How Leveling Up Brings You Closer To What Matters with Dr. Chinwe Williams | POP 781

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In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how leveling up brings you closer to what matters with Dr. Chinwe Williams.

Is your environment ready for a change? Are you stuck in the familiar? Do you feel a desire to make a genuine impact in your community?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how leveling up brings you closer to what matters with Dr. Chinwe Williams.

Podcast Sponsor: Noble

A an image of Noble Health is captured. Noble Health is the podcast sponsor to Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Our friends at Noble have run their own clinics, worked with thousands of clients, and have seen firsthand the burnout and stress that can come with heavy caseloads, difficult topics, and a lack of time. With these issues in mind, Noble built their app to support therapists by making between-session support easy and offering an opportunity to earn a passive income.

Now, with new CPT codes coming in 2023 that will allow therapists to offer reimbursable remote monitoring support, Noble is revolutionizing remote patient monitoring. The team at Noble has built a program that you can quickly implement to allow you to reimburse code 989X6 for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) remote monitoring.

This is so exciting for therapists and clinics!

This new CPT code, which is coming into play in January 2023, will allow you to make more money per hour and earn passive revenue. Noble’s system provides everything needed to reimburse:

  • Objective data gathering device integration
  • Assessment and data stream, display, measurement, and integrations
  • HIPAA-compliant integrations into other EHRs
  • Real-time and immediate interventions for elevated symptoms

If you would like to discuss adding their “plug-and-play” remote patient monitoring for 2023 so you can reimburse the new CPT codes, schedule a time to talk with Eric, their CEO, at

Meet Dr. Chinwe Williams

A photo of Dr. Chinwé Williams is captured. She is the founder and owner of Meaningful Solutions Counseling & Consulting. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Board Certified Counselor and a Counselor Educator & Supervisor. Dr Williams is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Dr. Chinwé Williams is the founder and owner of Meaningful Solutions Counseling & Consulting. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Board Certified Counselor and a Counselor Educator & Supervisor. With over 15 years of experience working with adolescents, young adults, adults, couples, and families, Dr. Williams utilizes a warm, collaborative, light-hearted and strength-based approach to counseling. She is trained to provide anxiety counseling, depression and relationship counseling.

In addition to clinical work, Dr. Williams is an Executive Coach and has taught masters and doctoral students in several different graduate counseling programs over the past decade. Her research interests include individual, family, group, and counselor growth and development.

Visit Meaningful Solutions Counseling & Consulting and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Find out more about Dr. William’s book, Seen

In This Podcast

  • You need to make a decision
  • Don’t get stuck in what is familiar
  • Leveling up can bring you closer to your values
  • Dr. Williams’ advice to private practitioners

You need to make a decision

If your waiting list is full, you are often turning people away, and your sessions are booked for weeks or months in advance, you need to make a decision.

The environment is ready for you to develop and create your private practice and you now know there is a direct need and an urge for more, so you could develop it into a group practice and now that it will float until it flies.

I just kept saying yes, and that’s the thing about saying yes, is that you’re completely stepping outside of your comfort zone [and] it feels like you’re falling out of a plane with no parachute but you’re trusting that things will come together, and that’s exactly what happened. (Dr. Chinwe Williams)

Don’t get stuck in what is familiar

Change is scary, but our minds are not always good at discerning whether a change would yield positive or negative results because it is up to us to notice the value of the outcomes.

We get stuck in what’s familiar … when we say “yes”, we naturally adopt a growth mindset that lends itself to curiosity. (Dr. Chinwe Williams)

Pursue change and work through the fear it brings up if you know that it is going to open you up to new opportunities.

Leveling up can bring you closer to your values

Leveling up in your business can be difficult, and it is not always to just make more money.

You can develop yourself and your business in pursuit of achieving a higher, bigger, and more expansive goal that will include you as well as the people within your community who resonate with your message.

