PoP 145 | Online Counseling with Clay Cockrell

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Today we’re talking all about online counseling and online counselling with Clay Cockrell.

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Meet Clay Cockrell


Online Counselling Clay Cockrell, LCSW is the founder of Onlinecounselling.com – a listing directory with the mission of helping clients all over the world to find the therapist or life coach that will best meet their needs.  The site also works through their educational resources and podcasts to help counselors work online in an ethical, responsible and legal manner.  This is a site for online therapists developed by an online  therapist.  Originally from Kentucky, Clay moved to New York City with his wife in 1997 and started the concept of Walk and Talk Therapy – he walks with his clients in Central Park instead of meeting in an office.  He has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s The Doctors.  He has also been profiled in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and National Pubic Radio.  

www.onlinecounselling.com | Take Your Practice to a Global Audience.

Meet Joe Sanok

consultant headshot JoeJoe Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is one of the world’s leading private practice consultants. He is the owner of the Traverse City counseling practice, Mental Wellness Counseling. Joe helps counselors to start private practices and grow them.



Podcast Transcription

Pop 145 | Online Counseling With Clay Cockrell

[0:00] Music.

[0:26] Oh welcome it is a beautiful summer day here in northern michigan the seagulls are.

[0:35] Flying rats in the air here above the beach it looks like there’s some wind out of the northeast and the sailboats are starting to come out.
It is just a gorgeous day and now the machine the often covered in clouds from like october and till may.
Which people say why do you live there,
on the right now i’m looking at all of you people in the south with your hundred and twenty degree days and saying why do you live there so we all have our reasons,
set so glad that you’re here i am so glad that your tuning and i appreciate it so much it’s just amazing to see so many people writing reviews and just letting people know about the practice of the packs podcast.
On today’s guest is just phenomenal clay cockrell but i’m a first get into our sponsor.
Flow app for therapists is just incredible to see what they’re doing their strengthening connections that you have with your colleagues by building professional network.
Full of people that you know and trust in you get to see up-to-date details,
they’re practicing for availability of course it’s all have a complaint it’s secure and you’ll have claimed details in there and but it’s a great way to discover new people that you’d like to get to know,
i’m sure the latest news and topics they care about coming colleagues are private secure platform it’s just so amazing and usually only get seven days to check it out but,
over there they are doing a great job here james hollister is letting us have actually thirty days to check it out if you go over to flowtherapist.com/joe you can check it out.

[2:10] It’s just awesome and get a hangover james at the most awesome conference and you know going to those kind of events of the most awesome conference for me.
Really has started on just wanting to collaborate more with people and so i’ve got a ton of events coming up this year,
i’m gonna be down in asheville north carolina in late september and gonna be doing an event with jane carter allison pureer,
hi as well in early september i’m gonna be doing the blueprints to a hundred k,
with jb from the third that’s and at night just counselors the business leaders and we’re gonna have some vip hot seat is going to be incredible,
the day after me doing smaller than this just with me and just at their place in that’s gonna be called marketing sprint.
And so all those things you had a number to practice the practice under vents you will see,
all the events and doing all the ones coming up and they all have very different price points so like the denver on the just i’m putting on is a hundred forty seven bucks and getting up for the day.
The jv crum one is rocky hundred dollars unless you on the vip times we all go out to dinner this limited to three,
and then practice is around thousand dollars in so it just check it out i’d love to hang out in person i’d love to come to your town to you if you want to put on an event we can talk about how to make that happen,
i love going to see the country and traveling around or you’re in australia or new zealand or ireland or the uk.
I want to come there to this let’s figure how to make it happen today.

[3:43] I have one of my favorite on my gosh like my favorite gas lol time play cockrell.
I’ve seen in the working together for just under a year since when my consulting clients but he’s been doing just killer work he’s had walk and talk therapy in new york city,
three years is featured in so many different places.
He now has the website onlinecounseling.com and his both spellings of interest on the counseling with one l can the american virgin and inconsiderate two l’s the british version.
And he’s got her all about how this new form of counseling of being on-line is just gonna change the entire way that we do counseling.
It’s really like a psychology today of on-line counselors and severe unique search and it’s just it’s incredible i’m so impressed with the work he’s done so without any further ado i give you the one the only the never replicated.
Clay Cockrell from onlinecounseling.com how you doing today,
i am doing excellent do thank you so much i’ve been really looking forward to this meets you i’m er history of doing consulting together and getting to finally meet the most awesome conference and,
watching your website on-line counseling just kick off there so many things i can recover today.
What does the job in this is i’m so passionate about this topic so yeah i wouldn’t start with your wife because that your why every time i do you my pri consulting call.

