STP 24 | Why Add an Addiction Specialist to Your Therapy Office? Expert Insights!
James Marland: Okay, welcome back to the Scaling Therapy Practice. If this is your first time or your returning time, I really appreciate you joining us for a conversation. Uh, this is James Marland with Dr. David Hall. Hello David. Hey James. This week we're gonna be talking about niches and the specific niches, uh, uh, addiction and addiction nicheing.
Mm-hmm. Uh, but first we're gonna talk about a tool tip or tech of the week. Uh, David, how about you go first?
David Hall: Uh, you know, it's a podcast episode. It will often be for me, but, uh, the art of online business with Rick Maretti, uh, it's a one I regularly listen to. Rick has a lot of great. Conversations he has with people or just solo episodes, things he unpacks.
Um, I appreciate, I appreciate just how he does it, his mindset. There's not a lot of posturing I find, which is, uh, a thing I like for business people. Some people have a lot more posturing and talking about how great it is. Rick's one of those guys that will talk about his mistakes, like, not like past mistakes even.
Like, like, hey, these are some things this year. That I should have done differently, and I appreciate hearing that. But it's, uh, episode, uh, 6 74. It, it's, uh, titled Six Mind Blowing AI Tools that will save you a ton of time. And this came out fairly recently. This was just in, um, beginning of February, I think it came out, and of 2023.
And you know what that looks like, uh, in the, you know, James and I were talking before we started recording of AI's gonna be in everything and. Uh, so yeah. But I've just found I'm, I'm not even finished the episode yet, uh, but just the things that have already kind of come up and, uh, James has talked about in recent episodes, his recent experimentation with ai.
I, I know, I, I
James Marland: keep talking about ai. It's so mind blowing though, what you can do. Yeah. With just a couple prompts.
David Hall: Yeah. Uh, what's your, uh, uh, tip? Sure. James. Uh,
James Marland: Finishing up the, uh, the, the art of online business I, that inspired me to create a mini course on, uh, things you can do with ai. So, uh, by the time you listen to this episode, I'm gonna have an episode on creating a quiz with ai.
Mm-hmm. From books, you, you can create a quiz with AI on a book. You, you're not feeding it anything. You just say, tell me about this book and give me some questions from this book, and if it knows the book. It will give you questions on a quiz. So quizzes, emails, outlines, scripts for podcasts, scripts for YouTube videos.
Uh, I'm gonna have some resources on how you can start using that right away. So, uh, I'm super excited about
David Hall: ai. I'm glad I'm not dealing with the temptation as a student for this, because the temptation to say, like, write me a summary of this book report I have due.
James Marland: Anyway. Hey, anyway, sorry if I, if you've just listened to my episode with Daniel, I talked about AI with him too, a couple. A couple weeks ago. Mm-hmm. All right. So it, it's gonna be everywhere though. It's gonna be injected into your search engines, your Excel spreadsheets, your note taking devices.
David Hall: It'll be interesting when people find out James, that ne, neither you nor I are real people, but we're actually AI manifestations.
James Marland: We'll, we'll leave it for people to figure that out. Which, which is the real James, you know? Yep. So. Alright. All. Alright. So my, my tip, uh, it is just something I've been struggling with cuz I'm trying to release some courses and, you know, I was developing this new minicourse and my goal was to have it released on Monday and it's not released now.
And so I've been struggling with feelings about guilt, you know, guilty feelings where. If I'm, if I'm working or if I work late into the night and maybe I push back dinner or I don't go downstairs to spend some time with the family, like I feel guilty about about that. And then when I'm with the family, you know, it takes some time out to watch tv.
I feel guilty about having all this work that I said I was gonna, I made goals for myself and I said I was gonna be done and then I'm not done. And so now I have this like turmoil inside. Of me and I can't enjoy, or I struggle to enjoy work and, and, uh, I struggle to enjoy some, you know, family time. And I guess my tip about that and, and is just finding realistic, uh, balance for, for work, having realistic thoughts about work, work-life balance, and capturing my negative thoughts.
And really reframing it and turning it into, you know, you do deserve to have a good family life. You do deserve to take time off. It's okay to say no, it's okay to, and it's also okay to have some extra focus work time. Like I don't have to have these guilty feelings back and forth. But I've just been working on reframing my.
