Frequently Asked Questions
What is the workplace culture?
We encourage a culture of curiosity, passion, fun, professionalism, and honesty. We believe that every one of us has experience and training that should be valued and respected in the workplace.
We also believe that every one of us has the ability to gain expertise and confidence to become a leader in the field. Whether you are searching for a drama-free place to see clients or you want to become the next Nedra Glover Tawwab or Brene Brown, we will listen to your career goals and help you on your journey.
We create an active collaborative culture by offering weekly opportunities for us to continue to grow as therapists and humans. Twice a month we have consult group, once a month we have clinical trainings, and once a month we engage in insight-oriented anti-racist work through facilitated conversations, readings, and exercises. We are a community of learners, and we believe in engaging through humility and curiosity.
What is the space like?
We had a lot of fun in designing a comfortable and welcoming environment. We'll let the pictures speak for themselves!
When will I work? Are weekends required?
We don't work weekends. Many of our clinicians work 4 days a week.
We strongly believe in work-life balance (in fact, that's one of the founding principles of our practice! Clinicians cannot do the deep, transformative work of therapy unless they themselves are well-supported and not burning out.) We ask that clinicians be available to see 18 or more clients per week, with a cap at 30 clients per week. We work with clinicians to find a schedule that matches both their time needs and financial goals.
When choosing a schedule, the goal is to balance what clinicians need with what clients are requesting. In this post-pandemic era, we're noticing a lot of requests for after school/work, and a lot of requests for in person appointments. What does that mean for the schedule?
We ask that each clinician work from the office one day per week. It helps us build a workplace community - plus, our office is within a few blocks of some excellent lunch spots and walking trails. If you would like to work in the office more than one day per week, that's great!
For associates, we ask that each associate clinician work one evening per week (more is ok too - especially if you see teens or couples). One evening roughly means having 4 weekly spots after 5pm, so if you do that all in one day that would mean seeing clients until 9pm. We're also totally ok with spreading the 4 evening spots across more than one day (ie 2 evenings working until 7pm)
For fully licensed clinicians, we ask that you EITHER work one evening per week OR accept some Medicare (not Medicaid) clients. There's a shortage of clinicians to see Medicare clients, and it's not "just" about aging -- people transition to Medicare at 65 years old. We work with folks who are exploring gender identity or sexuality, coping with a shift to retirement, starting new businesses, processing early childhood trauma, finally separating from that abusive partner -- everything. Working with Medicare clients is an excellent way to fill a daytime schedule and some of our Medicare plans have the highest reimbursement rates. (side note: all licensed clinicians will be able to accept Medicare as of Jan 1, 2024).
So...with those loose expectations, how much do you control your schedule? A whole lot, it turns out. For your telehealth/work from home days, you can work any schedule you want between the hours of 7:30am and 9pm, as long as you give yourself a break or two between clients. Most clinicians see 6 or 7 clients per day and see clients either 4 days a week or 4 plus a half day. Most clinicians also start out working more evenings because they want to fill up quickly, then slowly transition to more daytime hours as they are established.
What about clinical supervision?
We provide clinical supervision for all associates, and for all licensed clinicians who request it. For associates, we offer two one-on-one supervision sessions per month. Additionally, we offer two group supervision sessions per month. For more details, check out our Catalyst Clinical Training Program.
Are there opportunities for growth at Catalyst?
Yes, absolutely! For clinicians who are two years post-licensure, there are opportunities to provide clinical supervision. Also, we are absolutely thrilled to support clinicians who would like to either become the clinical supervisor of their own location or own their own group practice. For more information, see our Group Practice Incubator Program.
Why is Catalyst Counseling set up as an employer and not a contractor?
When we decided to launch Catalyst, we spoke extensively with attorneys to make sure we were creating an ethical and mutually beneficial arrangement. There are some models for group practices that are more explicitly legal than others. Of the other group practice models, going through the legwork to become an employer allowed us to practice within our ethics and provide many of the other benefits that we feel are vital in creating a good work culture.
You offer visa sponsorship?
Yes, we will sponsor our employees for H1B and/or a Green Card. We ask that a clinician have the ability to work legally in the US for the first year of their work with us. Most of the time that's via a F1 visa, the visa issued to new graduates of US-based schools.
It's important to us to put a percentage of our profits towards making people's lives better. We could donate to service organizations in the traditional way, but committing to sponsorship seems like a more direct way of changing people's lives (both the clinician and the many people they help). Plus, it's also selfish -- we get to have some truly amazing people on our team who wouldn't be able to join us if we couldn't sponsor.
What is the fee splitting percentage?
For fully licensed clinicians, we offer a 50% split which is standard for an employee-based group practice. This is less than the 60% split of an independent contractor relationship, because we provide substantial benefits and pay employment taxes.
For associates, we offer a 45% split and we provide free supervision toward licensure (actually we pay you to attend supervision sessions). Associates are eligible to transition to a new contract once fully licensed.
Our reimbursements for individual therapy range from $112 to $140/hour, depending on the insurance plan. Our norm is for 53-minute sessions, but if a session is shorter then the reimbursement will be less. For couples or family counseling, the reimbursement is $180/hour.
So...let's math! Because we aren't allowed to publish the exact contracted rates for insurance companies (they don't like that), we'll use an average of all the insurance reimbursement rates: $126.93/session. Let's calculate the income based on seeing clients -- this is for an established clinician, not someone still ramping up (ramp up note below). This math doesn't include additional income from non-clinical time, visibility bonuses, etc (which is a small percentage of income).
