

Episode 10 Transcript

Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast! I’m your host, Cindy Norton. Here in Episode 10 I’m going to talk about why I do what I want and why you should too. It’s all about feeling confident to work the way that you want to in your private practice so that you can best help the clients who are looking for your unique approach and specialty.

Let’s get started.

Have you been wanting to start your private practice, but you can’t seem to take that first step? Maybe you’re afraid of failure or lack confidence, or maybe the idea of running your own practice is overwhelming. I’m Cindy Norton, owner of Mountain Practice Journeys and I help therapists and counselors to love the business side of private practice. I’ll share with you practical skills and advice along with a healthy dose of inspiration so that you can be on your way to the practice of your dreams. Put on your hiking boots, and let’s get going.

If you haven’t yet listened to Episode 9, I urge you to do that. In that episode I talk about why you shouldn’t charge what you’re worth in your private practice. I know that’s a strange statement, but go back and have a listen and I’ll explain myself. I think you’ll like what I have to say.

Everyone has opinions about what you should and shouldn’t be doing. I’m guilty of this to some extent – I just said you should be doing something in the title of this episode.

And now that I think about it, I just told you that you shouldn’t be charging what you’re worth in last week’s episode. And I’m sure there’s more.

I hope that the “shoulds” that I put out there are not taken too seriously and that you continue to do what feels best for you. I want you to see them as options, not mandates.

I’ve taken the advice of those that have came before me, and I also knew when the advice didn’t fit with the vision and mission that I had for my practice. But it took a little while for me to get there.

I don’t want you to get caught up by the same mistake that I did – waiting too long to listen to what I really wanted. I now do a thing called what I want.

So, let me tell you my story and my journey to doing what I want in hopes of inspiring you to do the same.

It’s not like I knew exactly what my private practice would look like – although I had an idea of what I wanted.

My private practice has grown and morphed and changed and adapted as I learn more about what I want.

But I did have a pretty good idea of what I wanted my practice to be when I was close to finishing graduate school. I remember really wanting to work with premarital couples and help educate couples on how to have happy and fulfilling relationships.

However, I kept hearing that I can’t build a practice doing premarital counseling, and that couples are not seeking help until it’s too late. I guess I let this cloud my view of what I really wanted and I somehow forgot about that passion for a while and dug in with my more general couples therapy studies.

You wouldn’t believe how many people told me (in one way or another) that my niche would not be successful.

“People are not that interested in premarital counseling.”

“Couples get premarital counseling from their church.”

“How are you going to get enough clients?”

“Couples only seek out counseling when they are on the brink.”

“Happy couples don’t come to therapy.”

Or they insinuated that I was taking the easy way out by not working with “more difficult” or “higher risk” clients.

I think it’s time to insert an appropriate quote from Lao Tzu: “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”

Remember, when someone has an opinion about what you are doing, it has more to do with them than it does with you.

With all the naysaying, it was a lot to go up against as a new therapist who just wanted to help couples have better relationships. I listened to others and did not listen to myself and what I really wanted.

I began my practice based on the messages that I had received from others, and neglected to follow my true passion. I was a general couples therapist that worked with all couples.

Things were going along just fine, but I wanted something more (and something more specific as well). I finally decided to own it. “I work with happy couples!” There, I said it. Whew! That felt good.

And to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Once I owned my true passion I did feel accomplished. And I was ready to let everyone know.

I changed the wording on my website, and I began marketing myself with my new, more specific niche. And the phone began ringing more and more.

The couples who were reaching out were saying…

“We’re so glad we found you. It’s just what we are looking for.”

“We’re really not that bad off. We just need to have a tune up.”

“We were concerned about seeking couples therapy this early in our relationship, but we were relieved to see that even happy couples could use some support every now and then.”

It felt so good to have the exact practice that I wanted, and to have clients that were searching for the exact thing that I offered. Now that’s a win-win!

There’s something to be said for following your truth.

It can be tough because there isn’t a road map, and no one else on the face of the earth has taken the same path as you (not exactly anyway).

There was a podcast episode on Rebel Therapist that really inspired me (and in a way, gave me permission) that I too could have a successful practice working with happy couples.

Annie Schuessler interviews Karen Smillie about her work with phenomenal couples. I’ll link the episode in the show notes.

And here’s the last quote of this episode, promise. Mark Twain says: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

I share all this just to give you an example of what it really looks like to follow your true passion and give yourself permission to have the practice that you really want.

Don’t put it off any longer! Start taking action to build your practice around you, even if it’s just one small step.

And I have a surprise for you. Go to the show notes page at mountainpracticejourneys.com/episode10 and download your official permit to do what you want. If you’re a Parks & Recreation fan, you’ll get it 😉

You can save the permit in your camera roll and pull it up when you feel as though you may be listening more to others than to yourself.

During each episode I’ll be giving you one small take away, action step, or mindset shift. I call these acorns. Listen to episode 0 to get the scoop on what the acorns are all about.

The acorn from this episode is to not be afraid to be yourself in your private practice. Don’t be afraid to do something a little different, as it may be exactly what someone is looking for.

As I outlined in episode 0, I’ll be alternating between a fun fact and ‘what I’m digging’ segment with each new episode.

The fun fact for this episode is that I recently took up roller skating again. I grew up in a very small town, however we did have a roller skating rink that I frequented during elementary and middle school. I even had a birthday party there. I have such fond memories of that time in my childhood. The rink closed down after a few years and I was devastated.

Fast forward to the year of 2020 where just about everything was trash. And I started thinking that I absolutely have to find something to do that brings me joy – and I landed on roller skating. At the end of 2020 I ordered my skates – which were almost impossible to find because there is apparently a resurgence of adults roller skating now.

I posted online about my new roller skating adventure and got an overwhelming response from friends and colleagues in the Asheville area that wanted to join me. Now I have a group of 20+ friends and therapist colleagues that are getting started. We have a therapist roller skating club of sorts and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

This also inspired me to create some roller skating themed apparel in the Mountain Practice Journeys store. I have a couple designs that say ‘Roller Skating is my Therapy’ and ‘This Therapist Roller Skates’. If you’re a roller skater and would like to support the podcast by getting a sweet ass hoodie, sweatshirt, t-shirt, or tank top from the store, you can visit the show notes page at mountainpracticejourneys.com/episode10

Thank you so much for joining me today on your private practice journey.

This episode concludes Season 1 of the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast. I’ll be taking a 3 week break and will be back before you know it with a wonderful Season 2 filled with helpful topics and inspiring guests.

And for continued inspiration for your private practice during this seasonal break, join me over on instagram @mountainpracticejourneys.

There’s no way you can know how much it means to me that you choose to join me here as I share all things related to private practice. Please subscribe so you don’t miss a step. For more information about this episode, please visit the show notes page at mountainpracticejourneys.com/podcast I truly appreciate you Trailblazers. Your mountain is within reach. Journey on.

I Want You To Be Successful In Business & In Life!

Starting, growing, and maintaining a business is a big deal. It's super-exciting and super-scary all at the same time. I created Mountain Practice Journeys to support you through the difficult and muddy terrain, and to celebrate with you when you have reached each summit of the many mountains you will conquer on your journey.

Happy Climbing, Cindy

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