[5:13] I ask people like why do you wanna make more money why you and grow your practice to do this project and a year why he’s been one that stood out to me so much and i wanna i wanna start there.
Okay well my why is i am passionately stupidly in love with my wife,
she is the most amazing person i have ever known and she happens to be an actress and director,
incredibly talented and that’s why we moved from a small town kentucky to new york about twenty years ago for her to pursue a career so.
It’s hard maybe you never know this but it hard to be an actor or pretty competitive and having.
Some success but also some difficulty finding jobs getting an agent and we just said no what was your own work so we started our theater company and.
You’re too tough for ten years we ran this thing it was very successful really bootstrapping and,
about a couple of years ago we lost our space we will be performing in the and unused basement of a church somewhere and people would love coming there but eventually we lost the space they want to do something else with it so the idea of creating,
up directory was to get enough funds to come in to support this theatre company and to support my wife,
so i’m a majority of the proceeds on to all proceeds from the directory go to not only our theater company but foundation for a non-profit arts throughout the country so that’s.

[6:45] That’s my big why flame what i love about me is so often people,
just go after making money for and they don’t necessary have a clear reason or maybe a clear reason but they do things that they don’t love as much and so to be able to find something that you’re passionate about i’m in counseling and i want to get into,
why you are really into that steve has something that you’re really into fuel a bigger why,
is so important so tell me about your practice and mean you’ve been featured on the today show all sorts of other things a little bit about your practice and i’m in counseling that you’ve done in the past.
Well i started out with small to practice you’re in manhattan and it i did something unusual.
That instead of meeting in office i would walk with my clients in central park and.

[7:36] It was i thought their on my feet it was something unusual and i really believe with the act of moving forward with your body doing something i found to be very effective so some reporter from the wall street journal stumble upon what am i at words.
And i didn’t interview with me and the thing kind of exploded and then producer from good morning america read the article and then called me and said hey would you like to be on the show who you have so.
I’m walking through central park with you chang on good morning america what how did this kid from kentucky end up here in all my friends in high school going,
what and so the practice took off so i had a very successful practice here in new york but sandy i my wife we love to travel.
So i want to and i solve the fuel was going in this direction so that six years ago i started doing,
on my counseling with couples all over the world so that i could travel,
and take my clients with me and it allowed me to take those vacations i haven’t been able to and to expand,
my target audience no longer just working the people your new york i can work with people all over the world and that’s part of my story to use it all wrong,
for six years i broke all the rules i’m just like this do this kid just like babe i can do on my goals and i’m using skype,
which is not compliant and working with people in states that are not license to a public i think i could have gotten in trouble but i certainly would not ethical not following the way suppose to.

[9:07] So bad that i love that you’re so transparent about that because like so often people we just sweep that under the rug is now i know not doing anymore so nobody needs to know but,
is it just shows how much you want to educate people and what to do correctly but also what you could do in correctly,
what are some of the bullet points of things that maybe people wouldn’t consider before doing online counseling that now you like it deathly did that wrong.
This could be longer and your i’m hoping to because i believe that in going in this direction we need to be.
Train we need to understand how to do it correctly be there wonderfully talented therapist out there that think okay very good at this i can just jump on and do it do it this way.

[9:54] There’s some tweet and some not a lot but some things that you should consider up to one.
Like i mentioned i was i was using skype just because it easy it was free but it’s not compliant with the power.
And it’s not complied with the but is not very good there other programs out there we council the sea there a link zoom that are free or very low cost.
And the complaint about invade,
but for the video so that it’s not pixelated sometimes when the internet is crampton busy and sometimes the lips don’t match up with the audio and i can be your and there’s dropped calls with skype so,
there are ways to do this that are compliant with hep gonna followed all the rules and actually be better this guy is for,
so that was the that was the top on the next couple that everybody is concerned about is the your life center.

[10:48] And if you are my sister new york if somebody from kansas wants to work with me i need to be licensed in kansas and what everybody used to think was the light you need.
Therapy happens with a therapist six so hot at the new york doing therapy and good no matter where my clients it’s.
But i took with willy huggins and he investigated all of the different legislators out there and they say not one of them says it that way.
And they say therapy happens with clients so i need to be licensed in kansas now of in chile that’s going to change.
I’m gonna go to some kind of national licensure somehow i don’t know when but there’s a lot of people lot smarter than me are working toward that.