Example 1: A clinician schedules 25 clients a week, and 3 cancel per week on average. This clinician takes 2 weeks of vacation per year. Their gross income would be:
Associate: $62,832/year or $5236/month
Fully licensed: $69,806/year or $5817.17/month
Example 2: A clinician schedules 30 clients a week, and 3 cancel per week on average. This clinician takes 2 weeks of vacation per year. Their gross income would be:
Associate: $77,112/year or $6426/month
Fully licensed: $85,671/year or $7139.25/month
If they take a month of vacation per year, their gross income would be:
Associate: $74,027.52/year or $6168.96/month
Fully licensed: $82,244.16/year or $6853.68/month
This isn't a salary position, though. Sometimes insurances take a while for insurances to pay, so there could be a $2,000/month range in gross income in any given month. Sometimes clinicians have a higher percentage of clients with high reimbursement rates, or they see couples, and their overall average reimbrsement per session is higher. There are also times when the rate of cancellations are higher (August, the last 2 weeks of December).
What should I expect my pay to be while ramping up?
We are committed to finding excellent therapists who are a great fit for our practice. We can be as creative as needed about a transition plan. Some clinicians find it easier to slowly step down from their current position (or tactically take vacation days) as they build up their caseload with us.
Because we are primarily an insurance-based practice, there can be a longer ramp up period. For the first month, the majority of your income will come from training and onboarding hours as you build your client caseload. Expect several months for income to increase to the averages quoted for the full caseload above.
For example, if you see a client on May 27th and they have a $20 co-pay, then you can expect the $20 to be included in the payroll for May (paid June 15th). Then the claim gets sent to insurance, and the remainder will likely be paid a few weeks later in the middle of June -- so the rest of it (based on the average, $106.93) won't show up until the June payroll (paid July 15th).
How will my income working at a group practice compare with having my own private practice?
Some people expect that they can make more money as a solo practitioner rather than an employee. However, there's a lot that goes into running a business, and most people don't factor in the hours devoted to business management when they try to factor in which way is more profitable. There's an excellent article that discusses this:
"What is rarely taken into account is overhead hours worked. Anyone in private practice will work some overhead hours (that is, hours beyond seeing clients). But because they are unpaid hours, many clinicians don’t take the time to factor in those hours worked and calculate that into their pay.
One major benefit of employment in a group practice, is that most employees have a minimal amount of overhead work. On average, for every 20 hours of client sessions, a clinician in a group practice will work an additional two hours of overhead work (ie. notes, collaboration, and in some cases, marketing).
A solo practitioner is a business owner. That means they are managing all aspects of their business on top of seeing clients. A typical solo practice owner will spend around 12 hours a week marketing, networking, doing notes, collaborating, maintaining a website, social media, answer phones, manage billing, communicate with accountants, search for office space, just to name a few."
In general, a group practice is a better fit if you would like to spend the majority of your time and effort working with clients. A solo practice is a better fit if you would like to spend part of your time and effort seeing clients, and part of your time and effort on running the business. There's no one right path - it depends on the kinds of work you enjoy.
What benefits do you offer?
We offer paid sick time, health insurance (for full time clinicians), paying for advertising and marketing, and a CEU fund. We also pay clinicians for networking such as blog writing and public speaking.
Wait, you help pay for health insurance?
Yes - we offer medical (and now dental!) insurance for clinicians with a full caseload.
Catalyst uses Regence employer insurance; it covers medical, dental and vision.
You must work an average of 22 hours/week in order to qualify for insurance, and this can include client and non-client hours, so it can include onboarding hours. New employees can either sign up in their first month of employment or wait for open enrollment to sign up, which is January 1st to 31st of each year.
For the first few months you’ll be responsible for the full premium, taken out of your paycheck. Catalyst will pay for half of the premium as long as you're seeing an average of 12 clients per week over a 3 month period. The next tier is if you start seeing at least 22 clients per week on average over a period of 3 months --- then Catalyst will pay the full premium amount and you would no longer be responsible for any of the premium.
If opting out of using our health insurance, you'd automatically get the cash bonus system toward your own insurance (if averaging 12 clients over 3 months you'd get $150 bonus, if averaging 22 clients you'd get $300). The monthly cost of the health insurance is higher than the cash reimbursement.
Am I expected to pay rent or other expenses?
No. Catalyst provides rent, marketing, attorney-vetted disclosures, and completely vetted HIPAA compatible tech (electronic health record, email, encryption, fax, etc). We also provide Chromebooks and other office supplies for each clinician.
Who deals with the insurance companies? Who helps with paneling?
Catalyst provides insurance billing and all related phone work. You just email our biller if you encounter a problem or question. Associate clinicians don't need to panel - associates are nested under our group. For licensed clinicians, we help with paneling, although to get started, there are some forms that really only you can fill out.
Ok, what do I have to pay for?
You are responsible for paying for your professional license, malpractice insurance, any professional memberships, and your outside CEU’s. (Catalyst offers CEU credits for our trainings and those are free to staff). We offer a CEU fund based on how many clients you see on average.
Am I going to receive a W2?
Yes. We provide all payroll services. You do not need a business license because you would be an employee.
Can I keep my private practice and still work for you?
It depends. Some of our clinicians do other clinical work while working at Catalyst. This includes teaching, equine therapy, in-home visits, running groups, or having a side business as a clinical supervisor. However, providing in-office therapy in another setting is not part of our model, with limited exceptions.
What is the building like?
We are in a small wheelchair-accessible professional building in downtown Woodinville. We are within walking distance of Molbak's, all the downtown shops, and about a dozen cute and trendy lunch/dinner spots. Ample free parking is provided.