At Mentegram, we love to provide helpful, valuable content for our readers, whether it be for therapists already utilizing our products or for those who simply find our articles and posts beneficial in some way. Mentegram not only bridges the gap between therapists and their patients, but we also hope to create a platform for information that can be used and shared among therapists and other professionals in the mental healthcare field. This is why we are extremely excited for you to meet Traci Ruble, the CEO of PSYCHED in San Francisco therapy center and the Managing Director of a Sidewalk Talk, a nonprofit community listening project. Traci will be sharing her expertise, as well as her professional experiences, on a monthly basis on our blog.

 

So, let’s get to know her a little bit better!       

 

Traci, we love that you have chosen Mentegram to share helpful tips and professional information! What was your process for narrowing down the topic for your first article?

I just had a conversation with one of my interns.  She really wanted my feedback on how to build her practice. She kept putting time and money into her website, but I explained to her that websites are a dime a dozen now. It was through talking to her that I was reminded of this polling I did a few years ago and nudged her to get out there and network. I think a lot of therapists hide behind their websites.

 

We don’t want to give out too many spoilers, but what other topics might we see in the upcoming months?

Spoilers…ooo I like that.  Therapist spoilers. I am going to share my worldview on blogging, SEO, YELP, client retention, social media policy and privacy, as well as volunteering as marketing.

 

Now, let’s learn a bit more about you! What made you decide to open a mental healthcare center?

This may not be an impressive answer.  It came from my longing for community. Psyched started as a simple blogspot blog (remember them?). I had such a good time I decided to monetize it to make a little cash so we could hire a really good editor.  All of our profits form the clinic go back into creative projects but the richness of knowing I have other colleagues whose work I respect makes showing up to work every day so much more fun.

 

We absolutely love the content in your magazine, by the way! When you started Psyched Magazine, what was your main goal?

Oh that means a lot.  We have come a long way. I still pinch myself some days when I read the articles.  I like writing but we have some real pros.  Our main goal, again, was community.  At the outset I wanted to write in a way that may have made my young parents seek out therapy.  Now we are focused on drawing in an urban professional audience by writing provocatively about the intersection points of community, culture, politics and the environment and how those are related to mental health.

 

And I can’t wait any longer to bring up Sidewalk Talk! This has got to be SUCH a rewarding experience. What is your role in this?

Sidewalk Talk is a passion project. I started it with another therapist.  Now that it has grown into full fledged non-profit, I have taken the reigns. It is rewarding but humbling.  I have learned so much about listening, stripped bare of my “therapist” role.  You see, I go out on the street and listen to strangers on city streets as a citizen.  I am actively holding the mantle that human connection heals, and that doesn’t always happen in a therapists’ office.  And it is fun that people sit down and talk who have never met a therapist before. We are getting ready to take Sidewalk Talk on a road tour in April in the middle USA.  Always looking for more volunteers.

 

sidewalktalk

San Francisco, CA, Homeless Pop Up Care Village Organized by LavaMae

 

When it comes to running your own business, what is the best advice that you can offer to other entrepreneurs who might be reading this?

Ask for help.  Have a plan.  Make mistakes.  It may look easy, but it isn’t, so be committed. And hands down, pay for a good accountant up front. I just created a mastermind group of other women who run their own businesses, and we are in constant touch about our fears, proud moments and advice.  It has meant a lot to be surrounded by these women. Being a woman and running a clinic, magazine and non profit can still be going against the grain for some men I meet, so having their support has been very important.

 

When you think about therapy today, versus several years ago, what types of changes do you see on the horizon?

The power of the internet really is changing what is possible for therapists touching their clients.  And it provides some unique challenges.  What does it mean that a client who is acting out can punish a therapist by writing a bad YELP review? How do we harness the power of social media to uplift and support clients between sessions? I think addiction treatment is getting the humane overhaul it has long needed as a result of the opioid addiction epidemic.

 

Lastly, just because we really do value your opinion, especially with your technical background, how can you see Mentegram changing the face of therapy?

Mentegram has the potential of proving out therapy’s effectiveness by tracking client success rates and enabling the paperless office.  It will allow therapists to focus more on their clinical skills, rather than the back end components of running a business.  I have high hopes for the potential for the therapist client interactions via Mentegram homework that sustains client progress between sessions and long after treatment has completed.

 

We are so excited that you were able to “meet” Traci! Now, be sure to stay tuned to Mentegram’s blog in the upcoming months to read more from Traci, including articles written specifically to help therapists.

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