Episode 77 The Process Of Starting & Rebuilding A Private Practice: Interview with Karen Carnabucci

Aug 24, 2022

Are you in the process of building your private practice or are rebuilding your practice? Are you making the necessary connections to grow and sustain your practice?

MEET Karen Carnabucci

Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is a trainer, psychotherapist, author, and consultant in private practice in Lancaster, Pa., and the founder of the Lancaster School of Psychodrama and Experiential Psychotherapies. She is the author of three books on creativity and action methods for professionals, and she has consulted for several other books, most recently “Words of the Daughter: A Memoir” by Regina Moreno. She has a particular interest in expanding creativity and spontaneity, the use of embodiment as a way of deep learning and understanding, and social change. 

Find out more at www.realtruekaren.com and connect with Karen on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram

 IN THIS PODCAST:

  • Tips for building a private practice 4:59
  • Building client referrals 10:17
  • Being flexible when building a practice 15:05
  • Rebuilding A Practice 18:00

Tips For Building A Private Practice

  • The importance of starting out with a business plan
  • How will your practice be successful?
  • Building your practice gradually to avoid burnout
  • How to find clients that you are best suited to help

Building Client Referrals

  • Building connections and seeking referrals
  • Providing after-care solutions within your niche
  • The importance of referring out when a client is outside of your specialty
  • Becoming knowledgeable in the industry and what your colleagues are specialized in treating

Being Flexible When Building A Practice

  • What is a sliding scale?
  • Changing your mindset when using a sliding scale when building your practice
  • Reviewing the client’s circumstances over time
  • Finding a solution that is sustainable for you and your practice

Rebuilding A Practice

  • Networking with local practices
  • Looking within your community for groups that you can be beneficial to
  • How to utilize a directory to connect with others in your specialty
  • Thinking outside the box when connecting with others

 Connect With Me

Holistic Counseling Webinar Series

Instagram @holisticcounselingpodcast

Facebook

Join the private Facebook group

Sign up for my free email course: www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more at www.realtruekaren.com and connect with Karen on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram

Quench by Dana Cohen, MD & Gina Bria

Transcript

Chris McDonald: Welcome to the holistic counseling podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

Does the thought of ethics and potential legal ramifications in holistic counseling? Cause you worry and unease, you are not alone. There are some things to consider and put into place in your practice before diving into holistic counseling strategies. In my upcoming webinar, we'll explore how to protect yourself against liability.

As a holistic therapist, you'll learn more about scope of practice versus scope of competence. What informed consent means for holistic strategies, the ethics of using new modalities, what to. And the role of values also addresses how you can expand your therapy practice ethically into the holistic realms and where to draw the line.

A checklist will be provided to help you stay on track. This webinar is launching Wednesday, August 24th, 2022 from 12 to 1:00 PM. Eastern. If you can attend live, there will be a recording sent to you. Ready to get on board, go to holistic counseling podcast.com/holistic webinars slash hope to see you there.

Welcome to today's episode of the holistic counseling podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. Before we get to today's episode, I wanted to take the time to thank all those that continue to give five star ratings and give so many amazing review. I really appreciate your help in supporting the show. And if you could do me a favor and do that today, if you haven't done that yet, I really thank you for promoting this podcast so that we can reach more listeners.

Thanks in advance. Today's guest is here today to share some tips about building a private practice and how to rebuild it with any life changes. Karen Carnabucci is a trainer psychotherapist, author and consultant in private practice in Lancaster, in Pennsylvania and the founder of the Lancaster school of psychodrama and experiential psychotherapies.

She is the author of three books on creativity and action methods for professionals and she's consulted for several other books. Most recently, words of the daughter are memoir by Regina Mor. She has a particular interest in expanding creativity in spontaneity, through the use of embodiment as a way of deep learning and understanding and social change and a fun fact about her.

She loves yard sales and thrift stores. So welcome to the podcast. Karen, thank you. Yes. Yeah. Yard sales and thrift stores. Those that's always fun. I always like to see what I can find.

