Therapist Spotlight: Honing your Craft with Experienced Mental Health Practitioner Joel Simon

This Therapist Spotlight is a part of our interview series with experienced Mental Health Practitioners, where therapists share their experiences in Private Practice Therapy.
What was one of the biggest problems you struggled with and ultimately solved in the beginning of your private practice? What solution did you find to your (perhaps persisting) problem?
Getting approved on various insurance companies’ approved provider lists. Just getting an application was an ordeal. Completing these extensive applications and then mailing them back was time consuming and repetitive. Becoming registered on CAQH was somewhat helpful but mostly it’s grin and bear it;
What advice would you give to a budding mental health practitioner just getting licensed?
My first piece of advice is to hone your craft before going into private practice. It’s unfair to clients to have to endure an inexperienced clinician. A newer clinician should wait at least five years working in the trenches before embarking on a private practice. My second piece of advice is to remember that there are 2 parts of private practice: the clinical and business.
What advice would you have given yourself early in your career?
Stay open, stay curious, and don’t get stuck in theories.
Do you see any persisting or upcoming problems in the private practice industry. If so, how do you handle them?
There is going to be a degree of uncertainty with the Affordable Care Act. Getting as much information as possible is the antidote.
Please let us know about you: where are you located, any specialties, credentials, and educational background. How should someone get in touch with you?
My practice is in Walden NY, I practice, teach, consult, and supervise from a solution focus brief orientation. I graduated with my MSW from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. I am licensed as an LCSW, a member of the Academy of Clinical Social Workers (ACSW) of the National Association of Social Workers, and I am a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD).

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