There’s a certain level of responsibility when you level up when you’re speaking to people and influencing people, you have some sort of platform … there’s a responsibility there … you see these problems in the world and – with more influence – you can then hopefully affect, dent, or move the conversation in a way that you feel is healthy. (Joe Sanok)

Dr. Williams’ advice to private practitioners

Put your big dreams down first. Commit to your top goals and build your schedule around helping you to reach and achieve them.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 781. I’m Joe Sanok, your host and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. We are in the middle of a series all about how people have leveled up and I’m just so excited for this series, hearing people that just have a solo practice and they got that going or that have a group practice or have even leveled up beyond their group of practice and have found things that are bringing them joy, but that are also helping the world and are aligning with their values and maybe their history or things that they’re passionate about beyond just what we’ve been told in grad school that we could do, to find new ways to help the world and to do it in a way that brings money into your family but also is sustainable. I’m really excited that today we have Dr. Chinwe Williams, who is a Ph.D., is a licensed and board-certified therapist, speaker, author, and consultant. She’s a former graduate counseling professor, college and high school counselor and executive coach. She’s currently a trainer and consultant for K-12 schools, nonprofits, for-profits, faith-based organizations and corporate work settings. Her expertise lies in areas of adolescent family and women’s wellness. Chinwe, welcome back to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. So excited to have you here. [DR. CHINWE WILLIAMS] Oh, I’m so excited to be here. Thanks for having me, Joe. [JOE] It’s fun to have repeat guests because I feel like it can be like an add-on from last time. Why don’t we just start with, this is part of the Level Up series, we’d love to hear when did your private practice journey begin and what did that look like early on for you? [DR. WILLIAMS] Yes, so I started my career as a high school counselor. That was my very first job out of graduate school. Then I decided to go back and get my doctorate. So I went and got my doctorates, you know what that means, you got to teach. By the way, my family, I come from a family of educators like third generation educators and I was reluctant to teach. I was excited about practicing but not sure about higher ed but that was what my doctorate helped to prepare me for in addition to the clinical work. I actually started teaching and I loved it and did that for 10 years and I had a couple of colleagues who also maintained a practice and I remember thinking, how in the heck are you doing that? How are you teaching, supervising and committee work and all of the things that go along with higher ed. We were, I was teaching in a graduate counseling program and I felt stretched already, but I also missed the clinical work. So I would pay attention to how they would juggle and manage and sort of prioritize both aspects of the profession, the teaching and then then also the clinical work. I asked a few questions and I remember one colleague in particular, Dr. Mary Gay, said to me, I think you’d be a good fit for our practice. Do you want to join? I was like let me think about that. I thought about it for five seconds and then started seeing clients on Friday afternoons where I didn’t have any teaching obligations and then also Saturday mornings. So that’s how it started. That was actually in 2012. [JOE] Wow. So were you like a 1099 or W2 or how did that work? [DR. WILLIAMS] I wasn’t, we were all independent sort of operating. She had a suite and when she said a good fit, she meant like a really good colleague. We just had a suite of like seven rooms and had seven therapists and I think, well I was the seventh and it was amazing. I had my own name, Meaningful Solutions Counseling and Consulting. I was an LLC so I had to figure out all that business stuff but it was great because I started off small, so Fridays and Saturdays. I probably had about five clients per week initially. Then I also got to like hang out with people that I knew. There was another therapist there who worked on faculty at my university. [JOE] Oh yes. So it was more just, you’re all co-sharing the space and you had your own business. How did it grow from there? Because that’s very similar to my story. I was working at a community college and had the side gig counseling practice to pay off student loan debt, nights, never weekends. But then for me there was a tipping point where it started to grow. When did you get more of that private practice itch? [DR. WILLIAMS] Yes, when people kept referring and I was faced with making a really tough decision. So when you are halfway good at what you do, word gets out. I enjoyed it and it was so great just to have the balance of teaching, supervising, committee work. Then also to me what felt like a lot of sort of creative freedom in the clinical work. I’m a trauma-based therapist. I went and got more training in EMDR, so I just started