Karen Carnabucci: Yes, I look for myself, but I also look sometimes for some therapy supplies, like sand tray supplies.

Chris McDonald: I was just gonna say, I looked at your website.

I was like, I know what she's looking for. I haven't, I, I used to do sand tray when I worked in the school system. So it was like one of the, it was kind of fun. I was like, I, I was always on the hunt for where can I find those miniatures and where am I gonna, where am I gonna discover? It's like, you hit gold mine.

When you find some places. So

Karen Carnabucci: far. Yes. There's a lot of excitement when that

Chris McDonald: happens. Absolutely. So, uh, could you share a little bit more about yourself and your work with my listeners?

Karen Carnabucci: Sure. I would be glad to. So I am a psychodramatist meaning that I am certified in psychodrama, soci geometry and group psychotherapy.

For me, that is an alternative kind of psychotherapy. And that is my biggest interest. I've been in practice since 1995, initially starting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and, uh, then moved to Wisconsin racing Wisconsin in the year 2000. And then, uh, 16 years later moved back here to Pennsylvania right now. My psychotherapy is very limited.

I am now focusing on teaching and training of the experiential methods and action method. That I use, including psychodrama, family constellations and Sandra.

Chris McDonald: Okay. That's great. So you've kind of made a shift in your business then?

Karen Carnabucci: I have, I have, I'm getting to the age where I feel like I have some things I need to share before I fully retire.

And I, and I enjoy very much teaching and mentoring and, and, uh, so forth, um, with younger therapists or also therapists that are not necessarily younger, they may be seasoned, but they may be interested in experiential

Chris McDonald: therapy. Yeah, I'm right with you on that. I'm really enjoy teaching other therapists in.

Especially teaching in yoga and other holistic modalities. I just think it's, it's so fun and I love clinical supervision. I do that as well, but I think it's always great to give back to the profession.

Karen Carnabucci: Yes, yes. It can be really satisfying.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Especially cuz you think about the older we get the more I, and I don't wanna say just seasons, but we're wise.

Right? We learn so many things over the years with our experiences and have so much we can give,

Karen Carnabucci: I would like

Chris McDonald: to think. I hope so. I hope we have something, right. exactly. Well, let's rewind for a minute and let's go back to when you were just starting private practice. So do you have any tips for therapists who might be listening, who may be taking that step right now in trying to build a private practice?

Karen Carnabucci: Well, I think on a very practical level, one of the first things I would suggest would be to write out a business plan. You know, typically we write out a business plan if we're borrowing money, Even if we are not borrowing money from a bank, for instance, I think it's really a smart, good thing to do to notice.

Agreed. Um, how am I going to design my practice? What exactly am I going to do? And then what am I gonna do first, second, third, fourth to, so to be very, very organized, uh, about how is this business gonna happen? And more importantly, how is it gonna be successful? That's a good

Chris McDonald: question. How is it gonna be successful?

Karen Carnabucci: Yes. I mean, ultimately we are doing our work. Not only because we love it and we want to help, we want to serve, but we also have bills to pay so that, uh, you know, I don't want my psychotherapy or whatever it is I'm doing to be a hobby. I want it to be something that is the main thing that I do that I love.

and not have to do other things in order to support myself to work at being a therapist later or when I have time or squeezing it in.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, absolutely. I think that that's key is cuz I know it, it can be very difficult in the beginning cause I know I was working at an agency and doing part-time private practice and that's kind of how I started to build my caseload and, and that could be taxing just mentally, physically, overall, just trying to, to build.

I'm sure that, you know, other people may have other ways to get started too. That may be more, less tax mm-hmm cause that's tiring to do two jobs like

Karen Carnabucci: that. It, it is. And I did the something very similar. Chris. I had worked on a drug and alcohol rehab and slowly began to work. Part time rather than full time.