My thoughts around work this week, especially with deadlines like on normal weeks, I don't think it would be this bad, but when I impose deadlines and have goals, and then I see like, I missed this goal and then I readjust and I miss this goal, it makes it, it makes, um mm-hmm. Makes some of those thoughts come up
David Hall: more and more.
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Well, we were gonna talk about some niches today.
Yeah. They're different niches in this idea of like niches of population, niches of method. Like, so population niche would be, I work with children, or I work with. Uh, veterans or I work with, you know, that's the population. They're niches of procedure, I would say, or, or the, the method, which is I do emotion focused therapy, or I'm a hypnotherapist, or I am, E EMDR train, that's a method. And that the method becomes the niche, and then there's the niche of problems. So it's alliteration because we like alliteration and I love alliteration. Yes. Oh, I did, I did a webinar on this, uh, once. But the idea of like, okay, it's the, the niche is the problem. So it's either the, the population, the procedure, or the problem.
So the problem would be I work with. Uh, you know, people struggling with panic disorder or I work with, uh, depression or I work with, and sometimes they can overlap, sometimes in some ways the population and the, uh, problem or the proce, like sometimes overlaps cuz, and sometimes it could be all of them.
And this is what we're gonna talk about today, is one that's overlapped, which is addiction work that is both a population. Um, but it is also a, those who struggle with addiction have certain demographic aspects to them, uh, that, that become pretty, uh, widely talked about in, in the industry in general. And then there's different procedures that are common with it.
So anyway, but yeah. James, so just to get you get some,
James Marland: yeah. Well, just to get started to set up the topic, uh, briefly, uh, why, why would somebody wanna have a niche? And then secondly, why would somebody wanna. Niche into, um,
David Hall: addiction. You wanna have a niche because, uh, in building and growing and scaling a practice, niches help.
Uh, there's the expression, the riches are in niches, and it is true. It's really hard to develop, uh, a reputation in your work as a generalist. It's the, I mean, I, I don't wanna say that in absolutes, like if you're in a small community and you know, your specialization could be like, I'm the therapist in town, or I'm the, yeah.
But if you're dealing with, you know, meaningful competition, then it's thinking through or just other options that people have when they seek out therapy. It's figuring out like, who am I offering? Two, like, who's this for? Mm-hmm.
James Marland: Which, which is one of the big questions people come to when they come to your website or they read your marketing, is this, can this person help me?
Is this person for me? Yeah. And they're gonna be looking for their, their, yeah. Their population problem or procedure. Yeah.
David Hall: They're gonna be answering, you know, they're, they're gonna be looking to answer those. Questions. Yeah. And so it's good to have it and like, and a niche isn't, uh, singular. I have a few niches I work in and I take breaks from certain ones.
There's certain ones that I've had niched work in that I'll take sometimes, like I, um, some points in my career I worked a lot with. Mm. And I still do a little work. I think I've got one teenager. That I actively see right now. But I've really scaled that back. And some of it is I'm in a different phase of career in life.
Uh, I'm seeing different sorts of, I have different niches now than I did 10 years ago. And so it's not singular, but it, you do have to think about like, where am I focusing? Focusing my, my mental energy, focusing my resources in getting better at, whether it's seeking out training or certifications or.
Just the, the time to put in to get good at stuff. Yeah. There's the 10,000 hour rule that become a true expert at something. You need to have 10,000 hours of doing it and you know, there's the general 10,000 hours you can have as a therapist. And I, my caveat for early career people in this, it's not that you cannot do good work earlier, it's that to, to be at a place of, of true like mastery expertise.
It takes 10,000 hours. Mm-hmm. And you can't really shortcut that, but you wanna do it because it's a great niche or you wanna do it cuz, or a niche is a great niche. No, you wanna do it because it's a great way to define your practice and define your services in ways that connects you most, ideally with your ideal client.
James Marland: how I kind, how I kind of look at it like this is, um, If you're serving everyone, you're serving no one, you know? Mm-hmm. You can, you can't serve everyone and you, you're, you really wanna work with the clients, uh, that you can help, you know, and that you like working with, and that you're, you're good at it.
And so who are those type of people? When you look at, like, the problem in the niches, so you have a population and then you might have a problem that you're really good at solving or your, just your experience, your education. Um, the, the things you've learned over time. And so then instead of, and, and I, I guess I'm thinking about it like a marketer, you wanna invite those people, you know, how do I communicate to those people that I am the right person for them?