to see really cool transformation. When you’re passionate about something and you continue to sort of invest in yourself and develop yourself professionally, you get better. So people would tell people about just sort of their experience. I kept growing and growing and I remember Joe, there was one year where I was still teaching full time and I had 18 clients per week. [JOE] Oh my gosh, I’ve been there. [DR. WILLIAMS] I was like, where am I going? [JOE] How do we do that? [DR. WILLIAMS] How did that happen? How did that creep up? So I was pretty much there all day Friday, all day Saturday. Sometimes I would leave work on Wednesdays because teaching isn’t 24/7 and see clients. I loved it and I saw people really making tremendous gains and it was just hard to figure out what needs to go and how do I transition, love teaching, but I really got the bug for just full-time clinical work. [JOE] So when it was a side gig, when it was five or six clients, so you had the LLC, that was some infrastructure you had, did you have a website? Were you marketing at all or was it completely word of mouth at that point? [DR. WILLIAMS] Yes, so I got a website probably three months after. What was cool is that I initially, I really didn’t need one, but I wanted one. I wanted to feel official. I wanted to go through the process of developing a website and I’m going to go ahead and give you credit because I heard about Brighter Vision through your podcast. I was like, okay, if Joe trusts this company, I’m going to trust this company. I actually got on a quick phone call with the owner, oh, Perry. Is it Rosenberg? Is that his last name? [JOE] Yes, well done. Look at you. [DR. WILLIAMS] That has been years and years. I was like, I really want to jump in. I feel comfortable. I think he mentioned that his wife was like a therapist so I felt really comfortable with the process and I would, but I was nervous. I was nervous about growing, but I knew I needed to have sort of like that, I don’t know, that credibility of having a website, especially in this day and age. So yes, that was my only marketing at the time. Of course, students, they’re like, oh, you’re a good teacher. Do you know any, are you accepting clients? I was like, well you, I can’t be your therapist. Oh, okay, well I have a friend and so it would go from there. [JOE] So then when did you, when did it really set a topple where you were running numbers on keeping your full-time job because when you have a Ph.D., the whole track is professorship and working for the universities and like that’s what you’re told you’re supposed to do, do research. And you’re from a family of educators, which my dad was a school psychologist, my mom was a school nurse and so like I get that, maybe not family pressure, but it is what you’ve seen. You don’t necessarily know what an entrepreneur looks like, what a private practice looks like because for me, I, my dad did a little bit on Saturday mornings when we were little, but it wasn’t full on private practice. How did you think through leaving your job? Because that’s a huge, like, to get a professorship to be working at the university, I mean, to give that up, how did you even make that decision? [DR. WILLIAMS] Yes, it was arduous. It was really, really tough because as you mentioned, both my parents are educators. My mom was a Montessori teacher for years and years. My dad retired as a French professor, so education was in my blood and so was this whole idea of working for someone, getting that expected paycheck, knowing that you have benefits, knowing exactly how much is coming in every single month and what you are supposed to do with the income that’s coming in. I just never saw business done. So I had a lot of trepidation. I’m really fortunate that my husband just kept seeing that I was turning people down because I just didn’t have the bandwidth to see as many clients that were that were calling in and he was like, you got to make a decision. I knew it internally Joe, but I was really, really scared. I started to think that just what I think anybody would think when you’re forging into sort of new territory, like what is this going to look like and what if I fail? Like, I know how to teach, I know how to supervise, I know how to work for someone. I don’t know how to run my numbers. I don’t know what this is ultimately going to look like. I’m making X amount, but what about taxes? What about insurance? We have a child with special needs. I had a two-income family, but still like, it was so nerve-wracking. I remember one, it was 2018 my husband and I were already talking about me leaving the university. I did it, I was still really nervous too and I got a call from a producer of a reality show, Joe. I was ready to run the other way just with that introduction. Like, who are you? No, not interested, hung up the phone, not interested. My husband’s like, are you, do you have a fever? I was like, what do you mean? He’s like, Chinwe, just imagine how many doors this will open. Joe, I was like, I don’t know that I want doors to open. I don’t know that I can manage everything. He said to me, and of course, obviously clearly you hear some mindset stuff, he said to me, well, no, you’re not going to be able to do both, but what if you just jump in? That was the