[11:36] But in the meantime me license in new york.
People think on discount limited to my state.
There’s a lot of fucking people even if you’re in rhode island is a lot of people in rhode island right that you can work with.
But to be aware of that’s one of those coming back to you nick i need to keep your mind on and there are some states out there.
North carolina i believe that will allow you to work with people that are living in north carolina they’re just have to fill out a quick little form and the georgia is completely different you have to take a course,
it only comes in georgia so that’s part of what the podcast it in and the site,
is all about education on how to do that ethically responsibly what are the laws of georgia what are the laws in florida how can you look up your particular licensure and we are interviewing some of the leading voices out there,
so that you can get some guidance on this yeah you’ve done so many interviews already what are some of the,
top tips from experts that you’ve talked to through the podcast.
It goes in order to different directions on eric strong who is an attorney and counselor out in west.

[12:49] I’m gonna miss the seattle know something like west thirty eighth of the mississippi west of the mississippi and he was one of those people that look at.

[13:01] All the different legislatures out there and what they are saying how are they defining online counseling there different to twenty seven different terms with this,
the guy canceling on-line therapy telling mental health so that’s one of the difficulties of trying to find out what the regulations are because,
we don’t call it the same thing so he look at fifty different state it took me year,
and that he was just looking at licensed counselors not social workers psychologist or make a family therapist just counselors took a year to get all the stat and by the time we finished it was obsolete,
what is it changed so much so that was one of those interesting things that i found out and then,
how do i just finished a podcast with philippa wise who is in the uk.
And she is working with the association of counseling and therapy on-line in the uk she just off third cycle thirty two point o which look at the entire industry and she was talking about simple things like.
Camera angles things to the,
things to think about with audio and confidentiality and simple things that you need to be aware of where’s your camera,
and how are you put your background because if you got a cat behind you or some weird little picture is not going to be helpful.
A therapeutic setting so its little tips like that i try to pass on.
Up to the listeners we even just fine we all do you send a video podcast interviews with people.

[14:31] And don’t have the be sitting in front of the window and its like all you see is there still at it so having light shining on your face is really important so your client can see your face.
Absolutely say that that’s where that’s bills are some great points.
So tell me a little bit about the development of onlinecounseling.com because i think a lot of people out there have ideas they wanna build passive income here passive income and oh that’s easy just like.
Create a different kind of website also you may cause money like that start with just you have an idea and then what did you do.
Up to talk to you till i got some really smart advice from you from other consultants i talk to i got a really good web designer,
with legendary lion,
aaron carpenter over there has taken me by the hand and step by step put this together but i did a lot of market research to find out is there somebody else out there that.
Is it helping online therapist learn about this and market their practice michael was to become the psychology today.
Of my counseling so that it to directory you’re doing all accounts and use my atv small monthly fee you get listed and hope we’re bringing clients to.
But then also decide part of that is about to do this educational process of how to how to do this well.
So it was wow big learning curve of how to do the filters and then we had to put in filter so that if somebody in kansas is looking for a therapist there only gonna get results.

[16:06] For therapists that are licensed in kansas so that was a whole big build out and how do you get the credit card payments to go through and it was just being patient and i’m a patient person is i’m buying it i really this gonna work is amazing,
but it could you how fast you can go.

[16:23] And took a fall into the rhythm this is what i’m not doing or does and i’m just going to have to go at the pace that i need to go.
So then he start to get the website built out and then.
He wants you have come a product tester and to internet marketing phase where you wanna have acquire new clients and then you convert them so what did you discover during that phase of marketing and conversion.
That i’m not i’m not trained as a marketer.
As a salesman and i have a lot of negative connotations i feel kinda slimy of hey come give me your twenty bucks a month or whatever its gonna be and i thought like a carnival barker i just didn’t like it.

[17:08] Until i start thinking this isn’t helping people this is a service that it’s valuable i’m teaching this is.
I did i have to change that mentality and get comfortable with that level of educating people and providing a service if you don’t want to do this that’s fine and.
That was a big step for me because i’m all the rejection right why don’t you like my love will directory to write six months developing that’s okay it’s not for everyone and.
And my wife can help me we went to the psycho therapy networker symposium in dc and talk to all these therapists.
And there were some that were really intrigued and some that this is just not for me and she sick late there going to be people who want to be cutting edge.
Want to do this with the practice and there’s some that don’t and that’s really okay.
So that was part of the learning curve for me yeah cuz it because it becomes like your baby right you invest so much dream so you want to come to fruition.
And can you believe so much but okay for people to go for me with which is really hard when you’ve put so much emotional.