And so you start identifying with that, and that's, you know, like you segment into your niche. So I like to talk, think about selling and marketing as sort of inviting people. I'm inviting the best people. On this journey where I know I can take them and get them results, and, and that's a, it's a free, I find it freeing.
Mm-hmm. I actually find it freeing to have a niche rather than, than like, oh, I serve everybody everywhere. Like, like, that just seems too, too much to handle for me. Mm-hmm. Absolutely. All right. So, so now going down a little deeper, what makes, uh, addiction addiction counseling a, a nice niche that somebody would wanna pursue?
David Hall: There's a lot of demand. For one. And so let's unpacking, you know what addiction work is. So traditionally, It was addiction work has been talked about in substance use addiction. Mm-hmm. So, alcohol, other sorts of drugs or substances. Uh, it's expanded quite a bit over the past few decades. Um, sex addiction's probably been the most visible one, but.
Um, food addiction, video game addiction. Mm-hmm. Uh, gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is, is diagnosable where other, other addictions aren't in the same way as substance use or, or gambling. Um,
James Marland: is there a, is there a phone addiction yet? Is there
David Hall: a, uh, that would be a technology ad addiction. And there's technology addiction.
I wondering, I became aware about 10 years ago, and it still existed, there's a, there's a program in Washington State called Restart, and they focus on specifically video game addiction. Oh, and that is there, it's a clever name
James Marland: for a video game addiction.
David Hall: Yeah. And it's, you know, technology addiction is, is becoming more and more of a thing.
I, I teach on social media and the, the social dynamics of technology. And, uh, it's designed to be, I mean, there's a whole. There's a whole, uh, uh, process. You can go down a rabbit hole. You can go down in that of, of, of how technology works on us to increase that addictive sort of response. But the two main categories, people will talk about addiction.
There's, there's substance driven addiction, okay? And then there's process addiction or behavioral addiction. But, but the most, like in the, in the. Teaching in literature, the most common term for behavioral addictions, more process addiction, but you're addicted to the process. And basically anything outside of traditional substance abuse addictions will, will fall into that.
Uh, though I am curious about food addiction because food, food is a substance, but I, it's us that's usually treated in the process addiction thing, so that's what it is. But people who deal with, um, compulsivity. Uh, towards those activities or behaviors or substances in ways that are detrimental to their, um, their higher value systems, the functionality of their life, their physical health.
Um, it, it, it is kind of a, uh, a hijacking process of they, they, they find themselves doing what they ultimately wish they would not do. And other people in their lives wish that they would not do, but
James Marland: it, but it's, it serves a function, right? Like their addiction serves a function in their life.
David Hall: It does. And that gets into kind of the whole philosophy of the process of how to work with addiction and, and there are a lot of emergent models in it.
Um, in recent years looking at different trauma models have become much more prominent and I think have shed some very important light on the process of what, what leads person A to become an addict where person B does not, because that is an important thing to not all people. Become addicts equally.
It's not just the issue of substance. Uh, in my grandparents' generation, particularly when they were younger, most people smoked. Mm-hmm. And there was a, a a period where a large portion of people quit smoking of, of where there was a lot more, um, kind of public awareness being put into the energy of the, the negative effects of smoking a lot more.
It became a lot less socially acceptable. And so, like my, I think of, um, my grandmother, she smoked for a time in, in her adulthood, but she quit before I was even born. And most of her friends had smoked and most of them had quit. But then the people that don't, and they're, they're, you'll, you'll meet people that, you know, try to quit over and over.
And a lot of people who drink alcohol, drink in moderation. And there's some people that can't, or they reach a certain point, they can't. I have a good friend who started dealing with alcohol dependency late in life. He had a, he didn't have a really dysfunctional relationship with alcohol until he reached his fifties.
And the way he describes it was, he goes, I feel somebody opened up the valve and broke off the handle. Hmm. And it just, ah. And so there's, um, There's physiological aspects of addiction, but there's also aspects of how people, early childhood experiences, um, any number of things that, that do that. But addiction does, you know, whatever you're doing, it's, it's a way to feel different.
It's a way to either escape or to indulge or, or what, but it's a, it's a, it creates a, an emotional response. Sure. And.
James Marland: So it, it sounds like, to the point of why should somebody consider a niche in addiction? Like there's a lot of demand. Like the demand hasn't gone down.