So that as my practice grew, I, I did have an income that was, you know, predictable, but at the same time I could regulate the hours. And as my practice grew, I could reduce those hours at the treatment center and I could increase my hours with my practice. That's a

Chris McDonald: good way to look at it too, just to do that gradual process.

Karen Carnabucci: And I think it's very important to feel like we do have income coming in. So we're not getting highly anxious about when the next person is arriving or calling. And also that we are accepting people that are best for us that are. Most well suited for what we're doing rather than feeling, oh my gosh, I gotta take anybody or anybody who walks in that door.

Um, I'll figure out a way to work with them so that I can, and this is very important for me at the beginning, I was able to take people that I knew that I would do good work with and refer those other people who for some reason they were beyond my scope of. Or it was not something that I knew a lot about.

And then once I do good work with people, of course, they will send me referrals because they liked what I did. They liked the approach that I had and therefore they're going to speak well of me. And that is really important to me, whether I'm doing psychotherapy or whether I'm doing teaching or whatever is I'm doing that I will be spoken well of and people will want to refer to me and say, you must go see Karen.

Yeah, that

Chris McDonald: means a lot. And I think trusting that process too, can be difficult just knowing that the more you build with that and see more clients, the more is gonna help you get more clients.

Karen Carnabucci: and it is a process. I see it on Facebook sometimes where people say, you know, I have hardly any people coming in right now or it's summer.

And my caseload has really dropped. Yes, for me. It was around, you know, the holidays where suddenly people disappeared. And I had opened my practice back in, um, September of 1995. So I just had a few. You know of practice. And then the holidays came along and it was a scary time. Oh my gosh, that happens. You know, they all disappeared.

Or most of them disappeared except for the ones with wildly dysfunctional families that they needed therapy to get through the holiday season. And then it was a scary moment, but then it picked up in January when people make their resolutions, when they have more free time when they, you know, sense a new year, but it can be.

Important to stay with the process and to trust it, to

Chris McDonald: trust it. Yeah. That ebb and flow is, is for real, even for those of us who have done it a while. cause this is July my God. Everybody was traveling. I had more cancellations. I think I've had in two years.

Karen Carnabucci: Mm-hmm yes.

Chris McDonald: And it's gonna happen, but we bounce back.

We recover. And usually August picks up is what I found is in, in North Carolina where I'm at that kids go back to school. So I have those clients that have kids and then they're ready to reengage and we tend to get more referrals, especially for our group practices here in August, too, as kids are trying to get back to school or struggling with getting in school and dealing with that.

So, yeah, there's. That process,

Karen Carnabucci: right? Mm-hmm people are getting them reorganized mm-hmm

Chris McDonald: yeah. Different times of year, different seasons, different whatever's happening in the world. There can be shifts. So, but recognizing that, knowing that's a normal part of the process. Yes. So what else did you do to kind of build your practice

Karen Carnabucci: in addition to the business plan?

I did a couple of things. Uh, I guess some of them were unorthodox and some of them maybe were more typical. First of all, I let the, the treatment center where I work know that I was taking referrals and I also reached out to every single other treatment center or hospital or any other local or regional place.

Uh, to let them know that I was open for referrals and specifically what I did, because of course my specialty has been experiential psychotherapy, uh, which is a niche in itself. So I was, I was definitely reaching out to all those. Places that needed to have aftercare solutions for their people once they were discharged.

And, um, which is smart. I hope so. And it worked out. Yes, I did indeed get people. And in fact, it's funny, I'm still on the list. What is it? Years and years and years later. Nearly 30 years later, I'm still on list. Although I had to turn someone re recently, cuz I'm no longer taking these psychotherapy appointments, but that shows you how well they, they keep your name on the list.

Really? For sure. So I did that. I also reached out to every single, uh, colleague that I could think of anyone that I had ever worked with. I had worked briefly in a psych, uh, psychiatric hospital, my graduate student, friends who had graduated. I reached out to all of them, letting 'em know that I was taking people.