fear, is that if I did something on a large sort of platform, I get droves and droves of people calling and could I manage it? Could I actually do this? So I said no and then probably a year later I had a conversation, I had like my morning time with the Lord, and I was journaling and I was meditating and I heard pretty clearly that I needed to be brave. I said, God, I really need you to help me to be brave. I said, I didn’t hear anything after that and I said you know what, I’m just going to say yes. I’m just going to choose to say yes. So every opportunity that came after that, as scary as it was for me, I just kept saying yes. That’s the thing about saying yes, is that you’re completely stepping outside of your comfort zone. It feels like you’re falling out of a plane with no parachute but you’re trusting that things will sort of come together. That’s exactly what happened. So I want to tell you that I was brave enough to quit my university before I actually turned in my resignation. The university closed down [JOE] What? Did you get some like severance package or something out of that? [DR. WILLIAMS] Wouldn’t that be special? [JOE] Wouldn’t that be? Oh my gosh. Wow, talk about alignment of the universe. Wow, well, and so — [DR. WILLIAMS] So completely closed down, yes. [JOE] Oh my gosh. I love that. That’s great. Not great, but I mean, it’s funny how that lined up. So then, yes, so the university closes down, you’re planning to leave anyway, and then you, at that point, were you at 17 clients or so a week already or were you still at that level? [DR. WILLIAMS] 18 to 22. [JOE] So you’re pretty well positioned to transition and then how’s it get to the next level for you? [DR. WILLIAMS] Yes, so the university closed down. This is a whole nother topic for another podcast, but it registered as a trauma for me. So that’s something that I think many of your audience, your listeners can resonate with, even when you want something it can be deeply, deeply painful when it happens when you have no control over it. That was my experience, that it was like sort of like, wait a minute, I wanted to quit. I didn’t want them to close down and kick me out. But that’s not the way that life unfolded and so many people lost their jobs. It was not a great situation, but it was an opportunity. So I put the word out that I was seeing clients full time, which people had been asking me. I met with local pediatricians, I had a background in the schools. I was a former school counselor and as an educator, as a professor, I would consult with different districts and consult with other colleges and universities. So I would just tell people along the way, “Hey, I’ve got time now.” Which by the way, I kept saying for years, I don’t have time for that. I would turn things down all the time, back to like the fear of like jumping into the deep end. That’s what it feels like, the deep end. There’s a director, writer, producer by the name of Shonda Rhimes, she famously did Scandal and Bridger, I don’t know if you’re familiar with those two shows. [JOE] I am [DR. WILLIAMS] She wrote a book basically saying, say yes to everything. Agree to everything, not just the trivial things at first, but those things that frighten you. She says it’s a decision that really changed her life and I absolutely resonate with that. Especially as an African American professional leader, business leader that was very inspiring to me. So that’s sort of what I adopted. I was like, I’m going to be bold and I’m going to say yes. [JOE] I love that. I started doing improv a few years ago and one of the core parts of improv is say yes and, that if you create an environment that I think is crazy, I can’t challenge that. It’s like, I have to join you in that environment. So last summer when my uncoupling was starting, I decided that I was going to say yes to as many experiences as possible. My friend Jeremy was like, you want to go see Guns and Roses? I was like, yep. I took my father to Guns and Roses eighth row and saw slash playing right there. I never would’ve chosen to do that. I have other friends that have invited me to go to concerts this fall for bands I’ve never heard of, and I’m sure it’s going to be great. I just feel like when you say yes to the things that other people are inviting you into it just gives such diversity to your life that you wouldn’t have chosen in your hobbies or what you would choose to. We just like get stuck in our restaurants we go to, or the things that we do. I love that posture towards life of saying yes to as much as you can. [DR. WILLIAMS] We get stuck in what’s familiar and I just want to add Joe, like when we say yes, we sort of naturally adopt a growth mindset that lends itself to curiosity. It’s like, well, what else? Well, what else? So that’s, I can hear exactly what you’re saying. [JOE] Well, I think that fear of having doors open and almost having too much success. There’s some people that are just, they are scared of success or they don’t want to like fail. So there’s a fear of failure, but then there’s also the other side where like, can I handle what could be on the other side of that door? Then we just limit it rather than step into it. So it’s so interesting to think about how many doors could have been closed had you said no to certain