Aspire Counseling is growing and we’re looking for excellent therapists to join our Columbia, MO counseling clinic!
Have you always wanted the freedom and independence of being a private practice therapist?
Are you interested in a job where your ENTIRE focus is on providing the best possible counseling services to your ideal client?
Do you enjoy working with teens & helping them grow in their confidence and self awareness?
Have you been frustrated in the past with mental health agency work full of drama, regulations and burn out?
Would you like to have control over the amount of money you make?
At Aspire Counseling, we strive to be different. We are fiercely protective of our positive work culture and community reputation for providing excellent counseling services. We’ve found that by creating a drama-free environment where therapists feel empowered and supported, a few things become possible:
- You are able to do your absolute best work as a therapist. You can choose to work only with the clients you know you work well with. You have complete control over the type of clients on your caseload, the type of therapy you provide and the number of appointments you set each week. This means that you can focus your attention on providing excellent services. You’ll also have the time and freedom to attend additional trainings as often as you’d like.
- Your clients get better faster. When you are happier, your clients can feel it and respond in kind. Everything about our practice is set up to promote client healing. From the moment a new client walks into our lobby, our office is set up to ease client anxiety. You’ll be encouraged to use research supported treatment interventions and have the time, space and support to implement them. All of our clients are voluntary and have made the choice to come here. So our clients typically come in ready to do the emotional work it takes to find healing. It’s amazing how much progress clients make in this type of environment!
- You will feel less stressed. Let’s face it, mental health will never be a stress free field. We sit with client’s strong feelings day in and day out and it’s hard not to feel a little stressed sometimes. But at Aspire, you are encouraged to find a work life balance. Self Care isn’t just something we talk about, it’s something we live. We often check in on one another and when someone has a lot going on, it’s perfectly normal to hear one therapist ask another, “What are you doing for self care right now?” All of our team members are true team players who support one another.
- As a therapist, you’ll be encouraged to think outside the box. We are always interested in expanding our services and thinking outside the box to meet the needs of clients and staff alike. Therapists are encouraged to have creative ideas and share ways to improve our practice.
The Aspire Counseling Story
Aspire Counseling was founded by me, Jessica Tappana, in May 2017. I started Aspire Counseling shortly after having my second child. In fact, I sat in the bank signing a business loan and made phone calls to get a business license when my daughter was only weeks old!
I decided to contract with additional therapists when my caseload filled up in only a couple of months. There was clearly a huge need for quality mental health services in Columbia, MO. I realized that a group practice would benefit my colleagues (they could try private practice without taking on as much risk), myself (I get awesome people to work with and consult with), and my clients (Aspire could serve more people). I’ve brought on amazing therapists who have different training, skills and expertise from myself. They’ve given me honest feedback and together we’ve built something amazing. We have a unique, positive, supportive and no drama counseling clinic.
Aspire Counseling is a young, rapidly growing counseling clinic. We still have a lot to figure out. But we sure are enjoying the journey! We have an amazing team that I fully trust, caseloads full of the clients we each want to serve and are constantly expanding our contacts in the local community.
Our Therapists Enjoy Many Benefits
Independence: As a Sub Contractor (1099) Therapist, You are Your Own Boss
It is very much so on purpose that our therapists are sub contractors (1099), not employees (W2). Why? Because the benefit of being in private practice should be having more freedom. As an independent contractor, you set your own hours, fees and even choose your own clients. Let’s say you want to have a sliding scale so you can serve some lower income clients, go for it. What if you want to focus your caseload on seeing college students? You absolutely can!
It’s worth noting that most of our clients are self pay. There are many benefits to both therapists and clients to begin a self pay clinic. However, if you would like to get on any insurance panels, EAP or provide workman’s comp services, we are able to discuss a subcontract arrangement instead where you simply use our space.
Because our therapists are contractors and not employees, we can pay you at a higher rate. This means that you set your own counseling rates. You are then paid a portion of that fee based on how many clients you are currently seeing in a week. The more clients you are seeing, the higher the percentage is that you are paid.
Your Ideal Clients
You’ll work with the clients you feel are a good fit. You are encouraged to “niche” and focus your continuing education and practice on the clients you work the best with. During your early meetings with our clinical director you will discuss your favorite clinical issues to treat, clients you’ve worked well with in the past and more to help you determine your focus. You have the power to make final decisions about which clients you will see.
We are fortunate to have a pretty steady stream of referrals. Because you are your own boss, you are encouraged to do any marketing you’d like to on your own such as networking, getting on free directory listings (Jessica has a couple she may recommend), dropping off rack cards & business cards at local referral sources or writing blog posts that we can publish on our site and social media. However, you will receive a number of referrals just for being part of our practice and doing great clinical work!
*Please note that right now we are specifically looking for a therapist who enjoys working with trauma. Aspire Counseling has a reputation for providing excellent, evidence based trauma therapy in a very supportive environment. Therefore, the perfect contractor will be trained in an evidence based intervention for trauma such as EMDR, SE, PE and/or CPT.
Many therapists come into private practice frustrated and burned out from agency work. For that reason, we are fiercely protective of our positive work culture. Our therapists support one another, respect differences and enjoy the work they do. We value self care and work/life balance. We are also hard workers. At Aspire Counseling, you know you have others you can reach out to for support. We also know how to have fun together. Whether we’re putting on an open house, working a booth at Mid Missouri Pride Fest or just holding a monthly staff meeting, the mood is positive, supportive and light hearted.