And then of course, finding out their specialties. And I think this is really important, um, that it's not just about me and me getting new people, but it is also about making sure that referrals go to other people in my work circle, because there are some things that I don't do, um, not qualified to do.

For one reason another don't want to do so it's really important that I had a really good sense of what my colleagues were doing. And, you know, so if they were working with children for instance, or they were working with teenagers or they were working with a particular kind of addiction like sex addiction, it was really important that I had a really good, robust referral network that I could refer.

Not just take in. And I think that builds referrals as well. When I have colleagues that are happy that I'm sending people their way, they will be more likely to send people my way when so true again, mm-hmm

Chris McDonald: yeah. I find too just finding people and it sounds, um, counter intuitive, but it actually works to find people who are similar to you.

Because then you refer to each other. So if you're a holistic therapist and finding other people who are holistic, and sometimes too, there might come a time that they're full and they're gonna refer to you and, and then vice versa. So connecting with similar people's important.

Karen Carnabucci: Yes. And I have found that same thing to be true in my teaching as well.

I'm also, uh, connected. in my network. Now my network has expanded. So who else do I know who teaches or who else do I know who offers supervision and what happens when their groups are full or their caseloads are full, or the person that is the student there wants to learn some other modalities or other programs with someone else.

I think it works exactly the same way that we don't have to be competitive, but we can be cooperative, you know, sharing the wealth, sharing the information, letting people know I have someone terrific, who I think can really

Chris McDonald: help you, not competitive that we all can. I have. I think we all have our own take on right psychotherapy and we all have something to give and, and I never see it as competition.

I think that everybody's just unique in what they can offer. Even if somebody has the same kind of modality, we all do it differently.

Karen Carnabucci: I agree. I'm always speaking about the match and how important the match is. Yes. That I could be really, really, really competent, but maybe for some reason, I remind you of your great aunt Marge, you know, or you could be really amazing in what you do, but for some reason, it's like putting on a, you know, a jacket that just doesn't fit.

Right. I think finding the right fit, you know, searching around, checking things out, finding the right fit is so very important on so many levels. Yeah. So true. And letting people know that, you know, you know, when they ask, what should I look for? How do I, you know, how do I know notice how it feels, notice your experience.

Notice how the fit feels for you, then you will have a successful experience. And even if you don't come to me, you'll be happy about your referral. And you'll think of me. Well, and you'll think of me maybe again in another way.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. So true. So anything else you wanted to share about just that starting point of a private practice?

Karen Carnabucci: Well, I'll tell you one other thing that I did that is probably a little bit controversial now. And of course this was many years ago, but I did it because one of my older colleagues was doing it. And by older, I think she was, her practice was just about three years older than mine. It wasn't that much older, but I, we often shared, and I think that's another important piece to make sure we're networking and sharing and have places to go about our practic.

Where we don't have to say, yeah, I'm doing great. And we could say, yeah, I'm having some problems or how are you doing it or share your wisdom. And so this particular colleague mentioned that she gave a very generous sliding scale at the very, very beginning. And she said, you know, even if it's $25, it pays my electricity, you know, for part of a week or a week or part of a month.

And, um, that was a very interesting way to look at it. And of course this was a long time ago. So $35 is different than its today, of course, but she helped me think about it in terms of a way that, that as I brought in clients, I was able to pay for the practice overhead. Rather than stress about it. And so that sliding scale for a while served me well, it served me well and the way that I did it, I did not do it in the way that some other folks did it.

I, I asked the person, here's my rate. What are you able to pay? You know, and think about it. Don't just tell me right now, think about it and come back to me. And then if it cha, if your situation changes in six, We can review it because sometimes people do change in six months. Sometimes, you know, they probably pay off a debt or they get a raise or, uh, someone in the household get a, gets a raise or something happens that allows more income to come into the family.

