Trouble Building a Counseling Client Caseload

CounselingAnthony, It’s early June and still at 23 clients referred. The breakdown of my case load is as follows: 5 insurance clients (5 scheduled weekly). Eighteen Children’s Division referrals. Ten reliably keep their weekly or twice per month sessions. I created a flyer for an LGBTQ youth group I want to offer and posted it on Facebook. Problem is I need 25 “like” comments. I learned I have to create a Facebook profile to connect with the Facebook page. I haven’t received any new referrals in the past 2 weeks. Please e-mail me at [email] with your response. Thank you.

Dear Mary,

Thanks for your comment / question. You are experiencing a common problem that providers with only one or two major referral source experience—which is that client referrals can quickly (and unexpectedly) slow or stop completely.

I can comment briefly on your marketing strategy, but we really should have a longer conversation.

The idea to be on Facebook is a good one, but it’s also a long-term strategy—I would not expect you are going to get any clients from Facebook right away. About needing 25 “Likes”, that will give you a unique URL, but you should be able to create a page from day one that talks about your therapy group.

About the therapy group. In my experience, and in the experiences of the many counselors I have helped build caseloads, groups are much harder to form than finding individual counseling clients (you end up with 2 potential group members, and by the time you’ve found a 3rd, the first 2 have lost interest)—so if you are trying to build a full caseload, I would continue to look for one-on-one clients, not attempt to start a group. In my experience, groups are a good alternative when your client-base is bursting at the seems and you’re asking yourself the question, “how can I help all these clients with my limited time?”

I hope this helps! If we can find a time to talk by phone, I may be able to help you more. Also, I have an article coming out in this month’s Counseling Today magazine titled “40 strategies for building a full caseload” – I how you will read it, as it seems to be speaking exactly to your situation!

Sincerely,
Anthony

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