David Hall: It has, there are a lot more things addiction presents itself in, in many more ways in our society.
There's a big demand. It's, it oftentimes very, um, uh, persistent as an issue. Mm-hmm. Uh, there, there's some pushback. There's a lot of things that are talked about in. The models driven by Alcoholics Anonymous, AA and disease models of addiction, which I think there's some critiques of that, that are, that are justified in critiquing of.
But an expression that in AA is often, once an addict, always an addict or, or kind of, and some people buy that, some people don't. It, it does seem to be very persistent, where, you know, there's certain things that people may struggle with that are very, uh, transitory. That aren't necessarily lifelong, very persistent.
There are other things that are, and addiction of its various sorts for a lot of people ends up being persistent. So there's a, there's a demand for it. Um, it's very costly addiction. Uh, I live in a very, uh, conservative state in a lot of ways. And, and so like funding for state programs is, is a political diff politically difficult thing at times.
Mm-hmm. But there's a state senator who, he was at a, uh, a psychotherapy conference I was a part of a few years ago, and I got to know him and he, he's, you know, a conservative politically person from a, representing a very conservative constituency, but he was a major advocate for investing in. Uh, addiction treatment and Key talked about, he crunched the numbers of how expensive addiction treatment or, uh, addiction is for the community.
Cuz he talked about just the numbers of shoplifting because yeah. How a lot of people will end up, particularly in desperate addiction. What are the things that are common done and shopliftings one of them and talking about the expensive shoplifting to the state, not just the, the merchants and things like that, that are affected by shoplifting, but typically what happens, so let's say James, You're struggling with addiction and to to feed that addiction, you go shoplift a crock pot from Bed Bath and beyond.
I don't think that'll be an easy thing to shop lists. But let's just, just say, for example, say, I'm really clever, really clever that you manage that, and I don't know how much a crockpot is, but let's say a crockpot is a hundred dollars. People listen this be like, oh my gosh, that's really expensive.
That's what I, I just, it's a really
James Marland: nice crock pott. Yeah. You know, and and beyond they, they mark their stuff up. So yeah. Let's
David Hall: say it's a hundred dollars crock pot for the sake Sure. Of a, you know, You take the crock pott, well, you can't do much for this crock pot. Well, how typically shoplifting effects is then people return it.
Mm-hmm. And you get kind of a cash sort of thing. And there are limits in it. You know, they'll take down information, I lost their seat, da da, da. Take it to a different look, take it to a different store that sells someone for a crock pot. But here's what happens when a refunds given, regardless of how refunds are given, let's say the only refund you store credit or whatever, when a thing is refunded.
It's not just the purchase price that is refunded. The other thing that is refunded is sales tax. So, uh, I don't know if, so I, I, in Tennessee where I live, there's no state income tax, but we do have sales tax. So if the sales tax is refunded, what that means is it's, it's not, there was the, the sale was never made in the first place, and so the sale is being refunded off funds that were never there.
And so basically, Uh, well, the state senator was talking about Briggs, uh, Senator Briggs, uh, is his name, but was talking about the several billion dollars that this costs the state of Tennessee, not just in lost revenue, but money they're paying out in fraudulent sales tax refund.
James Marland: Yeah. And if it's billion dollars for the, the state, yeah.
It's hundreds of billions of dollars for the companies.
David Hall: And so his argument was is like, this is costing us money. This is a public health thing. So anyway, that's just an interesting thing I wanted to kind of get off on. But it is, um, This keeps people addiction, deep addiction keeps people from functioning in their lives, keeps people from functioning in their jobs, in their relationships.
Yeah. Um, I've worked, historically, I've done a lot of like young adult addiction work, and these are, you know, they're not launching, these are, you know, college students or young adults that can't. Live independently. They can't hold down a job. This has negative consequences on their families, on, on themselves, of course, but on their families, on society as a whole.
And so because of that, addiction is a big industry. And the question of why people would want one, it's a, it's, it's something that's, uh, uh, identified very much. Um, there's a lot of employment options for it. And that kind of goes to one of the reasons to mention to this, that if you. Because there's a lot more in the way of, uh, programmic treatment in addiction, whether it's an outpatient, um, program, but it's not just individual counseling, but you're, you know, it's groups in intensive outpatient programs or day treatment programs or residential programs.