And I found that had worked for a while at the beginning. Very well for.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, I did that as well. Um, well I used open path collective too Uhhuh. The more affordable too. Cause I think that's a good way to start practice too to, I had limited spots, but I think you can't build your whole practice on that.

but you know, you gotta really look at what's sustainable too. Yes.

Karen Carnabucci: And financially. Yes, I think so. Absolutely. And so, you know, if you can, I would tell people if you can come during the day or if you can come, you know, in early morning hours, you know, we can talk about a reduced sliding scale and, um, many people took advantage of that

Chris McDonald: and reviewing it.

I think that's a mistake I made cuz then I had people that would stay with at that rate. Forever cuz I , I never changed. I didn't realize, oh, maybe you should reevaluate with people, especially as you hear their circumstances change.

Karen Carnabucci: Yes. So, you know, if I notice that people are going on vacation a lot or you know, having, you know, lots of luxury purchases, uh, well, therapy is important too.

And training is important too. And we can revisit that.

Chris McDonald: Absolutely. So, so can you share more about that experience, where you had to rebuild your

Karen Carnabucci: practice? Well, I started, I opened the doors in my practice in 1995 here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and then in the year, 2000, just five years later at a time when I had built a beautiful practice where I was working on word of mouth and people were coming in.

I was, if not full, practically full, uh, my husband got transferred to another state to Wisconsin and, uh, I closed my practice down. I said goodbye to everyone. We had some Terry farewells and we moved and I had to, if I wanted to, it was my choice. I don't say I had to, I decided to rebuild my practice from the ground up once again, doing psychotherapy.

And by that time I added, uh, more training to the mix. I knew nearly nobody. I had one single referral from a colleague who said, check out. So, and so he's in Wisconsin, not too far from where you'll be living, call him up, check him out network with him. So I followed that. And it turned out. This man was actually incredibly welcoming.

People in the Midwest are very welcoming and he, uh, networked with me. He introduced me around, he gave me some tips. Uh, he sent some people my way. Because his practice was fairly full at the time. He did some trainings with me bringing him his own training group. So we had a, we were co-leaders of a, uh, co-mingled training group and he was just extremely valuable in helping me.

Get started in a very practical way. I did a couple of other things that got me out into the world as well. If you'd like to hear about those. Yeah, definitely. Uh, one of the things I did was, and I have worked through the years a lot with trauma with addiction, trauma. I want people often call codependency, but I think is really trauma as well.

But I looked around, uh, in the community to find out what was going on. And one of the things that I found was a monthly meeting of domestic violence providers and collaborators. It was actually, I think, believe they called themselves a domestic violence coalition. So there were many, many, many helping professionals involved in this coalition.

Everyone from, you know, shelter providers to psychotherapists, to hospital representatives. It was actually a quite a sizeable group. I started going to those meetings regularly. And it was a wonderful way to not only become involved with the community and make some friends and get to know some people.

But I ended up finding people that were looking for referrals, uh, for referrals to my kind of work. and I did some consultation with one of the local shelters that was starting up a new program. So actually made a number of really, really good contacts by, by going to that group. By speaking up, I did, I think I did some volunteering as well to get some extra.

Extra friendships going extra relationships going. And that was really, really helpful in, um, checking out, uh, what was happening in trauma in that community. The other thing that I did, and I should tell you that before I was a psychotherapist or trainer, I was a journalist really. That's interesting. I was.

And, um, so I'm a change of career person as well. And what I did decided to do was to start a directory of holistic professionals. In the community because I knew how to write and I knew how to publish and I knew how to self-publish. So I started meeting people, uh, who were holistic professionals, not necessarily therapists.

Uh, the, some of these people were body workers, massage practitioners, Rubenfeld practitioners, Chinese medicine, practitioners, and so forth. And it, first of all, was a great way to expand my network because I got. Good reason to call people up and introduce myself and let them know that what I was doing, but also to, you know, have a, a little money making project on the side as I was getting to know people.