[18:19] Financial all that energy into.
Something that you’re so excited about it something will why would you ever not say no to me like are you kidding me like this is awesome and then people even if they’re excited about it they’re never as excited about it as you are and how.
So it sounds like the experience for you have your wife talk you through also that helps you to be able to.
Say okay not rinsing i love this as passionately as i am brad pitt exactly say i kind of feel like i’m.
I just got it jumping to come on in the water’s warm rate and there so much year around it around lose my license i’m on break lol and maybe this isn’t as effective is face to face and i’m this,
you know champion of it going to call right well i think i think every touches on the imposter syndrome that a lot of people,
feel like am i really good enough counselor my really good enough consult and are people gonna follow me how did you work and then yourself.

[19:21] What of a lot of work a lot of falling down my face and.

[19:28] I’m really looking at the product and believing in it i believe that this is this is going to change the world.
And i look at the need and we talked a little bit about that the state to state issues that you need to be licensed in your state that the united states is.
Eight hundred forty million english speakers in the world there you can do counseling australia uk.
Canada isn’t restrictions that you need to be aware of when we talk about that but we were talking earlier that there is one.
Mental health professional per four hundred thousand people.

[20:06] In india and india has two official languages in the and english because the british remember so so.
They are a growing economy,
there is a massive mental health crisis going on in india they’re technologically savvy people think twice about jumping on-line and there are no restrictions so if you wanna wasn’t in ireland scotland,
expats living abroad i’ve got clients that we,
who don’t have an english speaking therapist and they need one so when i begin to believe that this is this is meeting a massive need there’s a world in pain out there and i’ve met so many incredibly talented.
Gifted educated credential to therapists.
That are struggling with their practice and they have these wonderful skills and then i see this other group of here that are in pain and in need of those girls.
My goal was to connect those two and to alleviate some of that pain in the world so when i do not believe in my product.

[21:09] Yeah i could be a preacher all day for it which is so true and won’t throw out some countries and now you just tell us what we should know from what you’ve discovered killing us like listed a bunch there and it sounds like,
we got a little deeper so can’t you it said there’s some things you should know it’s a lie market people in canada what should i now.
There you need to look into what license you have social worker lpc psychologist there are some areas in the provinces that are very similar to the licensure.
That we have here in the states now that we get into the subject of international lol,
and we’re still investigating that so stay tuned with the podcast but the idea is that if there is a law in canada and i don’t believe that there is but if there’s a long canada saying that you can’t do counseling,
with someone in canada this is a canadian law that applies to canadians.
It does not apply to a united states citizen living in the united states such as there is a law in saudi arabia that women can’t drive cars.

[22:10] That doesn’t apply to my wife sitting here in new york because it how she wasn’t.
So those are some of the sticky issues that were still trying to work out canada is the most similar.
To the united states when it comes to licensure but then when you get out of north america.
Then you get into the credential vs license there the licenses in the uk.
You are credential and you must pass a certain level steps and then join an association with the precision of council professionals they have a screening process but there isn’t a license by the state in the uk.
So there are there isn’t a limitation is no existing case law in the uk that will prevent you from counseling anyone know of their morning their therapist in the uk not to work in north america,
because of the licensure is used to that they are looking at us going what are you guys doing.
And we don’t want to break it with one of your correctly when breaking laws so they are little red isn’t working in north america but for us to work in uk there’s no regulation.

[23:18] Would like a street in new zealand.
I’m very excited i am in the process of getting in touch with clinton powers who is the head of australia directory for therapists and we’re gonna asking all sorts of questions but my understanding from the people that i’ve been talking to,
down there go your head set right there are no regulations in australia new zealand south africa india and.

[23:45] Anywhere so it’s a really what was great is we have all these people that are licensed in a highly competent in the united states that.
Have been trained to do great counseling and the world hasn’t had access to break out while i don’t see that is if they haven’t had access that does maybe not as much of a ratio as if we.
Add to that work that number of people that could help with that.
Absolutely gasoline in china there this interesting statistics of love statistics and expect living abroad.
There’s a forty percent chance that they’re assignment is going to fail,
because of the stress of living abroad your job since you over to beijing there’s a tremendous amount of stress anywhere really,
there are not a lot of english speaking therapists in beijing i think there’s one per i’m gonna say seventeen thousand.

[24:41] Foreigners so that’s a massive amount of need justin in beijing.
And but you look at it expense living in where in the world there are a lot of stress so they need of services but one that kinda comes to mind with that it is not that there are,
there is there some pasta language is a limitation and sometimes people just feel comfortable with talking with somebody back in the states and connect,
sure does think there’s a cachet i think of working with the us their best we are we are trained.
Grandchild we have a history of them being part of our culture so it’s like.