things. [NOBLE] Our friends at Noble have run their own clinics, worked with thousands of clients, and have seen firsthand the burnout and stress that can come with heavy caseloads, difficult topics, and a lack of time. With these things in mind, noble built their app to support therapists by making between-session support easy and offering an opportunity to build passive income. Now with new CPT codes coming in 2023, that will allow therapists to offer reimbursable remote monitoring support Noble is revolutionizing remote patient monitoring. The team at Noble has built a program that you can quickly implement to allow you to reimburse code 989X6 for cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT remote monitoring. This is so exciting for therapists and clinics. This new CPT code, which is coming into play in January, 2023, will allow you to make more money per hour and earn passive revenue. Noble’s system provides everything needed to reimburse objective data gathering, device integration, assessment and data stream, display, measurement, and integrations, HIPAA compliant integrations into other EHRs and real time and immediate interventions for elevated symptoms. If you’d like to discuss adding their plug and play remote patient monitoring for 2023, so you can reimburse the new CCPT codes, schedule a time to talk with Eric, their CEO at Again, that’s [JOE SANOK] So how did the practice grow and at what point, I know that you have a book that came out a year ago, how did that start to unfold where you’re doing consulting and you’re also doing the clinical work and you’re writing books, so you got this single private practice going on. When does it start to really morph into all these other things? [DR. WILLIAMS] I will tell you that of course the pandemic blew up so many things and opened up many opportunities for mental health counselors and therapists because people were hurting. But I had not set anything up in terms of it was just me. So things exploded clinically simultaneously while people were also looking for guidance around trauma, which is my background, around equity and diversity, which I have some experience with working in the schools. The schools were trying to wrap their minds around like how do we really support so many kids ravaged by so many different crises that were going on. So, as you know private practice therapists, all therapists were just stretched beyond their limits. I needed help but I also felt like I’m working, like I’m working like sometimes like 10 hours a day, where am I going to find help? Again, you put something out there. I got a call from one of my former students from the university Argosy that closed down, she was a trauma, one of my students that was in my trauma class. She said Dr. Williams, I’m looking to do some work for clinical work to meet the requirements for my licensure. Are you hiring anyone? Call it control free. I’m not really Type A by the way, but call it what you want to call it. I was very protective over Meaningful Solutions and I was hesitant to bring anybody on even though I knew I needed it. But someone calling me that I knew, I was like, that’s a no brainer. I taught her, I knew her work ethic, we sort of kept in contact over the years. So I brought her on and she has been fantastic. That’s how I became sort of a private practice owner, still very, very small. Ended up bringing in two clinicians just in the past year. Because I was doing so much, I started to reduce my clinical load. I now had help and I was able to lean into a lot of the opportunities that were coming my way, including consulting, training, and a publisher called and said, hey, I had worked with them before, done some blogging with them, done some training with them. They said, would you be interested in co-writing a book about anxiety and despair among young people? I said, are you kidding me? Absolutely. That’s what we worked on feverishly because we wanted to get it out because the need was so great for parents and educators. So yes, we published a book called Seen and that came out July of 2021. [JOE] I want to go back to saying yes to things. So one argument would be, others are directing your life if you’re just saying yes to what they’re saying compared to you saying, here’s the direction I want to go, here’s the doors that I want to try to open. How do you manage that decision-making between other people saying, hey, you want to be on this TV show, hey, you want to write this book, hey, we want you to consult in this area, versus here’s the lane I want to be in where often you have to aggressively say no? How do you manage that decision-making between those two polar opposites? [DR. WILLIAMS] Oh gosh, that’s so tough. When I talk, it’s a great question, Joe, when I talk to other therapists, either ones that I’m supervising or they think of me as a mentor or I’m in the schools talking to school counselors who want to level up and do some other things, I talk about that tension of wanting, not wanting, but deciding. I decided to say yes to things that were coming my way, but at some point I had to really create my own vision. Then there’s a whole nother part that we can talk about later about being mentally and emotionally fit to do the work so that it’s sustainable. But I remember a