300 episodes

With over 1.8 million downloads, Selling the Couch is a top podcast for mental health private practitioners who think differently.

Psychologist Melvin Varghese interviews successful therapists, top entrepreneurs, business/marketing, productivity, and social media experts.

You'll learn how therapists get referrals, make money, work through fears, and how they've stopped "trading time for income."

Melvin also shares the lessons as he grows his impact + income beyond the therapy room (podcasting, video, online courses, masterminds, investing, etc) and the tips, tools, and tech he uses to grow STC from a single-person business to the CEO of a 5-person 100% remote team.

You get bite-sized and highly actionable tips to guide your private practice and entrepreneurial journey.

Selling the Couch Melvin Varghese, PhD

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 327 Ratings

With over 1.8 million downloads, Selling the Couch is a top podcast for mental health private practitioners who think differently.

Psychologist Melvin Varghese interviews successful therapists, top entrepreneurs, business/marketing, productivity, and social media experts.

You'll learn how therapists get referrals, make money, work through fears, and how they've stopped "trading time for income."

Melvin also shares the lessons as he grows his impact + income beyond the therapy room (podcasting, video, online courses, masterminds, investing, etc) and the tips, tools, and tech he uses to grow STC from a single-person business to the CEO of a 5-person 100% remote team.

You get bite-sized and highly actionable tips to guide your private practice and entrepreneurial journey.

    366: Finding Your Enough As An Entrepreneur with Jeanetta Garrison, LCSW

    366: Finding Your Enough As An Entrepreneur with Jeanetta Garrison, LCSW

    More is not always better. We often find that what we are chasing in our pursuit of success is not what we thought it was. Entrepreneurship for private practice clinicians naturally attracts many high achievers and recovering perfectionists, so we need to take a pause and periodically reassess and redefine what success looks like. Join us for a closer look at this important topic!
    Our Featured Guest
    Jeanetta Garrison, LCSW
    Jeanetta Garrison is an anxiety therapist in private practice in Charlotte, NC. She is the perfect person to share insights into today’s topic. In this episode, Jeanetta shares a personal story about what she learned about money during her childhood, along with how we navigate our aspirations and what we go after to achieve success. We wrap up with a discussion of knowing what is “enough” and being cautious about who we follow after as mentors and examples. 
    Crown Counseling & Consulting
    You’ll Learn:
    Common characteristics of entrepreneurs in private practiceJeanetta’s family story of how she learned about money from her upbringingHaving big hearts of service sets us up to allow boundaries to be crossedThe need for clarity in communication with clients about cancellations and no-showsChasing the proverbial “carrot” to reach successJeanetta’s advice: “Remember your WHY and center your head, heart, and spirit around it.”Think about your success in terms of what you are sacrificing for it!Navigating the ebbs and flows that are inherent in entrepreneurshipHow Jeanetta grounds herself with what is “enough” for her in her businessThinking about money in terms of what it symbolizes to us (“All money is not good money.”)
    Resources:
    Want to launch your podcast?
    Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)
    https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshop
    Want to launch your online course?
    Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekit
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Thrizer
    Thrizer can help private pay therapists transform out-of-network therapy into an in-network experience to help you attract and retain private pay clients!

    First, Thrizer can help you instantly verify your client's out-of-network benefits ahead of their first session using Thrizer's free Instant Benefits Calculator.

    Then, just by charging clients via Thrizer's payment platform, you can automatically submit claims for them and even let your clients just pay their co-insurance for sessions (similar to in-network copays) to help them afford therapy upfront and skip the reimbursement wait post-deductible.

    Thrizer covers the rest of your fees upfront and waits for reimbursement on their behalf! They also have a Superbill Uploads feature if you'd like to instead offer your clients a resource to manage their own superbills. They manage all claims end-to-end so you or your clients don't need to deal with any of the insurance stress.