The job market for addiction is if, if you're interested in an addiction worker open to be interested in addiction work. There's a lot of job opportunities cuz there's a big demand in it and there's structures to where people go and get addiction treatment and they need therapists in ways that are different.
And a lot of these places are much more open to people that don't have independent licensure yet, which is a key thing. Okay. Because. Not to get too lost in the weeds, but if I start an addiction treatment facility, I have to get that facility licensed so that facility has a license. Mm-hmm. And that license is how insurance is billed, so it's not the license.
Individual facility license through
James Marland: the facility. Individual therapy license therapist.
David Hall: Okay. And so that allows for employment for people who are qualified by education, but don't necessarily have an independent license yet, that they can provide services that the facility can bill on. And so the, the model of, um, program programmatic treatment in that way allows for much more flexible employment for people versus if you're an outpatient office that, that the billing's happening.
By provider and if you're not independently licensed, you may not, may not be able to build in the same way, or there may be mm-hmm. Um, preclusions in your state of how you can work and, and be employed.
James Marland: So that, that kind of segues to a little bit like, do you need special degrees to become an addictions counselor?
That is a
David Hall: great question. No, there are degrees in it and there are, uh, licensing and certification in it. Most states, Have some level of certification or licensure for drug and alcohol providers, but it's usually a less, uh,
I don't wanna say less in that. Like it's, it's not worth as much, but it is, uh, it, it takes less educationally to get there. It's, it's less of a clearance bar. So for in Tennessee, where I am, They have what we call a late act, which is a licensed alcohol and drug addiction counselor, but that does not require a master's degree to get it.
It, it was something that was designed for people that had worked in the field and had had gotten a lot of experience, but I don't even think you need a bachelor's degree to earn a late act. Okay? Now it limits your scope of practicing counseling, but if you have a degree in mental health counseling or marriage and family therapy or clinical social work, That's usually above and beyond, um, the minimum for a lot of these places.
Now, oftentimes they'll want you to, to know about addiction and most degrees have a certain amount of addiction coursework. But sure, you, you can be employable in a lot of places. They may wanna train you once you're there, but, uh, if you have a master's degree in a mental health discipline, um, but. Uh, but there are specific degrees in it.
Um, there are a handful of states, like North Carolina has a master's level license for addiction counselors. But, um, that's more of the exception than the rule. Uh, but where this happens more is different certifications and programs that people go through. So there are, um, There are different educational programs, um, and different schools will run different things or different organizations will.
When I got into addiction work, began looking at it more, uh, which was a few years into my career. Uh, I ended up doing a low residency certificate program at the University of Wisconsin Madison. It was a certificate program and substance use disorders. And that involved me traveling to Madison, Wisconsin for a few, uh, weekend intensives for coursework.
And there was, uh, um, some papers that were done in additional reading. And um, and I ended up completing the certificate program. And that was just a way I did that for my own education to learn more about addiction. But the most common thing for master's level or higher therapists, if, if you really want to like get a credential, there's what's called a Mac, uh, a Master's of Addiction Counseling.
Uh, and it's not a separate master's degree. Uh, they're two Macs actually. Uh, there's one run by the National Board for Certified Counselors in B C C, and there's another one run by Naac, uh, which, uh, is the main, is one of the larger a addiction counseling, uh, uh, organization. It's the. It used to, NADAC used to stand for the National Association for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselors, but now they're like kfc.
Their name is actually nadac, the Addiction Association because they do more than just alcohol and drugs in their addiction counseling. But both of those programs run comparable, uh, certification programs, which involves a certain amount of post master's experience in addiction specific things and passing a national exam.
But then this gives you this extra credential, but you don't have to work. You don't have to have these credentials to do addiction work. It is for, in most states, you're licensed as a clinician. If marriage and family therapist, mental health counselor, professional counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, that will give you the right to do a.
Counseling, psychotherapy, work with addiction. Now you wanna make sure that you're skilled enough in it, and that may involve taking some CE courses or doing it intensive or taking auditing a class, but, or getting some specialized supervision. But that's just a competency that you would make sense to, to seek out.
So that's some of
James Marland: the, the education needed or you know, how do you get into it without those types of things, but, Like, when, when I've helped run, like I, I helped assist some, some, uh, groups that were, it was an i o P level. Mm-hmm. Uh, addictions group. And, you know, I don't, I don't have a master's in counseling, but I was like in the room assisting the master's degree person with like, discussion questions and kind of managing the, the room, but just with my, and I was covering for somebody and it was just, uh, it was just, uh, It felt draining just doing it for like a week of covering somebody.