So I, I sold advertisements for this directory and I designed by using some very simple design tools on Microsoft publisher and finding a printer. I designed a publication, a yearly publication that went on actually for several years. About who are the holistic pro uh, providers in the community. And it was very well received.

And as a bonus, it helped me to, again, widen my, my work circle.

Chris McDonald: That's definitely out of the box thinking, but I love that connecting just all kinds of holistic practitioners, cuz I'm sure there wasn't anything available

Karen Carnabucci: like that. There was not. And, um, yoga was involved as well and actually. A piece of feedback.

I, first of all, the practitioners were very thankful, uh, because they got the word out about their work, but it just helped me get to know so many people in the community. And of course, many did send referrals. Some became friends, it was just good all around for me in so many ways. As a new person in the community,

Chris McDonald: it's almost like trying to find some kind of community input that you could be involved in in using, like, I think you mentioned that, was it like a networking group using that too?

I think that's, that's perfect. And consultation groups, I think is another way. If you can find local consultation groups with other therapists, and that's how I met a lot of people and connected and, you know, we would talk about cases but share referrals

Karen Carnabucci: as well. Yes. I think the connect. So important. And as I said earlier, and I think you agree, we can get so into that capitalistic viewpoint of competition and, you know, being out there and trying to just, you know, push ourselves to the top that I think we forget that how important cooperation is.

It

Chris McDonald: is for sure. And just making those connections with other, I think that that was a mistake I made when I first started, I didn't connect a lot with other therapists. I would connect with medical doctors, which is fine. And I know a lot of people do that. Um, and some other community members, but. That was my mistake.

my only regret was that I didn't connect more with other therapists, cuz that that was what pushed my practice over the edge as far as being able to be consistent with referrals and be able to build those partnerships and relationships that made all the

Karen Carnabucci: difference in the world. I think probably all of us have a couple of regrets here or there that if we have a chance to do it over, we would then one way or another do it differently.

Yeah.

Chris McDonald: So what are your regrets? Was there things that mistakes that you made in your private practice

Karen Carnabucci: journey? Well, I learned, uh, when taking on additional people to your group, I learned about the importance of written contracts and, and sometimes what people's. Thought they heard wasn't quite what I meant to say.

Right. Or wanted to say, or indeed did say. So I really learned the importance about very specific contracts, where everything is really spilled out about who's doing what and what responsibilities each of us have. I think that it. Avoids a lot of hurt feelings later, and a lot of misunderstandings later that don't have to be true.

Um, so that is one and I would recommend to anyone of any kind of partnership, you know, be it, you know, sharing an office or starting a practice together or renting space or whatever it may be to be really clear about expectations and obligations and have it in written form. I think the other thing that I did.

Decided to start a holistic health center at some point. And you know, I talk with so many people since who say, oh, I wanna start a holistic health center and we'll have some yoga and we'll have some massage and we'll have some this, and we'll have some that, yes, I hear that too. Yeah. And this is when I start.

You know, laughing just a little bit to myself only because I've been there and I had that dream too. So I bought a big old Victorian house on the, on the lake, in racing, Wisconsin, which was wonderful. And I hired some wonderful guy to help me rehab it and had a lot of fun doing that, actually. And then I had lots of different people, you know, share the building with me.

I think we had massage and Reiki and yoga, and we had a midwife upstairs and. All very wonderful. And it was wonderful to be able to run right downstairs. My office was on the second floor for a while and I could run right downstairs and go to a yoga class and then run right upstairs and do my work. Oh, that was lovely.

Yes. Yeah, that was really nice. But the other thing I learned was that. Managing that kind work setting. Right. Takes a lot of time. I didn't get a chance then to quite market and build and take time to work as fully on my own practice. I, as I would like. So I would say to those people that are thinking of doing that, know that that, that will take some time.

If you plan to do it yourself. or make sure you can hire someone who can do that for you, because it sounds like a lovely dream. We'll just all cooperate and work together and it'll be just great. No, there's lots of loop Sims. There's lots of things to handle. There's lots of extra emails to write

Chris McDonald: yeah. I was thinking, you know, I actually had that thought one time too.