    Please visit the Thrizer link below and enter the promo code “STC” and receive waived fees for your first $2500 in charges.
    Learn More About Thrizer

    • 40 min
    365: Starter Podcaster Setups

    365: Starter Podcaster Setups

    One of the most common questions I’m asked is about the gear needed to begin podcasting. I will honestly admit that it’s a difficult decision when you’re just starting because you want reliable equipment that does a great job, but you are also hesitant to break the bank for it. As you progress, several factors complicate the choices of gear, such as how you conduct guest interviews and whether you have a co-host. In today’s session, I’m walking you through four common podcasting scenarios and the gear I recommend for each. All of this information is compiled in the Buying Guide found inside our Healthcasters course. 
    You’ll Learn:
    My gear setup as I started the STC podcast in 2015 with a teeny, tiny budgetMy advice for beginning podcasters: “Don’t go out and purchase all the gear I mention, but go with the basics as you focus on building and honing your storytelling and interviewing skills.”Four podcasting scenarios and the recommended equipment:1- A single host with solo episodes and guest interviews via the Internet.I recommend the Samsung Q2U dynamic mic, Koolertron mic shock mount, OnStage foam windscreen, pop filter, mic stand, and Rode PSA mic arm.2- A single host who interviews guests in person.In addition to the basic equipment in Scenario #1, I recommend a 2-3 camera set-up (very expensive!), Calendly to coordinate interviews, 2 tabletop stands/mic arms, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for recording, and XLR cables.3- Co-hosts who connect and interview guests via the Internet.I recommend the basic equipment in Scenario #1 for EACH co-host, along with a recording platform, like Zoom or Ecamm Live.4- Co-hosts who get together in-person to interview guests in person. This is a dream set-up, but it is very expensive and complicated. I recommend the basic equipment in Scenario #1 for EACH co-host and guest (Yes, that is at least three of everything!), along with the Rodecaster Pro (the Rodecaster Pro II or Pro Mini), 32 GB SD card, and XLR cables.My advice: “Start with a lean setup. My current gear costs around $5000, but I didn’t upgrade for several years when I started out.”Check out the free workshop, Using Podcasting to Grow Your Business.
    Resources:
    Want to launch your podcast?
    Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)
    https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshop
    Want to launch your online course?
    Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekit



    Mentioned in this episode:
    Thrizer
    Thrizer can help private pay therapists transform out-of-network therapy into an in-network experience to help you attract and retain private pay clients!

    First, Thrizer can help you instantly verify your client's out-of-network benefits ahead of their first session using Thrizer's free Instant Benefits Calculator.

    Then, just by charging clients via Thrizer's payment platform, you can automatically submit claims for them and even let your clients just pay their co-insurance for sessions (similar to in-network copays) to help them afford therapy upfront and skip the reimbursement wait...

    • 31 min
    364: How to Start Writing a Book: Things They Don’t Tell You

    364: How to Start Writing a Book: Things They Don’t Tell You

    If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, you’ve realized that the process is intimidating. Just knowing where to begin and how to proceed pose big challenges. We are tackling this topic with today’s guest and uncovering the things nobody tells you about writing a book. Join us to get real and learn more!
    Our Featured Guest
    Raj Lulla
    Raj Lulla is a StoryBrand Certified designer and strategist. He and his partner, Ben Lueders, are the co-owners of Fruitful Design & Strategy, where they “create and grow compelling brands.” Raj has spent the last few years writing a book called The Caring House, and he joins us to dive deeper into the book-writing process. He shares why he chose to write a fiction book, how he approached the publishing aspect, and the financial outlay for a project like this. We wrap up with Raj’s perspective on the things no one tells you about marketing a book and Raj’s best tips for anyone who wants to write a book. 
    Fruitful Design and Raj Lulla
    You’ll Learn:
    Raj’s choice: fiction vs. nonfiction?Big questions to confront around the grief-processing journeyRaj’s idea for The Caring House as part of his personal healing processWriting to answer the question, “What is this book for?”Narrowing your purpose to the “most important thing”Understanding the publishing dilemma: a traditional publisher, indie/hybrid publishing, or self-publishing? Differences in the pitching/publishing process between a fiction vs. nonfiction bookFinancial considerations in the book-writing processDetails about the “print-on-demand” publishing option and the hard work required to market a self-published bookRaj’s advice to aspiring writers
    Resources:
    Want to launch your podcast?
    Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)
    https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshop
    Want to launch your online course?
    Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekit
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Thrizer
    Thrizer can help private pay therapists transform out-of-network therapy into an in-network experience to help you attract and retain private pay clients!

    First, Thrizer can help you instantly verify your client's out-of-network benefits ahead of their first session using Thrizer's free Instant Benefits Calculator.

