Interview with Zencare's founder

  • Thursday, March 11, 2021

Zencare helps therapists and other mental health providers with marketing their private practice and today we interview the founder of Zencare-Yuri Tomikawa.

1. Who are the founders of Zencare?

I’m the founder! I started Zencare after struggling to find a therapist myself and am on a mission to make the therapist search process as simple as possible for others. Prior to starting Zencare, I worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

2. How was Zencare born?

Zencare was born out of my own personal struggle to find a therapist. Existing directories didn’t allow for nuanced searches and information posted was often out of date or inaccurate. After going through an overwhelming and discouraging process and still not being able to find the right fit, I started Zencare to simplify that process for other therapy seekers. It takes courage to seek support, and finding the right therapist can be hassle-free and life changing!

I started taking professional photos for therapists, building visually-driven profiles, and personally matching clients who learned about my work through word of mouth. Since then, we’ve helped tens of thousands of individuals across the US connect with quality mental health care, and have supported over 1,500 providers build their private practices.

3. What services does Zencare provide for therapists?

Zencare is a one-stop-shop for private practice marketing, with a modern referral process to help therapists grow their caseload with their ideal clientele.

Zencare provides:

1. Professional photography and videography: Our photographers meet therapists at their offices so they can visually communicate the work they do, explain their specialties, and share their approach to care.

2. Exposure to Zencare’s millennial clientele: Our marketing channels include search engine optimization, digital advertising, the Zencare blog, client-facing newsletter, social media, and referral partnerships we cultivate with local doctors, hospitals, universities, and HR professionals. Through these channels we generate 250,000+ page views each month to our website.

3. A professional and up-to-date online presence: We build robust online profiles for providers, including high-quality photos and video, copywriting, and search engine optimization, and a members portal for them to easily keep their practice information up to date.

4. Clients who are a great fit: By empowering prospective clients to filter by what’s most important to them -- including therapy budget and available session times, provider identity, and location -- we help therapy seekers connect with clinicians who are a good fit for them, and help therapists fill their caseload with better-fitting and longer-lasting clients.

5. Ongoing concierge support: The Zencare team continues to support providers even after their profiles are up and running. If someone needs help connecting with a client, or troubleshooting technical issues with their profile, the support team is ready to jump in.

4. Who can join Zencare and what is the process?

Zencare works with clinically excellent and compassionate mental health providers. The site has established networks in over a dozen major U.S. cities, and is poised for nationwide expansion in 2021!

The process to join is simple: therapists build their profile online and schedule an in-person photo and video shoot with a trained local photographer!

To ensure the quality of care our network provides, we have a clinical vetting process that includes a 20-30min interview about therapist specialties, training, and approach. Only therapists who pass this vetting process have the Zencare quality-vetted badge on their profiles, highlighting their care as one of the best.

5. Do therapists need to have a private practice to join Zencare?

All Zencare therapists are in private practice, though they can be part of a solo practice or group practice. Whether just starting out, or in the field for years, Zencare’s team helps clinicians build thriving practices and take them to the next level.

6. How do you match therapists with clients?

Our goal is to empower clients to search for and connect with their ideal provider on their own.
We’ve prioritized making the website as user-friendly as possible, and allow folks to search based on the criteria that is most important to them. Clinicians update their practice availability each month, so the information presented to clients is accurate and up-to-date. Clients can watch introductory videos to get a sense of each therapist’s style and expertise, and then book an initial call directly. The Zencare concierge team is available to help with any missed connections between provider and client -- no more phone tag!
For those who would like extra guidance or support in their search, Zencare also offers personalized therapist matching. Therapy seekers can fill out a short questionnaire and our therapist matchmakers will identify and connect them with providers who fit their needs!

7. Are clients matched for both teletherapy and in-person services?

Clients can search for and be matched with therapists who offer teletherapy, in-person sessions, or both. Location information is readily available on every provider’s profile.

HIPAA compliant video conferencing, HIPAA compliant practice management software, secure video, teletherapy, telehelath


HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing

HIPAA compliant video conferencing is a must when providing teletherapy (aka telehealth) services. Once you decide that telehealth is right for your practice, the next step is choosing your video- conferencing platform. Not just any platform but a platform that provides HIPAA-compliant video-conferencing. You might be tempted to assume that any password-protected video-conferencing platform is secure but that is not the case. If you are going to be providing telehealth services, your platform and other tools need to meet HIPAA-compliance standards.

starting a private practice, starting a private practice in counseling, starting private practice in counseling, starting therapy private practice, private practice, telemental health,


Starting a Private Practice in Counseling

Starting a private practice in counseling requires not only clinical experience but essential tools that will help counselor or therapists to start a private practice and run it smoothly as well. Business plan, space, communication, record keeping, billing, forms, procedures and more are all necessary when starting a private practice in counseling.

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