I was like, wow, wouldn't that be cool if it, you know, in one building have us all holistic practices, but then I thought about the managing part. I was like, no. I have no interest in all that that's, that would be a lot of people to manage a lot of issues that come up and yeah, that's kind of not where I

Karen Carnabucci: wanna go.

yeah. And I think that's important to decide how that, you know, the most important question and one that I offer my mentees and supervises. And, and, and people who study with me is how do I want to spend my time? That's it,

Chris McDonald: isn't it. Mm. Yeah. And just being realistic with how much time you have, cuz I also, um, see some therapists for therapy.

You know, I do therapy for therapists and some too, that group practice owners that take on way too much when they have hired people. Cuz you gotta make space yes. For, for people that you've hired to manage. I mean that, there's a management role in that, that I think people forget.

Karen Carnabucci: Yes. Absolutely.

Absolutely. That was my big learning, which I always pass on when I can.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Yeah. It's a big challenge for sure. So, any other thoughts about that rebuilding process?

Karen Carnabucci: So, uh, all those things that I did, you know, that I shared, you know, networking, um, finding ways to make money while networking, joining organizations, where I could network.

I, I did very well and I, you know, built that practice right up again. And then I had a chance to move yet. One more time, moved back here to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Oh my goodness. Yes. And we, we, and I wanted to, because yeah, uh, we have family here. We have many friends here. The weather, I will tell you is just a little bit warmer than the weather in Wisconsin.

So we moved back here in 2016 and of course I knew people here, so. So I recontacted as many people as I knew when I returned to let people know I'm back, here's what I'm doing. And to, you know, once again, get the word out. Um, now I'm doing even more training, still some psychotherapy at the beginning, but as the years have passed, since I returned, I'm doing more and more and more training in supervision.

And that now that was a little bit of a, a twist or a little bit of a turn. So now the marketing is more around training. So I'm marketing now to other therapists, of course, using social media and so forth. The pandemic has put in a little twist in it as well, because I am online. I've been online since March, 2020 with a very few exceptions, hoping to get out back into the real world in person.

Well in person, there's nothing to compare it with of course. But I found a way to teach online that I think works for me. And so, yeah, rebuilding once again and reaching out and finding those people who want what I have. And I think that's key that there's, once again, that match, you know, I have something to offer.

Someone has a need, you know, let's encounter each other. Let's meet. Connect. And can I just ask you

Chris McDonald: about psychodrama?

Karen Carnabucci: I love talking about psychodrama. I'm

Chris McDonald: so excited that you do that. So can you share what that is? Cuz I know a lot of listeners may not know what that

Karen Carnabucci: is. Well, you know, it sounds kind of scary sometimes.

Yeah, it does but I have loved it. I have worked with psychodrama since, um, the late 1980, since 1989 and eventually loved it so much that I decided to become a certified trainer. In that particular modality, a psychodrama is the parent of role play, but much more as well, so that we are using essentially improvisation to work with people, to help them identify and expand their own creativity and spontaneity in the role play part, they can trained, we call it role training training for.

New events, new ideas, new ways of being new ways of behaving. It goes deeper than I believe. Uh, traditional talk therapy. Many of the people who come to me want to integrate it into talk therapy, which I completely endorse and others want to become certified and, you know, make it their sole practice. But essentially we are using action to help people go.

Into their issue, their problem. It may be a role play, but it may be a whole number of other modalities. I modality is not quite the word, a number of other ways of working where people get to experience and embody a situation or part of a situation that really moves them forward. So they don't just have information in their head, but they're actually able to shift in the embodiment, their.

Of what they're working with or working through that they can really move forward in a really big

Chris McDonald: way. I can see how that could be more healing than regular talk therapy.