    Then, just by charging clients via Thrizer's payment platform, you can automatically submit claims for them and even let your clients just pay their co-insurance for sessions (similar to in-network copays) to help them afford therapy upfront and skip the reimbursement wait post-deductible.

    Thrizer covers the rest of your fees upfront and waits for reimbursement on their behalf! They also have a Superbill Uploads feature if you'd like to instead offer your clients a resource to manage their own superbills. They manage all claims end-to-end so you or your clients don't need to deal with any of the insurance stress.

    Please visit the Thrizer link below and enter the promo code “STC” and receive waived fees for your first $2500 in charges.
    Learn More About...

    • 46 min
    363: How To Make Money From Your Podcast Without Just Relying on Sponsors with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.

    363: How To Make Money From Your Podcast Without Just Relying on Sponsors with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.

    Podcast sponsorship is often seen as the “golden goose” of podcasting. We started working with sponsors on STC a few years ago, and they have generated over $95k to this point. However, I’ve learned that relying solely on sponsorships is not the wisest stance because your success rides the ebbs and flows of another company’s marketing budget. I’m very grateful for the sponsors who have worked with us, but I don’t want to depend on them for the main source of income for STC. Today, I’m sharing three ways you can make money from your podcast from Day One, without having to depend on securing sponsors down the road. Join me for a closer look!
    You’ll Learn:
    The increasing responsibility I feel to be a good steward in today’s podcasting environmentThree ways to make money from your podcast from Day One:One-on-one work–I share how to use analytics to pinpoint your niche and impact to specialize your focus and offerings. (I use and recommend Fathom Analytics.)Scalable work–This includes things you can continue to do for the next 8-10 years, like paid speaking engagements, coaching groups, therapy groups, writing books, and establishing a “private podcast” feed. Online courses–The time and energy investment comes on the front end, but they become an asset into which you can invite others.It’s best to view podcast sponsorship as “the cherry on the top” that may come to you, but not as the financial foundation to depend on from month to month.Our free podcasting workshop can help you launch your podcast! 
    Resources:
    Want to launch your podcast?
    Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)
    https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshop
    Want to launch your online course?
    Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekit
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Thrizer
    Thrizer can help private pay therapists transform out-of-network therapy into an in-network experience to help you attract and retain private pay clients!

    First, Thrizer can help you instantly verify your client's out-of-network benefits ahead of their first session using Thrizer's free Instant Benefits Calculator.

    Then, just by charging clients via Thrizer's payment platform, you can automatically submit claims for them and even let your clients just pay their co-insurance for sessions (similar to in-network copays) to help them afford therapy upfront and skip the reimbursement wait post-deductible.

    Thrizer covers the rest of your fees upfront and waits for reimbursement on their behalf! They also have a Superbill Uploads feature if you'd like to instead offer your clients a resource to manage their own superbills. They manage all claims end-to-end so you or your clients don't need to deal with any of the insurance stress.

    Please visit the Thrizer link below and enter the promo code “STC” and receive waived fees for your first $2500 in charges.
    Learn More About Thrizer

