162. Embracing The Rhythms of Life While Scaling A Group Practice

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Grow Your Private Practice, How To & Tips, Podcast, Private Practice Website

Work-life balance is a myth! But rhythms of life and the changing of seasons are something that we can all embrace.

In this episode, I sit down with Amy Dover, a seasoned therapist and successful group practice owner. 

Amy has an inspiring story of transitioning from various practice settings to building her own flourishing group practice in Enterprise, Alabama.

Throughout our conversation, Amy opens up about the rapid growth of her practice and the different seasons she’s experienced as an entrepreneur. 

We dive into the challenges of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and why Amy prefers to think in terms of finding a rhythm rather than balance. Because, honestly, balance never comes and only creates frustration. 

She shares her insights on how to adapt to the changing demands of personal life and business, providing valuable advice for anyone looking to grow their practice while staying grounded.

Key Takeaways

  • Rethinking Balance: Amy encourages us to move away from the rigid idea of work-life balance and instead find a rhythm that works for both our personal and professional lives.
  • Embracing Seasons: Understanding and embracing different seasons—whether it’s a time of rapid growth or a slower period—can help in managing personal and business development effectively.
  • Managing Growth: Amy’s journey emphasizes the importance of being a savvy businessperson. Knowing the financial and administrative aspects of your practice is essential for success, and requires a mindset shift from therapist to business owner.
  • Leadership Lessons: Transitioning from a solo practice to a group practice requires continuous learning and adaptation in leadership styles and team dynamics.
  • Consulting and Support: Having a mentor or joining a consulting group can provide crucial support and guidance through the stages of growing your practice.

Amy’s experience and wisdom offer a roadmap for navigating the complexities of practice growth while staying true to your values. 

Links mentioned in this episode:

This Episode Is Brought To You By

Alma is on a mission to simplify access to high-quality, affordable mental health care by giving providers the tools they need to build thriving in-network private practices. When providers join Alma, they gain access to insurance support, teletherapy software, client referrals, automated billing and scheduling tools, and a vibrant community of clinicians who come together for education, training, and events.

Learn more about building a thriving private practice with Alma at helloalma.com/elevation.

About Amy Dover

Amy Dover is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, group practice owner, and faith-based private practice consultant. She is located in Enterprise, AL where she manages an insurance-based group practice with 15 clinicians and 2 administrators. Amy is passionate in her desire to support faith-based practice owners, focusing on empowering fellow female entrepreneurs to leverage their leadership skills and God-given talents to impact their team and community. She is driven by a vision to help female faith-based practice owners create thriving practices that not only succeed in business terms but also provide a meaningful service aligned with their values and beliefs. In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, reading, sitting by the pool, and attempting to learn the game of golf.

Embracing the Rhythm of Growth: Navigating the Shift from Solo Practice to Group Therapy

In the ever-evolving landscape of therapy practice, the leap from solo practitioner to group practice owner is fraught with challenges and learning curves. Amy Dover, a seasoned therapist and group practice owner, sheds light on the nuances of this transition, highlighting the importance of finding one’s rhythm amidst growth and maintaining a personal touch in professional evolution. Through an engaging conversation with Daniel Fava, insights into embracing change, fostering adaptive business strategies, and finding fulfillment in both personal and professional spheres emerge.

Embracing Rhythms in Private Practice and Life

Many therapists find the concept of a work-life balance challenging, if not unattainable. Amy Dover shares this sentiment and offers an alternative perspective. Embracing the natural rhythms of life, much like one would dance to the beats of a song, allows for a richer, more adaptable approach to managing a therapy practice and personal commitments.

The Fluidity of Rhythms

Rhythms in one’s personal and professional life are constantly shifting. Amy notes, “I’ve been in a hustling rhythm,” referring to the onset of her group practice journey. As roles evolve and personal responsibilities shift—such as her children growing up—so too do the rhythms of her professional life. Finding comfort in these changes is key.

Embracing Seasonal Changes

Life and practice are not static; they are marked by seasons of intense growth and times of rest. Amy reflects on periods of rapid expansion where embracing slower periods allowed for a recalibration of priorities, especially concerning family. She encourages clinicians to view low-growth phases as opportunities rather than setbacks, stating that they “give us a chance to catch our breath” and refocus on what truly matters.

Recognizing and Nurturing Growth

The journey from solo to group practice is unique and marked by moments of both excitement and trepidation. However, both rapid and slow growth phases can be seen as beneficial if approached with the right mindset.

The Double-Edged Sword of Rapid Growth

While rapid growth may be exhilarating, it can also bring unexpected challenges. Amy speaks candidly about her experience, mentioning that she “grew very fast” and “would have done some things differently.” The key is to learn from each experience, seeing fast-paced growth as a time to stretch one’s capabilities and reassess the direction of the practice.

Valuing Slower Growth Phases

Slower growth need not be a cause for concern. Amy describes it as a “season of rest,” highlighting the potential to spend more time with family and re-evaluate business strategies. Every phase of growth—or lack thereof—brings valuable insights that can inform future decisions and reinforce the practice’s foundations.

Maintaining the Practice Culture Amidst Change

A group practice’s culture is its heartbeat, and preserving it amidst scaling is paramount. Amy emphasizes the importance of being “very careful about who I hire,” indicating the significant impact staff have on the practice environment.

Leading Through Change

Navigating the shift to a W-2 structure, among other challenges, Amy dealt with turmoil and resistance within her team. However, she used these situations as opportunities to refine her leadership skills, protect the practice’s culture, and prepare for future challenges.

Making Intentional Decisions

Scaling a practice doesn’t always mean constant expansion. Amy conveys contentment with her practice’s size, resisting pressures to relentlessly grow, and acknowledging the value in making intentional, strategic decisions that align with her vision.

Reflecting on the Journey

The transition from solo practice to group ownership is multifaceted, presenting both trials and triumphs. While challenging seasons may test our resilience, they also foster growth, teaching us invaluable lessons about ourselves and our practices. It’s the rhythm of these experiences—the dance between growth and stability, hustle and rest—that shapes the therapeutic community and the vital services it offers.

Amy Dover leaves us considering our own rhythms and encouraging each one of us to embrace the unique season we’re in. Whether hitting growth milestones or navigating the quieter phases of our practice, there’s wisdom to be gleaned from every beat of the unexpected and harmonious symphony of our professional lives.


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