story’s popping up in my head right now. I remember someone flying me in during the pandemic because I was like thinking this is nerve-wracking. However, the airport was like a breeze to go through and I was like, actually I want to fly like this all the time. But I flew to Denver for an organization who wanted to do like a video curriculum series and we did some consulting work and then I did the video. I didn’t get paid a lot of money, but that was my, I’m going to say yes because this seems really cool. Then when I was telling people that I was out there and doing this work, they’re like, do you know that this is a really big organization? They’ve been around forever, they’re really well respected. Are you going to do anything more with them? I was like, well, I hadn’t planned on it, but if they ask to your point opportunities coming to me, I’ll say yes. Then something hit me at the end of our, it was a weekend with the, it was like a Friday and a Saturday and as I was waiting for my Uber, I turned to the woman that had like, organized everything. She really was like an admin, honestly, I think she brought my coffee, she ordered my Uber, but I could tell that she held a lot of power. I could tell that she was well respected. She had been with the organization for a couple days. [JOE] I want to just pause you right there because I want to underline that, that oftentimes the people that have the power and are in the ears of those that have power are like just an “admin,” or they’re just the person bringing coffee, but actually they’re the ones that help make major decisions in companies. So I just wanted to pause you there before you told the rest of your story, because that’s so accurate. So many of my speaking gigs have just been by being really nice to the committee chair that put it together for a company and then they invite me back for something. So, sorry, go ahead. Continue. [DR. WILLIAMS] No, I’m so glad that you highlighted that point because that has been my experience repeatedly. She was a decision-maker. She reached out to me and then handed me off to the lead producer but she was very important. So I said to her literally as my Uber was arriving to the building, hey, because remember I had a conversation with a friend that said, this company’s a big deal. I had no clue. I just was saying yes. So I said, “Hey, I heard you guys do a conference. When do you make decisions about speakers?” She said, “Well, I’m not the one that makes the decision.” Not rudely. She just was sort of letting me know that she’s not the one. She said, but this person and she gave me a name and she said so definitely contact her and we’ll probably make that decision around October. [DR. WILLIAMS] I said, oh, that’s wonderful. I said, by the way, and Joe, this is me being really brave, I said, “By the way, I know you’re so busy, but if I emailed you, would you be open to sort of connecting us via email?” She said, “Absolutely.” Because I knew I had done a good job. I was professional, I showed up, I did my thing, I didn’t suck, like I probably, I don’t know if I blew it out of the water, but I didn’t suck. She said, absolutely. That’s exactly what I did. I followed up with her exactly a week after thanking her for her hospitality and making everything go smoothly and she connected me with the head decision-maker for this major conference called Mom Con that was such a good fit for me. I’ve been working with teenagers and kids, but over the years. I’ve been working a lot with moms with trauma and with anxiety and that was sort of like a passion of mine that had developed in the last couple of years. So to get on stage with hundreds and hundreds of moms was a big deal in something that I wanted for myself. So long story short they liked the video apparently, and they wanted me to recreate it live and not just one session, but two sessions. I did that last year in Nashville. Hello? [JOE] Oh, I love Nashville. [DR. WILLIAMS] Great city for a conference. It was standing room only and it opened, that experience opened up a lot more doors. [JOE] What does it feel like to now have level, like of course, there’s more leveling up in your life. I have no doubt you’re going to keep doing cool things, but I would just love to know from an emotional level to go from, you’re working in the university, someone else sets your schedule, you move into a private practice, now you’re able to really say yes to the things that you find interesting and you find impacting the world on the level that you want to play. What does that feel like to level up to where you’re at now? [DR. WILLIAMS] Man, it feels both overwhelming and humbling because if you can tell everything happened like within the last two years, which isn’t entirely true. I had been sort of, especially with private practice, I’ve been stretching, growing, doing things that I had not previously done, in fact, I had said no to. But everything blew up in the last two years and the last two to three years were probably the hardest for not just the world, but for my family. I’ve been stretched, I’ve been disappointed with a lot of the things that are happening politically and socially. I’ve been saddened by what we keep hearing about young people wanting to not be here anymore because the world feels so