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).
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 seniors, and geriatric mental health is a really exciting and rewarding part of mental health care. Working with seniors is an excellent way to fill a daytime schedule. (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.
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 range from $112 to $180/hour, depending on the insurance plan and type of therapy (couples and family therapy bills out at a higher rate).
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.
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. We help with paneling, although to get started, there are some forms that really only you can fill out.
We currently contract with Premera, Lifewise, First Choice, Kaiser, and Medicare (LICSW's only). We also work with several Employee Assistance Programs. We can provide courtesy billing for out of network clients.
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 have other projects they work on (for example: teaching, equine therapy, in-home visits, or leading a non-profit). 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.