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The Practice of Therapy Podcast ( helps therapists, counselors, and other mental health clinicians start, build and grow in their private practices.  Whether you are just starting into private practice or have been in it a while, The Practice of Therapy Podcast will give you information to help you grow and succeed!

Apr 6, 2020

In this episode, Derek Collins, MEd, CADC explains how he started his drug & alcohol counseling private practice and how he navigated imposture syndrome. Also, Derek describes how he reaches the maximum amount of people using Google rankings and SEO. Stay tuned as Derek dives deep into his marketing strategy and why it’s necessary to have multiple streams of income.

Meet Derek Collins

Derek Collins is the founder and CEO of the Diversion Center where he provides court-mandated classes and counseling services to offenders who are trying to get their lives back on track. He owns and operates 5 outpatient treatment facilities surrounding the Atlanta Metro area and provides court-mandated classes that include: anger management, shoplifting and theft prevention, values clarification, ASAM Level I, family violence intervention program and more. Currently, he is transitioning into the consulting field, helping others around the country start their own court-mandated practice. You can find out more information about Derek Collins and the Diversion Center at

How Derek Started His Practice

Derek had to step out of faith. He started just teaching classes at first, and then he proceeded to add on anger management. Then, he moved to get registered with the state of Georgia for their DUI intervention program. Derek kept on adding services and taking his time. He started his practice with a laptop, a broken down printer, and co-op coworking space. Derek’s space was only $99 a month, and he ran classes. Eventually, he had so many clients in there, so he had to get a second and third office.

Private Practice Competition

Georgia is highly competitive, and a lot of people want to do it out there. There are roadblocks and hoops you have to jump through. They make it hard for you to get into this industry in Georgia. However, if you jump through all those hoops, you should do what you need to do to be profitable. But at the same time, what a lot of therapists struggle with is marketing. It’s not something that’s taught in the schools and graduate schools, how to market your services. If your clients cannot find you on their phone, then you can forget about it.

Marketing Strategy

Derek’s marketing strategy is to get number one on Google. You have to be number one or at the very least on the first page. So when someone types up alcohol and drug evaluation, his name pops up first. Derek has multiple websites. On the first page of Google, you will see three different websites that Derek has. So no matter what, you have to come to him. Derek tries to dominate the market. Derek’s main website is a WordPress site because it’s a more substantial website for SEO. You will also want to have a Google business page and several of those that can help. Derek says that about 90% of his business is through his website SEO, and the other part is just word of mouth.

Being transparent… Some of the links below are affiliate links.  This simply means that if you use the link to make a purchase, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for using the links!


Derek’s Resources

Derek’s Website

Derek’s LinkedIn

Diversion Center on Facebook

The Ultimate ‘On-Demand’ Court Mandated Training Program

CALL: 404-781-7468

Other Resources

Financial Tips for Surviving The COVID-19 Crisis

The Practice of Therapy Teachable Courses (use code SPRING2020)

Money Matters in Private Practice | The Course

G Suite for Therapists | The E-Course