Karen Carnabucci: Well, you know, I'm never going to, you know, dismiss or criticize talk therapy, but I do think it has its limit. And exactly. Um, I found that in my own personal therapy, actually many, many years ago that I became very smart about what my problem was , but I, I didn't necessarily have the changes in my actual world that I was hoping to get.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. So it kinda, it sounds like it could go a little bit deeper.

Karen Carnabucci: Absolutely. Absolutely. And some of the interventions are talk related where we use talk, but we use it in a different way with very particular techniques to help the person have a different experience of themselves.

Chris McDonald: Very cool. So what's a holistic strategy that you like to use each

Karen Carnabucci: day?

Well, I always try to stretch, uh, ideally even before I get out of bed, uh, one of the things that I do is, uh, something that I learned out of the book quench. By D Cohen. She is a doctor who is very interested in hydration. This is apart from psychotherapy, although sometimes it has its links. And so certain neck exercises like moving your neck up and down is if you are nodding your head deeply and slowly, and also moving your head from side to side.

Left and right. Gets those fluids in your neck, in your cranium, moving that helps hydrate your body more fully. I learned that it's not just drinking water as everybody talks about all the time, drink water, but it's. Also getting that hydration already inside of your body to move around and through your body.

So that's something that I try to do as often as I

Chris McDonald: can. That's so interesting. Cause I never thought hydration was more than just drinking water

Karen Carnabucci: you know? Oh, her was wonderful. I actually suggested to practically everyone. Yeah. What's that called again? It's called que Q U N C H. Yeah. From a holistic point of view.

You know, I often say to my trainees, and I I've said this myself as a psychotherapist, you know, you can be the absolute best psychotherapist you can be. You can have amazing tools. You can have amazing training, but you've also got to work with the whole person. Yeah. So it helps to know about what people are consuming, what they're eating, what they're drinking.

Are they moving? Are they breathing fresh air? I mean, and on and on and on and on some of the things that we take for granted. Yes, but I do think we have to check this out when we're working with

Chris McDonald: people. Yes. And you're just preaching the choir here. follow the holistic therapist, listening for sure of how.

Impactful that holistic counseling can be. I think that's. Essential to come from that holistic lens, for sure. Yes. So what's, what's the best place for listeners to find you and learn more

Karen Carnabucci: about you? Well, I'm on Instagram. Real true. karen.com R E a LT, R U E. Karen. And that's actually my website as well.com.

Oh, okay. But also on Instagram, in Facebook I'm, um, in a number of places, especially Lancaster psychodrama, that would be facebook.com/lancaster psychodrama. I have a YouTube channel. Nice. Um, if you find my website, basically you'll find all those places where you can reach me. And I do have an email newsletter and people are welcome to S.

Chris McDonald: Perfect. We'll put all that in the show notes as well. So listeners can access that, but I wanna thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Karen, this has been great.

Karen Carnabucci: Thank you, Chris. I really appreciate your interest.

Chris McDonald: And join us for another episode next Wednesday, and be sure to visit us@wwwdotholisticcounselingpodcast.com to access our show notes, resource page, and all our other episodes.

This is Chris. McDonald's sending each one of you much light in love till next time. Take care. Thank you for listening and supporting the holistic counseling podcast. If you're loving this podcast, please share with your colleagues so we can continue to grow our holistic community. Also, are you ready to take the next step to create an integrative counseling practice?

I invite you to sign up for my free nine part email course becoming a holistic counselor in this course, you'll explore different holistic strategies. How to develop your skills as a holistic counselor and how to manifest your dream practice. www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com. Scroll down and enter your name and email address today.

Find A Topic

The Art of Breath:  How to Integrate Breathwork Techniques for Effective Therapy Sessions 

Have you been wanting to integrate breathwork into your sessions but are unsure how?   Or maybe you want to refine your technique? Join me on a remarkable journey as we delve into breathwork techniques and how to integrate them safely and ethically into sessions. 

Check Out My Book!

Self-Care for the Counselor - a holistic guide for helping professionals by Christine McDonald , MS,NCC,LPCS