I’ve learned a lot about business since opening my psychotherapy private practice 9 years ago. Most of it was by necessity and none of it was taught to me in graduate school. Starting, growing, and maintaining a psychotherapy or counseling practice can be exhilarating and anxiety provoking. Ultimately, for me, it is been personally and professionally rewarding.

Two of the most important lessons I have learned about growing a quality referral network are:

  • Relationships matter
  • Community collaboration is key

My best referrals come from those people who know me well. And the only way for me to be known well is to reach out and get to know others in my community. I try to never miss an opportunity to share my knowledge or skills with the community I work and live in. At the same time I am eager to learn and collaborate with other business owners and service providers nearby.

Here is a version of a recent letter I wrote to local business owners:

Dear Neighbor,

Being a good local business owner starts with being a good neighbor. In that spirit I am reaching out to you today to introduce myself.

Since 2007 I have operated Steven J. Hanley, Ph.D., P.C., a clinical psychology private practice, here at the Claymoor building in Southfield. I live in nearby Farmington Hills and provide psychotherapy and other clinical psychology services to individuals, couples, and families from just about every city in the Detroit Metropolitan area (and across the state of Michigan through video technology).

My personal and professional heart belongs to this area. My family and business will be here for decades to come and I look forward to enriching and strengthening our community.

Providing compassionate psychological services to my clients brings me joy, but being in private practice can sometimes be a professionally solitary and isolated endeavor. I am always looking for ways to meet and collaborate with other local business owners.

Our industries may be very different, but I hope we share a similar goal: To make the people in our shared community happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.    

I would love to learn more about you and your business. If you would like to learn more about mine let’s have a chat or a coffee.

You can learn more about my practice at: I am also very active on social media. You can find my Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and other social media sites on my website. I like to share helpful and fun psychology and mental health information. Let’s connect!

Please enjoy this 2016 Detroit Tigers calendar magnet and have a great summer!



Steven J. Hanley, Ph.D.