Working With Urgent Clients in Your Individual Practice

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Working with urgent clients can seem like a daunting task, and one your practice may not be ready for. It’s important to remember that working with urgent clients is very different from working with clients in crisis. Your practice can grow and flourish when you take on urgent clients.

Rita Denome is a SonderMind provider who works with clients who need quick access to care. Below she explains how urgent clients are different from those in crisis and how your practice can benefit from this work.

What led to you seeing urgent clients?

I have always worked with clients in crisis, as both a registered nurse and a therapist. I helped to develop a crisis center many years ago when I lived in Washington state, worked for the Red Cross as a crisis therapist during emergencies and natural disasters, in the hospital setting in the emergency room and ICU, and for the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. Seeing urgent clients is a continuation of that work.

What's the difference between urgent clients and crisis response or emergent care?

Urgent clients recognize that they need and are ready for help when they reach out. They usually have had at least a little time to process what is happening with themselves, but haven't overthought it. 

Clients in crisis response or emergent situations may be in a crisis situation that they are still trying to process, and may have more than behavioral issues that they are trying to prioritize and concentrate on. 

How does your practice benefit from seeing urgent clients?

The best part is they have made a solid decision to start with a therapist. They are ready to schedule right away, and they very rarely cancel their appointments.

One of the biggest benefits to my practice has been word-of-mouth referrals. I get them from individuals and organizations. They provide a wide variety of clients with a wide variety of conditions. I also do case management and resource referrals because I am also a registered nurse.

How is working with urgent clients different than your typical practice?

Clients with urgent needs have less pretense than a lot of my typical clients. I think as a therapist, I see them with their guard down, so to speak. It gives the therapist a different perspective than with the client who has had time to "prepare" for a session.

Would you recommend that other providers start seeing these clients?

I would recommend it to other providers, if they feel that it interests them. To really be effective working with this population, I feel I have to be available to them on their schedule. That can be a deterrent for a lot of therapists who like to have set hours. 

I feel like urgent clients are the most receptive to therapeutic interventions. They will accomplish more in an hour than most traditional clients will accomplish in four hours.

Bottom line

Seeing urgent clients can be a major benefit to your practice, and it doesn’t mean working with clients in crisis. As a SonderMind provider, you can fill out this form to indicate your willingness to accept urgent clients.

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**Disclaimer: This document is intended for educational purposes only. Please check with your legal counsel or state licensing board for specific requirements.

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