Mm-hmm. Just like their, their life stories, the problems they're going through. Um, like sometimes I felt like I was being manipulated in ways I couldn't understand. Mm. Uh, with that, that population and it, uh, it made me really respect the people who go into it. Mm-hmm. So what are some of the.
Characteristics of somebody or the personality traits of somebody who would make a great
David Hall: addictions counselor. Good boundaries and good, and, and I'll, I'll start with kind of something else, that this is a common trend for people that do addiction work. Not universally, but a lot, a lot of people who do addiction work are in their own recovery.
Uh, and part of it is, is that they successfully navigated their recovery journey. Mm-hmm. And they have a sense of gratitude in that and the sense of the transformation they've experienced. And they oftentimes wanna stay involved and that often leads them into the work. And, uh, a common thing. That is said is making sure you're working your own recovery well.
Mm-hmm. And that means a lot of different things, depending on who says it in the context. But the, uh, one of the more practical things I think about is, is you've gotta have good boundaries that, um, I, I don't like necessarily talking about addicts in the way that, uh, sometimes it can get into a lot of those people sort of thing.
Right. Yeah. I, I find that problematic. But there are people who, who live, who have a, a long stretch in addiction. Um, there's lots of things that, that they may have experienced developmentally. There are a lot of things they may have experienced in their, their family of origin or what their childhood experiences were like.
Uh, you talk about the manipulation that becomes a, you know, oftentimes these represent people that they had to become good manipulators as when they were very young into, in order to survive and. And in their addiction and sometimes to maintain their addiction, manipulation became a skillset. And we typically, you know, the, the, the blades that get sharpened consistently end up staying the sharpest.
Mm-hmm. And it's easy to kind of go to, if you, if you're a naturally charming person or you've developed a lot of charm, it's hard not to reach for that tool when you're trying to get something or when you're trying to, to navigate a social situation. Uh, I,
James Marland: I just remember, um, We watched, we watched a video or something, some sort of training video in the class, and they were talking a, it was this parents' experience of having to say no to their daughter about money or something over and over again because they kept, um, lying.
Mm-hmm. You know, they kept saying they would do something and not do something, and everybody around the room had some sort of story similar to that. Mm-hmm. Or they knew people like that or some, something like that. And, Um, I, as a person who's genuinely trusting, most of the time I figured I, I could, I don't know if I, without training, I don't know if I could survive in this environment.
David Hall: There there is, you know, the balance is, is you wanna have good boundaries. You don't wanna be gullible on one side, but you don't wanna be jaded either, which Right. Is a, is a side effect of a lot of people I've seen that have done. That's a tension right
James Marland: there. It is. That is, that that takes a special person to, to be, to be caring and concerned, but also not gullible.
I, I don't know if there's a technical term for that, but that, that, that is a difficult, tight, tight, mm-hmm. Uh, highwire to
David Hall: manage. Yeah. So I, I would say that, you know, you need a lot of patience. You need good boundaries, but there's certain people that can manage there. There's a part of addiction work that you're constantly managing, a certain amount of chaos.
Mm. And some of us have a higher toleration for that than others. Yeah. Yeah. Some of us, some of us can thrive in it and, and not as a pathological statement for oneself, it's just more of. Some of us, like, uh, uh, the, there, it brings a level of excitement and energy, and we can, we can manage that. We can handle some
James Marland: of the uncertainty.
David Hall: Yeah. And, and, you know, you're not easily flustered and you can, and, but, and there's an aspect too, if you spend some time in it, you know, you, you develop, don't necessarily judge, um, your long-term response of how you are in the first week. Mm-hmm. Uh, my first experience was I worked in a crisis stabilization hospital when I was still in grad school.
It was, it was my. Practicum internship, uh, placement, and it was both psychiatric and substance. And so there was both being managed in that hospital. And, uh, there were, I, I was, um, a bit overwhelmed my first few weeks. Yeah. And I just kind of stayed with it. But by the time I reached the end of my year there, I was much more competent, competent and capable.
Uh, and so the
James Marland: experience really
David Hall: Yeah. Helped. I, I, yeah. And it's, it's one of the things that, particularly for people when they're fresh outta grad school and they're looking for both employment, Options and good place to collect hours. And addiction niche is amazing because there's often what compared to a lot of other jobs can be very well paying jobs.