    • 23 min
    362: Low Risk Ways To Host Your First Retreat with Megan Gunnell

    362: Low Risk Ways To Host Your First Retreat with Megan Gunnell

    Hosting a retreat sounds like a great idea, right? When you stop and think about all the logistical and financial details, that’s when many fears and questions come to the surface. Perhaps the biggest fear is whether enough people will pay for your retreat to make it a success. Join us as we dive into this topic with today’s expert guest!
    Our Featured Guest
    Megan Gunnell
    In addition to being a business owner, author, and triathlete, Megan Gunnell is a Clinical Social Worker who has been hosting 1-day retreats, workshops and weekend/week long retreats for 20+ years.
    She hosted her first one at a local community center–complete with harp music! From these humble beginnings, Megan’s retreats have evolved into weekend retreats and international retreats that started in 2012 in Costa Rica, Italy, France, and other places around the globe.
    In this episode, we discuss why therapists find it so appealing to consider hosting a retreat, along with common fears related to the risk of hosting your first retreat.
    Megan explains how to find suitable venues that offer 100% refund options and points out the important legal and logistical considerations. We wrap up our conversation by discussing retreat marketing, which is vital to the success of your retreat. Megan shares what she has learned along her journey as a retreat host. 
    Megan's Website and Thriving Therapists ® Facebook Group
    You’ll Learn:
    Megan’s inspiration to expand beyond private practice into hosting retreatsMegan’s #1 lesson learned: Start small and grow later.The attraction of retreats? They are transformative spaces for people to pull away from everyday life and reinvigorate their passion and purpose.The major differences between private practice work and group retreats as income sourcesLegal considerations around liability, disclaimers, emergencies, etc.Megan’s low-risk tips for hosting retreats:Start small with a test audience and test venue with a half-day or one-day retreat.Look for 100% refundable venues through a certain date prior to the event.Do the math and “beta-test” your audience.Making your retreat a profitable ventureFinding 100% fully refundable venues—and why international properties are desirableMegan’s top marketing strategies for retreats:Be very clear about your intentions. (Who is this for, and what is the purpose?)Think about your runway. (Make sure it is long enough to “land the plane.”)Build a warm excitement with your audience around the date for open registration.Handling the cancellation or rebooking of your retreat with flexibility and transparency
    Resources:
    Want to launch your podcast? Check out our free podcasting workshop
    https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshop
    Want to launch your online course?
    Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekit
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Thrizer
    Thrizer can help private pay therapists transform out-of-network therapy into an in-network experience to help you attract and retain private pay clients!

    First, Thrizer can help you instantly verify your client's out-of-network benefits ahead of their first session using Thrizer's free Instant Benefits...

    • 48 min
    361: The Anxiety Of Finding A Private Practice Niche

    361: The Anxiety Of Finding A Private Practice Niche

    About a month ago, I shared that I’ve decided to go into private practice, in addition to keeping STC running and growing. There are three main reasons for this decision: I miss the therapy room, a clinical arm to my business is a wise move, and I’ll be able to more strategically diversify my income. I think this venture will offer new opportunities for the future that are beneficial in many ways, but, to be honest, this decision has brought me some anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
    I’m addressing these issues with my wonderful therapist, and I’m doing all the things that we therapists tell our clients to do. My worries and fears are probably normal for someone who feels the pressure to be successful in multiple businesses and endeavors. In today’s solo session, I’m sharing my insights on finding my private practice niche. Join me for a closer look!
    You’ll Learn: 
    What is a niche, and how did I choose my niche for private practice? Who do I want to work with?My top four insights on finding my private practice niche:Niches are living and breathing things that evolve over time.Family and friends will always recommend people outside your niche.There is a relational component to marketing beyond your website.Even though my niche focuses on tech and business founders, working within other branches of these niches will add diversity to my work. (These last two insights come from my friends, Raj Lulla and Ben Lueders, the founders of Fruitful Design.)
    Resources:
    Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more at
    https://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  
    Want to launch your online course?
    Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekit
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Thrizer
    Thrizer can help private pay therapists transform out-of-network therapy into an in-network experience to help you attract and retain private pay clients!

    First, Thrizer can help you instantly verify your client's out-of-network benefits ahead of their first session using Thrizer's free Instant Benefits Calculator.

    Then, just by charging clients via Thrizer's payment platform, you can automatically submit claims for them and even let your clients just pay their co-insurance for sessions (similar to in-network copays) to help them afford therapy upfront and skip the reimbursement wait post-deductible.

    Thrizer covers the rest of your fees upfront and waits for reimbursement on their behalf! They also have a Superbill Uploads feature if you'd like to instead offer your clients a resource to manage their own superbills. They manage all claims end-to-end so you or your clients don't need to deal with any of the insurance stress.

    Please visit the Thrizer link below and enter the promo code “STC” and receive waived fees for your first $2500 in charges.
    Learn More About Thrizer

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
327 Ratings

327 Ratings

EngagedMarriage.com ,

Approachable and Insightful

Melvin does a masterful job of interviewing a variety of experts, and offering his own insights. I am not a mental health professional, but I still gain a lot of value from this show. I highly recommend it!

JP10301 ,

Thoughtful, brave, kind

I am not a therapist but this podcast is top notch! Mel is thoughtful, brave, and kind. He is a gifted speaker who shares in an authentic and personal way. He has a niche to be sure but his lessons transcend (especially if you are interest in creating content online). He is a gift to the podcast feed!

lisa mustard ,

Honest & transparent

I truly appreciate Melvin’s authenticity. He shares so much of his journey and process with his listeners. His guests range with a variety of expertise and knowledge..I learn something new in each episode!

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