When you begin seeing clients at Aspire Counseling, you will have the opportunity to meet regularly (weekly at first and eventually monthly) to meet with our clinical director for support, coaching and consultation. We also have a monthly staff meeting to provide updates about things going on around the office. Everyone regularly texts, calls or talks to one another in the office.
A Counseling Space that promotes healing for you and your clients
The comfort of both our clients and staff is a top priority at Aspire Counseling. A full hospitality table with both warm (coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea) and cold (water & gatorade at a minimum) drinks as well as some small snacks are available for both clients and staff. Elements of nature including pictures, live plants and a small water fountain encourage peace and healing. Other things to encourage self care such as a sand mandala, self help books, zen gardens and adult coloring pages make our office even more healing. Counseling offices themselves each have a distinct personality based on the therapist(s) who most frequently see clients. Most counseling offices have large windows, comfortable desks, adequate light, nice pictures and small details meant to promote comfort.
In June 2018, Aspire Counseling moved to a beautiful new office directly behind the Grand Cru restaurant. Our location is especially convenient for Rock Bridge High School students, University of Missouri students, or anyone coming from downtown or Southern Columbia.
Less Financial Risk
By providing counseling services under the Aspire Counseling umbrella, you take on significantly less risk than if you opened your own practice. Your contribution to the practice is based on how much money you bring in. When summer or holidays hit and all of your clients go out of town, you don’t have to worry about how you will pay monthly bills.
Your Time is Spent Completely Focused on Providing Quality Counseling
Aspire does a lot of the “business” part of private practice for you so you can focus on doing what you went to school to do: Serving your clients. The clinic director and support staff do the following time consuming activities (and so much more!) so that you don’t have to:
- Answering initial client inquiries
- Making decisions about utilities
- Problem solving internet problems, etc.
- Keeping up an awesome website
- Paying Bills
- Networking & Making Relationships with Referral Sources
- You are encouraged to do your own networking if you would like to grow your caseload quickly. For instance, if you like working with teenagers, you can reach out and introduce yourself to pediatricians and school counselors.
Our goal is to free our caring, skilled clinicians up to focus fully on your clients. We want you to have minimal stress, maximum job satisfaction and ever improving clinical skills!
What Aspire Counseling Expects of Mental Health Therapists
Evidence Based Practice
Every single clinicians at Aspire Counseling is trained in and able to provide at least one well researched treatment for their ideal client population. However, evidence based practice is truly about the balance and THAT is what sets Aspire Counseling apart. Our clinicians make treatment decisions based on balancing clinical expertise (including your own training, personality & experience), the best available research and the values/needs/preferences of your individual client.
Every single therapist we have on staff is different. We each have a different personality, different strengths and different ideal clients. You bring your training, experience and personality to the table each time you meet with a client. We aren’t interested in cookie cutter therapists. We’re interested in compassionate, skills therapists.
Research Supported Mental Health Treatment
At Aspire Counseling we have therapists who can provide Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, EMDR, Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness Training and several other very effective forms of treatment. We are always seeking to improve ourselves as therapists and place a strong emphasis on training, consultation and expanding our own knowledge base.
Have you not yet had a chance to get trained in a specific evidence based treatment but are willing to? You will develop a plan with the clinical director for how you will learn effective treatments for the main issues you would like to treat.
Ideal Team Player
Every member of our team is an ideal team player. An ideal team player has three important characteristics:
- Hard Working. This means that everyone is a hard worker and self starter. Our therapists are self motivated to seek out training and constantly improve, grow their own caseload, start new groups/projects/services, complete paperwork in a timely manner and consult with other therapists.
- Humble. It is important that all of our team members be able to admit their own mistakes and weaknesses. We need to know when we need some support and to be able to seek out the consultation of other therapists.
- People Smart. All of our therapists are considerate and kind to one another. They have a basic understanding of people and a general awareness about how their own actions impact others.
However, every single Aspire Counseling team member has at least two of these important character traits. It is essential that we bring on true team players to keep that drama free, supportive culture described above.
At Aspire Counseling, we value open communication. This means that we expect therapists to be self aware enough to acknowledge their own weaknesses or struggles. We ask that you attend individual meetings with our clinical director (at first weekly and then monthly) and monthly staff meetings as often as possible. It’s essential you be able to reach out and ask for consultation when needed. We also ask for open communication about non clinical issues. You might talk to your office mate about re-arranging furniture or point out during a staff meeting that the carpet isn’t getting vacuumed often enough. Problems are addressed openly and respectfully. Being able to discuss these issues helps avoid resentment among team members or larger problems down the road.
To Apply At Aspire Counseling
If you are looking for a position as a mental health counselor in the Columbia, MO area and think you’d go a good fit for Aspire Counseling, please let us know! Even if we’re not looking to expand at that exact moment, we will always consider bringing on the perfect candidate. Please e-mail Jessica Tappana at Jessica@aspirecounselingmo.com with your resume and cover letter. From there, our hiring process will include some or all of the following components:
- A 15 minute phone calls with Jessica to discuss your qualifications, answer any questions you may have and give you an overview of what it is like to provide contracted counseling services for Aspire Counseling.
- A written evaluation. You will answer written questions about yourself, your ideal client and how you would handle specific clinical situations. This will be reviewed by both Jessica and at least one other member of the Aspire Counseling team.
- An interview with Jessica Tappana, our clinical director and the founder of Aspire Counseling AND at least one other member of the Aspire Counseling team. Because we value our team culture, we seek the input of multiple team members when deciding who to bring into the practice.
- In some cases, a mock counseling session.
- We will call at least two references.