And uh, they can be, oftentimes they, they may include postgraduate supervision. And I know a lot of people that they did addiction work. It wasn't necessarily at their long-term career path, but I think of one of, um, A friend of mine who he moved out, he graduated with his degree and took a job out in Utah, uh, left east Tennessee, went to Utah to do a, um, it was this wilderness experiential addiction program and worked there for several years and got licensed and got a lot of great experience and was able to live someplace.
Interesting. Since then, he's moved back and, you know, has a, a solo practice and, you know, he, his life is, um, different. Uh, uh, in, in that respect. But the, um, but yeah, it's, uh, it's, um, it can be and having an itch. I guess one of the things wanna highlight is you can have an itch. It doesn't have to be your forever niche.
It just like, this is interesting enough. Mm-hmm. Or there's enough of a need where I can see I can help people and this gives me a positive career pathway in this moment, you know, for. Collecting postgraduate hours or making a, a reasonable income or whatever it looks like. Uh, and in scaling and cause this is a podcast about scaling.
If you learn that industry, it's amazing how profitable that can be at the end. I've known people that have started and sold multiple treatment centers and their main asset was they understood addiction and treatment. They understood how it worked client-wise, but they developed in the process of working in that industry, they developed skills on how to market.
Um mm-hmm. You know, what were the main referral, uh, bases for it, how to go through the facility licensure process. And so they've, you know, bought, they've started and sold multiple of them, and it's, it's, you know, as a scaling lucrative sort of thing, there's a lot of growth in addiction treatment. Great.
James Marland: Uh, any, any final thoughts on that?
David Hall: My one thing I guess is, is just this idea of interesting is sometimes good enough. I think sometimes I, I came into addiction work a little later. There were certain niches I took on earlier in my career. I was licensed and had been working for a few years before I got into addiction.
What got me into it was I had, um, uh, my family. Uh, my, I have family members that are in development. They do like property development, things like that, and they ended up investing in the startup process of a drug and alcohol treatment center. And I was not super keen at the beginning, but they, they saw an opportunity, they saw a need, and, uh, they wanted to.
Go for that. And then once, and then I got on board and then I thought, well, I'd like to contribute as I can to the startup process so it makes sense for me to, to get more addiction training when, that's when I did my certificate program, university of Wisconsin. And, uh, so I was, but I had resistance early on because I've, I've not gone through my own addiction journey.
I've, I've. I'm, and, and that's something again, a lot of people that end up doing addiction work are in their own recovery. And that was not part of my journey. Um, I had, my experience ended before in crisis stabilization was, there was a lot of chaos and I wasn't sure, like, did I like that? Did I, yeah. But I, I ended up coming to it with a fresh set of eyes and ended up appreciating it.
Appreciating it in different ways. And at this point, I don't do a lot of addiction work, but I feel pretty. Capable in it. I, I, I supervise people that do a lot more of it and it's, it's people are in need and ultimately, most of us, I like to think, got into this field of mental health to help people. Sure.
And so part of it is, you know, niches often represent places of very acute distress and pain that people are going through and they need help. And so it's very worthy. But getting, exploring this niche or any niche doesn't involve signing a 30 year lease. It just, you know, so great. Uh,
James Marland: yeah. So my one thing I want people to remember, I really liked how you described the, um, like the niches, the problem, the population, or the procedure.
I think, uh, if you have one, you're on your way. If you have two, like if you have a problem in a, a population or a population problem, like you're, you're almost there to a niche. And if you have a special procedure or a way on how you handle it, you're, you're, you're almost all the way there to having such a great definition of what you do, that it would be hard for the right people to miss you.
So, mm-hmm. Uh, have that pro problem, population and procedure defined, and communicate it in your marketing and on your webpage, and you'll, you'll start, start to be known as the person who does this, you know, the center of this.
All right. Well, David, thank you so much for joining me on this episode, And this is, uh, James Marlon with Dr. David Hall. We'll see you next time later.
James Marland: Thank you for listening to the scaling therapy practice. I hope you enjoyed the show. I want to remind you that the content shared today is for general information and entertainment purposes only. Opinions given should not be considered as legal or tax advice. If you need a professional advice in those areas, please consult with a licensed attorney or accountant, but thank you so much for listening.
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