[25:21] I need to speak with us there if there’s a draw to that to working with us arms by know that when we had this guy young guy live with us from south korea and,
part of him living with us was hoping and learn english you is a college graduate who just wanted to improve his english he was explained to us that.
A lot of the parents would actually pay to have.
Their kids speak each morning before school with a us citizen of just a practice their english and it was pretty amazing to just hear how much they’re paying just have a conversation with someone that english is their first language,
how much of an opportunity that was for you just like a college student that wanted to.
To be a tutor to someone in south korea and around the world so it’s open my eyes to adjust can all the different ways that we can serve the world defintely.
Absolutely absolutely,
so moving forward clay what are some things that there are on the horizon for you one thing you had mentioned was really kinda looking interrupt international law interviewing people more in-depth likely powers,
what are other things are on the horizon family counseling and also for just you personally.
Well i will have a lot of interesting interviews coming up one there’s a thing called distance counseling credential the dc scene and what is there’s a few training.

[26:43] Organizations out there feel the white house on thursday on my therapy institute that they take people through a class is or how to do this well that’s a different.
Thank you need to think about not just camera angles and lighting and sound but there’s the hip issue and billing and its after that,
we need to be aware so the dc doesn’t really solve anything is not recognize this potential but it’s an added value come up,
put a little bump in your name saying this person has gone that extra mile to get the truck so we can be interviewing a lot of the people that are providing,
that and what are some of those tips they can.
They can come up with so that that’s a big one on the horizon gonna be talking to clinton powers hopefully in an australia and ultimately because right now the directory is.
Is a listing so that you can create a profile talk about what languages you speak because,
you are there many people that want spanish speaking russian chinese so you are about your training you put your picture up there you do a little bio just like on psychology today to come put a spotlight on your practice.
But then we say okay if you get a client through on my onlinecounseling.com here or we make a recommendation.
Do i dare virtualbox the different tools that you need of where you can go and connects not skype,
but maybe we council resume warfare link or something like that,
but eventually we want to grow this site where you can count on accounting and everything is happening right there you can see your client there you can build a clan are you could do their scheduling there that’s.

[28:17] Two point out right now we’re that we’re hoping to build up our profiles build up those connections and then we’re going to go to the next.
So exciting so exciting you’re doing some cool stuff play thank you thank you for a while,
well any final tips that you have people in regards to on-line counseling in getting involved just any final tips for growing a practice that’s an on-line practice and its for the stuff,
absolutely i hate when hugs was an amazing interview and.
It’s she has this way i can adopted it’s not fear its information there people when i talk to him all.
All the time that are afraid to go and make this a part of your practice with just a small part practice or totally online.

[29:09] If you have the information to get the train to get the questions answered.
Then the fear goes away and our for our industry our profession is changing if we don’t change with that were going to it to be obsolete so it’s staying current.

[29:25] It’s been informed try it may not be for you but i think that.

[29:32] This is another service that you can provide to your home to your out reach people that are looking for you.
That’s awesome and i love that idea of it being information not fear and i’ve had roy and the podcast a couple of times and,
he takes an approach that you just need to keep addressing the best practices,
unto the best the can with the information you have and keep rolling the information so yeah well how can people get in touch with you if they want to hear more clay.
It’s onlinecounseling.com and you can stop at one of two ways here in the us with the counseling with one l.
Everywhere else it’s two l’s so that you know is that,
the counseling and counseling is below two l throughout the site because it really is a global connecting place so we want to honor that but you can go onlinecounseling.com spell it counseling the us way the uk way.
Yes it picture.
And the podcast is also their off the main page it so you can come listen to some of the interviews of the leading voices there but it’s onlinecounseling.com.
Awesome and my final question as i always ask cliff every counselor in the world were listening right now what would you want to know.

[30:45] I would want to know that to believe in yourself you got an idea.
You want to do something different laney whether it’s walking in the park with your clients are meeting them online do it got informed but do it.

[30:59] Wonderful clay cockrell from onlinecounseling.com or on-line counseling back thanks so much for being on the show my pleasure.

[31:10] Music.

[31:19] Thank you so much for listening and you guys rock and take some action go check out flow.
Also check on line counseling back you can have all those links over at practiceofthepractice.com/145 or one forty five believe it.
It’s pretty incredible you guys rock keep up the good work thanks for letting us in two years and until that are into your brain injuries and brain and i’ll turn mine on ice by.

[31:48] Music.

[31:55] Special thanks to dance ounces sexy and we like your music in this podcast is designed to provide accurate and thirty two bit,
nation in regard to the subject matter covered it’s giving with the understanding that neither the host or the publisher rendering legal accounting clinical or other professional information.
Do you need a professional to find one that’s also include the gas on in there to y’all have a good week now so yeah.

[32:16] Music.