scary and heavy. So there’s like all this political stuff, there’s all this social stuff, educators feel stretched and clinicians feel stretched and counselors. So it’s a strange feeling, Joe, and I love that you ask the question and I’m always going to like be open and probably too deep with you, but, there are times I want to cry and then there are times I am thanking God and asking why me? There’s no answer to that. [JOE] Well, and I think I love what you tap into and that it’s not just all like sunshine and rainbows, like, ooh, I’ve made it, now I can just sit and enjoy this. It’s that there’s a certain level of responsibility when you level up and when you’re speaking to people and you’re influencing people and you have some sort of platform. Like there’s a responsibility there that you and I take seriously and that you see these problems in the world and with more influence, you then can hopefully affect or dent or move the conversation in the way that you feel is healthy. So I think too often people think, well I just want to level up so that I can make more money and work less. Sure. That’s great. We also then can do work that’s even bigger than maybe we thought we could do. We could make connections and influence people in a way to genuinely move society in the direction that we think is healthiest. So I love that it wasn’t just a answer of everything’s great now. Like that you really, I mean that level of responsibility and I think that’s so noble. The last question I always ask is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [DR. WILLIAMS] Thank you for that. I’ve thought about this and just pertaining to what you just said, it’s no, it’s not all sunshine and ponies when you level up. There are more responsibilities as a practice owner. You wear like dozens of hats and prioritizing can be really, really difficult and that has been like a learning edge for me honestly, because I thought I was good at prioritizing, but it turns out that it’s actually really hard. Then there are a lot of people and systems and entities that demand your time, your attention and your energy. There are fires and unexpected problems that pop up each week. I’m sure the practice owners that are listening right now or the private practice clinicians can absolutely relate to this. So this whole idea of work life balance, which I know you speak a lot about and around becomes blurry or nonexistent. What I have been leaning on lately, and I actually started to write a blog about it like two weeks ago, is this whole Stephen Covey idea, Joe, about placing or stacking the big rocks first. Have you heard that? [JOE] Yes, yes. [DR. WILLIAMS] It’s about priority setting. Like you can’t have too many priorities. You can’t say yes to everything, otherwise your life won’t be enjoyable. It’s so important to differentiate the important things, the truly important things from things that are less important and actually get in the way of focusing on what really matters. So what I would love to say to every private practice clinician that’s listening is what are the big, it’s a question really, what are the big rocks in your life? Is it a project that you’d want to accomplish, like writing a book or doing a TED Talk? Is it having more time with your loved ones? Is it your faith or more education, more training? There’s some sort of cause and there’s so many to choose from right now in our world. Is it teaching or mentoring others? Figure out what that is for you and remember to put those big rocks in first, otherwise you won’t get them in at all. [JOE] So awesome. Chinwe, if people want to follow your work, if they want to learn more about you, if they want to get your book Seen, where should we send them? [DR. WILLIAMS] Oh, thanks for that. So folks can find me at It’s actually my brand-new professional website that’s not affiliated with my private practice. So it’s, easier to spell If you want to follow me on Instagram it’s Dr. Chinwe Williams. The book can be found on Amazon and it’s just called Seen. It’s S-E-EN and it’s healing, despair and anxiety in kids and teens through the power of connection. Or you can go to the book’s website, which is [JOE] Well thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. [DR. WILLIAMS] Thank you so much for having me. It’s always fun to have these conversations with you, Joe. [JOE] Yes, it sure is. [JOE] I am loving doing this series, just talking about leveling up. I get to see how people think and do things and even if we’re all at various stages of our leveling up to see just how people think through that. Chinwe thinking through just that level of responsibility, that’s my big takeaway from today’s interview that that level of responsibility as we continue to grow and level up. Also according to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization, between 2020 and 2021, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%. One of our partners, Noble, makes powerful therapy simple with their app that offers research backed automated between session support for clients, assessments, messaging and more that you can use as part of your practice. You can learn more for free over at Again, that’s Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon. Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.